I was in a bad relationship with my bank for almost 20 years and I had no idea.
Like any unstable relationship, people tell you you should get out, they tell you things can be better but you don’t believe them. After all, when you have been with someone for as long as I had been with CIBC you can’t possibly fathom being with someone else. This is just the way things were.
Let me preface this but saying the only reason I was ever with CIBC is because my aunt was there. This meant, luckily, if I ever really needed anything – she could answer. But again, this is how I thought bank relationships worked. I thought in order to get anything done, you had to have family ties on the inside. I had no idea what kind of relationship I was really in.
Then she left. She went to TD.
In normal jobs, when an account manager leaves their role and someone else resumes the position, that new someone calls the account. They introduce themselves. Shocking! Really? No-it happens in every other industry. Considering I had 2 bank accounts, a line of credit, a mortgage and a credit card with CIBC, you would think someone would have called me to introduce themselves when this transition happened? They obviously didn’t. Like a good unhealthy relationship, they took advantage of the fact I had been with them so long and assumed, I’d stay forever.
I started to ask my aunt about her new role at TD. She told me about the people, how nice everyone was how great they were with customer service. I was floored. Other people had told me about these outside relationships with their banks but I thought they were just exaggerating. Certainly, it couldn’t be that different.
As fate would have it, there’s a TD at the bottom of my street. I started to pass by there on the weekends when I was grabbing a coffee. I would ask a question or two and they would give me a quick answer that didn’t require me calling a 1-866 number or waiting 5 days. The staff was young, passionate and interested in actually working with me. I couldn’t believe it. Obviously, I liked these people but I couldn’t yet trust them. So I would repeat this pattern of popping in to ask a question many times. Finally, I opened an account.
As soon as I opened an account the floodgates were open. I loved that I could pop into the branch and people answered my questions! They problem solved when I had an issue. Their interface online was great. The customer service was amazing. I was hooked. I started to investigate how I could move all my banking over and slowly, I did.
I had been banking solely with TD for a while and had gotten used to this amazing service where people returned your call and solved your problems. Then the time came to move my mortgage from CIBC to TD. TD assured me everything would be fine. They explained everything, walked me through all paperwork. All was ready to go-then they had to work with CIBC. The poor poor guys.
Seeing as they worked at TD, they expected people at the CIBC branch to deal with issues. They thought account managers there actually worked with people. How wrong they were. They sent a fax to the branch to discharge my mortgage. Then they called. Then they sent another fax, then they called. You can see where this is going. Finally, TD called me to call CIBC. I did. CIBC let me know because we hadn’t sent it to the 1-866 fax number (which isn’t listed anywhere I might add), it wasn’t going to go through. Really? So the outward facing consumer is supposed to know CIBC’s internal number’s and processes to send this to the right department? Last I checked an account managers job was to take care of account issues ie: passing along paperwork to the right people internally. But I digress. Silly me, taking care of issues is what happens in healthy relationships…not the one I had been in for 20 years.
So I called the fax number, sent it to TD and they sent the fax off. And we waited.
And CIBC let go of the wrong mortgage. I actually don’t even know how this is possible. All I know is they let go of the wrong one.
Again, luckily, TD was watching my banking and they called CIBC to let them know they discharged the wrong mortgage. And CIBC confirmed they now needed to hold the correct one for 5 days. Seeing as they did it wrong the first time, they just wanted to make sure they rubbed a little salt in my wound.
So I called them and asked them to let go of the mortgage. Of course, again silly me I called the branch who referred me to head office who let me know TD hadn’t sent them the correct paperwork which I knew was wrong. The paperwork was again, sitting at the branch where no one was going to take care of it unless I called to get it faxed to the right number. Customer service at it’s finest eh?
As we sit here today, I doubt CIBC will do anything for another 5 days. It’s not in their nature-customer service is at the bottom of their list.
The best part about this whole thing is while other banks have caught onto social and digital media, CIBC hasn’t (not surprised are you?). Check out there Twitter feed. It’s alot of one way tweets or tweets about things like the Olympics. They don’t actually build relationship online which shouldn’t shock anyone because they certainly don’t do it in person. While other banks have embraced a new generation of people by hosting Twitter parties or changing their banking hours, CIBC has remained in the dark again.
My favourite part about this post is it will go live today and we won’t hear a peep from CIBC:) Like a good unhealthy relationship, I assume they think if they keep on keepin’ on-things will be fine. What they have managed to miss, in the years they’ve been living under a rock – the world has changed. There’s a whole new customer out there who has net worth and is interested in banking but they want to work with people. They want to work with passionate people who answer their questions and solve problems. Shocking, but in a world that has become more and more digital, they want personalized customer service.
Well done TD. You’ve managed to get it right and I’m in as a customer for life.
This post was in no way sponsored or endorsed by TD or CIBC. These are strictly my own personal views and opinions.