Wells Fargo needs to be closed down for robbing customers; honchos had to know what was going on

September 8, 2016

Talk about the greed of the one percent.

Wells Fargo Bank needs to be shut down. I mean if what has been reported is true that one percent of its work force was involved in setting up phony accounts so individual employees could get sales bonuses and as a result customer accounts were robbed and customers were subjected to fees and overdraft penalties, then there is no reason that the bank should be allowed to remain in business.

It was reported that 5,300 employees have been fired over the scandal.

It seems to me the chief executives and their underlings should be the first to go. I mean that is what they get paid the big bucks for, to take responsibility.

And I would think there ought to be quite a few people sent to prison. A message on this needs to be sent.

That many employees could hardly have participated in the fraud without the consent and in fact encouragement from higher-ups. The bank did not lose, until now, possibly, the customers did.

While it is reported the bank is being fined 185 million dollars, I think the penalty should go further than that. The bank will no doubt just somehow siphon that out of it’s customers somehow.

All honest business people should be outraged.

The FDIC or whatever regulatory agency should shut it down, not just fine it.

I would advise any customer to close his or her account and move funds elsewhere.

For that many people to be involved in fraud in one entity is shocking and sickening and indicates that there really are no ethics or morals left it the finance industry — if there ever was. Okay maybe a bit strong, but this sounds like an ethical crisis to me.


I do no business directly with Wells Fargo. Did use the bank in the distant past for my measly account.


Reviews on internet are often phony; more people should retire early so more people could work…

December 15, 2011

Here’s a tip: when you see customer reviews on a business on the internet, don’t believe them. People often pay for them.

And I overheard some insurance agents talking this morning during breakfast at a restaurant, and while I could not make out every word, I could not help but hear a lot of it (that’s why I personally always feel inhibited while talking to someone in a restaurant. It does not seem private). One agent was telling another how he phonied positive customer reviews. The other agent asked if Google did not police that. And the first agent suggested the second could send reviews to him. I know, I got it all out of context, they would say.

After being forced to listen to the chatter of the insurance agents I concluded nothing is much more boring than shop talk (although the phony review thing did pique my interest, as if I would believe any of that stuff anyway. If my own folks taught me anything in life, it was to be skeptical).

The agents also talked about the rat race, the pressure of making more and more sales and the use of money earned as a measurement of success in life. One agent said that he was content with the money he made and that he pays his employees well and — I did not catch it all — and I think that he was considering retiring early — why not enjoy life now rather than wait till I’m 80, he said, in so many words. He likely had a point there.

And that brings me to my idea, which I have expressed previously and have never gotten so much as a comment on, that rather than constantly raising the retirement age, we should lower it. People could relax and enjoy what life they have left (provided they had their health and retirement savings — I know, what’s that?), and there would be more jobs for younger people to fill.

While far too many people do not work in this country (the USA), either because of lack of openings or inability or laziness, far too many work too hard for too long, I think. For many of us work is synonymous with life itself.

Consumer’s ultimate weapon: just say: ‘no deal’

November 11, 2011

It’s strange to me that we consumers sometimes don’t seem to realize how much power we have in the market place.

The biggest power we have over too high prices or poor service or poor quality products or whatever is to just not do business with those we have a problem with.

Now when someone is the only game in town or every business acts the same way, that does pose a problem — nonetheless, I’d rather go without than deal with something or someone who does not agree with me.

A young woman college graduate in Washington D.C. thought the $5-debit card fee enacted by Bank of America, along with similar actions by other banks, was unjust, so she did something about it. She got online and initiated a nationwide movement of people to move their accounts to regional banks and credit unions. Bank of America blinked (see link at bottom).

And here’s the deal:

First, as far as I see it, banks should be paying you money for using your money (of course if you barely have anything in there and keep over drafting, you don’t have much of a case).

Secondly, it was the banks that pushed people to use those plastic cards and they keep pushing. Years ago I got chewed out by a teller for having the audacity to come inside the bank to make a transaction. She thought I should be using the ATM outside.

I’ve been dealing with a regional bank for some time now, way before the current move began, and am quite satisfied.

In addition, I’m not running a nationwide boycott, but I am running a one-man boycott of Best Buy. To me they seem to be more into selling you stuff and not so much into good and/or fair service. I’m not going to put them out of business, but I am saving my own sanity.

I’m not a big fan of Walmart, but I will say this: my late wife tried to buy a flat screen TV at Best Buy and they were no help. She went over to Walmart and they even carried it out to the car for her (I was out of town driving down the road in my truck driving job).

Now here is kind of a twisted way (or logic, perhaps) where ultimately the consumer wins. Take the housing crisis, please. Anyway, for years the price of normal family dwellings, as opposed to Mcmansions or houses that were way beyond what the regular family might need, were way overpriced, especially considering the salaries that people made in any given area. Well after the real estate bubble burst in 2008 prices came way down — people weren’t buying.

Same thing with gasoline. Apparently the limit is somewhere around $5 per gallon. After that people just won’t buy.

If consumers really wanted to be smart, they would deal in cash only. Go with the rule: if I cannot pay cash, I cannot afford it.

If everyone did that prices would come down, way down.

Of course many will argue that such a cut in consumer demand would  really put us into a financial depression and then no one would have money to buy products no matter how cheap the prices. Nothing is perfect.

But the most potent weapon you have or we have as consumers is to pass on that.


The link:





In the original version of my previous post about the GOP presidential candidates I paraphrased something Herman Cain said in response to sexual harassment allegations.  I subsequently revised the post with the actual quote, taken both from a story on the web and from a YouTube video (the meaning does not change). It is: “The American people deserve better than someone being tried in the court of public opinion based on unfounded accusations”. If  I wanted to be sarcastic I would say, yeah they do, so why don’t you just drop out. But seriously it is an interesting story with most of us not knowing whether he is the victim of a political smear or whether he just was not thinking ahead that some day he might run for president and then everything comes out. Despite his money-raising ability and even his polling, I don’t see that he has any chance to become president (vice president? I don’t think so either). The indications are that he has no real policy views, be they domestic or foreign, and all his answers revolve around his 999 tax plan. And I have already said too much about Cain.

Tire tales from car driving and big truck driving…

May 11, 2010

Why is it that when I get a nail in my car tire it’s always in a place, near the sidewall, where they can’t fix it?

Well it seems that way, at any rate.

Bought two new tires today (yesterday at least by the time you read this). My right front tire — the one that couldn’t be fixed — had a nail in it, and the other front tire was starting to separate.

It seemed strange to me. Thought I just bought tires. But the man told me that actually two of my tires were bought in 2005. The other two I bought last July and September.

When he looked at those older tires he remarked: “we don’t sell those anymore”. Well too bad. They did seem to last me awhile.

But I’m not really complaining. I usually get tires at Les Schwab, and I like their service. And I got a hefty discount.

They don’t seem to come running like they used to, but they still seem to offer the best service around, or at least as good as anyone else.

(I’m not usually into promoting private business, but since getting good service for anything anywhere is so hard to do these days, I figure it would not hurt to recognize something positive where it exists.)

Yeah, they used to actually come running — literally — out to your car as soon as you drove up.

And as a big truck driver I have had particularly good service from them out on the road, both when I drive into one of their shops or when they come out for road service. I’ve always found their road guys to be quick and efficient. I’ve seen them replace an outside tire without even taking the wheel off plenty of times.

One time up on Highway 97 in Oregon I pulled into a Less Schwabb in the wee hours of the morning before opening time. I crawled into my sleeper and when I awoke the guy was already at work fixing my tire. Now that’s service. And I had not even called them or had any contact with them (he could spot a bad tire, though) .

And another time I was at a truck stop and had a bad tire, but the road guy told me that at that particular truck stop they did not let outside tire guys do their work there. That truck stop had a shop. But that shop was overpriced. So the road service guy had me pull out on to the on ramp to the freeway and he fixed it there — now that’s absurd, on the truck stop’s part, I think.

And I can tell you some of the major truck stops charge plenty just to fix a tire. But there is one truck stop in Oregon on I-5 that is reasonable. I recall having had to have a tire fixed there several years ago when the big boys were charging something like $30 or more and at this one I got a tire fixed for something like $6 (these figures are just approximate and according to my memory, but I can tell you the price spread is the same today).

At the trucking company where I work we used to have a tire guy who took his responsibility to the owner quite seriously and wanted to make sure the drivers did not waste tire dollars out on the road. He told me one time that the policy was that before I ever got a tire fixed or replaced that he be called, day or night, and he gave me his home number.

When the hapless tire guy out there called him in the middle of the night, he demanded: “who gave you my number?!”

He was always telling me to bring the bad tire back with me. So one time I’m hauling this old tire in my trailer but forgot it was there. I opened my back doors to back into a dock from a street up in Portland, Or. and still did not realize that tire was there. It went rolling down the street. Someone came up to me with it and asked me if it was my tire. Fortunately it did no damage to anyone.

Another time I neglected to bring back the old tire and he got mad. So the next time I was at the truck strop where I got it replaced I got the guy to give me an old discarded one and turned it in — same difference, I guess.

For a time we used to get calls at home with people asking about tires. They kept asking if we were a tire place, the name of which I don’t recall. But I finally looked that name up on the internet and sure enough it had our home phone number. The next time I got a call, I started to give the person a line as a joke, but my conscience got the better of me, and when the older sounding lady on the other end of the line asked what was she to do, I simply directed her to the nearest Les Schwab.


And this has nothing to do with my favorite tire place, but for my part I have no use for recaps which are often put on big trucks, especially on trailers. Nearly all those big tire shreds you see on the highways the truckers call “alligators” are from recaps. For my part I think they should be outlawed. They are a safety problem. I saw one come of a big truck one time and then a car ran over it and then it went flying and busted the windshield of another car — fortunately that driver was able to safely pull over to the side of the road. But the trucker (not me, I swear) was probably oblivious to what had happened. At any rate he was long gone. And that is all I have to say about tires at this time, except that I am sure that with modern technology they could make tires that would never go flat or blow out, but then that would be the ruin of the tire business.