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CIBC and Customer Service – A Quaint, Fading Notion

:: Big Banks. They exist for one thing – to increase the profits of their shareholders. I’ve complained about the continuing decline in CIBC’s customer service before on this site. Recently, I received the latest “Changes to Personal Deposit Accounts and Services” flyer, which lists, among other items, the usual upcoming fee hikes. It includes gems such as:

  • Waive Account: CIBC will waive your monthly fee and transactions fees if you maintain a minimum monthly balance of $1,500 – previously it was $1,000.
  • Want to withdraw cash outside of Canada? Go ahead, but CIBC will charge you an administration fee of 2.5% of the amount withdrawn, converted to Canadian currency.

The flyer notes that “At CIBC we are committed to providing you with a full range of products and services that help you do the things that matter.” What that doesn’t seem to include is saving money. The type of savings account I had for 20+years, that actually earned interest, was shut down by CIBC last year.

A few days later, Keith sent a note advising that CIBC is closing five of its southside branches, and consolidating their operations at one large, flagship building in a high traffic area. From the 09 April 2004 Edmonton Journal:

This move “reflects changes in the way customers do their banking and their other shopping,” said CIBC communications director Rob McLeod.

“We are moving out of small shopping areas where the potential for growth is limited, into areas where the customers already do much of their shopping.”

It is interesting to note that the one branch on the southside not being closed is in Riverbend, one of the wealthiest areas of Edmonton. Coincidence? According to McLeod, similar flagship branches were opened in eastern Canada, with a very positive response. But I think Keith has it right when he says:

Gone will be the concept of neighborhood banking or staff that you even recognize when you transact your business…I can’t even laugh anymore when I hear talk about how these changes are improving “customer service”.

Long gone indeed.

6 Responses to “CIBC and Customer Service – A Quaint, Fading Notion”

  1. Garth Danielson Says:

    Here the banks have had simular cost saving changes and fees for most everything. There were no big national banks until the last few years. It’s all small regional chains. One of the local banks I was at started charging a service fee for the use of interior tellers. Needless to say I was on to some other bank. Now I get free checking with no minimum balance (no interest either) but my bank is open seven days a week and they are found at most of the Cub Food stores (a local large grocery chain).

  2. kelly Says:

    Yeah, I bank with President’s Choice and not only do I do most of my banking online, if I ever need help, the bank is open the same hours as Superstore which is seven days a week. I can use any CIBC machine for free in the city and that is pretty convienent. In our area alone, there is one at that 7-11 going into Twin Brooks, and any of the Mac stores.

    I’ve had no problems thus far, and I’ve been with them 2 years now.

  3. Brandon Says:

    Wells Fargo here in the States did the same thing as they were buying up all the smaller banks around. It think it was when they started charging if I wanted my canceled checks back, charging to for the privilege of using my ATM for purchases at the grocery, and charging when you’d call to tell them of their accounting mistakes on my statement that I finally left them for a smaller bank.

    Sadly, I think it will get to the point that each country will have three or four big banks. And then there will be one or two big global banks like Citibank that you just can’t escape from.

  4. Tim Says:

    I have a CIBC VISA and had an unauthorized transaction on it about 6 months ago. Reported it and they said they would take care of it. Each time when I phone to ask when its coming off they tell me its under investigation. Funny thing is they already sent me a copy of the tranaction. I was in Vancouver on a Sunday checking out of a hotel, the same day I flew to Toronto and checked into another hotel. On Monday someone checked out of Vancouver and signed HIS signature to his checkout bill which was billed to my card!!
    How can someone sign a different signature on his own card and when its charged to another card they need to investigate for 6 months. Then they send me the photocopy of this gentlemen’s information and signature on his checkout bill. Yesterday when I phoned them they said that I needed to fax a written statement that this transaction was not mine. What the hell is wrong with these people? Their security is a joke, with little or no brain to compensate. Needless to say I can’t have a card with security this weak.
    My advice, watch your CIBC card transactions and HOPE you don’t get any bad charges. They don’t seem to come off.

  5. Mark Roberts Says:

    CIBC? – Service?

    Didn’t you learn in chemistry that oil and water DON’T MIX!

  6. David Says:

    people, nobody has to “investigate” any charges beyond 30 days…read your cardholder agreement…you have 30 days…not a CIBC ruke but a VISA Canada rule….

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