Pat Drummond :: life & technology

November 27, 2017

Banking Frustrations

Trying to authorize regular payments to a bank account has me scratching my head. You'd think bank staff would know the products they sell - and you'd be wrong.

I was told by my financial institution that I needed to supply a "void" cheque so they could deposit funds to my savings account (at an unnamed bank).  The bank printed a check for the account - I explained I needed it to authorize regular payments from another financial institution.  You'd think the bank teller would know what is needed to authorizing payments from another financial institution - and you'd be wrong.

The next day I wrote "VOID" on the cheque and emailed a scanned image to the financial institution.

But now they say they can't accept a "counter" cheque.  Due to financial regulations, they require either void cheques  imprinted with my personal information OR a Pre-Authorized Payment Form that includes a bank teller's stamp. You'd think the bank teller would know I needed this form to be used by a financial institution - and you'd be wrong.

So back to the bank to get the proper form.  I scanned and emailed it to the financial institution. Again it was not good enough to use - no bank stamp!  I had not explicitly asked for it, but you'd think bank staff would know the form needs to be stamped - and you'd be wrong!

I still don't have the form required for automatic deposits to my account, but I'm getting there.

During all this, I was also trying to get information about the "high-interest savings account". On the first visit to the bank, I asked the teller's supervisor how often interest was calculated and deposited, and was told calculated monthly and deposited annually. You'd think the bank supervisor would know the right answer. But it sounded odd, so I checked the bank website. It said interest was calculated daily and deposited monthly. On my next visit to the bank, I told this to another teller and asked: "Which is correct - the supervisor or the website?"  After spending 10 minutes in the supervisor's office, she gave me a printout from the website.  I told her I'd already seen that and could she "please answer my question". She asked me to repeat the question!  Her answer: "The website is always right".  Right.  But still, you'd think at least one of four bank staff would know the products they sell - and you'd be wrong.

And more....
I had a similar experience trying to change my (Canadian) government payment to make automatic deposits to a different account. I thought it was a simple change in my online account - except they close accounts not used in 2 years! So I went through the lengthy process of applying again and got an error message with no explanation. I phoned the number given but only found out the error means my access code is obsolete, and was given a second number to call for further help. That got me nowhere, but was given a third number to call someone who could give me an "access number" to get my online account back.  By this time, the office was closed. The next day, I got someone on the phone who not only gave me a new access number but also changed the  bank account right on the phone. I'm saving that phone number.