If you're a customer of Wells Fargo Bank and use online Bill Pay, you may have gone into shock when you discovered, as I did, the bank had wiped out your account. Based on my experience, here are some things that might help you get your accounts back in order.

First, it is important to know I was an early adopter of paying bills online. I have used it successfully for years. Also worth noting, I'm not good at math, so I use tools offered by the bank to help cover the occasional small overdrafts and alerts notifying me when I'm running low on funds.

So, when I received a notification my account was low on funds Wednesday, I didn't worry too much since I had bills scheduled to pay. What caught my attention and sent me into panic mode was another notification 10 minutes later that said I was several hundred dollars overdrawn.

Not completely understanding how, even with my faulty math skills, I could make a mistake like this, I borrowed money to cover the overdraft only to discover Wells Fargo was responsible for all the problems.

I was lucky, an enormous number of other people who didn't have any extra resources were left with the inability to use debit cards for purchases or to withdraw cash, plus they accumulated overdraft fees adding even more to the deficit.

Wells Fargo reports they are correcting the problems caused by the glitch and will credit back any fees charged. My discussion with a customer service representative left me less than convinced. If this happened to you, here are some suggestions based on my personal experience.

  1. Call customer service or go to the bank and let them know you were affected by their mistake. Be direct but keep it professional. Don't worry about getting details of account activity from them at this time, they're the one who made the mistake.
  2. Look at your account activity and find a place where you know the available balance is correct.
  3. Go into Bill Pay, find all the recently scheduled payments and make sure they were paid correctly. Many people reported having a single scheduled payment payout multiple times.
  4. Start adding deposits and subtracting debts until you get through everything that has posted to your account recently, noting any discrepancies or extra service charges.
  5. Contact customer service again with what you found and ask them to verify the information. Request any errors be corrected immediately. You'll likely be met with a response of a time in the near future when those corrections will be made.
  6. Check your account at that time and if it isn't completely correct, call them or head to the bank again as many times as it takes to get it right.
  7. Abandon online bill paying and go back to mailing paper checks. Just kidding, but I did seriously consider it.

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