Service Canada Isnít, Still
Words donít fail me, but they would a lesser man. If this keeps going Iíll have a full-length novel and a shot at The Pulitzer before the year is out.
The story so far:-
Last November 18th I telephoned Service Canada asking that my two pension payments (CPP & OAS) be redirected from the RBC account to a BMO account. Still Direct Deposit, but to a different bank, please and thank you.
On Thursday March 3rd this year I called back to point out that while one of the two payments was being deposited in my new BMO account, the other payment was still being siphoned into the RBC. ďNot a problem; call back next week to get it doneĒ was the gist of the response.
So on Monday Match 14th I called back and ďAndyĒ (Iím assuming all Service Canada employees use Aliases from a sense of shame) assured me that It Would Be Done, and that all payments at the end of March (March 27th?) would be siphoned into my BMO account. He ended by saying that ďWe only have direct deposit information for the BMO accountĒ.
As two gentlemen would, we avoided any explanation of how Service Canada is able to pump money into my RBC account if they have no record of my RBC details now.
And at the end of March, BOTH payments went directly into my BMO account; just as I had hoped they would when I called back in November 2015.
So, youíll never guess what happened yesterday when I went to see if the pension payments had arrived on schedule in my BMO account?
How did you guess?
But you are right; after one month (March) of clear sailing, Service-is-not-our-real-name-Canada has reverted to splitting the payments and depositing one payment in the RBC; the bank of which, according to ďAndyĒ, they have no record.
This is a typical Service Canada form encouraging us all to use Direct Deposit.
Urging folks to use Direct Deposit would make sense if Direct Deposit could be implemented over a time span of less than five months and could actually work.
These are my initial notes of last November 18th. These notes are not extensive because at the time I suspected that a simple phone call could effect the transfer of payments.
And this is why I thought that a simple phone call could effect the transfer of payments.
I really thought that by calling 1-800-277-9914 I could convey the point that my banking information had changed.
Silly of me, I see that now.
By March 3rd I was armed with a fresh sheet of scrap paper, a sharpened pencil, and grit coupled with determination.
It did me no good at all.
I found myself dealing with a clerk who was not equipped to coerce the second payment to follow the same route as the first. Why Service Canada stocks its telephones with clerks who are impotent is beyond me.
It will not have escaped your attention that when I phoned on 3rd march I was stiffed by a Service Canada Phone Service that was so choked up that it couldnít even tell me that ďYour call is important to usĒ and then put me in a queue and tell me to stay there. The system was so bogged down that it told me it was unable to handle me.
My next available time to call was March 8th, and it was then that I was promised all would be in effect at the end of April (which is when they re-screwed-up again), but conceded that if I elected to play Service Canada phone roulette again in a weekís time, it might work sooner.
You never know!
(Well actually, we do now. We know that it wonít work!)
And here are my notes from a week later. After writing these notes I waited for the end of March and when I saw both payments had been deposited into my BMO account, I almost went out and made a bonfire of my RBC cheque book.
Good thing I didnít.
What to do?
I shall make lots of printouts, of these notes, of bank statements, and I shall make photocopies of my penciled notes, and I shall take them with me to the Service Canada booth down at City Hall in a day or two and then Iíll have something to read after I have Taken-A-Number and sat myself down in a cold plastic chair.
Youíll never guess what I got up to this the morning!