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BMO $300 promotion for opening a chequing account
August 31, 2020
6:49 am
JenE
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I’ve just learned, after asking where my $300 is, that an e-transfer into my account is NOT considered a deposit, therefore I haven’t met all of the criteria! I’m incredulous, especially in this time of Covid! I’ll be making an appointment to speak with someone at my bank to further discuss this.

August 31, 2020
10:51 am
GICinvestor
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We have been with BMO for decades. But it seems in the last year they have a new vision....how to make more profit.....and don’t worry about communication or customer retention.
We lost our PLOC with no warning
We had our BMO MC cashback reduced to .5% from 1% with no warning.
I would suggest you reconsider being a loyal BMO customer.

August 31, 2020
9:13 pm
Norman1
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According to 2020 Summer Chequing Account Opening Offer, the deposit has to be a "recurring direct deposit from your employer, the government or your pension into your Lead Chequing Account*…" to be one of the qualifying ones.

I suspect BMO knows that some of us can originate direct deposits by doing a push from one of our accounts at an online bank, like EQ Bank or Tangerine Bank.

August 31, 2020
9:19 pm
Bud
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bankin my new acct open for a better offer

September 1, 2020
3:10 am
JenE
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As was explained to me yesterday at my BMO branch, as I fulfilled 2 of the required elements of the offer, a direct deposit from employer, government or pension was not required, but what was required was an in-person deposit at the branch or ATM by July 31. Unfortunately for me, an e-transfer is an e-transfer and not a deposit. I wonder how many lay people know that. My argument with BMO is that during Covid an in-person visit shouldn’t be mandatory and that nowhere in the conditions is it mentioned that an e-transfer is not acceptable as a deposit. It’s an on-line account, for goodness sake! Anyway, it’s been escalated, so we’ll see what happens. I’ve learned something about banking and won’t make this mistake again!

September 1, 2020
5:50 am
Loonie
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Good grief, Jen! sf-surprisedsf-surprisedsf-surprised

I don't deal with BMO but I'm willing to bet a dollar that on your statement there will be 3 columns: Deposits, Withdrawals, and Balance, and that the e-transfer will not have a separate column all to itself and that it is recorded under "deposits".

A rose by any other name IS STILL A ROSE!

I would waste no time escalating to their internal ombudspeople if you do not get a speedy and satisfactory resolution. I did have a problem with BMO once with a credit card and it was handled courteously and effectively by their internal ombud, who resides in the Vice-President's office - or said he did. They have no valid argument whatsoever. It's possible it was some kind of coding error, but it could also have been deliberate. It's hard to believe they would be so stupid on purpose, but I guess it's possible.

I would ask for compensation for your inconvenience and stress and to restore your confidence in the bank. Add another $100 and free cheques.

I'm curious what you consider that you've learned from this. I can't think of anything except that you can't trust them. What mistake is it that you think you can avoid in future? Their argument makes no sense at all, of course it's a deposit. What else could it possibly be? They only have two categories: deposits and withdrawals.

Let us know how you make out.

September 1, 2020
8:34 am
Londonguy
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I had a good laugh reading this thread this morning. Since misery loves company, let me share my own BMO customer service horror story.

Way back in the early 1970s I had a chequing and savings account and a small unsecured LOC at the BMO branch on the ground floor of the office building where I worked in downtown Toronto. Didn't have a banking preference, it was just handy and they also had one of those new-fangled ATM thingies. Carried a BMO Mastercard with no issues, everything was cool.

Fast forward to 1984 when my future wife received a job offer in another city that she couldn't refuse, so we decided to move. I arranged for my employer to transfer me to the same city, no problem. We moved, I had my BMO accounts transferred to the downtown branch in the new city, everything seemed great. Then the fun started.

About a week into my new digs I get a phone call from the local BMO manager to advise me that he was arbitrarily converting my revolving LOC into a term loan and raising the interest rate on it by 3%. When I asked why, he said that I no longer qualified for my LOC arrangement because I "no longer had stability of residence or employment" because (a) I no longer resided at my former address and (b) I no longer worked at my former employment address. He also said he and his branch personnel didn't know me, notwithstanding my 10-year history at BMO in Toronto.

Needless to say I took issue with his Kafka-esque reasoning, but no matter what I said he wouldn't change his mind. As it happened, we had just bought a house in the new city and I had dumped all my free cash into that deal, so I didn't have the ability to immediately extinguish the LOC. So I was forced to eat his 3% term loan crap.

I was so mad when I hung up the phone that I opened up a new chequing account at a nearby Canada Trust, and then went out of my way to save as much money out of my paycheque as I could over the following 90 days. I then walked into that BMO branch one afternoon, paid out the loan balance, closed all my accounts, and then told the manager I'd never do business or set foot in another BMO as long as I lived.

And I haven't.

September 1, 2020
8:36 am
Norman1
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I would not have expected that an accepted Interac e-transfer would not count as a deposit either! That is a surprising interpretation of the requirement "Make a deposit of any amount to the Lead Chequing Account* by September …".

I'm surprised someone at BMO would be able to take that position with a straight face!

September 1, 2020
10:38 am
GICinvestor
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So logic tells me that ANY money added to my account is a deposit.

BMO is playing with semantics.

A deposit is a financial term that means money held at a bank. A deposit is a transaction involving a transfer of money to another party for safekeeping

And LondonGuy. After dealing with BMO for decades I feel like you too! I dealt with the same person for years even when she moved to other branches. While I am not supporting BMO.....it is probably the current branch manager that screws it all up. It only takes one bad apple at an FI to make me walk.

September 2, 2020
8:45 am
Norman1
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Could be just incompetence in wording the terms of the offer.

Make a deposit of any amount to the Lead Chequing Account* by September …

could have been written as

Make an in-branch or ATM deposit of any amount to the Lead Chequing Account* by September …

if that was really what was intended.

September 2, 2020
9:31 am
JenE
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I completely agree Norman and suggested same to the CSR on Monday (she agreed with me). She has escalated the matter so we’ll see what transpires. I’ll be taking it as far as I can. Loonie, what I’ve learned is to be more suspicious! I probably should have learned that already....

September 3, 2020
5:38 pm
Loonie
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Jen, you probably DID learn to be suspicious already. You've been on this forum for a while! LOL

But I don't think any hermeneutic of suspicion could have prepared you for this as it's completely arbitrary and unfounded. So don't blame yourself.

What I hope you may learn out of this is to be a first class complainer!

September 4, 2020
8:58 am
JenE
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I’ve heard from the CSR at my branch who had escalated my complaint. Bad news is that I made one in-branch payment Instead of on-line so I’m disqualified from the $300 promotion. It was acknowledged that an e-transfer is indeed a deposit - both the Bank Manager and the telephone CSR got that wrong. The branch CSR has said she will refund the 3 monthly account charges ($35.85 total). I’m annoyed at myself, but it is what it is.sf-frown

September 4, 2020
11:33 am
Norman1
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That's unfortunate. sf-frown Apparently, a BMO credit card payment done by way of a transfer would not count either:

b) Make one bill payment through BMO Online Banking or the BMO Mobile App (of at least $50) for at least two consecutive months from your Lead Chequing Account* by November 30, 2020. A transfer from your BMO Chequing Account to a BMO credit card product does not qualify as an eligible bill payment;

September 5, 2020
3:03 pm
Loonie
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Sorry to hear this, Jen, but at least you were vindicated on the earlier issue of what constitutes a deposit, and you got your money back. So it was an inconvenience, a time-waster, and you learned something that will help you and other readers in future. It left you with a bad impression of BMO and the competence of their local staff and manager. They ought to be concerned about that, but I guess they aren't.

As I have said before on this forum, it is my policy to avoid all similar promos from the Big Banks unless they are very straightforward. They normally have a catch, something I am not prepared to comply with or don't know how to interpret. A rare exception was the recent CIBC e-Advantage Savings Account promo, which I am using because it happened to be a good fit for me personally.

This is not a bias on my part against the Big Banks. It's just the voice of experience. I have no idea why they continue to operate in ways that are almost guaranteed to alienate some of their customers. Perhaps it looks good on the balance sheet to be able to say, we signed up X customers with this promo and (X-Y) of them were stupid/inattentive/naive/lazy/forgetful, so they kept their accounts going after the promo ended, without getting the reward. Those kinds of new customers are ideal targets for future sales. But JenE will not be among them!

September 9, 2020
7:35 pm
1nt2Save
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JenE said
I’ve heard from the CSR at my branch who had escalated my complaint. Bad news is that I made one in-branch payment Instead of on-line so I’m disqualified from the $300 promotion. It was acknowledged that an e-transfer is indeed a deposit - both the Bank Manager and the telephone CSR got that wrong. The branch CSR has said she will refund the 3 monthly account charges ($35.85 total). I’m annoyed at myself, but it is what it is.sf-frown  

I had the same issue when I tried to take advantage of a similar program last year. I don't have any direct deposits from anyone so I too was disqualified. The process was very frustrating and there was nobody who could waive the direct deposit condition. To make matters worse when I went to close the chequing account they moved my money to a savings account I had with them this brought the balance below $6000 and they charged me a $30 fee. I closed everything I had with BMO after this.

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