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Oaken - recent unsatisfactory experiences
August 2, 2022
9:22 am
RAV4guy
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I have had unsatisfactory experiences with Oaken recently.

In early July, in my Home Bank TFSA, I wanted to roll a maturing 18 month GIC into two new GICs, a 4 year and a 5 year. I called before maturity to do this. That was okay but the Oaken CSR did not ask about what I wanted for paying the annual income and the repayment of principal at maturity. I could change the maturity instruction online, so that was easy. The CSR chose compounding interest for me and I did not want this. I want annual payment of the income. Three phone calls later I still can see no change on the Oaken website for the annual payment of income instructions for the two GICs. The three other CSRs have assured me that my wishes have been recorded and will be honoured. They also assured me what I see on the Oaken website would updated. I have also received nothing by mail. I believe enough time has elapsed to get it right. I would like some written proof of our agreement. I wonder if others have had a similar expereince as well and if they can offer useful advice.

Today I tried to download several PDF documents from the Oaken website. They were all empty. Other months I have downloaded PDF documents without issue. Is this an Oaken problem or is it my Imac computer?

August 3, 2022
10:42 am
andied20
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Perhaps Oaken is having issues with sufficient staffing levels, hopefully nothing more serious, but definitely concerning. I had a GIC mature early in July that is still showing on my online account with $0.00, and I attempted to purchase a new GIC almost two weeks ago and I still have not received confirmation, although speaking with an agent today, apparently the confirmation is almost ready. I also sent a message from my account page five days ago requesting info RE the new GIC, and have not yet received a reply.

August 3, 2022
11:25 am
lifeonanisland
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I have had these types of issues with Oaken recently. Seems to be staff problems. I purchased a GIC, and a week later, it hadn't shown up on my account, and the cash still showed as being in my savings account. This was early last week. I have not received a reply. But at least the GIC now shows up in my account, and the cash has been taken from savings. Nevertheless, poor communication and delays don't inspire confidence.

August 3, 2022
11:51 am
Norman1
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Another person wrote that it took around three weeks for her Oaken GIC.

The purchase was backdated to the actual purchase date. Could be continuing staffing challenges. I'd give Oaken a few weeks.

August 3, 2022
12:20 pm
Dean
Valhalla Mountains, British Columbia
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.
Yes ... I remember reading that , Norman.

Apparently, Oaken has been Plagued with these issues & problems for quite some time now, going all the way back to last year.

Bugs in their new online system ... staffing issues ... management issues ... other problem(s) ... a combination ... who knows ❓

Whatever, it's Not Good ❗ sf-confused

    Dean

sf-cool " Live Long And Prosper " sf-cool

August 3, 2022
12:41 pm
MattS
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I used to use the msg centre exclusively and I'd get responses in 24-48 hrs through their email online msg system. Recently for maturity, I sent a note June 28 and it went unresponded to. When I called in i was basically told to abondon that and call and speak with someone for everything.. I felt reading between the lines they weren't equipped staffing wise to even check the emails... In my mind its nice to use their online banking msg centre or service@oaken to put anything in writing with a time stamp for future purposes should it be needed...But follow everything up with a call. At this moment my instructions from June 28 have not been acted upon although I was assured everything would be back dated.

August 3, 2022
2:49 pm
Alexandra
British Columbia
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lifeonanisland said
I have had these types of issues with Oaken recently. Seems to be staff problems. I purchased a GIC, and a week later, it hadn't shown up on my account, and the cash still showed as being in my savings account. This was early last week. I have not received a reply. But at least the GIC now shows up in my account, and the cash has been taken from savings. Nevertheless, poor communication and delays don't inspire confidence.  

Same thing is happening to me. I purchased a GIC on 28 July, (I recognize the long weekend), and the funds are still in my HISA and not in a GIC. I'll wait until Friday morning and then phone them if transaction not done.

First time this has ever happened with them for me.

August 3, 2022
8:11 pm
Elf
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August 3, 2022
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After lurking for a long while Oaken has compelled me to register here.
Some GICs matured at the end of June and I initiated transfers to Tang (currently getting 3%) and elsewhere to pay property taxes and my cc bill. It took two weeks for the money to finally appear. I had to move other monies in to avoid being saddled with late payment fees. Then another GIC matured and again my transferred funds disappeared for a full week.
Never had this happen before. It's always been prompt. Is this a new way they're trying to retain capital?
While trying to straighten this out with several different CSRs, and complaining about fees incurred and interest not earned, I have repeatedly requested to speak to a manager and only managed to get the response that they will look into it.
I will be filing a complaint as outlined by the feds
https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/complaints/file-complaint-financial-institution.html
but other things are currently priorities.

August 4, 2022
3:05 am
RetirEd
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Everyone else is matching Oaken's 5% 5-year rate already, but I like that they have no TFSA transfer-out fee. Anyone know which other institutions don't have those fees, which are over (often way over!) $50 now?

I've been trying to get TFSA transfer-in forms from Oaken for five weeks now, and most recently was told two orders have been made to mail them but nothing's gone out. (I don't do anything involving my real identity on line, and sending them downloaded forms would reveal to them that I do have access.) As rates may tumble soon, I may just truck on down to their offices (which have no parking anywhere neat once the 8 free motorcycle spots on Granville are full) and do it in person. The problem there is that they require an appointment to visit the office, so I can't act on short notice or when it's raining (when bike spots are likely to be free) so I'd be out over $6 for a pandemic-terrifying bus ride.
RetirEd
(Not that a bus ride isn't unpleasant enough, especially in sweltering summer...)

August 4, 2022
3:12 am
HermanH
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RetirEd said
Everyone else is matching Oaken's 5% 5-year rate already, but I like that they have no TFSA transfer-out fee. Anyone know which other institutions don't have those fees, which are over (often way over!) $50 now?

Neither EQ nor Hubert has a TFSA transfer fee.

RetirEd said I've been trying to get TFSA transfer-in forms from Oaken for five weeks now, and most recently was told two orders have been made to mail them but nothing's gone out. (I don't do anything involving my real identity on line, and sending them downloaded forms would reveal to them that I do have access.)

Just tell folks that you go to the public library to grab forms and have no home computer or service and that you would never enter any personal details in a public computer.

August 4, 2022
8:46 am
RAV4guy
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Thanks for the stories about your experiences and other comments.

I will give Oaken more time to get this right and not worry about it. In my case, with my phone call to Oaken, it was just a matter of filling in the few blanks on a questionnaire with the CSR. All the questions deserve to be asked and answered.

But, in the meantime, for my next GIC purchase I will do it elsewhere to see if the process goes better.

August 4, 2022
9:44 am
Alexandra
British Columbia
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Alexandra said

Same thing is happening to me. I purchased a GIC on 28 July, (I recognize the long weekend), and the funds are still in my HISA and not in a GIC. I'll wait until Friday morning and then phone them if transaction not done.

First time this has ever happened with them for me.  

Update: Funds are now in 5yr GIC and are no longer in HISA. Took a few days. I think they are probably fairly busy right now and had to catch up on all the on-line long weekend purchases. As I said, this has been the first time I have ever had to wait like this for a completed transaction to occur. Been with them for years. Never a problem with TFSAs or RRIFs either. Here is hoping everything gets back to normal with their excellent service.

August 4, 2022
10:56 am
Dean
Valhalla Mountains, British Columbia
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Elf said

After lurking for a long while Oaken has compelled me to register here.
Some GICs matured at the end of June and I initiated transfers to Tang (currently getting 3%) and elsewhere to pay property taxes and my cc bill. It took two weeks for the money to finally appear. I had to move other monies in to avoid being saddled with late payment fees. Then another GIC matured and again my transferred funds disappeared for a full week.
Never had this happen before. It's always been prompt. Is this a new way they're trying to retain capital?
While trying to straighten this out with several different CSRs, and complaining about fees incurred and interest not earned, I have repeatedly requested to speak to a manager and only managed to get the response that they will look into it.
I will be filing a complaint as outlined by the feds
https://www.canada.ca/en/financial-consumer-agency/services/complaints/file-complaint-financial-institution.html
but other things are currently priorities.  

Welcome to the show, Elf ❗ sf-smile

And thanks for sharing what amounts to be Yet another Sad Story about the present 'Situation' at Oaken. When you get a chance, please let us know the results of the formal complaint you plan to file (I'd do it Asap) ... and thanks for the link.

Fortunately for me, I cashed out of Oaken last year before all this trouble started (the money went to Greener Pastures). At present, I only have $1.37 in a SA with them, to 'keep-a-toe-in-the-door'.

Needless to day, Oaken won't see ANY of my money again, until They Clean Up Their Act ... and I don't expect that to happen, any time soon. sf-confused

    Dean

sf-cool " Live Long And Prosper " sf-cool

August 4, 2022
12:35 pm
Loonie
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I found their TFSA transfer-out time has increased recently. I imagine it's due to covid, shortage of employees etc.
Two weeks is not acceptable for a non-registered transfer, however. They should put up a warning page to that effect before you complete the transfer.
Unfortunately there is a misapprehension out there that covid is no longer much of an issue. Wrong!

August 5, 2022
8:21 am
RAV4guy
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Today I received an email saying the confirmations for my 2 new TFSA investments were ready. The previous TFSA GIC matured July 8. So that is 4 weeks to receive an online confirmation of a new GIC. Also available to me were the copies of the GICs created in error. The GIC confirmations that now show the annual pay I always wanted still contain an error, in that they show "Renew Principal" which is not what I said, but I can change that online when I want. I am satisfied. I still plan to make my next GIC purchase with another issuer, in the hope for better service.

August 5, 2022
8:57 am
GR
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Trying to phone Oaken. While waiting for someone to answer as all lines are busy, they invite you to leave your phone number for a call back. They did call back a few minutes later with a recorded message "sorry, there are no agents to call you back"!!!!!!!
Their customer service now is terrible!

August 6, 2022
9:29 am
Loonie
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Oaken has always had a lot of staff turnover from what I've seen. I only deal with them in person and have never seen the same people working there twice. They need to look at staff training and retention issues, especially right now with unemployment very low. The last person I dealt with there had recently arrived from Ireland and had no clue what he was doing, made numerous errors - which I caught - and that was in 2020! It can only be worse now.

August 8, 2022
1:35 pm
wcg66
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I'm not current Oaken customer but I tried to be. I filled in the application weeks ago and, so far, is two emails asking for more information. I don't understand why it's so hard to open an account. They've since asked for a scan of my signature which I sent right away. Weeks later, I was asked for more details on my "self employed" status.

I'm applying to open a bank account not a passport or a loan. I was wondering if anyone else was having this sort of delay getting an account?

August 9, 2022
2:14 pm
RetirEd
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I gave up on waiting for the Oaken forms and took the second half of my ladder for the year elsewhere.
RetirEd

August 16, 2022
8:50 am
AllanB
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Better to call-in with Oaken. Online enrol takes a back seat. I guess their priority is a takeover.

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