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The RBC nightmare continues…

Pull up a chair, ye sinners and saints, and listen to the whole, woeful tale…

—THE PRELUDE—
Back in May, I moved from Montreal (Canada) to Durham (USA). My Montreal bank was RBC. In preparation for the move, they helped me set up a US RBC sister account. I could transfer money from RBC US to RBC Canada. Simple enough.

My day-to-day bank here in Durham is Suntrust. When I tried, online, to transfer money from Suntrust to RBC US, I discovered RBC US has the same number of digits in their account/routing numbers as a Canadian bank. This is different than a US bank. I wasn’t able to find a way to make the transfer work, nor were the several RBC representatives I talked to. Also the US RBC has no physical locations (at least in this area), so I couldn’t even deposit cash. I’m not really sure how it functions as a US entity, except in name.

Time passes. Penalty fees mount.

I called RBC. Many times. Information in one phone call rarely matches the information I receive in the next. I asked them how to resolve this. How do I get the money (which I have) to them? I’m asking a bank to take my money. They gave me no workable solutions to get the money over the border.

Finally, I was told I can send a physical check and given an address. I mailed the check.

Time passes. Penalty fees mount.

I found out the check had been rejected and returned. I called RBC. They told me that the check was canceled on Suntrust’s end for insufficient funds. This seemed unlikely. So I drove to Suntrust to investigate. My account still had plenty of money to cover the payment and they confirmed RBC rejected the check on their end. I called RBC and received falsehoods from two people, one out of ignorance and one out of deception.

—THE IGNORANCE—
The next RBC employee told me that they received the check and the amount was credited to my account (I forget exactly how much, let’s say a $862). Oh? I said. But Suntrust just confirmed that the check was rejected. Someone from RBC even said as much earlier.

No, he said. If it were rejected, it would definitely say so on his computer. My payment went through and now I just owed $862 more on the minimum payment.

Doesn’t it seem odd, I said, that I sent a payment of $862, and, by chance, I still owed exactly as much.

There was a pause. He admited that was strange. He put me through to someone else.

—THE DECEPTION—
Another RBC employee told me that the check did arrive, but was canceled by Suntrust for insufficient funds. I said no. She said yes. I told her that I was standing in the Suntrust bank, at that moment, and they just confirmed that I have sufficient funds AND RBC was the one to reject the check.

There is a pause.

She admits that it was not due to insufficient funds and that RBC was the one to reject the check. LET’S COUNT—that’s two lies she admitted to breathing just a moment before (and these are only two that I’ve caught RBC at).

She gave me some vague category marking the check as rejected. I asked her what that means specifically. She said she did not know; checks were reviewed by someone higher up the chain. I asked if I could talk to that person. She said those people don’t communicate with customers directly. So the person I was speaking to didn’t have the information to help me, and I was not allowed to speak to the person who did.

Time passes. Penalty fees mount. Where’s our money? RBC asks me, over phone calls. I’m politely threatened with the prospect of a collection agency.

—THE WIRE TRANSFER FARCE—
I opt for a wire transfer through Suntrust. It costs me $50 a pop, but I’m desperate. RBC gives me instructions. I send the wire. It’s rejected. Costing money. I go back to Suntrust, and a helpful banker there works over the phone with RBC and manages to get the wire sent out. The funds are accepted. I’m payed up on all my back owed minimum payments.

At this point, I take out a loan so I can pay off my balance with RBC and not have to try and send money over the Canadian border anymore. I go back to Suntrust and send a final wire transfer for the remainder of my RBC balance, equivalent to $7,871.83 USD (and another $50 fee).

…you guessed it. The payment was rejected. Only this time it came back light, with only $7,165.69 returned. Where did the other $706.14 go? Suntrust calls RBC, and RBC says that the exchange rate changed drastically when they sent the money back. So, with the wire fee, I spent nearly $800 for just a chance that RBC, a bank, would accept my money. And that chance failed!

—NOW WHAT?—
So what do I do now? This has been going on since May ’13. It’s cost me many hours, much stress, lots of money (late fees, return fees, wire fees, interest, the “lost” $706, etc.). It’s severely damaged my credit—my US credit cards are all dropping my max charge amounts. This has been the bane of my year. And I’ve been willing to pay! I’ve had access to the money.

RBC keeps piling on the late fees. Is this how they make their profit? They keep sending me phone calls asking for their money—the promise of collection agencies, putting me on the defensive, like I’m the deadbeat. I try and send money to them, but they somehow thwart it at every turn. It’s like being in some abusive, manipulative relationship with an entity that just won’t let me go.

I can, with four or five mouse clicks, send money to any of my friends (across the world) via Paypal. It’s ludicrous that a financial institution can’t receive my money. Until I figure this out, I can’t send RBC any more payments. I can’t trust them not to lose several hundred dollars just like that. I can’t trust what their representatives tell me. Meanwhile, the late fees mount and my credit withers.

Anyone have any similar experiences? Anyone have any legal advice?

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