Wells Fargo: Doing the right thing…and the smart one too

Debra Rossi

After my adventure with Wells Fargo the last couple of days, I was pleased to discover this morning that they’d fulfilled the account reinstatement from their mistake and we are back in business online. What I hadn’t expected was a call today from Wells Fargo Executive Vice President, Debra Rossi, who is the Head of Merchant Payment Solutions.

She apologized, made no excuses, told me about their recognition of the fundamental breakdown of their normal process (to call the customer before canceling them!), asked what she could do to make us whole, listened to me without interrupting and engaged conversationally while ending with her direct phone number in case I have any issues going forward. Tough to invest this kind of time when you’re running a major part of the Wells Fargo $573B business and undoubtedly have pressing matters piling up.

Ms. Rossi will also be supplying us with a letter of apology.

This call went a long way toward making up for the frustrating adventure and embarrassing shut down of our ecommerce, and now gives us the opportunity to communicate with our offended customers (those we know about anyway) so they don’t think we’re no longer reputable or somehow can’t handle Web commerce.

What was enlightening as well was this: my posting, her reaction and action, and a successful resolution (and, I’m certain, lots of awareness within the company so this doesn’t happen again to someone else) is a great example of social media and conversational marketing in action.

Though polite queries from Ms. Rossi and others yesterday about my original post were offered as being curious in nature, the implication was now that this matter was resolved would I take it down or what was my intention?  Today’s social and new media — and blogging basics — dictate that posts are not removed nor materially modified once published and I adhere to that philosophy and practice. It’s why I amended/updated yesterday’s post and am now writing a fresh one: to detail their action, call out and laud them for it, and to be transparent, but I’m compelled to leave the post up as-is.

Lastly, I always encourage my clients to do exactly what Ms. Rossi did: don’t let things fester as they’ll become infected like what happened to Dell Computer (remember “Dell Hell“?) and the PR disaster that rained down upon them…from which, one could argue, they’re still not fully healed.

Ms. Rossi did the right thing…and the smart one too.


  1. GraemeThickins on May 8, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    This is a great story, Steve — a modern case history in customer care, that is for sure. A lot of organizations can and should learn from this.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.