Tuesday, January 08, 2008

PC Financial is Hassling Newly Married Women - Part 3

Read Part 1 & Part 2

Richard from PC Financial Customer Care just returned my call, and we had a very pleasant conversation. I would first like to congratulate CIBC (owner of PC Financial) for hiring a Customer Care representative with such an incredibly soothing voice. He really is perfect for the job.

Anyway, the actual conversation...

Richard explained to me that since PC Financial is a "Virtual Bank", they don't actually have "Branches". The men and women who help you set up your account at Loblaws are "Customer Service Representatives" and their little nook is simply a "sales centre". There are apparently some regulations which create a distinction between a "Banker" and a "CSR". CSRs, according to anti-terror and anti-money laundering laws, cannot simply change your account info using just a Marriage Certificate.

He spent some time going over the list of acceptable documents, trying to figure out a workaround for me. The biggest problem was A) Ontario doesn't allow Health cards as ID, and B) Ontario doesn't offer a Provincial Identification Card. All other provinces either allow Health cards as ID or offer a Provincial ID card. This means that in Ontario, you must A) Drive, or B) spend $90+ every 5 years renewing your Passport (a VERY long process with long wait times). Thankfully, there is a new Simplified Passport Renewal for adults with a valid passport, so you no longer have to bring supporting documents. You still have to pay the $90 and bring 2 certified photos... >.< Richard really wanted to help me, and sympathized with the lack of options in Ontario for Photo ID. When his Wife updated her Passport years ago, she was able to add her married name to the back page, without paying for a new Passport. I explained that that was no longer possible After exhausting the options, he offered to credit my account with the $87 I would need to update my passport. He reasoned that I'm young, newly married, and probably applying for a mortgage in the near future, so the bank will likely see a return on that money. It was in the bank's best interest to keep me happy. Although I was grateful for the offer, I asked 'what about the other newly married women?' They're going to have to go through the same hassle. He said that the Customer Care centre deals with complaints on a case-by-case basis, so he couldn't give an answer. The core problem is the fact that the CSRs at PC Financial Kiosks are not legally allowed to accept a Marriage Certificate as proof of name change without supporting ID. 'Now', I reasoned, 'I understand that PC Financial is just owned by CIBC, and we're not able to use their Bankers for banking help (deposits, transfers, etc), but would it not be possible to allow newly married women, such as myself, the ability to go to a CIBC branch, show the Bankers our Marriage Certificate, and have them change the information for PC Financial? I mean, as you just said, we're newly married, probably getting a mortgage soon, do you really want to piss us off?' Although Richard said he could not personally change the policy, he said that he would make that recommendation to the powers that be. He said things move very slowly, so don't expect an immediate response, but he did agree to follow up with me. He scheduled himself to call me on June 2nd. I asked Richard if I was the only woman he'd spoken to about this problem, and he said no, it's a very common complaint. At this point I brought up my secondary problem with PC Financial -- the fact that they have to mail off the originals to their central office. Richard immediately corrected me -- that is not company policy. Photocopies of your Marriage Certificate, and 2 supporting IDs are mailed off NOT the originals. He was astounded that someone would give me that information, especially with identity theft being such a large problem. He said as soon as he got off the phone with me, he'd be calling the manager of the Kiosk I had gone to, and correcting their information.

That was a rather large relief -- I'll have to edit my previous posts to make sure people don't get the wrong information....

All in all, I was satisfied with how Richard handled my concern, and pray he'll be able to convince his superiors to allow Name Changes at CIBC branches, or find some other convenient way of allowing women to update their name without requiring an updated Photo ID (particularly in Ontario).

6 comments:

Jeremy said...

Although I'm not a newly married woman, I did just recently go through the process of changing my name and also found PC Financial to be a stumbling block. They won't change anything until I've received at least two other pieces of gov't ID including a photo ID (drivers license). Their kiosks really are just a friendly face to talk to, they really can't do much of anything else without tonnes of paperwork. You're definately not alone on this!

Anonymous said...

I have had major problems in trying to add my MAIDEN name since I opened my account under my married name. I spoke to 4 different agents before speaking to a supervisor that finally confirmed PC financial does not even allow that. My other bank allowed me to keep my MAIDEN name on file but apparently PC financial doesn't.

LadyAmazing said...

I recently got married and was told on the phone that I only had to bring in 1 piece of ID along with my marriage certificate. The person at the pavillion did not tell me at all that the person on the phone could be wrong. I left there really ticked off that I couldn't get it changed there because I didn't have the two pieces of ID.

Didds said...

I'm going through this now, but a bit of a different situation. I do drive, so I have a temporary license, which in conjunction with my old license is VALID ID. It says so right on the paper! They told me they don't accept this as valid ID.

I was escalated up to someone who agreed to make an exception if I faxed her all my info but WOW. Completely ridiculous.

Sarah said...

I just went through same issue, trying to change my last name. I can't believe they didn't improve their process FIVE years later.

Kristen Collette said...

Hi! Thanks for this post. I am just about to go through a name change with PC but in Manitoba. I am wondering though, why stay with PC after all this frustration? I mean, you were willing to open an account with laurentian just for another piece of ID, why not just switch banks entirely and avoid the issue? Seems simpler.