CIBC – More Proof that Big Banks Don’t Give a Rat’s Ass About Their Regular Customers

I’ve been banking with Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) since 1968. Why? They were the closest branch to my house when I was a kid in St Boniface, Manitoba. Throughout the decades, the service in branches has been excellent. However, on the U of A campus where I work, it’s gone from good to poor to SBT: Sucks Big Time.

To wit: 1) many years ago: CIBC shuts down its campus branch and moves it five blocks off campus; 2) shortly thereafter: CIBC removes its two Instant Tellers from the Student Union Bldg; 3) sometime later: CIBC removes one of its two Instant Tellers from the entrance to my bldg (both heavily used); 4) this morning: CIBC removes the other, very heavily used Instant Teller for reasons unknown. This is a bank machine that has a long lineup most times during the day. It’s now boarded up with a hand written note advising customers to call a number and complain – duh. My first e-mail of complaint to the imaginary customer service suits is below. My advise: don’t bank with them if you haven’t. Now it’s time for me to consider my alternatives. What’s sad is that the service I get in my branch is penultimate – the people there genuinely seem to care about their small change customers like me. But the Suits must think differently – I guess students, the bulk of the users of machines like the ones outside my library, aren’t worth their time.

Here’s the text of my e-mail to the faceless wonders at CIBC:

“Hello. My name is Randy Reichardt, I have been a CIBC customer since 1968. I work in the Cameron Library at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Until this morning, there was a CIBC Instant Teller outside the entrance to the library. It was HEAVILY used. Most times during the day the lineup would be 10 deep. For years there were two machines there to handle the load. Then a few years ago, CIBC removed one of them much to our (students and staff) displeasure.

This morning, the other machine was removed. We are all stunned and angry. Please note this as a protest and a plea to have the machine returned. Please don’t quote me user statistics – I work here, I see the machine 10 times a day, it is always busy during term.

CIBC’s action is incredibly frustrating for its users here. This is the antithesis of customer service. It is customer betrayal.

CIBC seems to have it in for the University of Alberta:

1) First, the branch that was in our students union bldg was closed and relocated many blocks away from campus
2) The CIBC Instant Tellers from the same bldg were removed sometime later in the 90s.
3) One of the two CIBC Instant Tellers was removed from outside the entrance to my bldg a few years ago
4) Today, the other one is removed.

Please explain to me how this is improved customer service. Really, it sucks big time.

Thanks for nothing. I must give serious consideration to moving my accounts at a later date. This is a shame, because the staff, especially Tina, Chantel and Yvonne, at the College Plaza Branch, #09069, provide fantastic customer service. How sad that the opposite is what we are seeing here at the U of Alberta, with a machine that is the most heavily used I have ever seen.

What were you people thinking?

I have a small, modest personal web site which includes a weblog. Please feel free to read my latest entry regarding CIBC’s customer service:

http://www.podbaydoor.com/archives/000071.html#000071

Sincerely, Randy Reichardt.”

21 Responses to “CIBC – More Proof that Big Banks Don’t Give a Rat’s Ass About Their Regular Customers”

  1. kelly Says:

    So are you saying that the machine in the breezeway from CAB to the Library is gone, now, too?

    The one in HUB eats cards. Be wary!

  2. randy Says:

    That’s what I’m saying, Kel. It sucks, it’s bullshit, it’s all about maximizing their profits. They don’t give, like I said, a rat’s ass about convenience for their users.

  3. Stephen Abram Says:

    Randy:

    It’s more evil (eviller?) than you think. CIBC’s own machines’ fees are regulated under the Bank Act. Therefore they have set up a separate company as an unregulated company. See the evil yet. You pay every time you use a CIBC machine. When they put their ‘private’ ATM’s on campus you and students will be paying a special transaction fee of 1-2$ and ON TOP OF the CIBC fee! And the Feds and the Finance and Banking Comittee in Ottawa are letting them get away with this!! You’ll see – the private cm[pany can pay the University rent for the space so the U of A will be in collusion with the private affiliat/subsidiary of CIBC or another one of the big 5 banks. Watch and wonder at the evil plan! It’s happened all over Toronto to the mall ATM’s where the Malls started charging rent to the ATM’s and the Big 5 ATM’s were replaced by these duoble-billing fake-private ones. Don’t say you weren’t warned! They want your complaints to use in their negotiations with U of A to apply pressure . . . reduce the rent, share the profits, etc. Check out the U of A council – Who’s the bank rep?

  4. zuchris Says:

    Ah yes, another favorite blog topic of mine: bitching about the Big Banks. I’m with you Randy – CIBC does seem to do its share of sticking it to its customers. I’ve recently done some research into getting a small business account with the various Big Banks and needless to say, I did not choose CIBC due to their higher service charges, friend’s past experiences (like your own) with them, and to boot, my own lawyer said that many of his (small business) clients have been unhappy with CIBC as well. In the end, I went back to the bank I’ve been dealing with for my personal needs: TD Canada Trust (which, incidentally, was better I think when it was just the TD bank).

    Please let us know what response you get from this letter. I hope they realise how much power something like this on a blog has. They’d be stupid to ignore your letter.

  5. randy Says:

    Wow. Stephen, I wasn’t aware of what you said. That is so frightening. I’ve always said that the transaction fee charged to your account when you use another bank machine rather than your own (i.e., instead of CIBC I use Royal) was bogus. I mean, it’s all the same damn network. It’s a false charge. But I wasn’t aware that the banks factor in their costs of maintaining the machines into our user fees. Disgusting.

    Zuchris, I’ve heard that TD Canada Trust has some respect for their customers. Maybe it’s time to cheque – er – check them out.

    Overall, the action of removing the machine from our area has caused hundreds, if not thousands of regular users on campus a considerable convenience. Here’s what we’ve learned. The three reasons for removing that machine:

    1) not enough transaction traffic (what the f*ck? – the lineup is often 10 deep)
    2) the cost of maintaining the machine
    3) something about Bank of Montreal having more exclusive rights to be on our campus. Er, then why are there Royal, Scotia, and CIBC machines on our campus?

    It’s so frigging lame. Once we had six machines on the main campus, now there is one.

  6. Murph Says:

    Put up some signs, tell people where to write to bitch. And by all means, advertise the BS about private machines that Stephen says; that would make for good PR for the idiots. Me, I dropped CIBC many many years ago, after one too many diddles.

  7. jennifer Says:

    All big banks suck. All of them.

  8. Yvon Lebel Says:

    I’ve just heard at the coffee shop a rumor that the CIBC’s waiving of monthly fees that occurs when a minimum is kept is being modified. The minimum is going from $1000 to $5000. In looking to confirm this I found this site. That will make me look somewhere else and I’ve been there 35 years. I do know that they have no morals, it’s strictly where you stand in the food chain.

  9. Thomas Says:

    Sheesh, the big banks do suck, I bank with smaller banks where they have more personal service and friendlier staff. Ive banked witht the National Bank Of Canada for years and not a single fee,( only $2.25 for Internet and Telephone banking per month) My Interac and Foreign withdrawal fees were waived, ATM fees, Direct Payment, everything was waived! I got screw by RBC, I was charged $55 for transactions on a account that had free transactions( my sons account) they fixed it , but this kept happening, we closed the account and moved it to the NBC. Its been nice with the National Bank, smaller banks are better!
    Thomas,
    Montreal

  10. Donna Says:

    SOMETHING needs to be done…a class action something….I have been royally screwed over the last few years at the Bank of Montreal. Have you read their newest “Public Accountability Statement”? http://www2.bmo.com/content/0,1263,divId-7_langId-1_navCode-3680,00.html
    It’s a laugh and who knows how much they spent getting that done up. Could have saved hundreds of “small busineses the BMO supports” from the suffering they inflict daily.

  11. Anne Says:

    I agree with all of your comments. Totally justified!! I only deal with CIBC because I am forced to, unfortunately I am one of their many underpaid and under appreciated employees. So, if you think banking with them SUCKS, you should try working for them!! As far as I can tell, all big Banks SUCK and are only intersted in the profit!! Good luck to all!!

  12. Stacey Says:

    I almost totally disagree with most of your comments. I too work at CIBC but I feel very appreciated and paid quite well. I am a customer service representative, and I feel that I give good customer service. I think that there are few things that need to be cleared up. For the waiving of monthly fees the minimum balance has been moved up from $1000 to $1500. I personally don’t believe that there should be discounts for people with more money in their accounts because they are generally the ones who can afford to pay the user fees and I have stated my concerns to my superiors about this.

    I think that as with every company no one will be totally satisfied with the service that they receive but be assured that CIBC has heard your complaints, our main focus is NOT on profits but on CUSTOMER SERVICE, believe me we have heard what people are saying and are trying to make ourselves better because of it. Thank you for reading this and I hope you all have a wonderful life. Stacey

  13. randy Says:

    Stacey: I appreciate your comments, and do not disagree with your point of view. I have always received good customer service from CIBC, that is not my complaint. I am beyond weary and bone dead tired of the attitude of the Big CIBC – the suits in Toronto that make decisions based on profit, and on what’s good for CIBC’s shareholders.

    Where I live, CIBC recently shut down four local branches, consolidating them into one large branch that is difficult for anyone without vehicles to reach, especially seniors. The only branch left open in this area was the one servicing the wealthiest customer base.

    Where I work, CIBC has withdrawn five of its six Instant Tellers over the years, despite howls of protests from hundreds of students and staff at my university. All their complaints and concerns fell on corporate deaf ears. What replaced the ITs were generic money machines which charge $1.50 per withdrawal, and (apparently) are owned by a company under CIBC auspices. The result: another cash grab by CIBC, in this instance at the expense of starving students.

    When you say you are a good Customer Service Representative, I believe you. If I worked for CIBC, I would give them my best. As for me, I’m done with CIBC after 36 years. I recently opened three accounts elsewhere that have no service charges. When I need US cash, I will use a broker in the city that deals with foreign exchange. CIBC is interested in their rich, corporate clients. The raising of minimum balance requirements from $1,000 to $1,500 smacks of more corporate money grubbing.

    Banks do not care about their lunch bucket customers. It’s a reality of the 21st Century. If CIBC did care, they would drastically reduce their service charges, return accounts that generate interest, stop closing branches to increase profits, and stop pulling Instant Tellers from as many locations as they have done to date.

    Thanks for your comment on my post.

  14. Linda Says:

    I also work for CIBC and agree with Anne’s comments. After reading Stacey’s comments I can only conclude that she is either New with the company or started her New Year partying a tad early! And trust me Stacey, complain and voice your opinion til you’re blue in the face, management does NOT give a rat’s ass about the little fellows and never will. Wake up girl!!

  15. James Says:

    The CIBC is by far the worst bank I have had to deal with. I have been dealing with them since the early 90s and it just gets worse and worse. Absolutely no respect for the customer. I hate the CICBC so much I won’t even walk in the door. I tried to close my bank account over the phone, but they can’t even do that for me. I guess I will have to step in there one final time. If you have a Community Savings in your area, go there. They treat you like a human.

  16. jacob Says:

    re: stacey’s comments; anyone who thinks banks are about customer service over profit has their head so far up their ass that it will never come back. banks make billions of dollars every quarter. why? they regularly implement steadily rising bank fees, and patently ignore any complaints about it. if you call to complain, all you get is a telerep who doesn’t care, because they’re probably outsourced for even less money than you make. you will get lip service and nothing better. i have had a rent cheque bounce because my account was supposedly $0.47 short. nevermind that bouncing a cheque over a matter of 47 cents is ridiculous to the extreme [and then they charge you $35.00 NSF, and you get charged NSF fees by the person you wrote the bad cheque to – in this case, my landlord, who graciously understood the situation, and waived any NSF fee], i actually had $21 more than enough to cover the rent; but guess what? the funds were partially on hold because i had deposited via an ATM. yes, the banks have ingeniously discovered multiple ways to make technology work against us, so as to milk us for all we are worth. yay for progress!

  17. Carys Says:

    Haha! I think this is hilarious! I work for CIBC as well, and I just typed in CIBC to see what I found – lo and behold – I found a ton of sites with people bitching about CIBC! Well, what I have to say is not new news – CIBC sucks! The only reason I work there, is because I need to eat, and pay the bills. Everytime CIBC is in the news – Everyone has heard about the idiots that can’t work a fax machine – I can only hang my head in shame, that I work for a joke of a company.

    I could seriously go on for hours about how horrible of an employer CIBC is.. The pay is crap, and how the customers are treated is even worse! The higher ups have finally realized how much they have f*ked up in the last few years, and are trying to switch the focus back to customer oriented. Oh, and all the while, raising the targets for sales even more!

    I have a personal story for everybody.. Listen to this, I doubt anyone will believe it..

    I got into an argument with my boss last year about vacation. He was being a jacka**, and wouldn’t let me go. I had booked the hotel, thinking that it wouldn’t be a problem, but he was being a f**ker, so we fought, and I ended up not going, and losing my deposit for the hotel.

    Get this..

    I try to complain to HIS boss, about how he was being a jackass, but because he is a salesperson that was meeting and EXCEEDING his targets, HIS boss didn’t believe me. The two of them then got together and concocted some assinine story about how I wasn’t doing my job, etc. First they offered me 4 weeks pay to quit, and when I said that I wanted to stay, they told me that if I didn’t get mutual fund licensed in 3 months, I would be canned.

    Well, you know what? I said f**k them, and I started putting my nose up everyone’s asses, acting like an angel from heaven, and wrote my IFIC and got licenced. I worked hard to get where I was and I wasn’t going to let a couple of chumps beat me like that! Besides – I had a little secret..

    A couple of months later I dropped the bombshell.. My boss wasn’t so innocent after all.. I wont tell you all the details, but lets just say I had some incriminating evidence.. After the fire under my ass had cooled, I shed the light on what was going down, and that f**ker got fired a month later. I must say, that is my proudest and best acheivement – don’t f**k with me, because I am an elephant, I remember everything, and it WILL come back to bite you in the ass! And for those of you who work for CIBC – That jackass rated me a 3 OUT OF 10, and because of that bullcrap, I didn’t get a year end bonus OR a raise. Funny, now, 3 months later, with a new boss – I have been nominated as an acheiver. Funny how I was such a terrible worker before, and wow, I must have suddenly become enlightened, to be good enought to be an achiever.. Or maybe I NEVER WAS A PROBLEM??

    I hate these stupid politics, and honestly, I can’t wait to retire – I only have 40 more years to go.

  18. blogdriverswaltz.com Says:

    Back online

    I’m back to my Shaw internet connection after a horrendous and painful experience with Telus (something akin to Randy’s

  19. Jill Says:

    Hi –

    For all of you who work at CIBC – it sounds like it is not a great place to work! I work for a bank in the Caribbean, who has just been bought by CIBC. How can I expect to be treated? Do they focus on their employees? Do they listen to their employees? Please Help me – prepare for “The Big Bad Wolf”!

  20. Ivan Says:

    Thank you Carys..you just summed up all the bull**** that goes on at CIBC/ and for Jill in the Caribbean, my answer to your question is NO. They do not give a damn about your wellbeing…ask anyone at CIBC Visa and I guarantee you will find there are managers that are total bit**es in heat for power. Even with the new processes that are geared to customers, the whole processes are not going to make our customers feel any better..Good luck!
    For all those CIBC customers who think that they belong…..sorry..you may soon feel like a number

  21. Michael Rashotte Says:

    I agree with everything that you have said, but I also find it very funny about all the things being said about the Bank in the media.

    Their have been alot of changes in the executive suite, which are supposed to blind customers and investors to what’s really going on. The amount of compensation paid over the last few years to the “cowboys” have probably hit over $1 Bn. And for what? – another ENRON perhaps.

    It’s funny they all got rich by making things worse. And the Bank could be facing a $3 Bn to who knows what writedown. Funny who benefits.

    By the way I enjoyed your emails.

    By the way, did you hear the latest one. Apparently the big sign on the Big CIBC building fell off on Wedneday afternoon (i.e Jan 10, 2008) and hit Bay Street closing traffic and street car lines during the busy rush hour. No reports on whether any one was hurt – it might be in the paper tomorrow.

    You know what they say “CIBC is the most likely to hit its head on door way on the way into some event. LOL

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