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Motus has launched
May 16, 2019
3:18 pm
Doug
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Loonie said
Thanks for the ideas, guys.
As far as I can determine, Meridian and Motus both have their HQ in Etobicoke (Toronto), near the Islington subway station, same floor, same building.

Thanks, Loonie, for the geographic orientation as to Meridian and Motus' shared corporate offices. I've never been to Toronto, or Ontario for that matter. I assume that's the 3280 Bloor St. West address? Indeed, Meridian and Motus exist in the same building; possibly they operate on separate floors. Whether it amounts to an outsourcing of their Ombudsman, since they share a common executive management team (and, indeed, many of the same board members), I think it's more akin to Scotiabank and Tangerine, perhaps, sharing the same procurement or human resources department personnel.

Interestingly, Meridian's head office is 70 Corporate Park Drive, St. Catharines, Ontario, which is in the Niagara region as I understand it. That's why I'm wondering if that's where your package ended up?

Motus' head office is the Bloor St. West address, which is Meridian's executive offices. So, I'm wondering where Motus' and Meridian's call centre is. Is it in St Catharines or Toronto? If the former, then it's unlikely that your package ended up at Meridian's head office in St. Catharines as they could, presumably, just inter-office the darn thing upstairs (or downstairs).

The outsourcing of ombudsman-like complaints seems to be a trend. I recall that we noticed this earlier with some of the Big Banks. it was felt that they were trying to avoid the existing complaint ladder for some reason. At least this my recollection.

Banks and federally-regulated institutions still have to have internal Ombudsman offices, which are the final decision-making level before going to an external Ombudsman like ADR Chambers or OBSI. Indeed, a few years ago, they started having to produce annual internal Ombudsman reports outlining number of complaints, complaint resolution levels, and the number of escalated complaints.

I wasn't aware of their obligation to report privacy breaches. Can you show me a link about that?

I think this is it.

https://www.priv.gc.ca/en/opc-news/news-and-announcements/2018/nr-c_181029/

I doubt very much that I will ever know where this package went. Nobody said they would tell me - yet.

That's a shame...I hope you do find out where it ended up and whether it was tampered with (i.e., opened).

I am going to check whether Meridian has a branch in the municipality in question.

I agree that it's a serious privacy breach. I'm sure there is enough info there for identity theft. It's just a question of where it's gone.

Yeah, I bet they probably do, but if it wasn't sent to St. Catharines, to Meridian's head office, I doubt it went to a Meridian branch.

Motus' effective lack of substantial response has made me feel powerless. I ask, but nothing happens, repeatedly.

It's now 3 hours since I talked to the last person, and nothing has happened. That's plenty long enough for a supervisor to get back to me on an "expedited" basis, and I haven't gone anywhere or engaged the phone. It's long enough unless their whole system is breaking down. Im going to be home all evening.  

Indeed...very frustrating! I can't imagine your nerves right now. 🙁

Phone them back and tell them you're not going to disconnect until they connect you with a supervisor. You're willing to sit on hold for hours, whatever it takes.

Cheers,
Doug

May 16, 2019
3:23 pm
Loonie
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I checked, and Meridian does have one outlet that is sort of in this municipality. Actually, it's outside, in another village, but perhaps technically inside.
I suppose I could phone that branch and ask if someone by the name of the recipient works there and, if so, ask to speak to her.

Still, I think this is not too likely. The branches are not so big that they wouldn't all know each other's names and thus recognize that they had nobody to whom to direct this package.

May 16, 2019
3:32 pm
Loonie
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Doug, I don't think my phone battery would last long enough for a supervisor to come on! Part of me wants to know how long it will take them. at their own speed. They are digging themselves in deeper all the time.

Thanks for the info.

It didn't go to St. Catharines head office as that is not the city it went to. I agree that a branch seems unlikely.
Purolator's tracking record shows me that the package originated in Toronto but does not specify the address.

As far as I can make out, Motus and Meridian are both on the seventh floor of the building, although they may occupy more floors.

May 16, 2019
5:20 pm
threeoakwest
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Loonie
I had an account with Meridian a few years ago and cancelled it because my profile page showed my SIN number and I was concerned that if anyone hacked they could anything they wanted with my number. All other banking accounts I have keep the SIN number off the profile page.

Meridian would not consider changing their ways and it wasn't good enough for me. I closed my accounts, chequing, savings and TFSA.

I'm already wondering about my new motus account!

May 17, 2019
5:46 am
Loonie
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You're quite right that your SIN should not appear on your profile, threeoakwest; and there is no reason for it to be there at all. I would have to check to see if they have removed that as I rarely look at my profile.

A small update: I heard nothing further by any medium from anyone at Motus last night. This morning, just after they opened, I sent a secure message asking for urgent attention in finding out where my package is, what condition it is in, and getting it returned to me without delay in the condition in which they receive it. I made it clear that this is a breach of my privacy and security and leaves me open to identity theft. I also made it clear that there has been no available and accessible mechanism for me to escalate my concern, and expressed my considerable dismay as an "owner" of this bank. They can send Bill Maurin personally to my house if they want. I don't care how they get the package here, but they need to pull out the stops.

The auto-responder advised that it would take them up to two business days to respond - that will be five days from now, bringing us to next Wednesday morning. I can't get past that barrier. I have communicated the issue in the ways available to me, and have documented the case by writing.

I get the impression that Motus has set themselves up not for customer service but for keeping customers at bay. This is a most unfortunate trend among so many businesses. Their attitude is not "yes, I'll fix that for you, whatever it takes to make it right", but "no, here are umpteen reasons why I can't do anything, not my problem, I have no authority." It's sad to see this negative culture emerge so early in Motus' life.

May 17, 2019
6:14 am
Loonie
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I was just reviewing the complaints resolution process at Motus as highlighted by Stephen.
It is a 3-stage process.
The first one is the person who answers the general phone line. I've done that.
The second one is their manager. I've asked for that but no response - now through over 10 of their functioning hours.
The third is another level of manager which requires a letter which takes even longer for a response, which would be so slow as to be useless in this situation:

"If your concern hasn't been resolved within the first two steps of motusbank's CHP, write to the Member Concerns Officer.
"Once we receive your concern in writing, you’ll get an acknowledgement within five days. If your concern is within the Member Concerns Officer’s mandate and it’s been through the first two steps of the CHP, we’ll do a full investigation. Most investigations are finished within 4 - 6 weeks and you’ll get a resolution/recommendation in writing. Recommendations are non-binding and parties are free to accept or reject them and pursue other options for resolution."

In other words, there is no mechanism for a timely response to an urgent issue. You are at the mercy of the person who answers the phone, who clearly is not trained to deal with this.sf-yell

Good try, Stephen!

Meridian does have means to deal with what it considers real emergencies though. In April, the St. Catharines Standard newspaper reported that ALL Meridian branches were closed due to some kind of threat. Must have been fairly serious to close all of them, but they sure got that message out when it was THEIR security that was threatened - as they should. I saw it but didn't bother posting it here because it didn't seem to amount to anything at the time, but now it has come to mind.

EDIT: Here's the article if anyone is interested:
https://www.stcatharinesstandard.ca/news-story/9296389-security-threat-closes-all-meridian-credit-union-branches/

May 17, 2019
6:31 am
Nehpets
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Loonie,

Have you considered contacting the manager of your local Meridian branch in the hopes that your personal contact there might ignite an urgent response using a back channel route initiated by the local Meridian manager?

Stephen

May 17, 2019
6:54 am
Loonie
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Yes, I have, Stephen. I am reluctant to bother her with a problem that is not hers, but have been thinking about it.

I just checked the distance between their St Catharines HQ and the town where the package was delivered. Googlemaps tells me it's a 24 minute drive.
It's a nice sunny day. If they wanted to solve this, they could send someone out from St. Catharines and just pick up the darn thing and hold it safe in St Catharines until it could be delivered to me directly. But that would be problem-solving, and so far I have seen no signs of any aptitude for that.

May 17, 2019
7:07 am
Doug
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Thanks for your further responses, Loonie. 🙂

Regarding your earlier post in reply to me above, yeah if it your package wasn't delivered to "St. Catharines," then it sounds like somehow - perhaps they got your postal code wrong and Canada Post delivered it to the incorrect postal code instead of to the street address on the package - got into the hands of someone unintended.

As far as your phone battery dying before you'd reach a supervisor, that seems likely. While I am sure you said that in jest, at least somewhat, don't you have a corded phone you could pull out and dust off?

As to your being an "owner" of Motus Bank, technically, Motus customers are not themselves "owners" of Motus Bank. Indirectly, through your member equity share in Meridian Credit Union, you do own Motus Bank - it's just a very indirect ownership in that Motus' sole shareholder is Meridian Credit Union. Speaking of which, that gave me a potential avenue of getting someone, a Motus manager or supervisor, on the phone, although it would require you potentially ruffling a few feathers with those at your Meridian credit union branch with which you deal: go in to your Meridian credit union branch, ask to speak to the branch manager who recognizes you as a member but doesn't necessarily know your name, and state the problem. Tell him (or her) that you know Meridian and Motus are separate entities, but that you are having difficulty reaching a Motus Bank supervisor or manager with the authority to look into and provide you answers into a potentially very serious data and privacy breach. And, since Meridian and Motus share many of the same systems, technologies, management team, and even processes, you imagined they would have a shared internal corporate directory. And, you're wondering if that Branch Manager can sit down with you, look up in their shared corporate directory to find out who are the supervisors or managers of the Motus Bank Contact Centre and/or even their back-office processing department. That way, even if you can't reach a supervisor or manager (unlikely you would), at least you've got name(s) and direct numbers with which you can leave voicemail messages, repeated if necessary. You could also potentially get their e-mail address(es). sf-cool

As to the complaints resolution process, you don't necessarily have to follow that in sequence - you can bypass (or Cc:) certain steps. However, this is a privacy-related matter, a potentially serious one, so I would urge you to Cc: Motus/Meridian's shared Privacy Officer, possibly with a dual Cc: to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Interestingly, since Meridian is provincially-regulated, they would be overseen by the Ontario Privacy Commissioner whereas Motus would be overseen by the federal one. So, they may not be aware of their obligation to report this data breach if Ontario doesn't have a similar reporting requirement. 😉

Cheers,
Doug

May 17, 2019
7:10 am
Doug
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Loonie said
Yes, I have, Stephen. I am reluctant to bother her with a problem that is not hers, but have been thinking about it.

I just checked the distance between their St Catharines HQ and the town where the package was delivered. Googlemaps tells me it's a 24 minute drive.
It's a nice sunny day. If they wanted to solve this, they could send someone out from St. Catharines and just pick up the darn thing and hold it safe in St Catharines until it could be delivered to me directly. But that would be problem-solving, and so far I have seen no signs of any aptitude for that.  

Hrm, I know it's probably a 2 hour drive for you, assuming good traffic, but given how much time you've spent - and your curiousity - I wonder if you could drive out there (does it say the address it was delivered to?) and then either pick it up or see where it was delivered. You could then save your gas receipts, calculate your mileage, and send Motus the bill for your mileage at a reasonable $0.50/km. sf-cool

If you don't know the address where it was delivered, can you call Purolator, give them your name and tracking number (presumably, Motus addressed it to you) and find out where it was delivered? Tell them you're indeed the intended recipient, but it was likely misaddressed. They should be able to help you as they can usually talk to both the sender and the intended recipient (provided your name is on the parcel). sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

May 17, 2019
7:29 am
Loonie
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Thanks for the responses, Doug.
With Stephen's urgings, I called my Meridian manager who called me back within 10 minutes. She understood the problem readily and is making it a priority to get something done about it and will get back to me as soon as she has got someone on the case. What a wonderful person!

May 17, 2019
11:15 am
Nehpets
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Loonie said
... I called my Meridian manager who called me back within 10 minutes. She .....is making it a priority... What a wonderful person!  

From my own experience with Meridian local staff, they tend to be heavily customer oriented, so it sounds like you made the right move to get someone with a vested interest in your business to advocate on your behalf.

Give'em Hell..Loonie!!....sf-smile

Stephen

May 17, 2019
2:34 pm
threeoakwest
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I would think they would see the negative responses to this subject and would pull all stops to correct the problem. I would not be surprised if some of the people reading this string of problems may be discouraged from joining motus.

As i said before, I'm getting a bit concerned myself.

May 17, 2019
3:24 pm
Loonie
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I have an answer!
The best part is that my personal information is securesf-smile, but the story behind it reminds me of a farcical comedy.

Doug may be entitled to a prize for thinking the package might be in St. Catharines.
That's because it IS in St. Catharines! - but not for any reason we might have imagined.

Evidently, in the unique parlance of Purolator, St. Catharines is not in St Catharines; it's in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Anyone who has been to these two places will appreciate how preposterous this sounds as these two are like night and day in every respect, and St. Catharines is much larger.

I wish I could have had a recording of this conversation so that you could see how ridiculous it sounded as we both started from different understandings. I can't begin to repeat it. He thought I had sent the package to them, and I knew that they had sent the package to Niagara-on-the-Lake, because Purolator told me so.

The long and the short of it is that the address to which the package was delivered (never specifically stated by Purolator tracking) in Niagara-on-the-Lake is actually a Meridian/motus office in St. Catharines.

After the two of us talked at cross-purposes for several minutes, it finally emerged that the package had been wrongly addressed, with the "To" and "From" being reversed, so that it appeared to have come from me whereas in fact it came from St Catharines.

The package spent two days spinning around its point of origin, to land up there again two days later, but nobody opened it yesterday or today to see what was in it since it was not addressed to them. Nor did anyone think it odd that it was addressed to someone who did not work there. He opened it while we were on the phone at about 4pm today.

So he is now going to repackage it and send it to me. He said it would take until Wednesday, 8 days from when it started. I asked him to get an overnight courier, and he said he'd see what he could do. I'd like this to be over with.

If it gets to me on Wednesday (assuming it doesn't get dropped at a pick-up depot, which normally creates a two-day delay), and I send it back on Thursday, it will arrive back in St Catharines on the 27th. If we allow 3 or 4 days for motusbank to process it and send the request on to Oaken, it might arrive at Oaken by June 3 or 4, hopefully just in the nick of time as the GIC matures on June 3. I expect I will lose a few days' interest, maybe more if something else goes wrong, but will deal with that if and when it happens.
Good thing I started on May 1, eh?, but even that may prove to have been tardy.

If it weren't for my Meridian manager, I fully expect I'd still be waiting for a call-back, all weekend.

Somehow, i feel moved to raise the old question, "Who's on first?", with apologies to Abbott and Costello.

May 17, 2019
4:11 pm
Benjames35
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My TSFA transfer form was prefilled and also sent by Purolator, just needed my signature and then I mailed it too Canadian Tire Financial. Canadian Tire Financial has since removed my TFSA account so I know they got the form, just waiting for my money to show up in Motus Account. I called yesterday and they said it could take up to 20 days to complete transaction. Going smoothly so far...

May 17, 2019
4:19 pm
Doug
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Wow, that's quite the story! Great news, Loonie. See further for my replies in-line. 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

Loonie said
I have an answer!
The best part is that my personal information is securesf-smile, but the story behind it reminds me of a farcical comedy.

Doug may be entitled to a prize for thinking the package might be in St. Catharines.
That's because it IS in St. Catharines! - but not for any reason we might have imagined.

Evidently, in the unique parlance of Purolator, St. Catharines is not in St Catharines; it's in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Anyone who has been to these two places will appreciate how preposterous this sounds as these two are like night and day in every respect, and St. Catharines is much larger.

That makes sense inasmuch as it makes sense for a courier company to take it upon themselves to "rename" or otherwise "amalgamate" two or more geographic areas or locales into a single unified locales. We knew St. Catharines is considered within the Niagara region, but the funny thing is, there's an actual place called Niagara-on-the-Lake, isn't there?

So, bottom line, did it, by chance, go to 70 Corporate Park Drive in St. Catharines? Since that's Meridian's officially registered head office (executive offices are in a Toronto skyscraper), that would at least confirm to us that their (and Motus') back-office processing centre, and possibly their Contact Centre, is located in that location.

I wish I could have had a recording of this conversation so that you could see how ridiculous it sounded as we both started from different understandings. I can't begin to repeat it. He thought I had sent the package to them, and I knew that they had sent the package to Niagara-on-the-Lake, because Purolator told me so.

By "he," am I correct in thinking you mean the Contact Centre Supervisor or Manager handling your case or to which the Meridian Branch Manager helped in escalating your case to (i.e., not someone at Purolator)? Speaking of Purolator, did you try contacting them at all, and were they of any assistance?

The long and the short of it is that the address to which the package was delivered (never specifically stated by Purolator tracking) in Niagara-on-the-Lake is actually a Meridian/motus office in St. Catharines.

After the two of us talked at cross-purposes for several minutes, it finally emerged that the package had been wrongly addressed, with the "To" and "From" being reversed, so that it appeared to have come from me whereas in fact it came from St Catharines.

Ah, that actually makes sense insofar as it's actually possible to make sense of an otherwise comical situation! It can be easy, actually, to reverse the "To:" and "From:" addresses. Still, when no one picked up the package or they didn't know who "you" were, I'm surprised no one bothered to look up "your" name in the Corporate Directory only to discover that, in fact, "you" don't work there. 😉

The package spent two days spinning around its point of origin, to land up there again two days later, but nobody opened it yesterday or today to see what was in it since it was not addressed to them. Nor did anyone think it odd that it was addressed to someone who did not work there. He opened it while we were on the phone at about 4pm today.

So he is now going to repackage it and send it to me. He said it would take until Wednesday, 8 days from when it started. I asked him to get an overnight courier, and he said he'd see what he could do. I'd like this to be over with.

If it gets to me on Wednesday (assuming it doesn't get dropped at a pick-up depot, which normally creates a two-day delay), and I send it back on Thursday, it will arrive back in St Catharines on the 27th. If we allow 3 or 4 days for motusbank to process it and send the request on to Oaken, it might arrive at Oaken by June 3 or 4, hopefully just in the nick of time as the GIC matures on June 3. I expect I will lose a few days' interest, maybe more if something else goes wrong, but will deal with that if and when it happens.
Good thing I started on May 1, eh?, but even that may prove to have been tardy.

If it weren't for my Meridian manager, I fully expect I'd still be waiting for a call-back, all weekend.

Somehow, i feel moved to raise the old question, "Who's on first?", with apologies to Abbott and Costello.  

Indeed. That's going to be a tight turnaround time, though, since Oaken technically has 21-22 business days under the Voluntary Code relating to Registered Plan Transfers to which all federally-regulated institutions agree. If Oaken decides to sit on it or otherwise slow-walk it for a week or two, it may not make it. What will happen if the GIC matures and there's no RRIF Savings account to put in to? Will it sit in a "matured" GIC not paying interest, or would you instruct them to put it into a 30-day GIC? Still, if redeemed before 30 days, likely would lose out on a week to a few weeks' interest. 🙂

Cheers,
Doug

May 17, 2019
9:42 pm
Loonie
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It's time you visited Ontario, Doug! You need to become personally acquainted with this part of the of the country. You can check out the Meridian offices; and everyone should see Niagara Falls at least once. Save your pennies!

Yes, there is a place called Niagara-on-the-Lake. There is also a city nearby called Niagara Falls, as well as the body of rushing water by the same name within the City. Niagara-on-the-Lake, St Catharines, and Niagara Falls form, roughly, an equilateral triangle in terms of proximity to each other.

The Purolator tracking system says this package went from St Catharines to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2 days. Specific addresses were never revealed and I did not ask anybody about this at any point. I was just very glad to hear that my papers had been safely located by Motus. I recall that this fellow I spoke to at Motus in St Catharines today did give their address and that it was not Corporate Park Drive but I did not pay close attention. I don't know what his official capacity is, only his first name. He is NOT the Director of Member Services, as that person is a woman but I don't know her name. He said he would send me a follow-up email but that has not arrived.

I did not contact Purolator. I wanted to leave my phone line open for Motus.

I don't think anything will happen to the matured GIC if Oaken has not received instructions by then. They might phone me. I think it will just wait, without interest. They don't offer 30 day RIFs and I don't want one.
I'll deal with any issues around this when and if I have to. Oaken has a pretty good reputation for quick transfers.

My local Meridian manager really shone. I have received 3 emails from her and 2 phone calls by way of follow-up, making sure everything turned out, well beyond her obligations. I have never used this emoji before, but she deserves it! sf-kiss

Thanks, everyone, for listening to my story and all the advice. I truly hope this story doesn't have any more exciting episodes. I'll keep you posted.

May 18, 2019
6:22 am
rodeworthy
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My experience with Oaken is that they will hold the matured GIC for 10 days earning no interest. After 10 days it automatically renews to a new GIC. No direct contact from them before this happens. It might be a good idea for you to initiate instructions and advise them in writing that the GIC is not to be renewed. The Direct Transfer form or equivalent comes from the receiving FI and I presume that is part of your package with Motus.

May 18, 2019
7:24 am
Doug
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Loonie said
It's time you visited Ontario, Doug! You need to become personally acquainted with this part of the of the country. You can check out the Meridian offices; and everyone should see Niagara Falls at least once. Save your pennies!

Yes, there is a place called Niagara-on-the-Lake. There is also a city nearby called Niagara Falls, as well as the body of rushing water by the same name within the City. Niagara-on-the-Lake, St Catharines, and Niagara Falls form, roughly, an equilateral triangle in terms of proximity to each other.

The Purolator tracking system says this package went from St Catharines to Niagara-on-the-Lake in 2 days. Specific addresses were never revealed and I did not ask anybody about this at any point. I was just very glad to hear that my papers had been safely located by Motus. I recall that this fellow I spoke to at Motus in St Catharines today did give their address and that it was not Corporate Park Drive but I did not pay close attention. I don't know what his official capacity is, only his first name. He is NOT the Director of Member Services, as that person is a woman but I don't know her name. He said he would send me a follow-up email but that has not arrived.

I did not contact Purolator. I wanted to leave my phone line open for Motus.

I don't think anything will happen to the matured GIC if Oaken has not received instructions by then. They might phone me. I think it will just wait, without interest. They don't offer 30 day RIFs and I don't want one.
I'll deal with any issues around this when and if I have to. Oaken has a pretty good reputation for quick transfers.

My local Meridian manager really shone. I have received 3 emails from her and 2 phone calls by way of follow-up, making sure everything turned out, well beyond her obligations. I have never used this emoji before, but she deserves it! sf-kiss

Thanks, everyone, for listening to my story and all the advice. I truly hope this story doesn't have any more exciting episodes. I'll keep you posted.  

Thanks, Loonie, I'm glad that it all worked. Sounds you might have to take your Meridian Branch Manager a Starbucks coffee, or maybe even take her for lunch. 🙂

I can see the point in Meridian and Motus being separate entities and not having Meridian branches perform transactions for Motus accounts, but Meridian management (who, for the most part, hold dual managerial roles of Motus) might be wise to consider leveraging Meridian branch staff to help onboard Motus customers. It's clear that Motus has serious back-office processes and technology limitations (i.e., automated EFT processing) that need major work - and, fundamentally, they do need to streamline their RIF application process, beginning with at least making the application forms available online in a fillable format with easy-to-use instructions for those that need them. That would've saved you a lot of hassle. Anyway, my point is, until they improve those processes, they could leverage Meridian staff members to assist with the Motus onboarding and document couriering (could save money, too, since they could inter-office signed documentation) process.

You're right, the transfer should go smoothly and if you lose a week or two's worth of interest, at the end of the day, it's not material relative the GIC rates on offer at Motus. When your transfer is completed, I do hope you'll consider writing to the Motus senior leadership team (I would go with their COO, David Baldarelli), to make them aware of all the problems that you encountered and pointing out that if it weren't for a Meridian Branch Manager intervening and locating the correct Motus management team member in their Corporate Directory, you were all set to abandon the RIF transfer process.

Cheers,
Doug

May 18, 2019
8:38 am
hotmony
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I thought motus was 1yr 3%.. in any event i find the 3yr@3.15 more attractive perhaps

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