Wells Fargo’s odd process

Every so often I scratch my head at a large business’ practices. Today I did so about Wells Fargo’s credit card activation process.

I dutifully called the activation number on the new credit card. After entering the 16-digit number, the recorded voice said they couldn’t complete the process nor could I be connected to an agent. I was told to try again later.

Thirty minutes later, I did. Same recording.

Another hour, same thing.

First, couldn’t they have told me they couldn’t process my transaction before I’d entered the 16 digits? Why did they make me go through that each time before telling me they were out of order?

I called the other number on the back of the card. The nice rep told me the card couldn’t be activated because it “wasn’t in the system.” How could I have the physical card in my hand and it not be in the system? Wouldn’t it have to be in their system to generate the card? Why wouldn’t they ensure it was in the system before they put it in the mail?

He could only tell me to call back the next day when it would be in the system. I did and it was.

But it seemed like a lot of time and rigamarole for what should have been a 60-second transaction.

What were they thinking? Or were they? Apparently not.

Do you have processes that force your customers to take lots more time because your organization hasn’t made sure the loop is closed and they can complete their business easily and quickly? How much money did it cast Wells Fargo for their agent to spend 10 minutes on the phone trying to trouble-shoot what should have been a no brainer?