My Gordon Setter passed away today and in doing so revealed to me how cold hearted and useless Canadian Banks are.
I just moved to Canada from the United States. We brought with us our Gordon Setter which was dying of lymphoma cancer. We had just opened up a bank account at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and transferred our funds from our US bank to the CBIC. Oddly enough the bank advised that they were going to have to put the funds on hold for ten days while the certified check from our US bank cleared.

Suddenly today at 12:00 our Setter took a serious turn for the worse. She had been looking pretty good and puppyish for the last couple of days but today she collapsed while outside doing 'what dogs do'. I carried her into the house and placed her on her favorite blanket.

Over the next twenty minutes I watched as her condition rapidly deteriorated. I realized that her situation was extremely bad and decided to call our Vet to perform euthanasia to ease her pain.

Problem was that I did not have the cash on me to cover the expenses that I was anticipating at the Vet ( ie the euthanasia cost and the final deposition cost of her body ).
I quicly called my local Canadian Imperial Bank of Canada branch to request that take $500 off the temporary hold that they had placed on our fund transfer from the United States.
Canadian banks it appears don't really want you to phone them... so they set up an elaborate blockade of answering machines and voice mail. After routing through a number of the diversions that their system through at me, I was given the option to call the their 1-800 service number.
I called that number and explained the situation to the 'call clerk' on the other end. I explained that we had just transferred a six figure check into the account, certified funds, from our US bank to our new account at the CBIC. Six days had passed since we had deposited the funds but due to an emergency situation I need $500 of that money released from the 'temporary hold' to meet the expenses I was about to incur.
The CBIC telephone clerk, apparently operating from some call center in India, put me on hold as she discussed my request with her superviser. She left me on hold as my dogs condition was worsening in the background.
When she came back on the phone she basically said that the 'banks rules do not permit the early release of even a nickle of the funds we had transferred to the bank until the 'holding period' had ended.

I explained that I understood that policy, but that the only reason I was making this request is because of the urgency of our situation and our need to access the funds for this special situation.

She than offered the suggestion that I drive over to our local bank and explain my situation directly with the bank manager, who might be in a better position to bend the rules.
I reminded the twit that I had a dog lying in front of me, dying by the second, and that the urgency of the situation dictated that I take the time to drive to the Vet - not to some bank to beg a bank manager to release a tiny percentage of the money that I had just transferred to their bank.
She was unmoved. I than reconfirmed exactly what she was saying to me and she confirmed my understanding of their 'heartless and unflexible' policy.
I than advised her that as a result of their failure to show even an iota of flexibility in this 'special circumstance' that I would be immediately withdrawing all the funds I had transfered to their bank ( as soon as it cleared their holding period of course ) and that I would take my business elsewwhere.
By the time I got off the phone with this 'call center' flunkie my dog had reached the point of convulsions, her lips and tongue had gone white and she was in her final death throws.
I quickly loaded her in the back of my truck and drove her to the Vet. I was prepared to issue a check to the Vet in the hope that it would not reach the bank clearning house until the funds had been released into my account.
My Gordon Setter died sometime between the loading of her into the truck and my arrival at the Vet. The Vet pronounced her DOA after checking the heart and shining a light in her eyes.

I will not forgive the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for their heartless handling of this case. It told me that in a dire circumstance this bank protected its own interest over that of its customers.
This was indeed an odd situation to be caught in - having to beg your bank to release a tiny bit of the funds that had been transferred to their care. Not many people are likely to get caught in such an odd situation. But that is my story as of July 25th on how the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce failed to show compassion or flexibility in an emergency situation.
I could better understand their nervousness or strict adherence to their rules, had I been looking for a loan. That might have been excusable and expected. But I was asking for only $500 to be released from a six figure certified bank check that had been deposited six days earlier.
dog owners will hopefully appreciate this little tale about how the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce would treat you if you had been in the same circumstance.
I dunno about you (well, I do, but anyways), but if I had a pet that was dying and I knew that at some point I would be euthanizing it, I would have made better plans. Regardless of the dog what if you'd had any emergency in the meantime? i.e. car breakdown on side of deserted road, bail money (hey, you never know), food ***.
Sounds like a hoax to me.

Emily Carroll
http://www.geocities.com/diamonds in her eyes/index.html
Unfortunately the tale is true and happened just hours before I posted this story, the dog died on July 25 2003 at 1pm. I will address a few of the skeptics that tried to pour water on this true story and than I will drop out of this thread... as I do not wish to get drawn into debates with people who troll for fights
With respect to the question about how Canadian Banks treat certified bank drafts from the United States... no they are NOT treated like a cash deposit. The CIBC placed a ten day hold on the deposit. The lame Canadian banks are extremely paranoid about any deposit and especially ones originating from a US bank. So they slap a 10 day hold on the deposit in order to ensure that the check is in fact bonafide and clears.
Further, we had only moved to Canada and opened the bank account two weeks earlier. The previous deposit of $3k that we had put in there when we first arrived also underwent the same 'holding period'. Those were the funds we used to cover our operating expenses following the move.
The paranoia of the CBIC was probably a result of three things : a) new customer originating from the United States b) certified bank draft originating from a US bank c) new account that was only two weeks old. Possibly they might have cut us some slack if we had been banking with them for the past ten years...
With respect to how people would have handle this situation differently... well suffice to say that we were brand new customers with even the Vet. I had only met the Vet a week earlier in order to get a prescription of Predizone for the dog. They had a very clear 'payment policy' which stated they did not accept 'credit cards'.

My purpose of calling the bank in order to request the release of just $500 of the held funds was to ensure that I would be able to pay in full the account that I knew was going to be incurred when I entered the Vet's office. I had expected it to only be a short and simple two minute phone call. I did NOT expect to have the local branch slapping up a barricade of answering machines and rerouting of calls to their call center in India or wherever that 'call center clerk' was located.

Unfortunately the credit card that I have was maxed out due to the recent moving expenses over the past two weeks You would be surprised at how many misc. expenses you wrack up on your CC when moving. There was no room on that CC to draw a cash advance.

With respect to a question raised about me referring to the CIBC as the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce... well that is their name and I felt it was worthwhile to use both their acronym and full name in the context of this message. I also refer to IBM and International Business Machines and 3m as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing..
With respect to CIBC being applauded for adhering to their 'policy' I take an opposite position. If a corporate policy does not provide any flexibility in an exceptional circumstance, than I really have little respect for the 'human' aspect of that corporation. CIBC showed me yesterday that their number one motivation was to stick to the rules and protect CIBC's interest. Had their been a death of a family member would their response have been any different ? I don't think so.It is unfortunate that skeptics jump forward to try to bleak out the message and challenge whether it was a valid legitimate post of a real situation that had occured. The story was told exactly as it happened. I also noted in my original message that the circumstances of this true story were quite unique, with the timing of the move, the sudden demise of the dog, the treatment of the bank towards banked US funds, etc. The end point to the story that in this particular case the CIBC failed to flex from their rules and policies in an 'exceptional' set of circumstances.

Suffice to say that I will do exactly as I promised the lady at the CIBC call center and pull all our funds from their bank when 'the funds clear'. This event totally soured my opinion of the CIBC and I do not think I could leave the funds with their bank in the future.
I agree that the other banks or trust companies might have faired no better given these specific circumstances. But the CIBC were the ones put to this test and they failed. I cannot speak for how the other's might have handled these particular set of circumstances. But I now know that the CIBC showed no compassion when I needed them the most.
When the ancient war dogs did battle on 25 Jul 2003 17:18:41 -0700, (Email Removed) (FlackJacket) did speak the following bit of wisdom:
dog owners will hopefully appreciate this little tale about how the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce would treat you if you had been in the same circumstance.

I guess my one question here is this: Why did you spend so much time on the phone and not rushing your dog directly to the vet? Your vet would have probably put your dog down for you and let you pay her hospital bill later, especially if they knew you had only just moved to Canada and your funds were frozen. What vet worth their degree is going to stand there and refuse to help ease a dying animal's pain? And if they did, would you really want that person to continue on as the trusted partner in your animals' health care???

If it helps to ease your mind, from what you wrote, it sounds to me like your dog was probably "out of it" at the end and not feeling much of anything. It sounds like she was probably in deep shock. Many condolences for your loss... Emotion: sad
* * * * *
Karen C.
Spammers be damned! I can't be emailed from this account...

"You have no power here!
...Be gone! Before somebody drops a house on you too!"
dog owners will hopefully appreciate this little tale about how the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce would treat you if you had been in the same circumstance.

Nope, even tho I'm an animal lover, what happened to your dog was your own lack of planning.
I don't quite understand why you needed $500 for the euthanasia and disposal of your Gordon seems a steep price but I guess that doesn't really matter.

All large banking institutions are going to basically treat customers the same way. You were obviously new to the bank and this also obviously isn't a mom & pop operation bank. If you wanted someone who could bend that sort of regulation, you needed to put some cash on hand with one of your children or with a neighborhood child who just might be agreeable to some flexibility (not all children are).
And it's far from just banks. Heck, a couple of months ago I called to make an appointment to have a repairman come to the house to fix my clothes washer and the person I was talking to on the phone, the person who was making the appointment for me, wasn't even in the U.S. I doubt he'd have been able to give me any flexibility had I needed some.
Just last month I had to make an appointment for Comcast to come out and fix the cable link. Seemed like it took a year just to get thru their telephone menu and when I did, I found out that they basically work 9 to 4 and if I want service, I get to stay home from work and wait for them or ask a friend or neighbor to stay home from work and wait for them. The option was cancelling my cable and they were perfectly agreeable to doing that for me but they had no flexibility to offer.
I wanted to ask BankOne a question about my mortgage it seemed like it took an eternity just to listen to their menu options. Then it took another eternity to get an actual human being on the phone and the person was in AZ and I'm in IL. Which didn't matter in my case, but it points to the fact that there's no incentive for "flexibility" a person isn't even in the same community as the person on the other end of the line. And they just plain don't have the authority, so why would anyone stick their neck out for some anonymous caller on the other end of the line?
Because of your own lack of planning, you unfairly berate a telephone employee and his/her supervisor who just might have been animal lovers themselves and upset about the fact that they were helpless given the situation.

If you've lived in the U.S. for any length of time at all, you really should have a clue about how things are changing towards the worse as far as any individuality. The larger a company becomes, the more rules and regulations that have to apply to, unfortunately, everybody. For the most part, the little people on the other end of the telephone don't have the authority to make decisions anymore, nor do their supervisors. I don't think that'd come as any surprise to any American. What comes as a surprise is on those rare occasions that one does come across a company that's truly goes out of it's way to be accomodating. That's refreshing to see every so often.

So..
You made a move to a different country.
You made the move with a dog that you already knew was dying. Moves are stressful and cancer victims don't handle stress the greatest, whether they're human or canine it can send them downhill. But whether you knew that or not, or whether you could postpone the move or not, you still knew the dog had terminal cancer.
You made this move knowing that the bulk of your money would be tied up yet you appear to have only kept a small amount of cash on hand for emergencies. You were six days into a ten day hold on your money. Euthanasia doesn't even cost all that much. What if you had happened to have a little more expensive emergency in those last four days of the hold? In other words you're moving to a new country where the community doesn't know you but you're expecting them to make up for your lack of planning.
The person who would have been in the position most able to be flexible would have been the veterinarian. Did you telephone the vet and explain the situation? No. In fact, you waited 20 minutes before you even telephoned the bank. That's a long time.
There's no way of knowing if the vet would have been flexible. I know plenty of them who would not have been. You weren't an established client. I don't know whether or not you have other pets at home that the vet will be treating in the future. A lot of vet clinics have been burned in situations like this so no longer are flexible with folks who aren't well-established clients. But that would have been the place to start not with berating some poor telephone clerk for the bank.I'm sorry for your loss, but I'm sorrier for the dog. And I can't help wondering a little if the berating-of-the-bank isn't just a little bit out of guilt. In other words, possibly you're feeling guilty that you didn't decide to euthanise earlier? This way you can blame the bank in your mind for the suffering. I'm not saying you should have euthanised her earlier. Not knowing the dog, of course I can't judge that, nor would I be able to judge that even if I'd known the dog.

That's something that's between dog and companion human. But I do know that a good number of humans go thru a guilt-trip after the death of a dog with a terminal disease. Should they have done it sooner did they wait too long? Should they have waited would there still have been more good quality of life ahead? These are questions that a huge number of dog owners can relate to. And sometimes other family members will put the dog owner thru a guilt-trip, as in a "See?? If you had agreed to put that dog down last month, this wouldn't be happening now!" sort of thing.
I'm just wondering if that might not be what's going on here, needing to find someone, anyone, to blame for the suffering.
Cindy