Review of Contacting BMO InvestorLine Using the MyLink Secure Email Program

InvestorLine allows clients to contact the support team using an email message program built in to each InvestorLine account. The email is not sent from your regular email program. Instead it is sent internally within the InvestorLine account program after you login to your account. This allows you to send confidential information about your investments securely.

What I Used as the Basis of my Review of MyLink

I have used the MyLink service many times over the past two years. Here are some examples of questions, response times, and the accuracy of responses.


Questioning Dividend Payments through MyLink

The first time I got a “bonus” dividend from Leon’s, I thought it was a misprint! Instead of the amount I was expecting, I received a sizeable amount more. Because I am one of those weird honest people, I actually took the time to send an email message via MyLink to ask whether the incorrect amount had been credited to my account.

MyLink responded to explain that the amount included a bonus dividend in addition to the regular quarterly dividend. A scout around the world of Google confirmed that this was the case, and that the amount was correct.

This example was rated as excellent service. The agent replied promptly, courteously and accurately.

Questioning MyLink about When the New Shares of a SpinOff Company Would Appear in My Account

A few years back, Toromont spun off a secondary company called Enerflex. When the big day arrived, anyone who owned shares of Toromont was automatically given shares in the new Enerflex stock. Days later, however, the new shares were still not reported in my InvestorLine account. In fact, if I had wanted to flip the stock immediately after receiving it, I would have been quite angry. Luckily I’m more of a “buy and hold” kind of investor.

Anyway, the MyLink part of the story is that I wrote MyLink and asked why the stock wasn’t showing in my account.

This example was rated as good service. The agent replied courteously and within two business days. The reply was only partly useful however. They stated that it takes time to sort out ownership and match up the new shares with the correct owner. They could not estimate when the shares would be booked to my account. Since this lack of information is more of a problem within InvestorLine than within MyLink, I still rate this service as good.

Questioning How High Interest Savings Accounts Work Through Several Email Messages to MyLink

This one was messy. I eventually ended up actually buying some high interest savings account units to test how it worked, rather than believe or disbelieve what I was being told. (For more information you might want to skim Testing the Minimum Investment Requirement for BMO InvestorLine High Interest Savings Accounts.)

I asked through MyLink whether after you buy the required minimum investment of $25,000 in a high interest account you can sell part of your holding or whether you have to sell all of it. I wanted to know if you could buy $25,000, then sell $23,000 to leave a holding of only $2,000 in the high interest account.

The replies (I asked more than once) were interesting. Basically, the MyLink customer service agents were not sure. They knew that I would have to maintain at least the minimum investment required by the financial institution offering the High Interest Savings Account fund. But they weren’t sure whether InvestorLine itself has a required minimum balance of $25,000. (Unfortunately, it does.)

This example was rated as acceptable service. The agents replied promptly and courteously. They answered part of the question correctly. However, they admitted to be being unsure of the full answer and did not recommend any way to further clarify it. (I clarified it by testing it in the real world with a real investment.)

Several Small Questions
I also emailed several short simple questions. They were all replied to within 1 business day for 7 queries, and within 2-3 days for 3 questions. The replies were courteous and correct.

Watch Out for the Automatic Erasing of Messages by MyLink

If you have been writing InvestorLine to confirm fees or other costs associated with using your account, you may want to have a permanent copy of what they said in case of any future disputes. If so, be careful! MyLink automatically purges correspondence no later than 90 days after it was sent.

Print a copy of any important messages or save them electronically well before the 90 day limit. Don’t expect BMO to be able to retrieve the messages if you want to dispute some business practice in the future.

Similarly, if you need a copy of a message for tax purposes, be sure to print it or save it yourself.

The Conclusions of My Review of MyLink InvestorLine Email Program

Overall I like the MyLink program.

I would not use MyLink for an urgent fast reply to an important question. It is not reliably fast. However, for a problem that does not require an answer for up to 5 business days, I would use MyLink.

I like the written documentation that MyLink provides. I feel more comfortable seeing advice in writing. I also feel better having concrete proof of my discussion.

For difficult questions, I think it’s worth asking MyLink the same question several times in different ways if the first answer is not totally clear. The agents seem well trained but some questions are not frequently asked and the answer may not be well documented internally at InvestorLine.

I also think that MyLink gives BMO InvestorLine an edge over CIBC Investor’s Edge. You cannot send secure email to Investor’s Edge as of the date of writing this (and still can’t in April 2013/February 2014). To me, this is a drawback in CIBC’s service offering.

Further Information

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Have you used MyLink to contact InvestorLine? Did they reply accurately in a timely manner? Does your brokerage offer secure email contact? Please share your experiences with a comment.

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