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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.

My mutual fund problem with TD Canada Trust

I am so irritated with TD Canada Trust. In fact, I’ve had this problem with them since 2007, but I haven’t done much with my account until the past year or so, when I’ve wanted to switch up my mutual funds and buy a bit more aggressively for the long term.

Basically what is happening is, every single time I want to purchase higher risk mutual funds, I get the following decline e-mail:

Order # XXXXXX-XXXX-XXXXX

Dear Investor,

[…] We have not fulfilled your request because it may not be suited to your current investor profile. We have based this assessment on the information you provided us regarding your personal circumstances, investment knowledge, objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance. Not only do we want to help you make the best investment decisions, we are required to assess the suitability of all mutual fund account transactions.

Please contact a TD Investment Services Mutual Funds Representative to review and update the information we have regarding your Investor Profile.

Thank you,

TD Investment Services Inc.

The fact that I have to call in to fund my mutual funds is bad enough – especially when TD Canada Trust’s website states: “create and manage your own online portfolio or have us manage it for you. The choice is all yours.” Well apparently I don’t get a choice because I am not being allowed to buy the investments I want to buy.

When I called into customer service this morning, I got routed to a call centre in India. And fine, I get it, that’s what a lot of companies are doing. But I really could not understand what he was saying, and that’s a problem when it has to do with my money. He made me go through 10 or 11 questions to update my Investor Profile – which would be okay except that they make me go through those exact profile questions every single time I call in. It is a long process. And when I asked him to complete my transaction, he refused! He said I wasn’t allowed to do it online, and he wouldn’t do it for me. He said the mutual fund was too risky.

I asked him if there was something I need to do in order to have the freedom to buy whatever mutual funds I want to buy, and he said no. He said every single time I buy something that is high risk, I will get a decline e-mail and have to call into customer service, where they will also decline the transaction. This has happened 3 times in the past year. Do I need to switch over to a TD Waterhouse account? Why aren’t I able to spend my money on what I want?

Maybe I should make an appointment with a financial advisor.

ING Direct vs. PC Financial: battle of the chequing accounts

So I am test driving ING Direct’s new chequing account service.

I have been a loyal PC Financial customer for the past 4 years, but one thing has always irked me: having to pay for e-mail money transfers. ESPECIALLY because you can’t even transfer money between PC chequing accounts. Meaning, I can’t transfer money from my chequing account to BF’s account without having to pay a $1.50 e-mail money transfer fee. And they only introduced this whole e-mail money transfer thing not too long ago. It’s really inconvenient for couples and families who like to move money around.

Bring on ING Direct’s chequing account, which offers free e-mail money transfers (finally). The cons of ING are that the bank machines aren’t as convenient as PC Financial, and you have to pay to buy cheques (the first 20 are free). Which isn’t that big of a deal, because who uses cheques much these days anyway?

Both chequing accounts have their pros and cons. So I’ll spend the next few months seeing what I like the best. My income will still be direct deposited into my PC Financial account though, until I can find a reason to switch over.

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