December 15th, 2014

Wells Fargo Banking Blues

In early November I realized the debit card for my main checking account had an expiration date of 12/14. Checking their site I noticed that in 2015 all of their cards will be chip and PIN instead of swipe but if your card was expiring after Oct. 1 you could request a chip and PIN card as your replacement card this year.

Called them up and asked them if my replacement card could be chip and PIN, since that's the standard in Europe. They said no problem, they would send it out.

Instead of sending me a new card for the one that was about to expire they instead sent me two cards - one for an unused savings account and one for Rome Girl's bank account. This did not help me so I called them up.

They said to wait 10 days and I'd have the card to my actual account. Ten days later I called them up because it hadn't arrived.

No problem they said. They'd switch the card in Rome Girl's account to my checking account.

"What PIN do I use," I asked?

"Just use your PIN," they said. "If that doesn't work use Rome Girl's PIN. Oh, by the way, we've just cancelled your regular debit card."

Went out to an ATM with the chip and PIN card. Shockingly, neither PIN worked.

Called back again the next day. The said "Well you can probably use it as a swipe card. And if you need cash why not just ask for cash back from a bar or coffee shop?"


"No," I said. "I tried the swipe but because the machines here are chip and PIN when you swipe it the machine says to stick it in and use chip and PIN."

"Oh," they responded. "Why don't you go into a branch. They can give you a new PIN."

"Because I'm in France and you don't have branches in France," I replied.

"Really," she said. "I wonder why we don't have branches in France."

"I have no idea," I said. "But I'd really like a working debit card."

"Ok," she said. "We'll we'll send you a new PIN. You should get it in 10 business days."

Anyone want to bet on if I'll have to call them 10 days from now?