“I’ve had a preferred chequing account for 25 years,” she says. “It’s classified as a grandfathered account and hasn’t been offered for many years. I want TD to know this increase in the monthly minimum does not make me feel like a valued customer.”
I heard from several other TD preferred chequing customers, who believed their accounts were protected from any future changes. Some were originally with Canada Trust, which was acquired by TD in 2000 in an $ 8-billion deal.
“We understand that any adjustment or price change can be a sensitive issue for customers,” says Meghan Thomas, a TD spokeswoman. “Even though the preferred account hasn’t been offered since 2001, we continue to maintain the benefits for current account holders and have made minimal changes to this account over the last 14 years.”
In March 2001, Clark scrapped all TD chequing and savings accounts — giving customers two months’ notice — and replaced them with Canada Trust accounts. Some TD customers were upset, saying the switch didn’t suit them, and went to the Star to complain.
Registered retirement savings plan fees will also change, starting March 31. TD customers will pay $ 75 to transfer an RRSP to another financial institution (up from $ 50). But to transfer a newer RRSP open less than six months, the fee will drop to $ 75 (from $ 100).
Another change, effective March 31, will affect TD credit card customers who are more than 30 days late with a minimum payment. Their interest rates will rise to 24.99 per cent on purchases and 27.99 per cent on cash advances, and won’t return to regular rates unless they pay promptly for 12 months in a row (up from two months).
“We encourage any of our customers with concerns or questions to talk to us. Other options may be available, including setting up an automatic payment of the balance due to avoid incurring these rates,” Thomas said about the credit card changes.
My advice: Ask for concessions. One TD customer said her branch had offered to waive interest for one year if she borrowed $ 1,000 on her line of credit to increase the minimum balance to $ 2,000 on her preferred chequing account. She considered taking the offer, hoping the proposed changes would be rolled back next year.