Tag Archives: CBC Go Public

There Are Businesses That Don’t Love You

Valentine’s Day is the day of love. To us who are single, it’s known as February 14th…

But there are businesses that don’t love you back. Here are a few examples from the last week:

American Express charges around $600 annual fees for their Platinum card. The people that could afford that would certainly be millionaires. But, according to Smart Money magazine, the percentage of American millionaires with that card is 6.2%. But their percentage who have a Sears card is 43%. Yes – you become a millionaire by not wasting $600 at a time.

The Federal Government apparently doesn’t love us. The online filing start for 2017 returns was to be this past Monday. It’s now moved to February 26th. No idea why – it’s the latest I can remember and doesn’t make sense to me.

It turns out Rogers doesn’t love their clients. Another week, another CBC Go Public story. I’ve linked it here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/rogers-employees-pressure-to-sell-1.4481128

No matter why you call Rogers, apparently there is huge pressure on staff to sell you something – anything! According to the investigative report, here is a sample interview question if you want to work there: If an elderly lady calls to cancel her TV sports channels because her husband just died, how do you convince her to keep them AND add more channels? Selling modems to people who don’t have computers, pushing their new credit card, adding second lines to home phones, and the list goes on. If you’re a client, you need to go through your bill with a fine tooth comb. If you can’t figure it out – get someone else to look at it to find any charges you shouldn’t have!

Apparently 18-23 year olds don’t love saving or investing: This is pretty shocking: According to a survey by Microinvesting, over 45% of 18-23 year olds spend more money on coffee than savings. Oh, and over a third of 24-35 year olds have the same coffee priority!

Lastly, I’ll give you a money-saving tip for this Valentine’s day. Take your partner to the card store. Both of you find the perfect Valentine’s card, give it to each other, read it, then put it back on the rack and leave the store. There…romantic or what? You’re welcome…

Bank Staff Speak Out: You’re the Prey

This past week, CBC Go Public did an investigative report on the incredible pressure front-line bank staff have to sell products. They mentioned two banks, but this isn’t about those two – they all do it. I have a friend that worked for a third one until she got out, and she confirmed the accuracy of the story. Plus, a few weeks ago, we talked about a fourth bank that charged a Kelowna couple over $25,000 in life and disability insurance on their credit line for more than 20 years.

So don’t focus on the bank, focus on the story. The what, why, how to protect yourself, and what to do is a full chapter in the Money Tools book. It really is worth the trip to Mosaic and the $20 – this is just another of many reasons.

Front line bank staff have always had a bonus or commission for sales. But low interest rates have now put a major squeeze on them. One described it as: A choice between keeping my job and feeding my family or doing what’s right for the customer. That starts with selling basic chequing accounts that they have for four bucks but jamming the customer into the $29 monthly fee. It means pushing credit cards right at the teller, and the constant drive to sell the really bad financial traps of overdrafts.

It starts when you show up at the teller with your ATM card. The screen will come up with their so called “Advice Opportunity” to sell you something. One teller shares that “customers are prey to me. I will do anything I can to make my sales goal.” A number of employees confirmed that elderly customers are their common target because they’ve grown to trust their bank for years.

Go Public did a number of hidden camera tests in Vancouver. They found one teller offering to activate overdraft coverage without saying anything about the fees. Another opened a $15 a month chequing account, never mentioning that the $4 one would have done the same thing and suggested opening two more accounts. And so on and so on…

Longtime employees shared that they feel like used car sales people. The story also covered a number of long term staff who have quit because of the incredible pressure to sell, sell, sell.

I guess almost $2 billion in profits each quarter just isn’t enough. It’s sick, sad, and bad. Banks are not your friend – I’ve talked about that for decades. And a note to the professor who stated this will come back to hurt the banks: I wish you were right, but you’re not. There are only five major banks. They all do it. Unless someone moves to a credit union, they’re in for the same treatment across the street at the other four.

Here is the link to the CBC story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/td-tellers-desperate-to-meet-increasing-sales-goals-1.4006743