Personal Finance

Locked: PC Financial - A lesson to learn

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  • Jan 2nd, 2018 1:31 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Jan 13, 2011
4 posts

PC Financial - A lesson to learn

It's been days, my anger has been settled. However, I just want to share my experience with you, so that you can make better judgement on your banking service provider.

It started out with my marriage planning about 3 years ago. My wife and I opened a joint chequing and saving accounts at PC Financial, being attracted to the high interest rates and looking forward to make better savings to build our family. With the attractive PC points which can be accumulated to trade in grocery, we bought into applying the PC Mastercard as well. There is an ATM close to our home, as such we made great use of it to do our financial transaction, depositing and withdrawing. There was virtually no need to contact their call center for my simple banking needs.

Things started to spiral downward in summer 2010, I got a call about fraudulent activities on my PC Mastercard. It was probably the first time I ever talked to their contact center. I was shocked with the news since never did I lose any credit cards in my life, how did my card or my information get used or stolen by someone else? The representative carried on with her questions on my transaction. She literally read out every single entry, and asked me if I knew for sure that I was responsible for that transaction. Trying not to make any mistakes on my end, I asked if they can call me at a later time when I am home. She suggested to send me an affidavit to better confirm the transaction and promised that I will receive it in 3 to 4 weeks. My new card will also be arriving in 10 days.

A month has gone by, the new chip card arrived but nowhere could I see the affidavit.

I called the call center again to ask for a status update. The representative indicated that the transactions were confirmed already and I should be paying the amount billed on my statement. I immediately responded that I will not be paying in full for the statement amount since I did not recognize some of the transactions. I was waiting for the affidavit the entire time. So she once again went through the transactions with me once again. Great. And she promised me that she will still need me to fill out the affidavit that she actually did get it to me within the following 2 weeks.

Remeber the new replacement chip card? Hoping that all these fraudulent issues were resolved, I was looking forward to use this new technology to make my life easier with the encrypted PIN technology and I could say goodbye to signature signing. So, activating my card through the phone was no problem. But wait, what about the PIN? Surprised by their simple reply, the PIN is "xxxx". I just want to say that this PIN is so simple that anyone could have guessed it. So thinking that I must change the PIN immediately, but the option was simply not available. The representative told me that the PIN technology actually wasn't in place yet so I had to stick with the dummy PIN for now, and whenever I am requested, I will still be required to sign the receipt.

I laughed with my heart on that. How on earth could you provide a service that has not been implemented? And you could market it and claim it as increased security?

Now my fraudulent activities really do make a whole lot of sense now.

Losing half of my confidence with this bank, I could not believe that it was not yet the end.

Near the end of 2010, having reconciled our family budget which we often performed every 2 months or so, my wife and I deposited a large amount of money through the ATM and hoping to make that our permanent saving account to save for our new home. Two weeks down the road, a mysterious $1000 was taken out of our account. So my wife immediately called to question. PC pointed to us that our money did not reconcile with their account, so we must have claimed $1000 more than what we actually deposited. We were so mad when we heard the findings, since we keep track of our spreadsheets and we counted our money carefully every time we deposit. It is a large sum of money and we never want to make any mistakes. So we requested an investigation on the case and hoping to hear some good news in two weeks, which the representative suggested.

2 weeks passed, no sign of changes. The phone was picked up to follow up with the case. The investigation was finished and it was not their fault. Wonderful. It's not your fault, then whose fault would that be, I wondered. So would you ever called me when money was taken away from my account automatically? or when you are finished with your "investigation"? "No, we don't call our customers. It's your responsibility to keep track of your account." The supervisor told. Having stressed on the many events that had happened in the past, I indicated my intention to cancel my account and any affiliates with PC Financial. The supervisor said, "after all, it is your own choice."

A bank that relies solely on phone, web, ATM banking, in my opinion, failed miserably in two of their three services. A heavily utilized call center that provide poor customer services; an internal operation that is in such a mess and there is an obvious lack of internal communication; treat banking security like a joke. I can not blame them entirely for the ATM problem since it seems to apply to all banks. An investigation by the firm itself will definitely sound funny in other industry but not in banks for some reason. It was a lot of hard work to earn my $1000 but with nothing else I could do, I can only consider this as my contribution to lower Canadian inflation rate.

Moral of my story: There is no free lunch. If you have some money for the banks to lock on your chequing account, although it doesn't make any sense since it is really your money lending to the banks to do their business, just let it be locked. Before you knew it, the opportunity to talk to a bank manager face-to-face is invaluable.
105 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 3, 2004
6822 posts
8488 upvotes
74629315 downvotes
No surprise, PCF is trash. Everyone knows that. With ING direct now offering a free chequing account, my guess is PCF will lose all their business and shut down. I laugh at all the people on here who defend PCF, because they will soon find out what many already know.............
Sr. Member
Apr 23, 2009
901 posts
87 upvotes
Another moral of the story could be to keep track of your accounts. I can't really comment on the missing $1000 from your deposit. Maybe you guys counted wrong, maybe they made a mistake, but it's hard to determine.

As for the credit card mishaps, well, I was talking to a few colleagues of mine who told me that they check there online statements maybe once a month. I said I check mine daily. They thought that was a waste of time and laughed at me. They've also had fraudulent charges against them that didn't get resolved for months. With my accounts, I've had a few errors on my CC's, but I catch them the day they're posted. Considering how easy it is to log onto your account and check your daily transactions, it's something that would take 5 minutes to do every day.

Now onto PCF not calling their customers about issues, that's one thing about them that kind of pissed me off. I had used my Debit Card at a local Quickie, which apparently had been flagged for copying cards. It wasn't until I was trying to pay for lunch the next day and my card got denied that I realized what happened. Luckily I had some cash on me. When I called them, they said that they would have to make too many calls to let customers know about any issues, so they just wait until the customers notices their card cancelled. That's about my only gripe with PC.
Deal Addict
Oct 8, 2006
2051 posts
125 upvotes
adamtheman wrote: No surprise, PCF is trash. because they will soon find out what many already know.............

Hmm, 8 years with PCF with no prob. How soon, may I ask? :facepalm:
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 24, 2008
1326 posts
44 upvotes
Mississauga
I too have been with PC for about 8 years and never had an issue. I enjoy dealing with them, and have to say all of my experiences calling their customer service have always resolved any issues I may have had.

As for cards being cancelled, ALL financial institutions do this - ity's for YOUR protection, and I for one am happy they do this when they are alerted a place of business has fraudulently manipulated a debit card machine. It's consumer protection - yes it sucks when you go to use your card and it's cancelled and you have to get a new one, but this rarely happens and I would rather they do this then have my card floating around for a day while my account is being cleaned out.
Sr. Member
Oct 26, 2009
620 posts
24 upvotes
I already changed from PCF banking to ING and my PCMC to MBNA smart cash platinum.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 26, 2007
3960 posts
146 upvotes
SC
omg lol what a half assed pin and chip technology they under utilize.

the problem with the deposit could have happened at any bank.
i'd be pretty pissed if i lost 1k like that.
"We don't have a soul... We are a soul. We have a body." ~C.S Lewis
Deal Fanatic
Feb 21, 2006
5148 posts
100 upvotes
The lesson you should have learned from this is never to deposit cash at an ATM.
1. They put a hold on it. (yes, a hold on cash deposits)
2. You have absolutely no proof if some money mysteriously turns out to be missing.

Always deposit cash with a teller who counts it on the spot.

As for PCF, yes their customer service in this case was not very good. It's almost as bad as all the other banks! :)

Unfortunately most banks don't seem call their customers when their credit or debit cards are frozen because they may have been compromised. They just send out the new cards and let their customers call them if they encounter a problem. That stinks (especially if you're away on a trip!), but that's the way they handle it.

When you report a problem with a transaction on your card, and they do an "investigation", you'll probably feel that they're dismissive, unresponsive, and lazy in carrying out the investigation and following up with you. And you're absolutely right. They don't care very much because they don't have to. Just grit your teeth and deal with it. In my experience none of them are much better than the others. Your best bet is to establish a relationship with a local bank branch where you know some real human beings.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 15, 2009
747 posts
201 upvotes
I've had every one of my cards suspended at least once for suspected fraudulent transactions (in 2 cases they were right and I had to get a new card). Has nothing to do with your card being stolen, just the places you use it.

As for PCF, I've had the absolute worst experience ever at ScotiaBank, a few mishaps with CIBC and not a single problem with PCF in at least 6 years now.

Point is, every bank does the same ****. It's all a matter of bad luck. And PCF is not going to close, mostly because of how convenient their booths are at grocery stores and the use of CIBC ATMs which are plentiful.
Moderator
User avatar
Mar 23, 2004
47146 posts
13337 upvotes
Markham
adamtheman wrote: With ING direct now offering a free chequing account, my guess is PCF will lose all their business and shut down.

i lol'ed so bad that i *facepalmed* lmao :lol: :facepalm:
Deal Addict
Jul 30, 2003
2014 posts
386 upvotes
Toronto
i had my cc # stolen 5 years ago and it was a simple 10 min phone call to get it resolved
maybe things have changed
Member
Jan 28, 2004
269 posts
8 upvotes
Toronto
banked with pcf for almost 10 years, no problems. They even went out of their way to undo a fraudulent *debit* transaction worth $900 for me.
Sr. Member
Oct 21, 2005
613 posts
87 upvotes
London
A few people said how good ING is on this thread. The same care should be given to accounts from any banks. I have ING for many years, I've always have good experience with the customer service until recently.

I initiated transfer of funds from ING TFSA account to my questrade TFSA account on Dec 17 (as per questrade's record). I see my TFSA account on ING "disappeared" sometime before christmas. It's been almost a month now. I called questrade, they contacted ING and told ING wouldn't discuss the status with them. Fine. I called ING and I was told the transfer could take 4-6 weeks to process. I asked is ING going to credit me 4-6 weeks of interest? I was told "No". I was pissed and made a comment about carrying the money myself from ING office to questrade office would haven taken me less than 2 hours to complete the "transfer".

I asked to speak to a supervisor, but the agent insisted that there is nothing else the supervisor could do. I said, fine, but I need to speak to the supervisor. I was told a supervisor will give me a call in 48 hours. 48 hours has passed, no one from ING has called me yet. I'm not impressed.

A lesson to learn, no one bank is perfect. Pay close attention to your bank account and never ever deposit cash using ATM. Common sense.
Deal Addict
Jan 3, 2005
2276 posts
47 upvotes
Sorry to hear about your bad experience, OP. I have been thinking of opening a PCF account for some time but it is always stories like this one that make me hold back.

The idea that depositing cash at an ATM is risky is new to me. One would never think that money could simply vanish...but I had a close call this last summer. I made a deposit at a CIBC machine and then saw on my online account that CIBC had made an "adjustment" for $1,000 in their favour. I went into the branch and talked with the manager who promised to investigate the issue. Eventually I got my $1,000 back. It is scary to think that they could have just kept my $1K and all I would have was my word to back up my claim.

I won't be depositing cash at ATMs at any bank again.
Deal Guru
Dec 5, 2006
13074 posts
8319 upvotes
Markham
jackboot wrote: Sorry to hear about your bad experience, OP. I have been thinking of opening a PCF account for some time but it is always stories like this one that make me hold back.

The idea that depositing cash at an ATM is risky is new to me. One would never think that money could simply vanish...but I had a close call this last summer. I made a deposit at a CIBC machine and then saw on my online account that CIBC had made an "adjustment" for $1,000 in their favour. I went into the branch and talked with the manager who promised to investigate the issue. Eventually I got my $1,000 back. It is scary to think that they could have just kept my $1K and all I would have was my word to back up my claim.

I won't be depositing cash at ATMs at any bank again.

Why CIBC always made 1000 adjustment(like OP and jackboot), wondering whether their ABM have some issues
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 19, 2004
9131 posts
2032 upvotes
Cambridge, ON
You have 90 days to tell the bank to do a chargeback. This is the law. If you do not recognize a transaction, tell the bank within 90 days and they have to reverse the transaction. Just be sure it is incorrect, because if it is legit, then whomever the legit charge was for will have to get hold of you.

As for PCF, been with them for 8 years or so and no problems. As for other banks (like TD), can't say the same.
Jr. Member
Oct 1, 2006
143 posts
18 upvotes
toronto
Nothing wrong with PCF at all for me thus far and I have been with them 6 years. The fact that most people I know bank with them tells me they must be doing something right.
Sr. Member
Nov 14, 2010
998 posts
262 upvotes
PCF customer for 6 years. Any time I call I get an agent very promptly and have sorted me out quickly (requests like increased deposit limits, calling after PCF flagged my card for suspected fraud, general inquiries).

My last experience with a conventional bank (Royal) was so bad, just in general incompetence, that really the standard for banking is pretty low.

Only thing I don't like is the redesigned site that's a lot slower, and the redesigned PCMC site that hides the balance from the previous period (they give you the minimum in the summery, but not the balance)
Jr. Member
Jan 15, 2007
140 posts
25 upvotes
never had a prob with PC, been with them 7 years. on 2 occasions my card was apparently compromised, i got a call from them telling me this and how to go about changing the pin # on my card.

BTW to the poster who said if you call within 90 days to do a chargeback they "have to" credit the charge...that is not correct. they have a time period (30 days ish) from when you filed the claim to investigate with the company that put through the charge and in some cases they'll come back to you with proof that it is your charge.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Aug 22, 2005
7881 posts
1045 upvotes
I have PCF, but there's no way I would make a deposit over $1000 (cash) into an ABM.

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