I had a bit of an odd experience with PC Financial this year. Frustrated by this, I wrote them to describe my experience.
September 3, 2007
From: Paul Schreiber
xxxx xxxx xxxxx
San Francisco CA 94107
To: Peter Kalen
Senior Vice President MasterCard
President’s Choice Bank
439 King Street West, 5th Floor
Toronto ON M5V 1K4
Dear Mr. Kalen,
I have been a customer of President’s Choice Financial and President’s Choice Financial MasterCard for many years. In fact, I believe I was one of the earliest customers of President’s Choice Financial MasterCard.
I was highly satisfied with my PC MasterCard—until this year.
Here is a timeline of events:
On 1 January 2007, Greg Ramier (“General Manager, Credit Card Programs”) wrote. His letter stated that I needed to make a purchase by 15 February 2007 or my MasterCard would not be renewed.
On 29 January 2007, I made a purchase of CAD $14.28.
On 05 March 2007, I paid off the balance on the card (via an electronic transfer from my PC Financial bank account).
On 30 March 2007, the “Credit Department” wrote to inform me you would not be issuing me a new card as I reside outside of Canada.
On 7 April 2007, I received an email from [email protected] stating “Your PC MasterCard payment is due.” This was incorrectâ€”no payment was due, as I had paid the full balance. The web site confirmed this. No statement was mailed to me.
On 25 July 2007, I received an email stating “Your PC MasterCard statement is available.” However, I was unable to log in to the PC MasterCard web site, as you had disabled my online account after my card expired.
Shortly afterward, I called customer service. I was told that my account had a credit balance of $59.10. I asked how this was possible, since (a) the account had been closed since April and (b) I had not made any such payment.
The representative did not know the source of the payment, but promised to investigate it and inform me of the results of the investigation. I expressed concern that the transaction could be reversed in the future. The representative did not share my concern.
She told me I could have a check mailed to me or have the funds electronically deposited in to my account. As I am out of the country, I chose to have the funds deposited electronically. I gave her the institution (326), transit (30800) and account (xxxxxxxx) numbers for my President’s Choice Financial bank account.
On 8 August 2007, I received an email stating “Your PC MasterCard payment is due.” Concerned about the possibility of unauthorized activity on my account and the lack of a deposit in to my checking account, I called again. The representative told me that no payment was due, and that a check had been mailed to me. This email was to let me know that had I received a statement, it would have shown the payment you made to me of $59.10.
On approximately 17 August 2007, I received your letter dated 7 August 2007 (a copy of which is enclosed) and check (copy also enclosed) for $59.10. Note that my name is spelled incorrectly on the check.
In mid-August 2007, someone from PC MasterCard (I believe from the “investigations” group) telephoned me. She informed me that the investigation had found that the payment of $59.10 had come from the same source as my earlier payments.
I explained to her that unless she used a very broad definition of source (“Canada” or “some bank somewhere”), this was incorrect. I had not made the payment myself, and verified this against the transaction history in my PC Financial checking and savings accounts. In fact, the balance in both accounts in June 2007 was significantly less than $59, meaning I could not have made the payment.
The representative promised further investigate the source of the payment and get back to me. As of 3 September 2007, I have not received any further communication from PC MasterCard regarding this investigation.
On 25 August 2007, I received an email stating “Your PC MasterCard statement is available.” Once again, unable to log in to the web site, I called customer service. The representative confirmed that no payment was due, and I had a zero balance. The representative expected this to be the last statement I would receive.
On approximately 27 August 2007, I mailed the check back to President’s Choice Financial Bank for deposit in my account.
Dealing with this has been frustrating and time-consuming, especially given the small sum of money involved.
I have a series of recommendations which will prevent this type of problem from recurring:
- Do not send letters asking people to keep their accounts active if you will close the account regardless of whether or not the transaction is made.
- Allow people residing outside of Canada to maintain their accounts. CitiBank Canada does this, so it must be legally allowed.
- When you close someone’s account, do not terminate their access to the PC MasterCard web site.
- Do not allow payments to be made on closed accounts with zero balances.
- Respect people’s requests for payment delivery methods.
- Do not send checks in Canadian funds to people outside of Canada.
- Spell people’s names correctly.
- Keep accurate records of all transactions, including the date, source and amount.
Please respond to me in writing within two weeks of receipt of this letter. If, in addition to your written response, you would like to discuss my experience with me, I would be more than happy to speak with you. My telephone number is xxx-xxx-xxxx.