The wonderful customer service of TD Canada Trust

I am extremely angry with TD's quality of service. Let me describe my past few days.

What happened

On Wednesday, I deposited some paychecks from my employer, and then bought a new phone for $450. It's unusual of me to make large purchases like that, but I'd been trying to decide on a phone to buy for several weeks, and I figured I needed to stop anxiously comparing models and just pick one. So, I did. I was happy with my purchase, and blissfully unaware of the hell that was to come.

The next morning on my way to work I stopped at a Tim Hortons to buy breakfast, but, my card was declined. Oh no! After I got to work, I got permission from my manager to pop out of the office to see the bank about my card. I went in when they opened at 10:00, and they told me that my card was locked because the phone I bought had been flagged as a potentially fraudulent transaction, and that I could either call a support line or do it in person if I had enough time. I didn't have time as I was supposed to be at work, so I thanked them and was on my way. I chatted to my friends about the inconvenience, and some said they'd be very upset if their bank did that, but I said I was understanding: they were just trying to prevent me from having all my money stolen by a fraudster. It was a false positive yes, but it's better a false positive than a false negative. As long as it's easy to clear and doesn't happen very often, I don't mind. Oh, how clueless I was.

After work I went home to pick up my ID, then went to my local branch to sort things out. To my dismay, the teller informed me that I couldn't have it fixed there, and instead I am REQUIRED to call the support line. This irritates me a lot more, but I figure it'll be over soon enough, so whatever. I call the line, and after being on hold for about an hour (cumulative), the representative tells me, in plain English, verbatim: "Your card should be unlocked now". He told me to have a nice day, I thanked him for his time, and hung up. A painful experience, but at least it's over.

...Or so I thought. Friday morning I go to Tim Hortons again to buy breakfast. My card is declined, yet again. I am now very angry; was I not told that my card had been unlocked? Yet again I go to the branch nearest to my work, and they tell me that I can either call the line again or fix it in person, but that I'd need ID to do it in person. I didn't have ID, so I couldn't have them fix it, but I expected this; it would obviously be very poor security to let someone unlock the card using only the possibly compromised card. I spend my lunch break researching other banks, in anticipation of a struggle. I'm not disappointed.

Returning to my local branch with ID after work, they waste about 20 minutes of my time, again insisting that they cannot do anything to unlock my card and that I will have to call the support line again. After pointing out the fact that I had not eaten since last night because I could not pay for food or groceries or bills, and that I wouldn't even be able to get to work if my transit card ran out of funds, they agreed to at least let me withdraw some cash. I withdraw $100 and return home to call the support line. After being put on hold for another hour, and berated with questions that I had already answered when I called yesterday, the representative finally returns, only to inform me that they have permanently cancelled my card, and I will have to wait for a new one, which has been sent in the mail. They ask me for details to set up the new card, but I say "That's fine, I won't be needing a new card, I will be switching banks". The representative hangs up on me without another word.

Once again at my local branch, I request to withdraw all my funds. The teller is naturally worried about my terrible experience, and assures me that if I give her a chance she can fix my card and there will be no need for me to switch banks. After wasting another 20 minutes, and consulting with her supervisor, she returns and informs me that not only can she not fix my card, she will not allow me to withdraw any cash either. I am EXTREMELY angry at this point. I take my ID and leave, but then get so angry that I return, channeling my inner Karen and demanding to speak to the manager. And, finally, shit gets done.

After waiting a few minutes, the manager appeared and took me into a private room. He accepted my passport as ID, took me through my security questions, and so on, in order to verify my identity. He then let me update all my account details, and issued me a new card, right there on the spot, rather than making me wait for it to arrive in the mail. Oh, by the way, that card that had been sent in the mail? It had been sent to my old address, in OTTAWA. So it would never even have gotten to me. Fantastic. Of course, he also tried making plenty of small talk, presumably to calm me down and try to convince me not to switch banks right then and there. Ultimately, after two hours wasted on the phone and SIX visits to the bank, I finally received a working debit card.

In retrospect

I do not blame the tellers for being unable to fix my card themselves; they claimed to me that the system did not give them access to do so, and I believe them. However. What they COULD have done, clearly, is call the manager, who is apparently quite capable of fixing this problem. When they realized they couldn't do it themselves, they should have said "Oh, sorry, I can't do that, but give me a moment and I'll call over the manager who can". Instead they told me that it was impossible to do and sent me on a wild goose chase through a terrible support line.

I will also note that the branch nearest to my workplace was FAR more competent than the branch nearest to my home. Although the employees there seemed newer and less experienced, they also understood the significance of my predicament, and told me that they could at least do SOMETHING. One teller at that branch told me they could do it themselves if I had enough time, and another elaborated further saying they had an internal line which they could use to skip the long queue on the public support line, and to spare me the inconvenience of having to do it myself. Ultimately they couldn't help me, but that was because I didn't have any ID with me, which is of course no fault of their own.

My local branch, however, refused to be of any help, even when provided with three forms of ID and correct answers to every security question they asked me. They initially refused to even listen to me, insisting that I call the support line, and when I later returned after having the support line fail to address any of my problems, they merely wasted 20 minutes each time before inevitably saying they couldn't do anything. At least the second teller offered to let me withdraw cash, but only after basically refusing to leave and emphasizing how large of an issue this was. The third teller refused to let me do anything. Only once I spoke to the manager did any progress happen.

The support line, as well, was extremely infuriating. Being put on hold for 30 minutes, then answering security questions and reviewing my transaction history, only to be put on hold for ANOTHER 30 minutes is bad enough. Being informed that my card has been unlocked when it really truly hasn't is even worse. Being told that my cards have been permanently cancelled and I now have to wait an unknown number of weeks for a new card to ship for me is completely unacceptable. People have food to buy, bills to pay, they cannot simply be locked out of their account for weeks while they wait for a new card. The fact that the card wasn't even going to be shipped to the right address (and they would not let me change the address it was shipped to, of course) is just adding insult to injury.

In short: Fuck TD. Their customer service has been absolutely abysmal. If you want a bank that will actually let you USE the money in your chequing account, consider using literally any other bank.