Cautionary Tale for CIBC Visa customers sold to TD Visa

In an episode of corporate gymnastics that I don’t completely understand, CIBC sold part of its Aerogold Visa business to TD Canada Trust. I happened to be in the part of the business that was sold, and so in June of this year my CIBC Visa became a TD Visa (ironically I’d switched away from TD Visa several years ago to CIBC; they just keep pulling me back in again).

As part of the transition, I received a new Visa card number, and had to switch to using TD’s online systems. Because I’m a “pay my credit card balance every month, on time” kind of person, on the day I received my new TD Visa card, I immediately registered for a “TD EasyWeb” account for the card and turned on email statement notifications so I’d be sure not to miss my first statement.

And then life went on.

Until yesterday when I went to pay for something with my new TD Visa only to have it declined.

This morning I phoned TD to find out why and I was told that there was a “non-payment hold” put on my account because I hadn’t made a payment. I replied that I hadn’t received a statement yet, despite having set up email statement notification.

It was only at this point that I learned that, sometime after I set up a new EasyWeb account for the new credit card, TD, of its own volition, merged the new Visa card into my existing EasyWeb account, attached to a line of credit and a long-dormant chequing account. This old EasyWeb account didn’t have email notification turned on, which is why I never received a statement.

The agent claimed that the only way to make all of this right was to make a payment on the account, wait 3 to 5 business days for the payment to clear, then wait a further 2 business days for the hold to be removed.

In other words, I’d be without my business credit card for a week.

Despite my protests that this would be extremely inconvenient – not only would I not be able to purchase anything online for the business, but any automatic payments associated with the account would presumably be kicked back declined as well – I was told there was no way to override the system and that I was stuck.

I hung up.

I called back.

I explained the situation again, from the start, to a second agent.

The second agent told me he would immediately remove the hold, remove the $16 in interest that had accrued because of non-payment, and that I could start using the card again immediately.

So, TD, I’m not impressed.

And if you find yourself in the same situation you may want to both check to make sure you’re email statement notifications are turned on, and, if you find agent number one unhelpful, call back and speak to agent number two or three, who may have better answers.


Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 19, 2014 - 16:43

The saga continues: I went to purchase something online today and my TD Visa card was, again, declined.

I called TD Visa and was told that, again, a hold had been placed because of non-payment. I was told, this time around, that whatever hold-releasing magic that the agent applied on Sunday was a temporary thing that allowed me to use the card for that day only, but that after that the same hold automatically snapped back into place.

I again described the situation to today’s agent and he wasn’t able to apply this one-time-use-only-magic again.

I protested.

He said the only thing he could do was, despite my having paid the entire amount owing in full already, to accept a payment from another TD account of $34.

I, under protest, accepted, and I was back in business 5 minutes later.

This was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and I’ve applied for a Credit Union MasterCard, which is something I should have done years ago.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 20, 2014 - 14:16

A sad new turn in this saga: the Credit Union MasterCard business is managed by a company called CUETS Financial which was recently acquired by TD Bank. So even if I switched to a Credit Union card, the business would still be owned by TD. I can’t win for losing.

Dan James's picture
Dan James on August 20, 2014 - 14:49

Do you know what the criteria were for CIBC keeping cardholders? CIBC kept me and I have no idea why.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 20, 2014 - 16:19

My sense from everything I read was that it was a random split down the middle.

I was happy being a CIBC customer: I’d learned their web systems and their telephone operators were always friendly and helpful. In all the years I was with them I never had an issue.

TD’s attitude appears to be “friendly, with a strong dose of ‘you know you’re lucky to be our customer, right?’”.

Isaac Gran's picture
Isaac Gran on August 20, 2014 - 15:16

I think CIBC was only allowed to keep any customers who had other banking products with CIBC.

Isaac Grant's picture
Isaac Grant on August 20, 2014 - 15:16

Also, I cannot properly spell my name. It has been so long since I commented on a blog post.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on August 20, 2014 - 16:19

And yet your beardy avatar awaits.

Robert Paterson's picture
Robert Paterson on August 20, 2014 - 17:15

I was kept by CIBC - maybe because I bank there. Kept my number too which means I do not have to contact all the online vendors - phew!

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 23, 2014 - 10:22

And it continues even further: as the result of this debacle, TD Visa sent a late-payment notice to Equifax, which adjusted my credit score accordingly. Only through a visit to my local TD Canada Trust branch, retelling the story again, providing the documentation of the issue, was this reversed. As a result, my credit score went from 670 to 743. It’s over now, I think.

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