PC Financial Joint Accounts are NOT Joint: One Person Will Have All of the Control

I’ve mentioned before that PC Financial treats our joint accounts as if they are two separate accounts. If I set up bill payments, for example, under my PC Financial card, I can see and pay them when I sign in. My husband, though, can neither see them nor pay them. Similarly, our joint PC Financial chequing account is linked to our joint Big 5 Canadian bank chequing account. The link to transfer funds between the two accounts was set up by my husband. If he signs in using his PC Financial card online, he can see the external bank account and move money between the two chequing accounts. I can’t. In order to see the external account, I would have to apply all over again! Tonight’s problem was even worse, although it’s very funny in an exasperating computers-are-incredible way. It proved yet again that PC Financial joint accounts are NOT joint; one person has all of the control.

PC Financial is Offering Another Short Term Bonus Interest Rate


Today I found out on RedFlagDeals that PC Financial has just begun another short-term bonus interest rate promotion. The deal runs from November 1 – January 31, 2013. For new deposits that increase the total in all of your savings and chequing accounts above the total amount you had in the bank on October 31, 2013, you will earn a higher rate of interest. So any combined balance up to and including the amount you had on October 31 will earn 1.35% (less on the chequing account) and any amount above that will earn 2.25%.

We have some money sitting around at the Big 5 bank that needs to be kept in cash because it’s earmarked for certain upcoming bills. It seemed sensible to move it for a month or two to PCF to get the extra 0.9%, especially since it’s not even earning 1.35% at the Big Bank. (At that rate, it’s only $7.50 per month, per $10,000 deposited, but still every bit helps.)

This promotion is not automatic. You have to phone in to get it.

So I phoned. I answered the security questions. We both agreed that I am me, and that I have joint accounts with PCF.

BUT I can’t get the promotion.

Why Can’t I Enroll in the PC Financial Bonus Interest Promotion? Because Secondary Means Second Class

The only reason I can’t enroll the accounts in the promotion is that I am not the “Primary” account holder. My husband is. He has to phone in and ask for the rate.

For our JOINT accounts.

Yes, that’s right. I can take out every cent in the accounts. I can put a million dollars into the accounts. But I can’t increase the interest rate.

Why Are Secondary Account Holders So Insignificant?

Even my polite and courteous telephone representative wasn’t quite sure why I couldn’t enroll. She put my on hold and went to check on it.

Apparently it’s the computer system that is at fault.

Believe it or not, the way the system is set up, we could get TWICE the bonus interest if I (or any other secondary account holder) was allowed to apply for the promotion.
That’s right: the system doesn’t just have ONE place to check off to start the bonus calculation. It has one on EACH cardholder’s profile. So if she changed my profile to allow me to earn the bonus interest, and THEN my husband phoned in and asked for the promotion, we’d be enrolled twice and get twice the interest.

Cool!

To avoid this problem, the powers that be decreed that only the primary cardholder can request to be enrolled for the promotion.

Too bad my husband is way, way, way too busy at work to be bothered phoning banks.

Too bad for PCF that is. I’ll simply move the money to an ING Direct account I have that’s currently paying 2.27%.

PS The customer service rep did offer to open a brand new account just for me so that I could get the bonus interest. I give her full marks for trying to be helpful, even if she was hobbled by system constraints.

The Moral of the Story: Don’t Let Your Computers Run Your Business

Computers should do what people want them to. People shouldn’t have to do what computers constrain them to do.

PC Financial should consider taking a few $$$ and using it to upgrade their computer program rather than paying it out in interest. In the long run, it will keep customers happier and their money rolling in to their bank’s coffers.


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Have you ever been forced to do silly things by a computer program? Please share your frustrating, but admittedly funny, escapades with a comment.

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In general, I don’t have anything against PC Financial. I love the fact that I can get all of the cheques I want and need for free. It makes paying all these tiny bills from our kids schools cost much less. Unfortunately, PC Financial doesn’t offer any sign up bonuses, though, so I can’t add a bonus sign up link here. If you want to sign up, just visit their website or a kiosk. They won’t ask if I sent you.

On the other hand, I also bank with Tangerine, formerly ING Direct, among other places. They don’t offer free cheques, only the first book is free. However, if you open your account using the number below, you and I will both get a cash bonus.

If you open your first account ever with Tangerine (or ING Direct) using our Orange Key below, and deposit $100 before December 31 2015, you and we will both get a cash bonus of $50 each. (Yes, they did extend the promotion for another few months!) All you have to do is enter the Orange Key when you are opening your Account, and you’re set to go.

Just copy our Orange Key, then click on this Tangerine link to see the details and apply for an account. (Note: it only applies to people with no existing or previous accounts with Tangerine or ING Direct.)
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Yes, we bank with Tangerine.ca among other places. If you open your first account ever with Tangerine (or ING Direct) using our Orange Key below, and deposit $100 before August 31, 2017, you and we will both get a cash bonus of $50 each. (Yes, they did extend the promotion for another few months!) All you have to do is enter the Orange Key 46470587S1 when you are opening your Account, and you’re set to go.

Just copy our Orange Key, then click on this Tangerine link to see the details and apply for an account. (Note: it only applies to people with no existing or previous accounts with Tangerine or ING Direct.)
Image of Tangerine Orange Key Ad

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