My first experience with CIBC - the worst bank in Canada

When I first immigrated to Canada, I knew very little about the banking system here. So I arrive with some cash in my pocket to keep me going for few days, and a draft cheque from an RBC (UK branch) for 10K. A great old friend of mine picked us up at the airport and took us to a hotel. He told me that he banked with CIBC, so he took me the next day to his branch so I can open a new bank account and cash my cheque. When I went into CIBC I was treated like an outcast! They refused to open a bank account for me because I did not have a permanent address in Canada! I told them that how can I possibly have a permanent address if I have just landed the day before. In fact I cannot rent an apartment because I don't have a bank account and cannot cash the cheque the I brought with me! Anyway, they told me that they would not be able to help and basically left me out hanging on the street looking for a way out! Thankfully I went to a different bank and things were sorted out within minutes!

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The worst credit card service rep in Canada

In a previous entry I was speaking about the problems I was having with CIBC's new master card. The problems did escalate further as things got worse not better!

I waited another couple of weeks and I see that the payment still didn't go through. I was getting a little worried because a) interest will start to be charged and b) my card was running out of limit since it hasn't been paid in a long time. I call back the customer service and ask directly for a manager this time. I told them that this is the 4th time I have called about the same issue and have been put at least 2 hours combined on hold so I wanted to escalate the issue. I spoke with Bocar. Bocar seemed like your average bank employee who has no clue how the system works. His story kept changing, at first he told me that the system never carries the automatic payment and I need to sign a new form, then I explained what happened to my account and he said ok, "let me listen to your conversations with previous reps" after it he came back and told me that things should be fine and the payment should go through, it didn't work before that because my card hasn't been activated, the system was waiting for me to have the card activated. This didn't make much sense since my card has been activated for at least a week before then, he told me that I should give it few more days for things to clear up.
This time around I wait 2 weeks, I checked my statement and I see that there is now hundreds of dollars charged in interest. To me, it looked like the situation was getting out of hand so I paid the balance, I was pretty sure at that point that these employees are just incompetent, and have only wasted a good 4 hours of my time in dealing with this.
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The worst bank In Canada

This is the first part of a series I will be writing about the my experience with the worst bank In Canada. Not surprisingly I just tried to Google "The Worst Bank In Canada" and about eight of the results on the first page showed nothing but the infamous CIBC!
Perfect I said, I am not alone on this.
My experience with CIBC starts a while back when I first immigrated to Canada. And I thought that I should not go to that bank again! The years have passed by and somehow I drifted towards having CIBC accounts, unfortunately. But my initial feelings with this terrible bank were not misplaced and CIBC did not take long to prove me right!
I used to have a Citi-Master card for about 10 years, and was quite happy with that card, not only because of the awesome features and rewards that card has, but I personally think it is the best card you can ever have in Canada, with features like purchase protection, price protection (Yes, when the price drops, CITI would actually pay you the difference!) and zero annual fees how can you go wrong?

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The death of an icon

Today marks a very sad day in the world of Technology. Steve Jobs, one of the greatest icons in technology has passed away after struggling with Cancer. At such a young age I can't think of how influential he was in our lives. Love Apple or hate it, Steve pushed technology through Apple and the competitions so that we all have a better life.
RIP Steve

Bezos the new Jobs

Jeff Bezos might not have all the glamor and marketing coolness Steve Jobs have, but he is probably the most sophisticated genius marketeer of our generation. He single-handedly made e-commerce mainstream, made buying books and merchendize online a normal thing, competed with e-bay, created the tablet market (Kindle was way before the iPad), made the storage cloud a big trend and is now into streaming, etc.
But the mother of all announcements was yesterday. Many tablet makers tried to steal some market share from the iPad and most have failed miserably, the most recent spectacular failure being the RIM PlayBook.
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Alberta's pipeline to the Gulf

While driving today I heard that there are some protest against building a pipeline to transport oil from Alberta's oil sands to the gulf of Mexico. While not a big fan of all these protests, they are only a magnet for people who would protest about anything and everything, but I thought to myself, hey! why are we sending a pipeline of crude oil all the way there?
I could think of two reasons: The first, having access to the Gulf itself, so the oil will be exported there easily, and the second, having access to the refineries in the gulf region.
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Did Tim Hudak just say Miller régime?

That was a little nasty. Call Miller whatever you want to call him, but he was a Toronto mayor, not some dictator in third world country.
And no, I am sure that Hudak did not use the webster definition, but rather the common negative intention usually referred to by that phrase.

That is very disrespectful, but not surprising given the super negative campaign we have in this provincial election.

The end of an era

Steve Jobs announced that he is stepping down as a CEO. We must all salute one of the most controversial personalities in the tech world. Love him or hate him, he has the marketing genius to build and market gadgets when people failed to understand how they might be useful.
From the personal computer of the 80s to the iPod, the iPhone and finally iPad. He did not invent any of these devices but he certainly made them mainstream.

The Mac made PCs more mainstream before they lost it to Apple, then came along the iPod which not only revived the music industry, it open the door for a new category of handheld devices.
The iPhone wasn't anything revolutionary, though making an easy device that was only used by geeks a super easy to use phone that even my dad can use is certainly something to be proud of.
Even his resistance to tablets that was mocked for ages, he came around and build a frenzy for tablet computers.
And lets not forget Pixar, bringing animated CG a new standard, raising the bar for everyone.
Well done Steve, I hope that you get well soon, and come back. Because even those who don't like Apple need Apple to keep raising the bar and I don't think they can do it without you.

Android takes the cake but Bada?

It is not surprising that Android has taken the lead market share in Q2 beating out Apple and Symbian. What is surprising however is the Samsung OS Bada, which I never heard of, beating out Microsoft according to CNet.
This is astonishing erosion of market share, I wonder if Nokia's deal would make any difference to Microsoft's ever diminishing share.