Before social media, if your clients had a beef with the bank, you basically complained to the lender and they to their friends, and that is where it would end.
Social media has changed that with an increasing number of borrowers now forcing banks to take their complaints and to act on them.
Case in point, when Shaun Rickard went to refinance his home, he took umbrage with a $17,000 penalty TD Bank told him he would have to pay for ending a five-year mortgage three years early.
“I was a little angry to say the least when TD told me I would have to pay them a $17K penalty,” says Rickard. “So I let loose with somewhat of a rant on Twitter, FB (facebook) and LinkedIn.”
Airing those beefs resulted in a meeting with Rickard’s TD bank manager and a mortgage consultant, and the suggestion that there will be a new lower interest rate mortgage - without any penalties.
Rickard’s original post on Facebook detailed how he was refinancing his home and decided upon a 2.5 per cent interest rate with TD, allowing him to consolidate his business loans with a new lower interest rate. He then went ballistic upon learning that his original 5.5 per cent interest rate on the three remaining years of his mortgage would result in a $17,000 penalty, far exceeding the $3,000 or $6,000 he was expecting to pay.
“I also posted a link to my story on Twitter, and about 10 minutes after doing so I received notification that TD were now following me on Twitter,” says Rickard. “Five minutes after that I received a message from one of their reps asking me to contact them, which I did. After a few brief DM's on Twitter (direct messages) I provided them with my phone number, and in turn they instructed my branch to contact me to discuss the penalty amount and my concerns; very interesting.
“I would like to say that despite my rants and the frustration I am feeling right now toward TD, I must applaud them for their prompt reaction to my concerns,” he says. “It will be interesting to hear what they have to say. I will, of course post, the outcome on FB.”
Although pleased with the prompt action for the Wednesday meeting, Rickard was less than pleased with the results later that day.
“All I have to say is the meeting was very disappointing.”
Rickard was told that he could have the fees waived if he moved into a 5 per cent mortgage, along with paying the $6,850 penalty for the cashback portion of the mortgage and a $9,850 penalty for not completing on time.
“Needless to say I am in exactly the same position I was yesterday, and not very happy at all with the outcome of the meeting,” says Rickard.
When contacted by MortgageBrokerNews.ca for the results of the meeting and Rickard’s continued dissatisfaction, a TD representative said that his case will be sent through to an escalated customer care team for an expedited review.
Rickard is the owner/president of the Home Doctor, an eavestrough replacement company in the Greater Toronto area.
Doing battle with TD is nothing new to Rickard, who took a complaint about his current mortgage back in 2011 all the way to the TD ombudsman, when he refinanced his home for $60,000, but was only was approved for $40,000, and then was penalized $6,000 (which was later reduced to $3,000).
It was a fight Rickard called “long and painful” and one that he perhaps drew experience from to go immediately to social media for Round 2 with TD Bank.