To stash some cash, we’ve decided to open an account at President’s Choice Financial. It’s been strange so far.

Like several banks, they offer an online application process. Several weird things though: they asked for a lot of credit-oriented information, when frankly we don’t need any more credit. I obliged.

A few days later, we received e-mail back, instructing us to contact their call centre, in order to proceed with the application. Er … but all the relevant information that could be sent by telecommunications was already sent. Still, I called. As is typical with telephone-based customer service systems nowadays, there was a deep menu of options, none of which included talking to an employee. So I improvised with the “my card was lost and stolen” option. Ring!

What the dude on the other end had to tell me floored me. He advised that filling in the application online, or even via the telephone (another option mentioned on the web site), was a mistake. To save time, one should head to a “pavilion” (little retail outlet in a nearby supermarket) and start all over. He was not referring to the face-to-face identification formality that I expected, but outright disposing of the online application, and filling in a brand new paper form.

That is simply stupid. If the bank’s own people are going to tell prospective customers that they wasted time typing in information into the bank’s own system, then perhaps that online system shouldn’t exist in the first place.

Reading this story makes me want to reconsider dealing with them at all.