Tue | Dec 5, 2023

We need a customer service revolution in banking

Published:Saturday | January 28, 2023 | 12:05 AM


Over the past years, Scotiabank tellers have informed me that cheques are being phased out at the institution. As a result, I have encouraged proprietors in our strata to pay maintenance fees using electronic funds transfer (ETF), rather than write postdated cheques which I have to deposit at the bank. Our strata is now 99 per cent digital in terms of maintenance fees being paid by ETF.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I experienced challenges trying to deposit cheques using the dropbox at the Knutsford (Boulevard) location as they were out of the special envelopes. At some point thereafter, when the dropbox was unavailable, I was sent to a designated teller to deposit the cheque. When using this service, I was reminded that cheque deposits were for business transactions only and not for personal transactions. Currently, our strata uses cheques to pay a few suppliers who are not on the approved list of entities for bill payments. I was told by various tellers that I could add these suppliers to our account to effectuate ETFs. I tried this, but it did not work under the current configuration.

I had requested some cheques from a teller in October 2022 and up to now, I have been told that the cheque leaves are unavailable because of logistical issues with an overseas printery. In the interim, I was invited to complete an updated BASA form from the branch, so that our business account could pay suppliers by ETF. I have not been contacted by either the customer service officer, who emailed the BASA forms, nor the business officer identified on the form since completing the form, and having shared electronic and hard copies with the bank on January 5 and 6 of this year. I have also received no word on the cheques.

I note the message on the business page of Scotia’s website advising clients that “ starting November 9, 2022, customers will be able to perform Third-Party Transfers at multiple frequencies to beneficiaries at other banks. For more information, please contact the Business Service Centre for assistance.”

I have reached out to them, but have not received any assistance on the matter.

Is this level of service unique to Scotia New Kingston, or are other persons experiencing the same challenges at other banks?