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worst customer service experience ever
November 12, 2012
8:24 pm
ttb
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November 12, 2012
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I recently started an account with these guys just shy of 4 months, taking advantage of the high-interest saving account,

We recently moved, and I got a call from one of their " supervisors " harassing, and I do not say this lightly since the tone, demeanor and attitude of this person were that of a troll.

Her main concern was why I wasn't " using " the account; I had put in 500 dollars that I took out a day or two after, and I had opted for online statement, so they were paying me a dollar a month. This was a major concern for this person ( supervisor) we are not in business to help you this way, was her concern.

In my defense, I stated, listen, I am starting to use the account, and get some pre authorized deposits posted to the account, and I don't see how I am using the account to really be any of the banks concern beyond what information was provided for the general use of the account. she then quickly responded:

The main concern today is that we can not verify you even thou you are already verified, how I only had the account for a few months, and I was a " new customer " and how they didn't need any people that couldn't supply a valid address.

Her assertion was, don't you have a utility bill. I replied I just moved to this address this month.
I was concerned, and giving this supervisor the benefit of the doubt I rushed out to check my mail box and double check my mail to verify all aspects of my address, it was correct looks like at this moment a postal code had a one character mistake, in fact, turns out it was just the last character off instead of a 6 should be a 4, I gave the corrected postal code and then asked why this person was so pushy, and disgrunted, I mentioned that there were alternatives and I had never ever received such customer service and there was no reason to treat me the way she did. Her rebuttal was her manager was aware of this pressing situation and please close the account and go else where as they didn't value my business.

I wasn't going to let this slide, if this is the way this bank wants to treat their customers I decided to call the bank back.

So, a day after this incident, I called this bank and asked to speak to the bank manager who was away, gave my speech about how on a principle, someone who puts in deposits regardless of the amount should be treated with respect, and the bank should not only cater to heavy depositors, also that I was really beside myself on how unacceptable the customer service was from this " supervisor " the person said the bank manager would get back to me, well they haven't..

Moral of the story is, the original purpose of the account was to take advantage of their online system since it seems more advanced than their competition, but if this type of trolling continues from these guys not only will I stop doing business with them. I will make sure everyone, and their uncle hears about what they do to the little guys.

Thanks for reading,

This remains unresolved, and if you guys are reading this from achieva, you should retrain these " supervisors " with some soft skills on how to talk to people ie. human beings, not just customers.

thanks for nothing, I will wait a reasonable time for a response from them directly and if nothing materializes its bye bye and never again. If you are thinking about choosing these people don't consider them for customer service you wont get any.

November 13, 2012
5:47 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
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This is valuable feedback - you're right, the way you were treated was not professional.

It's understandable for Achieva Financial and Cambrian Credit Union to monitor new accounts for suspicious activity especially for the first 3-6 months after the account opening by a brand new member. With non-face-to-face account openings, they have limited information to go on other than how the account is being used and your credit bureau's contents, which is unfortunate. This is probably why they charge $1.00+ for each debit transaction after the first free one per month, to discourage transactional activity. That said, if that's the fine by you and your account isn't overdrawn because of it, I see no problem with that.

Bottom line, if they had concerns and were just doing "due diligence", that's certainly fine but there is a proper way they could've handled it and they certainly could've been a little nicer. You could ask for a copy of their complaint/dispute resolution policy/brochure. Unfortunately, because credit unions are provincially-regulated, they don't have anyone to whom they are accountable like the banks (which have OSFI, FCAC, OBSI, internal ombudsman and customer service quality teams, etc.) so you're likely limited to complaining to Cambrian's management and, if they have one, their own ombudsman. You might try complaining to their regulator, something like the Manitoba financial institutions commission or what have you, but again, if it's anything like the B.C. Financial Institutions Commission that regulates B.C. credit unions and trust companies, they're limited to following up on compliance or legislative breaches and don't get involved in administrative/customer service affairs, unfortunately. It's one of the downsides of credit unions, unfortunately, the lack of outside accountability. :(

Please keep us updated. That said, because of this, I certainly have moved Achieva Financial down to the bottom of the pile of financial institutions to deal with in the future.

Hope that helps,
Doug

November 13, 2012
7:55 pm
kanaka
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December 23, 2011
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I was planning on dropping Outlook Financial for either Achieva, Canada Western Bank or People's Trust. I guess I have just minimized the choice by one!!! Which would move me to a CDIC covered institution.

Taking that ttb is a one of complaint and it is very credible. It sounds like a plan that was going to take awhile to put all of the ducks in order and obviously you would need to set up an account first.

I think that Achieva should be posting a response.

November 15, 2012
5:50 pm
Cmore.
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November 15, 2012
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I was disappointed to read ttb's post. As a very long-time customer of Achieva I have steadily moved the majority of all my savings from various banks and virtuals to Achieva and have advocated for them both on this blog, as well as with friends & family. What I can say about Achieva is this --- I have dealt with them for over 10 years starting with a basic savings account and moving into a number of term deposits and transferring my RSPs from RBC, Coast Capital and ING. Throughout this period I have referred many individuals and have never encountered a service concern that was not overcome or at least explained to some satisfaction. I will admit, I rarely if ever phone into the call center, choosing to do all my transactions electronically. In addition, Achieva pays me a $1 a month for taking my statement electronically and has an online banking site that allows me to communicate securely in writing (should the need arise).

I think Doug is correct in saying that something likely triggered Achieva to do a bit more investigation with ttb, which may have come off as abrupt and accusatory, however, my experience would say this was more isolated in nature and likely not warranted to have them moved down to the "bottom of the pile"--- especially when you consider they have been in operation for almost 15 years.

November 21, 2012
10:32 pm
Doug
British Columbia, Canada
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I appreciate your points, Cmore, on Achieva Financial being a great institution in terms of past service and top rates; however, with so many options to consider and a very competitive financial services landscape, I do have to disagree a bit in that it does make me consider perhaps an Outlook Financial, AcceleRate Financial or possibly a Peoples Trust (now that they finally have online banking, even if they do force existing customers to obtain new account numbers!) or Bridgewater Bank before Achieva Financial because of this. In short, it does leave somewhat of a "sour" taste in mouth! :)

Cheers,
Doug

November 29, 2012
8:22 pm
regsmith1
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I am sorry you had this experience and as other posters pointed out, there probably was a valid reason since in this day and age, precautions need to be taken. Nothing is safe anymore. But that's another day.

I have had nothing but positive experiences with Achieva and have a nice amount invested in GICs. But then again, I had called them, not the other way around.

However, when I am faced with such a situation, I go higher up always and express my discontent with whatever the situation demands. I have had several experiences where I have been very successful in dealing with unwanted, undeserved confrontations with service reps, and even clients I have dealt with. One situation, short story, I got a call from a marketer who identified the company (it was Capital One), wanted some information and wanted to give the speil...I said I was sorry (I was polite, honestly) but I was working and couldn't take the time. This girl proceeded to use the 'f' work and said 'f you' and slammed the phone in my ear. I was in shock. I couldn't believe it...I remembered who she said she was calling for. I called the information 1-800 line, got the number for Capital One, called, spoke to a higher up, (who was appalled), made my case and was given a call later in the week telling me she was reprimanded (or fired, I can't remember now), and thanked me for letting them know what had happened.

That's how you get things done. Don't ever settle for being insulted, putting up with rude, ignorant service reps...take the bull by the horns and complain, make your case known, and let others know (which you did).

However, my experience has always been positive and I still feel Achieve is a great company and their reps are always helpful, friendly and professional.

Just my two cents.

regsmith

December 18, 2012
9:01 pm
ttb
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November 12, 2012
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I should reply to my original post,

The result: I have since moved all my investments to another company, at an even lower interest rate, yes interest rates is not everything when you get this type of service, it just wasn't worth it to deal with these people anymore, day to day.

I did eventually receive a call back many weeks after my initial complaint by phone as I stated, my call back was from a manager at the bank who did say this was unfortunate but never got any type of apology just defended this supervisor/manager tooth and nail and mentioned the policies, and frankly, in this situation after reviewing the anti money-laundering policies myself, this response was absolutely ridiculous. My issue was why was postal code wrong, thats it!, perpetuated by something their banking address verification wasn't smart enough to figure out with postal code from XXX XX4 to XXX XX? most banks and credit unions, auto correct for this trivial stuff, and instead they went after me as if I as up to no good almost criminal,

I voted with my money. I took everything out, but have not closed the account, and with reason made it a mission to explain how these people operate to others so that members may avoid similar treatment. These credit unions appear to be able to treat the customers, however, they want.. It's just an unfortunate situation.

Thanks for all the replies much appreciated.

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