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Extenuating circumstances
May 3, 2019
7:56 am
CHUCK21
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I TRIED CONTACTING MOTIVE TODAY TO FIND OUT WHAT A SAVVY SAVINGS ACCOUNT WAS. RECORDING SAID "UNAVAILABLE TODAY DUE TO EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES". ANYBODY KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING? SORRY FOR THE CAPS.

May 3, 2019
8:09 am
Doug
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CHUCK21 said
I TRIED CONTACTING MOTIVE TODAY TO FIND OUT WHAT A SAVVY SAVINGS ACCOUNT WAS. RECORDING SAID "UNAVAILABLE TODAY DUE TO EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES". ANYBODY KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING? SORRY FOR THE CAPS.  

Maybe the staff member(s) called in sick?

They are a lean and small operation. If the staff member at Manitoba's Ideal Savings or Casera Financial were to call in sick, their phone lines would be inaccessible, too. sf-cool

Edit: Nothing shows up on Google News searches for the past 24 hours for either of "Jasper Avenue+incident" or "Jasper Avenue"+Edmonton, so doesn't seem to be something serious.

Cheers,
Doug

May 4, 2019
7:13 am
Bill
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I called later yesterday and still "extenuating circumstances" - ? Hard to take seriously a relatively large bank that doesn't answer its phone on a regular working day without providing a clearer reason. Maybe they're going under.

May 4, 2019
8:38 am
Doug
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Bill said
I called later yesterday and still "extenuating circumstances" - ? Hard to take seriously a relatively large bank that doesn't answer its phone on a regular working day without providing a clearer reason. Maybe they're going under.  

Well, they're not "going under," that I can say with 100% certainty as they're merely a virtual banking branch of Canadian Western Bank. To "go under," that would mean the failure of Canadian Western Bank, which isn't going to happen. sf-cool

While they may only have $300-400 million in demand and term deposits, that's still a decent amount for a single branch to raise in terms of deposits (which is what they are). They're larger than any of the individual Manitoba credit union virtual banking divisions on that basis, including Achieva Financial. 😉

I do sometimes think about Canadian Western Bank losing focus and pulling a Vancity or a BMO with respect to effectively shutting down Citizens Bank of Canada by ending all retail banking services or shutting down the BMO/Sobeys retail banking partnership as I think they've got a wonderful thing going in a national, direct banking strategy on a very lean cost base (~12 or fewer employees in a single branch versus Tangerine with ~1,500 employees and multiple offices). If they did, though, existing accounts would likely be grandfathered. They may still not have in-branch access and they could be renamed, but they would remain grandfathered.

On the upside, they just increased their GIC rates. If they were winding down the division, they'd arguably cut rates markedly or stop taking GIC deposits through Motive Financial. I think what may be at play here may be a combination of factors, such as staff illness, an outbreak of the flu, staff turnover, or some combination of the above.

Cheers,
Doug

May 4, 2019
9:46 am
Bill
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I was being half-facetious about the going under part, I'm pretty sure it's innocuous, just pointing out that when you're vague about a strange thing (I still think not answering the phone on a work day - I get that the younger set considers Friday as part of the weekend - is strange, it's pretty easy to reroute the phone calls to other CWB staff for a day so that at least people get through to a real person who can elaborate on what the problem is) that leads people to speculate. As customer confidence is the lifeblood of a financial institution even a little speculation's something to be avoided.

May 4, 2019
10:44 am
Doug
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Bill said
I was being half-facetious about the going under part, I'm pretty sure it's innocuous, just pointing out that when you're vague about a strange thing (I still think not answering the phone on a work day - I get that the younger set considers Friday as part of the weekend - is strange, it's pretty easy to reroute the phone calls to other CWB staff for a day so that at least people get through to a real person who can elaborate on what the problem is) that leads people to speculate. As customer confidence is the lifeblood of a financial institution even a little speculation's something to be avoided.  

LOL, sorry, Bill, sometimes I have trouble recognizing sarcasm. 😉

I also chuckled at your getting in your jab at millennials...interestingly, the only business I've encountered that has a shortened Monday-Thursday work week is my Seventh Day Adventist dentist (didn't realize that rhymes until now), who would be at the tail end of the Baby Boomers to possibly the first year of the Generation X (mid to late 1960s, I suspect). sf-cool

Kidding aside, though, I do note that Motive Financial customers can call a separate Canadian Western Bank toll-free phone number 24/7 for issues relating to debit cards and/or online banking technical/login issues, but in terms of them routing their main customer service number to CWB, I doubt they want to do that since it's treated as a separate division.

I think, and I should add I never called their number so don't know exactly what the message said, what they should've done is had a softer message, like, "Due to [higher than expected call volumes]/[other reason(s)], we're temporarily unable to answer calls to our toll-free telephone number. In order to serve you best, we ask that you e-mail us at [e-mail address], and it will be answered within [2 or 3] business days. For urgent requests related to your debit card or trouble with online banking, please call our parent company's call centre at [phone number]."

Cheers,
Doug

May 4, 2019
6:23 pm
Loonie
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To me, this suggests one of 4 possibilities.
1. Technical issues with their phone system or access to records, which they managed to circumvent sufficiently to put on a message. They could have been hacked.
2. Communicable disease such as measles or flu swept through their small staff.
3. Food-borne illness. e.g. they all went to the same place for lunch or had an office party where they all ate the same contaminated food.
4. Physical damage to their premises or a break-in. e.g. plumbing problems.

I imagine we'll find out soon.

May 4, 2019
6:36 pm
Doug
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Loonie said
To me, this suggests one of 4 possibilities.
1. Technical issues with their phone system or access to records, which they managed to circumvent sufficiently to put on a message. They could have been hacked.
2. Communicable disease such as measles or flu swept through their small staff.
3. Food-borne illness. e.g. they all went to the same place for lunch or had an office party where they all ate the same contaminated food.
4. Physical damage to their premises or a break-in. e.g. plumbing problems.

I imagine we'll find out soon.  

Good point. Who was it that Chuck reported a month or two ago not answering their phones? Oh yeah, Hubert Financial, so that could very well be that Motive had a telephone system issue.

I do think the phrasing of their telephone message could've been better than "extenuating circumstances," though.

Cheers,
Doug

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