It comes as no surprise to me that employees at Wells Fargo resorted to dishonesty in opening bogus accounts, just to keep their jobs. Why am I not surprised? Because in 2013, after six years of employment, my sister was about to lose her job at Wells Fargo because she could not meet her sales goals. I wrote this letter to CEO John Stumpf, advising him that the intense sales culture was damaging to employees and consumers. I received a startling response. But first, here is that letter:
March 27, 2013
Mr. John Stumpf,
Chairman and CEO
Wells Fargo & Company
420 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
Dear Mr. Stumpf:
Knowing how busy you are, I apologize for the length of this letter; but as a long-time customer, I ask that you please grab a cup of coffee or tea, sit back, and take the ten minutes you will need to read this letter through to its end.
I very recently became aware of Wells Fargo’s Vision Statement through a graduate school paper my niece was writing for a course. I was reading it, and here is what stood out:
“Our vision has nothing to do with transactions, pushing products or getting bigger for the sake of bigness. It’s about building lifelong relationships one customer at a time.”
Ironically, my sister, who has worked as a teller for Wachovia/Wells Fargo for almost six years and is terrific with customers, is about to lose her job. This is not due to unprofessional behavior. It is not due to excess absences. It is not due to transactional errors. It is not due to lack of excellent customer service. What it is due to is her failure to continue to meet sales goals through pushing products.