Why is it so difficult to switch to automatic bank withdrawls for payment on your website

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overhang
Resident

I recently switched all my 84 year old mothers utility bills to automatic withdrawal so she doesn't have to worry about getting bills paid on time.  Her electricity provider was simple, took me 2 minutes.  Her natural gas provider took a similar amount of time.  Want to guess who is the outlier?

 

In order to do this with TELUS, I first had to register for online access.  Normally you provide your email and link your account number.  You are done in 30 seconds.


But not with TELUS.  For whatever reason, they needed to "text" me a code to verify my identity.  Fair enough, I'll just use my cell phone number.  But TELUS doesn't actually let you enter a number to receive the text on.   They go with the number on file.  Which if you don't have a TELUS mobile phone, is your land line and doesn't work.

 

OK, fine, I'll call and talk with someone.  But with this being TELUS, the wait times to speak with someone were in excess of an hour.  OK, I'll try the web chat.  Only 54 people a head of me.  And when I hit number17 in the queue of unhappy TELUS customer, the whole thing froze and I got punted out. 

Discouraged and demoralized I figured I'd try the next weekend.   I tried Again next weekend, wait times are in excess of 1 hour so I asked them to call me back. Finally got ahold of them and explained what I wanted to do.  Naturally, he wanted to talk to my mother.  I told him she is 84, hard of hearing and asked him not to ask technical questions.   But of course he did.  My mother got frustrated and basically told the person to do what I am telling them to do and handed the phone back to me.  

So back with the standard Unhelpful CSR with a heavy tagalog accent.   He then decided that I need to send in a letter documenting what I need to do.  I told him, no I don't need to do any of that as I have power of attorney over my mothers affairs and its not necessary.  He's insistent on this and I told him it would be much quicker and easier to dump TELUS and take her to another provider.  Oh, and by the way can I talk to your supervisor?    This resulted in a change of attitude, we got past the letter bit but he still had to text a number.  I told him my mother does not have a cell phone, most 84 year olds dont.  

 

There are more rounds of painful interaction and horrible customer service in here but eventually he said he could email the code to verify the account and we went this route.

 

TELUS, I did this same activity for 3 utility companies and two were painless.  But as always, my Experience with TELUS was Pure HELUS

 

I got this done but in the mean time I am going to investigate moving my mothers service over to the competition if only for the fact that TELUS thinks its acceptable to have to wait 1 hour to speak with a CSR.

 

Does TELUS really think this is an acceptable experience to subject their customers to? 

Lola
Rockstar

Simpler and safer to have all bills sent to you, and then you pay them, considering auto-withdrawal should be checked monthly to make sure the proper amount has been withdrawn. Banks dislike auto-withdrawals for this reason and many others--the biggest reason is that by allowing one approved hand into a bank account may in future allow other hands in that you did not approve. That aside, power of attorney means nothing without proof. Simply saying you have power over your mother's affairs doesn't prove you actually have that power, it doesn't even prove she's your mother; the CSRs have no idea who you are. My husband had to send a letter of authorization to his credit card company so I could speak on his behalf on the phone. It's good security. You can understand why proof should be required when changes are made to an account.

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Community Power User
Community Power User

@overhang wrote:

I recently switched all my 84 year old mothers utility bills to automatic withdrawal so she doesn't have to worry about getting bills paid on time.  Her electricity provider was simple, took me 2 minutes.  Her natural gas provider took a similar amount of time.  Want to guess who is the outlier?

 


 

The one who supplies bills which potentially contains personal information? Her monthly hydro and gas bill contain nothing of a personal privacy nature, while her phone bill may well contain such info, and is one reason why there are additional protections surrounding ability to manage the phone bill.

 

 

NFtoBC
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