2.09.2010

PROMOTION OR SCAM?

Two months ago, I heard that TD was having a promotion: giving away $50 to $200 to new clients. This was perfect, since I needed to open up a new bank account for university savings, anyway, - and it wouldn't hurt to make an extra $100 for doing it.
I signed up with TD's student plan under two conditions: I'd need to register a direct deposit (paychecks from work being transferred to that account) and their 'SimplySave' plan, which would transfer $5 to my savings for every transaction I made. I was told that doing these two things would make me eligible for $100.
It all sounded too easy. I asked the banker: "So... this is it? I just made $100? Are you sure there is no 'catch' to this?"
The banker, a very nice lady, confirmed that the money will be in my account early January.

In January, I dropped by TD bank to ask when exactly the money would arrive. The banker, this time a man, told me that it was "on its way" and should be in by the end of the month.

Now February, I haven't seen my promised $100 nor heard from TD. I sent them a message through my easyweb account (TD online), and I get this response:

Hello Jen,
We appreciate your concerns regarding a $100.00 bonus offer. Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in responding to your letter. We strive to respond to all email received in a timely fashion and we wish to assure you that this delay is not typical of the level of service we aim to provide. We regret any inconvenience or frustration this delay may have caused.

We are able to confirm that in order to qualify for this bonus offer (which is payable by March 31st, 2010), you must meet the following requirements:
-opening a Chequing Account (by Nov 27, 2009) [CHECK]
-setup a direct deposit (by Dec 31, 2009) [CHECK]
-setup Simply Save (by Dec 31, 2009) [CHECK]

-be 19 years of age or older by December 31st, 2009 [???]
We hope that this information has been helpful and encourage you to reply to this email if you have any further questions.

Regards, 
Internet Correspondence Representative 


I read this message and flipped out. Please note the last bullet point (bolded), apparently a requirement to be a recipient of the $100. To my surprise, I was told that I should've been 19 years of age or older by December 31st (long passed). I'm still 18 and only turning 19 on March 6th, 2010.
I sent TD an angry (but professional) response to this message. I covered the following issues:
a) No one told me about this last little bit. It was as if this part was completely omitted? Were they that sure that I was over 19 ? I thought I still looked 17.
b) TWO bankers, at different times, told me that the money was 'on its way'. Really? Why do they not know what they're talking about?
c) Why must I be 19 years of age by December 31st, 2009? Why can't I be 18? What kind of stupid and discriminating rule is that anyway? Ugh.

All in all, I realized how deceiving promotions have become. Not just with TD, but I've heard horror stories of Extreme Fitness, hidden fees of cell phone companies, etc.
I also learned not to trust bankers' words, but ask to read the contract before signing it.  This experience with TD is exactly why promotions are seeming less and less trustworthy.
Thanks, TD, for confusing up my vocab and putting the words "promotion" and "scam" hand-in-hand.

xo Jen

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