Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Canada Post has more access to my money than my bank does

Spagnuolo & Company Real Estate Lawyers called me today to set up an appointment for finalizing my mortgage, which is up for renewal. The final amount I needed to cough up was just over $2000. The appointment was for 9am the next day, and it wasn't even 9am when I left the house. I had it in the bank, so I figured, no problem, even though my account is with the online bank, President's Choice Financial (you know, the one that gives you free groceries).

There were two banks side-by-side: CIBC and BMO. They both indicated branch opening times of 9:30am, but at 9:30am, only BMO was open. So, I go into the Bank of Montreal. Can I get a money order or certified cheque? No. Cash, or I had to have an account with them. Huh. Looks like they don't have an Interac machine, which every two-bit vendor and their dog has to get a cash-equivalent payment from any bank. Why is it actually harder at a bank?
Can I pay with cash? Oops -- My daily ATM withdrawal limit is $1000.

So I head to CIBC, which supposedly does the actual banking stuff for President's Choice Financial. Same problem. This time, they directed me to the President's Choice Financial pavilion inside Superstore, to order the money order there, and pick it up at CIBC.

I head to Superstore and waste another half-hour waiting because they open at 10am. Finally someone arrives. How do they "help" me? They direct me to call customer service. I could've called customer service myself half an hour ago at CIBC! Duh.

Finally I get through to customer service. Money order for tomorrow? No way. Two days minimum and it'll cost just over $27. Could they release the limit on my ATM withdrawals to cover the amount I need? Apparently no, because they kept ignoring that question.
But finally, some useful information: I can go to Canada Post, which sells money orders in denominations of up to $1000 (actually, $999.99) and at about $3 a piece (actually $4.95 -- and why do I have to have three money orders totalling the amount I need when I only need one big one?). I can have it the same day and pay by debit.

I truck off to Canada Post, which was open at 8:30 am -- this could all have been done almost 2 hours ago! -- and get the money orders. I pay with Interac. No problem.

Whew.

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