Prentiss Riddle: Time

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An open letter to Wells Fargo Online Banking

You'd think these guys were still dealing with paper checks. Hauled by oxcart.

From: Prentiss Riddle
To: Wells Fargo Customer Service

Can I pass a comment on to the management of Wells Fargo Online Banking?

Today I downloaded my account history for the first time in a while and was disappointed to see that the available history covered only the span of 7/9/04 through 9/20/04.

I don't see any reason why you can't provide me with the entire history of my account, or failing that, at least a full year. That's the necessary amount of data to get a proper financial picture.

At a bare minimum I'd have expected to get a full quarter's history. Just how often do you think the typical Wells Fargo Online Banking customer can find the time to sit down and reconcile his or her account?

I've asked about this before and been given an excuse about how data is periodically cycled out of the system. I work in IT and I know that we're not talking about vast amounts of data here, that its organization is straightforward with few issues of scale, and that disk space gets cheaper all the time. Even in uncompressed form my account history doesn't take more than 100K per year. Nowadays free services that I don't pay a cent for allot me up to ten thousand times that much storage!

Again, I would appreciate it if you would forward this message to your Online Banking management. Thank you.

If there are any other Wells Fargo customers out there who'd like to send them a clue, feel free. The Contact Us link on their website would be a place to start. Let me know if you figure out how to reach an actual human.

I suppose now would be a good time to inquire about U.S. banks operating nationwide which do a better job of integrating their free online banking with money management software like Quicken. It does occur to me that Wells Fargo may do a sucky job because they want to encourage people to trade up to their paid online banking, not a smart policy if we have the option of trading up to a different bank. However, I chose Wells Fargo in part for brick-and-mortar reasons, so there are other constraints that might keep me from switching. Sigh.

time 2004.09.21 link