Thursday, June 28, 2007

CIBC Lost My Bank Account

This story is so far out there, I won't be offended if you don't believe it. It happened to me and I still don't believe it.

I used to have multiple accounts at CIBC back when I became the sole owner of my tax business. My last partner left amicably, leaving all the clients for me. I can't imagine why I thought that was a good thing. Especially considering the caliber of some of my clients.


I rest my case, Your Honour.

Anyway I had this one business account that I only used for depositing client cheques during the tax season. The account went dormant for six months of the year so I made arrangements with the nice lady who helped me set up the account. Normally an account that is dormant for that long is suspended and the customer is notified. We put a flag on the account indicating that it was not to be suspended due to inactivity. It worked fine for several years.

One year, at the beginning of tax season, I went in to the bank to check out my balances and get some cheques. This was just before online banking became the in thing, so I had to actually go into the bank. Yeah, the Stone Age, I know.

I handed the lady my ATM card for my personal account, we did our transactions and everything went smoothly. Then I handed the lady my ATM card for the business account and things turned south quickly.

"I'm sorry sir but there's no account attached to this card.", she told me, with a smile.

Must be a glitch in the card, I thought. So I pulled out a business cheque and handed it to her. She clicked some keys and entered the account information using the numbers on the cheque.

"I'm sorry sir but this account number is invalid.", she said, with a smile.

Not one to be put off so easily, I pulled out the original account sign-up paperwork which I conveniently kept in my tax bag. I handed it to her and she went to get the manager. Again, with a smile. After a very long discussion and a lot of computer wrangling, they both came over to me.

The manager said, "I'm sorry sir, but we have no record of you ever having a business account with CIBC, not at this or any other CIBC branch. Are you sure the account was here?"

Calmly, I handed her the business chequebook and showed here where it said "CIBC" on it and then I showed her that the account sign-up papers were official "CIBC" documents. I suggested that she contact the nice lady who had set up the account for me.

Eventually she came back and told me that the woman whose name was on the account paperwork no longer worked for CIBC and that her records were "unavailable". Since there was no record in their paperwork or in their computer of the account, it must not have existed. The paperwork and cheques I had were irrelevant. Was there anything I she could help me with before I left?

I asked if an investigation could be launched and she explained that without proof on their end that there had ever been an account, no investigation would be undertaken.

"Have a nice day, sir."

I was staggered.

I did the only thing I could think of to do. I went over to T.D. Canada Trust and opened a new account over there. On the up side, there hadn't been an real money in the account when it disappeared.

"CIBC... If We Lose Your Account, It's Not Our Fault!"


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Ruby said...

I've had stupid things like that happen myself. One bank I dealt with bounced a check on me because I had insufficient funds in the account. Let's not mention that their next entry was my pay that came in the 1st & 15th of each month, rain or shine and had been doing so for a few years. I left that bank.

Next bank bounced my rent cheque. I went online and nowhere did it ever say that there weren't enough funds available. I phoned and talked to a nice young man who looked at my numbers and said he had no clue why the cheque would have been bounced and that of course there would be no penalty to pay. I then asked him to write a letter saying the same thing so that I could give it to my landlord to show I wasn't a deadbeat renter.


T. D. Fuhringer said...

Yikes Ruby, I guess it's not just me that gets awful treatment at banks. AAARRRGGH indeed.

Anonymous said...

"Ouch Teddy, very ouch".