Ex-Slave Turned Whistle-Blower
March 25, 2018 11:07 AM   Subscribe

The Former Khmer Rouge Slave Who Blew the Whistle on Wells Fargo: A Wells Fargo call-center worker knew the bank was wrong. So he spoke up. (SLNYT by Emily Flitter)
posted by crazy with stars (11 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don’t blame this guy for settling, but I admit I was disappointed with that ending. Break up the banks.
posted by stinkfoot at 11:45 AM on March 25, 2018 [12 favorites]


I do blame the guy for settling, or at least recognise he is another one who got bought.
posted by jaduncan at 11:59 AM on March 25, 2018


I do blame the guy for settling, or at least recognise he is another one who got bought.
Wells Fargo has massive resources available to it and a documented history of engaging in unscrupulous behavior. Mr. Tran has limited resources, a family to support, and his own personal welfare to consider -- it can be incredibly stressful to be engaged in such a struggle.

While it would certainly have been satisfying to see this gentleman fight them in court and win, would anything have been gained in the (just as likely, imho) event that he fought them and then lost? At least with this outcome he has extracted a non-trivial punishment from them and gotten his story to the New York Times.

The power asymmetry here is one of the reasons it's crucial to have functioning government oversight of the banks -- we can't depend on the Mr. Trans of the world to control the banks for us.

I do agree with Mr. Coles, though -- the customers (or supposed customers) who've been victimized by the bank's behavior deserve to be compensated as well.
posted by Nerd of the North at 12:43 PM on March 25, 2018 [42 favorites]


If we're posting judgments on Mr. Tran here using a Apple or Google product, then isn't Metafilter itself how much we got bought for?
posted by lefty lucky cat at 12:53 PM on March 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


I think Duke Tran has set up a nice business model for front office customer support staff to behave ethically... it doesn't really seem like he did any 'paper trail' preparation for his ragged-unemployed-whistleblower-to-riches saga...yet the ones to follow him certainly will.
posted by dongolier at 1:18 PM on March 25, 2018 [4 favorites]


Another thing going for WF is the concept of judicial economy, which is used to force people into settlements. WF can offer an amount that is life-changing for their opponent, while being less than the penalties they risk by going to trial.
posted by rhizome at 1:32 PM on March 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


You absolutely cannot blame this guy for taking the security and stress-relief of a seven figure settlement, because he is an individual. You absolutely can blame the banks for being shitty, because they are evil conglomerates that by design are only focused on making more money.

Want less seven figure payouts? Have better banks. Want better banks? Stop making everything market-led.
posted by The River Ivel at 2:43 PM on March 25, 2018 [20 favorites]


Another possibility is organizations to give financial support to whistle blowers.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 3:22 PM on March 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


"I think Duke Tran has set up a nice business model for front office customer support staff to behave ethically... it doesn't really seem like he did any 'paper trail' preparation for his ragged-unemployed-whistleblower-to-riches saga...yet the ones to follow him certainly will."

I'm pretty sure if you work a call center in a bank, there are strict policies (enforceable by firing and potential criminal prosecution) against taking home documentation of your daily work.

I wonder how much his conversations with the New York Times helped encourage WF to offer him 'fuck off/get rich' money. I wish him well with his new fortune and hope he's left the banking call center 'career' for his own sake.
posted by el io at 8:09 PM on March 25, 2018


a family to support

First step to starting as a whistle-blower: don't have a family to support

Analyze THAT one to death.
posted by filtergik at 3:46 AM on March 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


The history of bad mortages and improper documentation that first surfaced in 2007 is still emerging to light.

And, yeah, I used to be a WF customer in SF ten years ago, they ate my account alive with monthly charges
posted by infini at 9:17 AM on March 26, 2018 [1 favorite]


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