Banks’ dangerously neglect clients

Posted on November 17, 2018
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The major banks and credit card companies are carelessly dangerous in the treatment of their customers. For example, when I once found a lost credit card card (National Bank) I called to report it and was INSTRUCTED to take it to a police station. The operator also refused to inform the owner of the card that it had been lost and found. The bank simply could not be bothered to help him avoid being left with no ability to pay the next time he incurred a bill for perhaps a meal or a night’s accommodation.
My bank, the Royal, just performed a series of totally incompetent, thoughtless, serious stupid actions that could have put me in serious trouble.
For several years now, I have had an RBC Bank account and VISA credit card.
One irritation is that, when I leave our leased condo at the end of April each year, I cannot notify VISA or the bank of my home address because gas stations and other vendors won’t accept the card on my way home if I do. I have to remember to change the address when I cross the border. By that time, on several occasions now, the bank has sent a new card to the Florida address after I am gone. I’ve spoke to both VISA and RBC about that but they will not allow me to set a future date for the address change.
That happened again this year. I received no notice in Canada that my US VISA card had expired and the one they sent to Florida had not been activated.
When I got into the States, the card I had didn’t work. Fortunately for me, I have an RBC client/debit card so I was able to use that. When I got to Florida, the replacement card mailed last spring was there but cancelled when I called to find out why the card I had was being declined.
I had to wait for a new card and activate that.
That worked fine for over a week and then, on Wednesday, I was trying to buy theatre tickets online and the card was again declined.
I thought perhaps it was a flaw in the theatre pay site but, next day, it was again declined at a grocery store and a restaurant.
When I called VISA’s service number and went through the normal interminable wait, they said they couldn’t do anything or tell me anything. I had to call the bank.
When I finally got the bank, I was told that, because I had not used the card to buy online before, they had called me to verify it was me. THEY CALLED MY NEW BRUNSWICK NUMBER. This after just having gone through the rigamarole of issuing the new card and establishing my move to the Florida address.
When I didn’t answer or call back from New Brunswick, they just stopped the card.
They have both my addresses and phone numbers in their files and we communicate regularly via email. They will even email me when they want to tell me something to let me know there is a message for me inside their secure web site. They could have checked the past record of my previous card number. The statements would have revealed I often make ticket purchases on line.
They could have reviewed our previous messages.
They could have called the Florida number.
They could have emailed me.
They just stopped the card.
Is there any way this could be considered the behaviour of a bank that gives a damn about the safety and security of their customers?
It solved their security issue but created a big one for any client.
Les plus ça change. This is the same bank that, years ago, had a dormant account and, not being able to find the owner, passed on the balance, as required, to the Bank of Canada.
In those days, I used to get the local dormant accounts list from the Bank of Canada lists and publish them so readers could see if they or a relative had any money coming.
One year, a name on the list was Frances Fish. For non-Miramichiers, Fish was the first New Brunswick female lawyer and a famous local practitioner. She was deceased by time I came to Miramichi, but even newcomer I knew of her. It would have taken one phone call to any local law firm to find her descendants.
I’ve had excellent relations with Royal Bank staff across the country for 66 years. The people on the ground have been great but the policy makers at the top are negligent of their client’s safety and security to an extent that should be criminal. There is an ombudsman for the banking industry but to so much as get an apology much less a change of policies would take a good half year to pursue.
I can at least tag my Member of Parliament, Pat Finnigan, so he is aware of the callous, careless, thoughtless treatment of their clients.


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