Scientists say he got bypassed by Wells Fargo after being docked at an ATM in Ecuador, until CBS 2 intervened

CHICAGO (CBS) — Again, it seems that asking an information station may be the boost some businesses need.

As CBS 2’s Lauren Victory reported, a frustrated bird lover yelled at Morning Insiders about issues with his bank that began last summer. Now he’s flying high — since the bank quickly resolved the issue when CBS 2 started asking questions.

CHICAGO (CBS)– Mateo Pomilia is always on the move. The Buffalo Grove native recently spent about a year in Quito, Ecuador as a conservation biologist.

He explained that he had gone “to support endangered wildlife populations, especially endangered birds.”

The beautiful mission turned a little ugly one day when his US bank account at Wells Fargo wouldn’t allow a withdrawal from an Ecuadorian ATM.

“I really needed the money,” Pomilia said. “The transaction was declined. I wasn’t sure if the ATM didn’t have enough funds, but when it was declined a second time, I thought maybe there was something wrong with the menu.”

Pomilia said it has used its Wells Fargo card for similar transactions in the country on several occasions without any issues. This time, however, even though no money came out, Wells Fargo blocked his account at over $1,800.

Within days, the bank returned the money through a temporary credit. Two weeks later, this credit was partially cancelled.

The bank had taken back $1,000 of the $1,800 in question, according to Pomilia, who had been fighting for her money since we first spoke to her.

Apparently, the traveling scientist had to be in the United States to physically sign documents in order to move the case forward.

“So, of course, the plan was to figure out when I would be back in the States,” he said.

Waiting was a bad decision. Pomilia shared with us a letter from the Complaints Management Office that explains that customers have 120 days to weigh in on disputes. Pomilia said no one told him about this policy, and when he approached a Wells Fargo branch manager in the United States, he said he informed him it was Day 121.

“I missed it by a day,” Pomilia said, so frustrated he contacted CBS 2 to help get his missing money back.

After our investigation, Pomilia magically received a phone call from the bank he had been tracking for months.

“I checked that instant and the money had already been returned to my account,” Pomilia said, smiling in a follow-up interview with CBS 2.

He added that the Wells Fargo caller also apologized.

“I said to him, ‘Look, the only way for them to fix this is to fix their processes so this doesn’t happen again in the future,'” Pomilla said.

You’re talking about a man who’s still on a mission.

Pomilia said Wells Fargo did not fully explain what caused the ATM problem.

A bank spokesperson would not discuss the details of the case with us, but sent us this official statement:

“We are unable to discuss information about specific customers or our process for investigating complaints lodged, due to customer privacy and confidentiality. We take customer complaints seriously. C “Providing our customers with a positive experience is a priority for us. If we are unable to, we are working directly with our customers to resolve the issue as soon as possible and taking steps to improve our service in the future.”


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