There’s been one huge downfall in this entire big move. The far too many battles we’ve had to deal with concerning ‘big’ companies. I’m sharing about this here because we’re really beginning to wonder if this is a ‘normal’ thing, or if we’ve just got some kind of fluke bad ‘luck’ going on!
First, and biggest, a bank (RBC) gave us the run around, for days! They totally messed up our personal bank account by taking a pay out on my vehicle loan, after it had already been paid out through a line of credit. We had to open a line of credit to afford this whole move. Since we’re not made of money, we didn’t have excess amounts of cash floating around to afford moving our family, belongings, horses and other animals halfway across the country, plus the cost of getting our property ready to be rented out. We don’t exactly like going into debt to make this move, but the alternative of living apart any longer after the past 15 months of hardships just wasn’t appealing to any of us any longer. However, new carpet, painting, some plumbing work, etc. all costs money, and of course added up to a lot MORE money then expected. Knowing we’d have a large monthly mortgage on the Island until the property is rented out, PLUS paying rent in the prairies, on top of all these extra costs, meant we’d need to cut down our monthly bills as much as humanly possible.
Thus paying out the vehicles. These were our biggest expenses besides our home. But this isn’t about how to handle finances, this is about battling big business.
We paid out our vehicles with our low interest line of credit. Both vehicle loans were through different banks. Mine was through RBC. After the innitial pay out, they tried to take out a monthly payment. Since they had already been paid for the entire loan, we had our bank reverse the monthly payment back into our account.
I guess RBC didn’t like that or something, they proceeded to take a second FULL payout for MY vehicle directly from our personal account! They had already BEEN paid out, in FULL! Meaning they got paid twice, for one loan! Twice for a FULL vehicle loan. That’s no small potatoes!!!
How does a bank have the authority to take over 20 grand from someone’s personal account, with the touch of a button, overnight, just like that?! We are STILL scratching our heads on that one. If “I” took over 20 grand from someone without permission, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that would be called ‘theft’, and there would be some sort of penalty. If it were a mistake I made, as a human being, I’d have remorse and want to make it right. However, it seems big business are not humans, and have no remorse, nor feel any need to make it right.
That’s the short version of it all. Suffice it to say, we spent MANY hours on the phone trying to get back over 20 grand that we did not even have, that was taken from our account. This put our account WAY overdrawn. To say this mistake messed up our banking and bill payments would be an understatement!
To say the bank customer service was helpful in fixing it at all, would also be a HUGE understatement. How we could be treated with anything but humbleness for such a HUGE mistake is beyond me! NO one was willing to take responsibility for the error. Finally they had to admit that no they had NOT been authorized to go into our account and take out funds exceeding a regular monthly payment.
But, then we’d still get a “But…”
Always trying to cover their own a$$! Finally taking responsibility, but then turning around and adding a “but…” is NOT taking responsibility and only adds to the frustration!
We just wanted the bank to admit what they did was wrong, and put the d@mn funds BACK into our account RIGHT NOW so we could get it all fixed and get our bills paid! Even once they admitted it, it still took 24 hours for the funds to be put back into our account! Another 24 hours of bills going unpaid, or worse, NSF.
The entire thing was so upsetting, at an already trying time (especially financially!) that we just about pulled our hair out through the whole ordeal! My husband and I had barely any waking hours together since he was working nights, and those few hours each day were spent on the phone with one person after another who was “unable” to help.
Finally, we dealt with the local branch for RBC, and it was fixed within 24 hours. We were very grateful for the local small town bank, actual humans. However, we’re still left to clean up the mess. All these phone reps are being paid to speak to us on the phone. However, we are not. We are simply having our time wasted over and over. Then having to deal with all the bills, cheques, etc. that had to come out during that time. I had to pay our power bill using my youngest daughter’s bank account because I had no access to our own funds! Any automatic bills though, I had no way to pay them! They would simply NSF! It was all SO frustrating!
Next battle that we’re STILL battling, is my phone service. It doesn’t work out here. We’re too rural. Trying to get my cell phone provider to let us cancel my phone without the cost of a 300$ cancellation fee is causing many, MANY, more hours on the phone! And every single time, they give us the exact same run around. They say that according to our postal code, we should have service. We keep telling them we live RURAL, our postal code is from our MAILING address, a PO Box which is IN TOWN. We do not LIVE in town. We live 35 minutes away from our mailing address IN TOWN. We have that mailing address because it’s near my husband’s work, which is IN TOWN.
But they won’t listen. They LITERALLY will not listen. We ask them to listen, and to stop interrupting us, and stop offering us a lower grade service, etc. etc. when none of it is working, but they REFUSE to listen. In the meantime, I’m without a cell phone that works. It’s “ok” right now because I can’t drive due to some weird vertigo issues. But what about when I can drive again and need a phone in case of emergency?
I tried to ask what will happen if I have car trouble on the side of the road while driving with my children, and can’t call for help because I have no service? Did they care? No, they still would not listen.
One rep listened, checked the exact location in which WE LIVE and the surrounding area, and agreed that no, there is no phone service there. Yet, some how, this conversation with technical support is not on record anywhere. NONE of our phone calls are showing up on record, so we have to go through the WHOLE argument every single time we call again. They refuse to cancel unless tech support confirms we have no service. When the confirmed we had no service, the ‘note’ on our account was not recorded?!
Over, and over, and over it goes. Around and around. They talk in circles, each one saying the exact same thing. We’ve been put on hold, and then HUNG UP ON, so many times I’ve lost count. And we’re pretty d@mn tired of it. Such a HUGE waste of time. Time we’ll never get back, yet to get this resolved, we have to spend that time on the phone. They get frustrated with us because we are frustrated, yet they don’t stop to LISTEN to us say that we’ve called SEVEN TIMES, just yesterday alone! Each phone call lasting at least 25 minutes, some as long as an hour and a half, each time ending with, “You have service in your postal code area, so there’s nothing we can do.”
It’s been very frustrating, to say the least. This isn’t how we wanted to spend our first week on the prairies. Our first week finally together as a family again after being apart for 8 months!
Our next step with the phone company (Rogers) will be to find an IN STORE place to visit face to face. If we don’t receive some kind of customer service through that next step, I’m not sure what we’ll do.
The company says if they can’t provide the service, they can’t charge us, yet they are not sticking by their own policy.
Is this usual business practice these days, banks taking money they are not authorized to take, and phone companies not standing by their word?
And lastly, a major inconvenience without any real apology, our movers. They were supposed to arrive on Wed. the 18th. The company had explained to me weeks before that they could not get to Sask. as quickly as we could, so to pick up our stuff the day we move, and have it here by the time we got here, would be impossible. So we discussed alternative dates and settled on picking the stuff up on the Friday, the 13th, to give them a 3 day head start with the understanding it would arrive a day or two after us, by Wed. the 18th at the latest. This would mean being without our beds, and other things, but we’d make due for the 5 days. You do what you have to do, right?!
On the Wed. that they were supposed to arrive, we needed to take the uhaul to Saskatoon (2 hours away) to drop it off. We decided since the movers were arriving that day, we’d load up on the grocery items at Costco that we’d need for the next while and stick it all in the freezers after we got home. Our son Joshua (18) and his friend Steven (21) would be home to help the movers if they got there before we got home.
We bought enough meats, breads, and frozen veggies etc. to last us (all 7 of us!) for a few weeks until we’d be able to get into the big city again.
Unfortunately, the movers did not arrive on Wed. and they couldn’t tell us when they WOULD arrive. I squeezed as much meat as I could into our small fridge freezer, and loaded the cooler with as much as I could fit in there.
As days passed, I tried to cook up and use up as much of the meats as possible. We had a nice big roast dinner the first night, chicken breasts the next. Then the 2 bigger dogs thought they’d help us out by getting into the cooler in the garage and eating 6 large chicken breasts, so that gave us a bit less meat to worry about!
We continually rotated cooler ice blocks but I had no where to store all our breads etc.. By Saturday our entire bulk package of english muffins molded and had to be thrown out. Everything was being wasted. Boy, I sure missed having our hens! They don’t mind molding english muffins! I really hate wasting food!
Finally, Saturday late afternoon I get a call that the movers will be there the next day. They had our things for TEN days. The drive is a 19-22 hour drive. Not a TEN DAY drive. Again, we were so frustrated with the lack of communication, and lack of apology of any kind. We had explained we were sleeping on the floor, and our food was going bad, on Thursday already. Yet we were told over and over there was nothing they could do, one story after another.
But now we have our things finally, and that’s behind us. I think moving companies know once you have your stuff, your calls stop and there’s no need to go back and apologize to the customer after the fact. Just take the money, and carry on. We don’t even have the energy to complain about the busted up bird cage, or the window clip they broke at our previous home, or anything else for that matter. We’re becoming worn out by it all. We’re also wondering how on earth we’re ever going to financially recover from all these messes. Just trying to keep our heads up, and our attitudes right! It’s not been easy!
I know this is a ‘downer’ post, and not much help to anyone, but we are wondering if we’re alone in this bad customer service? Or, has this become the new ‘norm’? We want to hear from others. This is my personal place to write, chat, and even vent. But if you want a place to vent about your experiences with big companies, vent away. Just keep in mind this is a family friendly blog, and “damn” is about as un-polite as I’d like to see here. Comments are also monitored and have to be approved before they are posted. I’m not normally one to encourage a whole lot of ‘venting’, but I also believe if everyone always keeps quiet about poor service, nothing ever changes either. Or rather, it changes, but the wrong way!
As a business owner, this has caused me to stop and ponder a lot too, about my own customer service. It’s caused me to want to do even better. Right now, being “closed”, is almost driving me nuts! I know I can NOT go into my business email, there’s just TOO much to get done right now on the homestead front before I even THINK of spending mental energy on business, but it’s SO hard to think of customers possibly emailing me and me not replying right away like I always try to do! But I need this time. My family needs me for this time. When I get back at it though, you can bet I’ll be working just as hard as before to provide my customers with real HUMAN quality customer service!