Bank Phone Systems and Scheduled Calls

January 19th, 2021 by Potato

I’ve been quite unimpressed with the big banks’ phone systems during the pandemic. Not just the long wait times (nearly two hours the other night with TDDI) which is somewhat expected (it was regularly 45+ minutes in the before-times, and more has to be done remotely these days), but their schedule-a-call services have been particularly disappointing.

My first attempt at a scheduled call was with RBC… who completely ghosted me at the appointed time. That was set up in the first place because the regular phone staff couldn’t answer an estate question after the first hour-on-hold wait. I gave up on trying to resolve it remotely at all, and sat on the issue for a few months until I could deal with it in-branch.

When I went to set up a new youth account for Blueberry, TD wouldn’t let me do it self-serve online — it required an appointment. Fortunately they offered the option of a phone appointment so I could avoid an unnecessary trip out of the house (and the accompanying covid exposure). Which was my second experience with a scheduled call. They did call on time… only to tell me they couldn’t open a youth account over the phone and I had to go into the branch. Someone should tell the web team so the website scheduling the calls doesn’t waste everyone’s time — I got to the schedule a call in the first place from choosing to open a youth account within the website. And while some banking services are essential, I wasn’t going to worry that much about setting up an account for Blueberry that I’d go out to do it during a stay-at-home order.

Anyway, Blueberry now has her very first bank account at Tangerine, which we were able to set up completely online — I didn’t even need to call! How is this still so hard for the big banks?

2 Responses to “Bank Phone Systems and Scheduled Calls”

  1. Michael James Says:

    Back when I opened accounts at Tangerine and later EQ Bank, I had to “link” them to an existing account of mine. This made me wonder if this allowed them to piggy-back on the more onerous bank account opening requirements that big banks have. There are legal requirements for banks to make sure they know who owns an account, and maybe it was this linking that made it possible for online banks to lighten their account-opening process. This is just a guess. Even if this was true at one time, maybe it’s no longer true.

  2. Potato Says:

    There was definitely piggy-backing going on, as I already had a Tangerine account. I think somewhere in the process it mentioned that they were relying on me to verify her identity. But I also had a TD account, so not sure why they couldn’t come up with some kind of piggy-back process for the Youth account — or one where I could scan/upload her documents to get a Youth account set up remotely (heck, there have been periods where TDDI didn’t require a branch visit for opening brokerage accounts, and Questrade still does it all online!).