A few months ago, we moved our business accounts over from the Royal Bank to VanCity. We had lousy customer service from the Royal, and had received several recommendations for VanCity. Also, they’ve got all kinds of feel-good projects on the go, and made me sign something that said I wouldn’t use their business banking services to sell plutonium. What more could you ask for?
In our initial meeting with VanCity, we clearly articulated a particular requirement we had regarding international wire transfers. We receive three to five of these each month. We wanted to be notified with email or snail mail describing the particular details of each transaction. This had been one of many pain points at the Royal Bank, but the Royal eventually agreed to send us a notification in the mail each time a transfer came in.
We were very specific about this requirement, and our ‘Financial Services Officer’ at VanCity confirmed that they would be able to replicate this process.
The VanCity representative made an error. As it turns out, VanCity can only offer this service at a rate of $25 per transaction. That works out to about $1000 a year in fees. Nice.
They only notified us of this error after we had:
- Opened an account with them
- Advised our clients of our new banking details
- Banked with them for a few months
- Received several wire transfers
Everybody makes mistakes. This mistake, unfortunately, will force us to change banks yet again and to suffer all the pain that entails. This mistake comes in the first three months of banking with an institution that prides itself on customer service. This mistake is the reason I pay service fees. So that mistakes like this don’t happen.
In short, VanCity screwed up once, but they screwed up big time. To their credit, they did apologize profusely and reverse all the service fees we incurred during our brief time with them.
Meanwhile, we’re off on an increasingly futile search for a bank that actually wants our business.
I was tempted to post this to ChangeEverything.ca as ‘I Want to Change Banks’, but that’d be a little too snarky and bitter for such a goodhearted enterprise.