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RBC – Notice of Service Fee and Account Changes aka We’re Going to Screw You, and No, You’re Not Going to Get Kissed First

Published April 29, 2011 - 2 Comments

I just picked up my mail.  Oh look, an envelope from Royal Bank of Canada.  Perhaps they’ve discovered several thousand dollars that should have been paid to me over the years, and are attempting to make amends.  Let’s open it and find out!

“At RBC, we are committed to providing you with a wide range of products and services that offer you flexibility, convenience, value and choice.  That way, you can receive the best features and benefits to meet your needs.

Effective June 1, 2011, we are making changes to our service fees and accounts.  While in some cases we are increasing prices, in other instances we have been able to reduce them.  For a complete listing of service fee and account changes that may affect you, please see the enclosed brochure.”

I put my favourite part of that letter in italics, so it’s worth repeating… While in some cases we are increasing prices, in other instances we have been able to reduce them. Really?  You’ve been “able” to reduce them?  No kidding!  That’s mighty accommodating of you! I know that *I* certainly appreciate you digging into your own pocket to help me (the little guy) out.  Thank you!

But wait a second…  I’m looking at the brochure that you sent me, and I’m noticing something a little odd… you claim that While in some cases we are increasing prices, in other instances we have been able to reduce them.  I certainly see where you’ve increased them, but I’m having a hard time locating the ones that you’ve decreased.  Oh there’s one!  Email transfers were $1.50 and are now $1.00.  That’s nice.  I use these on a semi-regular basis, so I appreciate saving that $0.50.  But where are the other fees that are being decreased?  Do you seriously expect me to believe that you “have been able to decrease them” yet there is only a single banking fee that has gone down!?  By a whopping $0.50?  Whereas every other fee in your brochure is increasing, some of them by a substantial amount?

You are the Royal Bank of Canada, not some backroom loan shark!  You are the largest bank in Canada, with $726.2 billion in assetsYour net income for last year was $5.2 billion!  That’s pure profit.  $5.2 billion! You’re Q1 results for this year were a record $1.84 billion!  In just three months, you recorded $1.84 billion!  That’s not revenue.  That’s profit!  And somehow with all this fantastic growth, you have the nerve to send me a letter telling me that I will be paying more for nearly every service you offer me, with the exception of one, all the while trying to make it sound like you’re doing me a gigantic favour by being “able” to reduce that single service fee.  And let’s be honest for a moment, shall we?  The only reason that the interact email transfer fee is being lowered is because it was too high to begin with.  Emailing money to someone is incredibly convenient, but people felt that $1.50 was a little too steep for that “privilege”.  By lowering the fee, the expectation is that more people will take advantage of the service, more often, driving revenue upward.  And you’re absolutely right.  I have no doubt that this will be reflected in the end of year results.

I don’t even know where to go from here…

I give up!