How to deal with banking errors like the Wells Fargo glitch



Myles Ma

Myles Ma

Senior Managing Editor

Myles Ma is a health care expert & personal finance writer for Policygenius. He edits the Easy Money newsletter.

Published January 18, 2018|3 min read

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Update, Feb. 22, 2019: Navy Federal Credit Union was experiencing a glitch of its own Friday morning. The credit union serving military members said on Twitter that members were unable to see their deposits. Deposits have posted even though members can't see them, Navy Federal said. The company said it was working on the issue.

The issue was fixed just before 10 a.m., a Navy Federal Credit Union spokesman said.

"This morning, members were unable to see deposits in their accounts," he said. The issue has been resolved, and members can now use our mobile app or go online to access their accounts and services. We know this was a frustrating experience, and we apologize to our members."

Banking errors are all too common. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received complaints about more than 80 of them in the past month alone. Learn how you can deal with banking errors below.

Original post: Some Wells Fargo customers had items double-posted to their checking accounts Wednesday because of an "internal processing error," a company spokesman said. The glitch affected customers who use online bill pay.

"The issue was corrected overnight, and customers should now see their correct balances," Kevin Friedlander, a spokesman for Wells Fargo, said.

Any fees or charges caused by the error would be "taken care of," Friedlander said. Wells Fargo apologized on Twitter, but people were still taking the bank to task for a slow reaction time.

What to do after a banking error

I asked the company if there were any specific steps customers should take, but Friedlander only sent a brief statement in response. If you're a Wells Fargo customer — or a customer of any bank that experiences an error like this — you should check your account to make sure the balance is correct.

Some Twitter users said they were charged with overdraft fees because of the error. Wells Fargo said these issues would be "taken care of," but if you've been charged with a fee and it's still on your account, you'll want to get on the phone and sort it out with customer service. If any bills were set to auto-pay while the glitch was happening, check with the companies to make sure they received payment.

Going forward, you can set alerts on your account so you know as soon as possible when something's fishy. Wells Fargo and other banks lets customers get alerts over text message, email or push notification for updates like:

When your balance is above or below a level you specify When a withdrawal, deposit or check posts to your account When your daily ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases exceed an amount you specify

If your bank has made a series of foul-ups, like say (and I'm definitely not singling out one in particular), secretly creating millions of accounts in customers' names without their permission or charging people for auto insurance they didn't need and you're thinking of switching, consider all your options. There are plenty of places to keep your money, including small banks, online financial institutions and credit unions. You can learn more about credit unions, specifically, in our guide to making the switch here.