We purchased into one of these plans back when my first daughter was born (early 2000s). My wife and I were kids when we had our first, both of us just graduating out of university.
Anyway, we purchased into a small monthly plan with the hope to one day increase our contributions. That never happened, and I'll explain why later.
Back then, I hadn't yet mastered the art of online research when it came to doing background checks on companies. We simply got a call shortly after the birth of our daughter, were sold a convincing sales pitch, and being first-time parents naturally envisioned our baby growing up to become a doctor or the next Prime Minister. So of course, we didn't question the wisdom of purchasing into an RESP and went ahead with the nice lady representative from USC (now KFF).
Funny enough, about two years later, I started working for USC. Not as a Sales Rep, but as an analyst. It was at this time that my opinion of the organization sunk.
The network of sales representatives ranged from well-meaning, well spoken individuals all the way to moronic scam artists. Just before I had joined, USC (along with other Group Plan administrators) had to undergo a huge shakedown in their Compliance policies that monitored who they took on as sales reps.
95% of these reps are purely driven by their commission earnings and have a very vulture-like attitude when it comes to completing their sales.
By the way, for those of you wondering how these guys are suddenly calling you up out of no where, it was when you attended a Baby show or conference and submitted a ballot for a free vacation. The info collected on those cards are sold to Sales Reps for $1-$2 each and they pursue these leads hoping that they become profitable sales.
Despite everything said here, I like my sales rep. But it's the structure and buffoonery of the organization that bothered me and convinced me to do a bank RESP despite my 2nd daughter being born while I was still an employee and eligible for a refund on some of my annual fees.
As for the RESP that I have with them... many have stated already that once you're in, you're in. It would only be to my loss to try to cancel. And analysts would sit together discussing the same attrition principle that others have mentioned here and the ethics around it when it came to benefiting those who would stick through to the end.
Top sales reps make in excess of $200K and incredible bonuses if they're able to achieve a certain level of unit sales. They also get to go on beautiful vacations to the Caribbean where they get to schmooze with KFF executives and some privileged members of the Sales & Marketing department. Of course, these vacations are labeled as "business conferences" for your expected tax purposes.
I mentioned earlier in the thread that my wife and I planned on increasing our contributions with KFF and never did. Rightly so, I didn't want to lose more money to paying commissions. So I opened up a 2nd RESP for Daughter #1 at the same bank as Daughter #2. Any increased contributions to the plan are done on the bank side. Fortunately, she's a bright kid and is showing all the signs of a university-bound student (and hopefully a 4-year program). But I still sit in fear of the potential hurdles that I'll have to leap over to make obtaining her tuition funds as pain-free as possible.
By the way, it's not the internal staff at KFF that manages the investment portfolios. Last I remember, they were outsourced to the investment arm of one of the Big 5... can't remember to who though. But there is someone that's responsible (in a liaison type way) of look at how everything is performing.