My name is Bobby, for the last two years I have been going through a nightmarish ordeal with BMO, Bank of Montreal. I am tired of feeling voiceless. Recently, I came across your blog and I would like to submit my story, hope it helps serve as a warning for all those who might be considering getting a credit card with BMO.
August 27th, 2010 I get the offer letter for teaching overseas, overjoyed at the opportunity to travel and teach I quickly begin my preparations. One of my first calls, to my banks, of course! I call BMO and speak with a female representative who, during a 30 minute call, puts me on hold over 7 times. My request had been simple; I am leaving for South, Korea, please put a $500 cap on the amount available as I do NOT plan on using my master card, unless it’s an absolute emergency. At the end of the call, I am reassured that the $500 cap has been placed, and that my accounts have been updated to include my Korean location and contact information.
Summer of 2011 comes by and my parents in Canada get a phone call from BMO saying I owe $725.00. My parents call me to let me know what’s going on, needless to say I was shocked to hear I had such a charge on a card I hadn’t used while living in Korea. So, I bite the bullet and make an international phone call to BMO to find out what’s going on, 45 minutes later, I’m finally transferred to the right department and I quickly realize it’s a fraudulent charge for some company based in London, England. The representative I speak to informs me the $500 cap had never been placed and there were no notes on my account informing BMO I had moved to Korea. She reassures me that she has done all of the above and will escalate to the fraud department.
Weeks go by, no word. I call again, next representative transfers me to the emergency services, who transfer me to accounts management, who transfer me to the fraud department. Fraud department informs me that they will begin an investigation but they need me to sign and send in fraud charge claims forms. They set a date by when I ought to receive the paperwork, a month after their set date, still no word from BMO. Needless to say, this back and forth went on for a while. Till finally in January of 2012 my parents in Canada get a call from BMO to let me know my accounts are being sent to collections unless I make a minimum payment. I make the payment and ask them to send the paperwork to my family in Canada who will forward it through to me. January 7th, I am told by a supervisor at BMO that the paperwork was in the mail and I would receive it in 5 days, February 7th 2012, I call back, still no papers! February, 15th I finally get the claims papers and fax them back so they can be escalated to the accounts management department. I speak with a representative in the accounts management department who informs me that the accounts have been placed on hold and an investigation has begun.
March 5 th, 2012, I return to Canada and call BMO to find out what’s going on with my accounts. The representative I speak with frankly says he does not know, though he reassures me that my paperwork has been received and that I need to call back again in two weeks. I inform him that my accounts have been frozen and I do not have access to my BMO information anymore. I ask him if a payment needs to be made and he says, “no, the account is on hold, which is why you can’t get access to it, once the investigation is complete BMO will be in touch”. March 23rd, I call back again to find out what’s going on and the next representative I speak with informs me that everything has been cleared up, my account will be credited the amount within 24-48 hours, and that I do not need to make a minimum payment since I am in the clear. Tuesday March 26th, 2012 I get a call from the collections agency, I need to make a payment, I’m 3 months late on my BMO payment and my credit rating has taken a major hit.
Three hours on the phone with BMO, and at the end all I’m told is; no one is sure why it’s taken the fraud department so long to open a file for me after receiving the paperwork, no one is sure why the collections agency was not informed about the investigation, and no one is sure why I was told I did not need to make a minimum payment. So, two years, countless international and local phone calls, piles of paperwork, and false reassurances from uninformed representatives later, I still don’t have an answer. And, I am now dealing with collections agencies, I am tired of being transferred from department to department, I’m tired of having had to tell my story over and over to 30+ representative since this all began and I am tired of no one caring enough to follow through on this situation. I just want someone to take responsibility instead of continually passing the buck. I want someone to care!
This article was submitted by one of our readers. Penciltrick cannot make any claims as to its authenticity but the article was accepted on a good faith belief that it is an accurate and truthful account of the events listed.