Give Me Back My Five Bucks

My (new) RRSP headache with TD Canada Trust

If you follow me on Twitter, over the past few days you will have probably noticed my irritated tweets about how much I hate TD Canada Trust at the moment. It’s just one problem after another with them it seems. And the only reason I’m still a customer is because their e-series mutual funds can’t be beat.

Anyway, this all started when I needed to withdraw those lovely TD Canada Trust e-series mutual funds out of my account for the First Time Home Buyer’s Plan. Seems simple enough, right? I’ve never heard of anyone else having a problem, so I was shocked to say the least when I ran into issue after issue. Here’s what I did:

  1. Made an appointment at a local branch. The man there – although nice enough – told me that he would not be able to help me get my mutual funds out of my account, because they were e-series funds. He even called his internal help desk to verify his answer. He told me to call Easy Line telephone banking and they can walk me through how to do it by myself online.
  2. I went online and tried to figure out how to do it myself. No such luck.
  3. I call Easy Line. They don’t know what to do, and tell me to go back to the branch. After I tell her that I was already at a branch, we spent the next 18 minutes going back and forth. Then the rep puts me on hold, and the call disconnects. Awesome!
  4. I call Easy Line again. They tell me that they can’t do anything, and to go to a branch.
  5. I go to a local branch, hopeful of a walk-in appointment. The person says all mutual fund transactions need to go through Easy Line.
  6. I call another local branch to make an appointment (because I think the previous person was wrong). He puts me on hold to find out. Then he never comes back (8 minutes on hold). I hang up.
  7. I call Easy Line again. The woman tells me to go back to a branch and have them walk me through the steps. UGH.
  8. I make an appointment and go into a branch. The woman calls her internal help desk, and then tells me she has nothing to do with e-series funds and to call Easy Line. Or I could do it myself online.
  9. I get angry on Twitter. The person monitoring TD’s Twitter account said she will get back to me and “we’ll figure this out together.” As of writing this article, I still have not heard from them (3 days).
  10. I call Easy Line. AGAIN. The guy who answered was kind of rude and tells me that it’s impossible to do it myself online, and doesn’t know why anyone would tell me to do that (even though TWO people told me I could do it online). He made me feel like it was my fault this was all happening, and went on to say that nobody at his department was going to be able to help me. He told me that I needed to fax a piece of paper into their offices in Toronto, and then the process can get started. A piece of paper!? Why didn’t any of the other billion people I spoke to tell me about a piece of paper and a fax number? Ugh.
  11. I fax in the piece of paper.
  12. I call Easy Line and finally get a rep who offers me a solution. Relieved. But it’s not over yet.
  13. Now, I need to make ANOTHER appointment at a branch in order to finalize the transaction.

So that’s where we stand, after 4 extremely frustrating days. If all goes according to plan, I should have $25,000 from my RRSPs sitting in my chequing account by tomorrow. Thursday at the latest. Fingers crossed!

Let me finish off by saying that it’s not the process that is irritating to me. I don’t care if there are 27 steps to cashing out my RRSPs. I’ll do them all and jump through every hoop necessary, just as long as I know exactly what I need to be doing. It’s the fact that nobody at the bank seemed to know how to help me. No one knew the answer to my questions, and I kept getting passed back and forth between Easy Line customer service and the branch. I felt like nobody cared about me or what I needed to get done. The only cared about the fact that they couldn’t help me, and never once offered a solution. Not only did it waste hours of my time, it left me feeling extremely frustrated and angry.

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. sarah says:

    My husband and I bank with TD and have had only great experiences. I do think that it's just the luck of the draw.. these things can happen with any bank. Nonetheless, it's frustrating.

    • gmbmfb says:

      While I do agree that sometimes it's the luck of the draw, I don't think it's acceptable to have it happen like 10-11 times in a row regarding the same issue. I think that's completely unacceptable.

      That being said, the only problem I've ever had with TD has to do with my RRSPs. When I had a chequing and savings account with them, I had no complaints. Unfortunately all of the problems I've had with their RRSPs have caused me to take my business elsewhere. And like I said in a previous post, I'm debating whether to pull the plug on my TD e-series RRSPs too. We'll see what happens!

  2. Dominik says:

    If it can help you…

    The guy at the branch did know what I was talking about (e-Series fund).

    But I saw, before going there, on their website that you can convert their normal mutual fund account to a e-series account. So I opened a normal mutual fund account with nothing in it at the branch. Asked for an Access Card (I was not a customer) for EasyWeb access.

    Then went back home, printed out the paper for converting the normal account to a e-series one, posted it. Couple days later days later it was done. Went in EasyWeb and began transferring money into my e-series funds.

  3. Edison Llerena says:

    I think it is only a matter of expectations: why did you chose the TD e-series in first place? of course, because of the low MER, but what does a low MER mean? It means cost reductions on the bank side.
    When you signed the agreement for the TD-e you were asking for no intermediaries, no office costs, no unnecessary added costs. If you read the TD-e agreement it mentions that. You understood that -in order to get that juicy low mer- you would have to do some of the stuff -that normally bank employees do- yourself. That was clear to me when I signed the conversion agreement.
    I think if that’s understood then you wouldn’t have to go through all that frustration.
    In my case, since I’m clear with that I always research a little BEFORE doing any transactions. I do my homework so that I know exactly where to go, whom to talk and so on and I’m happy with my TD-e the way they are. It takes me time to re-search, ask people who has done stuff in the past with these accounts.. but hey! I asked for it!

    • PF newbie says:

      I don’t agree. Cost reduction would actually mean having clear information online, available to all. Having us call repeatedly and go to branches repeatedly incurs extra costs to TD. It is frustrating for clients and inefficient for TD.

      I have been going through a merry go round myself to try and open an e-Series account. I have gotten so many versions of what needed to be done that my head was spinning. Until I found the conversion form online. I then googled about all this and found this blog (thank you!) confirming what finally made sense to me. I’ve been trying to set up this account for over a month! What a waste of time. I could write about all the versions I was given, but I just want to move forward at this time. It is blatant bad management on TD’s part not to have clear information online. One has to wonder how they manage to make profits.

      I have had many more problems with TD. Advisors that don’t know what they’re talking about, that don’t understand what I am talking about (sheesh maybe I should work there as I seem to understand finances better than them), that only care about there commission yet don’t seem to realize I am aware of it and will not give into that. I was actually told once that if I moved my RRSPs to TD, planning for the Home Buyer’s Plan, I could only do the HBP if I took my mortgage with TD! Needless to say, my RRSPs stayed where they were. Front counter staff that are ill-informed about most things too. I have tried multiple branches and have concluded that TD is just terribly managed.

      So, it’ll be the e-Series for me and for the rest, I am shopping for a new bank!

  4. Sharon says:

    It’s not you. It’s TD. I’ve had issues with them too, though not with their mutual funds. (and ps. I don’t think low MER is an excuse for TD reps not knowing how their own tools work). I had a mortgage with TD and when it came time to pay it off, I ran into complete incompetence at every level. First they told me I’d have to go into the bank in person to sign the final paperwork (not true but thanks TD for wasting my time). Then, when I went in, the rep lied to me twice (when asked point blank) if there was a discharge fee (it’s in the fine print of the mortgage docs what when the thing ends you have to pay $260 – and no, that’s not a fee for paying it off early or breaking the terms of the agreement). And then, when it came time to pay the fee, no one seemed to know how it could be done, despite the fact that I have a chequing account with TD. I kept saying: “can’t you just deduct my account?” and everyone I spoke to at TD said things like “we’re not sure” and “in my opinion” and “my best guess is…” Sigh.

  5. AN says:

    So what ended up happening after this ordeal? Did it work out in the end?

  6. Kristine says:

    I have been trying to cash a small portion of my locked in mtual funds for over a month. I submitted a form requesting the sale of some shares due to financial hardship. The first attempt took 2 weeks. I was told i was waiting in a queue of hundreds. TD ultimately declined my request because my paperwork was missing a section. It would have been nice if my financial adviser at the branch had noticed that when I gave them to him. I immeditely reapplied with the correction and paid an addition $35 in notary fees ($70 total so far). Its been a full 2 weeks and still no money. I emailed my TD financial advisor..he agreed to look into it. That was 3 days ago and still no eta on my money. Oh, and did i mention the 20% penalty they are charging for cashing out early? Obviously the whole experience has left a sour taste in my mouth. Wish I had gone the EFT route..more flexability, less fees and hassle.

  7. Mark says:

    2016. My experience unlocking a locked in RRSP seems to have mirrored your experience with TD. (This suggests that it is not a random or isolated experience).
    Was told at the start it would be 5 to 10 business days after paperwork was submitted. We are now at 20 business days and counting. Job not accomplished with one visit to a branch: Now at 3 visits to branches (since that is the only way TD Investorline accepts faxes – you can speak with representatives but not convey documents). Process not finished yet. I even found my records from 25 years ago because somehow TD lost their copies. (Yes, this did require another visit to branch so they could fax these to TD Investorline). I do not have confidence in TD operations now.

    This is not a seamless interface or process. The system seems to be most inefficient.

  8. allan says:

    Hi, I’m about to execute similar HBP RRSP with TD.
    Can you link me to this “piece of paper” that is required to be filled out?
    What is the notary fee you mention of and was there fee for withdrawal?
    Money can be deposited via chequing or EFT route?

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