Very recently, my company account was high jacked by TDCT Bank and after 5 days, neither the bank nor I have access to remove the bank’s Terrorist effects. I say terror for very good reason. What is the feeling when you check your bank account, knowing that all is right, just wanting to see what has transpired in the last 24 hours; when suddenly, like a cartoon character your eyes pop right out of your head with that rangy sound that accompanies the ocular exodus. You behold your account overdrawn by thousands of dollars, bold red numbers streak into your brain like seething knives into your psyche and the panic immediately sinks in. What have you done wrong? It couldn’t possibly be the bank’s error. You must have made some incredibly stupid mistake. You doubt your intelligence. You doubt your safety. You are, in fact, terrified by what you see.
I felt immense, crippling terror. Being a preservationist for the companies integrity, the first thing I did was transfer personal funds to cover the overdraft. Only then, did the controller research what the cause could possibly have been. I soon discovered that the bank had cashed the same set of cheques, WITH THE SAME CHEQUE NUMBERS, twice, two days apart.
I immediately called the bank’s easy line, realizing no branch would not have been open at that hour. The first person I spoke with, Daniel, employee # 56215 quickly murmured, I haven’t seen that before. Not sure what has caused that, he said. When I requested that it be reversed, seeing as it was an obvious error on the bank’s part, I was told that was impossible, the SYSTEM wouldn’t allow it. This is the same system that cannot put an automatic stop on a duplicate cheque of the same cheque amount on the same cheque number, to the same payee. Terror swept over me further as Daniel instructed me to go to the nearest branch and fill out a form and that the funds would appear back in the account in 5-7 business days.
When I explained to Daniel that I was not able to go to a branch, he wanted to know why and where was I that I couldn’t go to a branch. Being frustrated with his impoliteness and rude attitude, I requested to speak to a supervisor. After another ten minutes on hold, Daniel came back on to tell me that his supervisor had contacted the branch, where the business account had be opened, and that Lynne would look into the situation and get back to me. When I asked Daniel would he transfer my funds that I had personally placed in the account, he informed me that the account was frozen and those funds would be held for the length of the time for the matter to be resolved. When questioned, he agreed to reimburse the monthly fee for my personal account ($10.95) as some kind of solace. I explained to Daniel that further cheques had been released based on the bank balance, preceding the bank’s unauthorized removal of funds not belonging to them, or anyone else. I had to bring to his attention that those cheques would surely be returned as NSF to the payee and would negatively impact the integrity of the company. Daniel said that there was nothing he could do about that. I informed Daniel that option was not acceptable and again requested to speak to a supervisor.
After another ten minute hold, I was connected with Melissa, employee # 56148. Melissa stated that she had spoken with the branch and that they were investigating the situation, however, a resolution would still take 5-7 business days. When I explained, and she agreed, that further cheques would be returned NSF, she left the line to speak to the branch to have them issue a letter explaining the bank responsibility for the NSF return. I could then send that with the replacement cheque. I didn’t even try to explain that our small business pays small businesses for service and that if a cheque is returned on an account, the next time a cheque from that company shows up, they would put a ten day hold on the funds. The ripple effect from the error was also terrifying as now the company integrity was being held hostage by the bank’s ineptitude.
Only near the end of the one hour and ten minute recorded conversation did Melissa say that the branch may have more flexibility to make things happen faster. Never once did Daniel or Melissa even try to relate to the severity of the mistake or to apologize on behalf of the bank. It was as if I had brought it upon myself. My frustration with the lack of caring and failure to come up with a solution that did not leave my company the loser came to a head when Melissa announced that she “Had gone out of way to help me”. I informed her that service is her job and left the conversation.
The company controller contracted Lynne at the Eramosa Rd branch in Guelph. Although she wanted to help, she stated that this would require her filling out multiple forms to obtain any resolution. Although the branch has funds at their disposal for these instances, she would only release enough funds to cover payroll for the week, which amounted to thousands of dollars. There seemed to be no real reason why she could not remit the exact amount of the theft by the bank and we could have carried on with less incident. Even with her transfer, that night NSF fees were withdrawn from the business account and excessive interest charged. Lynne initially told us that all would be corrected by the end of the business day. She then retracted at the end of the day and vehemently confirmed that it would be resolved on the following business day. Not only was it not corrected the next business day, it continues 5 days later. Interestingly enough, no one will tell me the other side of the accounting entry to say where the funds had gone. The bank could have been hacked for all I know.
Each passing hour brings increased fear that more catastrophes are about to happen which are beyond my control, and at the total responsibility and power of resolution by the TDCT Bank. That is truly my definition of being held hostage by a terrorist organization.