We DO Count: Making News

"Wells Fargo tries, fails to explain why customers shouldn't be allowed to sue over fake accounts"
The Consumerist
By Chris Morran
March 1, 2017
"Wells Fargo has admitted that thousands of its employees opened fake, unauthorized accounts in customers’ names, but the bank is doing everything it can to prevent these wronged customers from having their day in court. We asked Wells Fargo to explain why it believes hundreds of thousands of Americans shouldn’t be allowed to exercise their constitutional right to sue. The bank’s response made little sense (unless you’re a Wells Fargo executive).

Last week, We Do Count, a coalition of consumer advocacy groups, wrote a letter [PDF] to Wells Fargo CEO urging the bank to stop using arbitration agreements to sidestep accountability.

“Consumers have no reason to believe that Wells Fargo is doing anything differently, when the bank still persists in depriving its customers and workers of their basic constitutional rights,” reads the letter, signed by nearly two dozen groups, including the Consumer Federation of California, National Consumer Law Center, and Public Citizen. “A change in culture does not mean doing the right thing only when it does not cost anything. It means doing the right thing, period. How can Wells Fargo claim to be doing the right thing when it continues to force customers it has wronged into giving up their constitutional rights – even in cases where the account in dispute was created through fraud, identity theft, and /or forgery?”

And the advocacy groups are not alone. At least six U.S. Senators have asked Wells to not force these lawsuits into arbitration.

So why does Wells Fargo — which has already admitted that this fraud occurred — insist on keeping these cases out of the court?"

Read more: The Consumerist: "Wells Fargo tries, fails to explain why customers shouldn't be allowed to sue over fake accounts".