I had a very bad and stressful experience at the TD Canada Trust branch Sullivan Square plaza in Surrey, BC. I was working on renewing my mortgage with a refinancing agreement with a mortgage broker in early March 2020. The incident really started Tuesday April 7 when I had to step into the branch to meet with an incompetent personal banking associate to sign the paperwork for my mortgage renewal which would sit inside a new home equity line of credit (HELOC). Part of the application required closing a few credit cards by having the branch pay for them on my behalf and then writing each merchant an account closure letter. I said that the balances recorded on the paperwork were from beginning of March 2020 and therefore inaccurate. She asked for an updated outstanding balance from each credit card to be emailed to her the next day and she would pay those latest outstanding balance instead. I also said that the paperwork didn’t have the correct bank information to withdraw my future bi-weekly mortgage payments from. She said that it was fine and to email her the correct banking information as well. I signed all the paperwork at the branch and then I emailed her the latest balances and banking information for the pre-authorized payment when I got home that same day.
The first sign of trouble happened the next day Wednesday April 8th after the funds were posted into my account. The TD Mobile Mortgage specialist / mortgage broker called me to let me know that the personal banking associate double-paid the outstanding balances for my credit cards. I called her and so did the mortgage broker telling her of the mishap. We both left voicemail messages because I found out she didn’t work again until Monday. I had to endure the weekend with this double-payment and was hopeful that on Monday that it would be a quick reversal.
On Monday April 13, I went to the branch and met with a customer service representative for help on simply cancelling the second payments done by the personal banking associate at the branch-level. The first set of payments were done by the back office as part of the mortgage paperwork submitted by the mortgage broker showing the older credit card balances in March. Did the personal banking associate think that the second set of payments she submitted would have overridden the first set? She said that she opened an investigation for the double-payments so that they could be refunded back to my HELOC account and that any interest accrued would be reimbursed by the bank. I thought to myself, this was probably a rookie mistake and I was fine to wait out the refund.
Monday April 20 was when I realized this personal banking associate was not very good at her job. My wife and I were at the TD Canada Bank Morgan Crossing branch for my wife’s banking when the branch representative pointed out that the pre-authorized payment banking information for my mortgage was incorrect. I had sent all the updated banking information to the personal banking associate when I signed the mortgage renewal papers on April 7 and was now worried that the first mortgage payment on April 22 would bounce because that was only two days later which was dangerously close. Thankfully the change took effect that same day and mortgage payment went through. I talked to the personal banking associate about this incident and her only comment is that the banking information was already updated. I had to remind her that it was the branch representative at Morgan Crossing who fixed it quickly and no thanks to her. I did not get an apology for this so this is when I voiced my displeasure with her performance in handling my case. From this point on, I didn’t trust that she did the reversal of the double-payments correctly and started to keep a record of all activities weekly until I got all my money back.
In the weeks that follow, I kept pushing the personal banking associate to be on top of my case but she was content to just wait and keeps insisting that interest accrued will be covered by TD and that she is just waiting for a response from the back office. I send weekly email updates to the personal banking associate, cc’ing the customer representative, and the mortgage broker letting them know what I found from each of the merchants and by calling TD Easyline myself. There were long wait times with TD Easyline because of COVID-19 but that was less risky than going to the branch. On May 11, I finally got a call back from the customer service representative who was able to get me a refund on some of my credit cards. I was very thankful for the call and for some resolution. However, instead of recalling just one of the payments for each card, both payments were requested by the personal banking associate from all the credit card merchants. Thankfully only one complied while the others denied the bank’s request to return both payments. Now I had to wait for the refund from the one merchant who complied and who knows how long the reversal will take. What a mess.
It was June 2 and I decided to phone the personal banking associate to push her some more on status. She responded with a stock answer saying they are looking into it with the funds department. I called the branch manager for some help and left a voicemail because the personal banking associate again stopped responding to my queries. On June 10, I walked into the branch and spoke to the personal banking associate.When I asked how long it will take for the remaining refunds to get processed, she said she did not know. I filed my complaint with the branch manager that same day. The meeting went well with the branch manager and I wish I did this a month ago. The branch manager called the back office the next day and called me to apologize about the mishandling of my case. She escalated to head office and filed my complaint with a level 2 customer service representative for resolution. The next day or so, my refund was deposited into my HELOC and am now waiting for the accrued interests to get refunded to me as well. I indicated to the level 2 customer service representative that the personal banking associate should go through some coaching and continuing development training and should be subjected to disciplinary actions. She should be reprimanded for the stress, wasted time on my part, and COVID-19 health risk she inflicted on me and my family by having to go to the branch multiple times to try and resolve the issue. This personal banking associate should be transferred out of this branch until re-training is completed and proof of successful completion is displayed for customers. I might escalate to level 3 if this isn’t entertained.
Some lessons learned:
1) The personal banking associates at the TD Canada Branch Sullivan Square are not trained sufficiently. This was apparent when I requested for rent cheques to be recalled for use in my mortgage refinancing and to this day, those cheque duplicates are still not ready. No communication to me about the status of that request so they need better training. Avoid this branch, especially that unnamed personal banking associate.
2) Escalate sooner than later. Always involve the branch manager and quickly to avoid unnecessary delays and stress on your part.
3) If you ever have to close some credit cards as part of a mortgage refinancing agreement, do not let the bank close them on your behalf. One reason is that most merchants won’t do it unless it comes from you directly anyway. The other more important reason is that they may double pay them. That is a nightmare.