Monday, February 28, 2011

The Joys of Online Banking

Last year I noticed that my online banking website (we use BMO) began offering email money transfers provided by Interac (Interac E-Mail Money Transfer). I figured this was a simple way to accept payment for the cottage, as the transaction was secure for both parties, and the only requirements were an email account and access to online banking.

A couple of guests used this service to pay for their stay at the cottage, and all worked fine until the third guest sent a payment in early July, and I received this message after trying do deposit the payment in our account:


EMT Receive Error

We cannot process your request at this time. Please contact us at 800 363 9992 to discuss and provide the following code number.


ER/J/EMT-R-CP-411

I didn't think it would be a big issue, and called the next day to sort it out. Well, after about a dozen phone calls, including relatively abysmal service (failure to call back when promised, failure to properly determine what the problem was, etc.) on the part of BMO, as well as Interac/Certapay, it turns out that the 'sender' of the payment had used the service for the very first time, triggering an automatic call from his bank for security and verification purposes. The problem was, his bank phoned, did not reach anyone, and simply left a message.

For some reason,the call was not returned, yet the senders bank did absolutely nothing to follow up to determine whether the payment was legitimate or not! Instead, they simply made the determination that the payment was suspect, and then froze both the senders and recipients (mine) access to the email money transfer system, without informing either party, of course.

Recently a different returning guest sent along a deposit, just as he had (succesfully!) done last year. On opening the email, and attemptiong to deposit it in our account, the fateful message was again displayed:

EMT Receive Error

We cannot process your request at this time. Please contact us at 1 800 363 9992 to discuss and provide the following code number.


ER/J/EMT-R-CP-411

This time around, Jimena from the BMO actually determined the issue (the suspension of my access to the service was still in place), resolved it with Instabank/Certapay that day, called me the next morning to tell me what happened, and then after a very brief bit of negotiation, credited our account with three months worth of account fees ($41.85). Thankfully this time around the employee at BMO was deadly efficient, pleasant to deal with, and got the problem resolved in a timely fashion - leaving me hope that when Instabank screws up the next time, it will be corrected within a day! 

3 comments:

  1. I had the same trouble, but that was more than 5 months and they frozed my account more than 5 months, i did more than 30 phone calls, none call me back (ofc during all these month they was taking the money from my account), i called the president of BMO, which finally admit there where a mistake and that wasn't suppose to turn out like that, they give me back the money.

    I have the same problem today again with BMO, i will jusy close my account there, its the worse bank ever, worse service ever, i'm maybe not really old but i've never had a so bad service from a bank.

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  2. I got the same problems with interac e transfer, I think certapay or interac e transfer's policy is no good, and certapay alway kick you to the bank, I think it's certapay block access to interac e transfer.

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  3. I accepted an interac e transfer from someone I didn't know, and it resulted in freezing my whole bank account. This all happened recently. Don't know how it will work out.

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