Your call to TD Bank may be answered in India

January 11 2008 by Ellen Roseman

Bell and Dell paved the way in using Indian call centres. Now, one of the Big Five banks is trying an experiment.

A reader notified me of this pilot project and I confirmed it with a TD spokeswoman. I’ve posted both emails below.

This raises issues of possible job losses in Canada, the privacy of personal information and the ability of people located in a far-off country to understand and explain sometimes complex Canadian banking rules and arrangements.

In an earlier controversy about outsourcing by Canadian banks, the Toronto Star ran a story in 2004 about CIBC and RBC outsourcing the management of their credit card operations to a U.S. company, Total System Services Inc.

As a result, Canadian cardholder information could fall under U.S. legislation, such as the U.S. Patriot Act, enacted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, greatly expanding the powers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

232 comments

  1. Miro

    Apr 10 2009

    It’s shocking that people really think like this…”think many of you need to open your eyes. UNEMPLOYED Canadians get TAKEN care of by their government, third world country unemployed merely DIE off with no income from their government. This is the problem with our nation, it follows the States too much. We are selfish and disgustingly ignorant towards those who need more than us. Disgusting….no wonder Africa is still a hell on earth…you don’t care, why should the government? Disgusting.”

    *****Are you serious??! Two wrongs don’t a make a right. TD is taking jobs away from people in Canada to save TD some money – NOT to help the less fortunate.

    Would it make sense to remove limbs of people in Canada to give to people in third world countries who are losing theirs to war — or to stop the war and ensure that people everywhere are provided for?

  2. Carpal Chandra

    Dec 28 2009

    This is very sad that our personal data is so compromised. Why would US and Canadian banks and credit card companies entrust our accounts to the foreigners?

    I understand that it is very cheap, but come on, these are our banking and credit card accounts. Isn’t it a threat to our country (I am a US citizen) when so many accounts (and we are talking about money here) are actually in the hands of foreign countries?

  3. TD 23 year customer

    Feb 28 2010

    I have just discovered that they are in India, as they do not understand North American English well. They are still using British type of English, as they were citizens of a former British colony.

    I think I was forced to give them an excellent rating as a polite manner before I hung up, but they are not worth it.

  4. Andy – TD customer 25 years

    Mar 17 2010

    I am appalled that that TD has outsourced customer service to India and I will pull all of my accounts and credit cards from their bank and move it to another Canadian bank if they continue.

    Banking and the financial industry is the foundation of Toronto’s economic prosperity and the stability of the chartered banks are the main reason why Canada has seemingly rebounded from the recession quicker than our southern neighbors. I think this is why most Canadian’s turn a blind eye on the massive profits that these companies make, to the tune of billions per year.

    But now they have gone too far.

    I am shocked that they would remove jobs from Canada in order to increase their profits further. And the service is atrocious! The Indians that I spoke with are very nice and courteous, but they have a hard time understanding the nuances of the English language that is required to help with financial matters.

    If this situation is not rectified in one month I will vote with my dollar and remove my business from TD Canada Trust.

  5. Heather Johnston

    Jun 27 2010

    I can honestly say that I am not having any issues with TD outsourcing their customer service. I have done my research correctly and can tell you that there are more customer service centres and departments here than there are in India.

    TD Visa customer service and Easyline have been somewhat outsourced to India in order to help combat the long wait times with high call volumes and the hours between midnight and 7 am (or 8 am) when Canadian centres are closed.

    Apart from that, the rest remains in Mississauga, Ont., London, Ont., and Montreal, Que. The London location alone employs roughly 700 people.

    One must consider the fact that the Canadian locations can also be employing ”Canadian-Indians” who also have issues with English nuances. TD is all about diversity, and it is true that you might not always get Canadian people on the phone…but during business hours (actually from 7 am-midnight for some departments), your call will most likely be answered by a fellow Canadian.

  6. Ann

    Aug 26 2010

    I do not blame you and I am thinking of doing the same.TD seems to favour students with credit cards rather than working people.We have opened our first account with TD on our arrival to Canada and up to this day, they could only offer my husband who is gainfully employed a $ 500 credit card with security. This is atrocious.

  7. DS

    Aug 29 2010

    I just have to say one thing….

    There are more frauds and embezzlements within the country than outside in an offshoring enviroment and the possibility of the criminal getting away with your money is higher in the country, as he understands the laws and its loopholes.

    On the other hand, a person half the globe away is not just afraid to fiddle with laws but goes through a rigourous process of background checks.

    As someone had perhaps correctly mentioned, a person working in India for a bank in Canada needs the job desperately, all the more reason to be honest and dilligent.

    As long as th person can speak well, solve your problem and provide you a quick service, why a bother if he is an Indian or a Chinese or a Vietnamese??

    The fact is hundreds of actual TD customers love to talk to Indians and prefer Indians handling their queries because for some reason they think people in India are more compassionate, soft spoken, polite and benevolent.

    As a customer, one has all the rights to question a bad service, but not the nationality of the person handling the call.

    Talking about security, TD claims to provide ZERO liability coverage and 100% reimbursement… TD, as one of the big fives, knows how to carry its business and has ensured all due diligence before offshoring. All the aspects of compliance to laws and possibility of security concerns are well thought of before the business transitioned.

    The cases mentioned above are one in a million and are not bound only to reasons of an Indian handling the call. There are scores of such cases when a native Canadian has handled the query. It’s the matter of choice or the level of competence.

  8. Charlie

    Sep 17 2010

    I just closed all of my TD accounts and switched to Scotiabank. After one of the worst experiences in telephone banking I’ve ever had, I finally asked the agent where he was located. He replied “India”.

    I hung up the phone and I’ll never use TD again. This is dangerous and is kicking the Canadian economy while it’s down. Good-bye, TD.

  9. nick

    Nov 20 2010

    hello friends

    Am an Indian and working in a TD call center . I read most of the bad and gud comments by u all. I do understand it creates job probs 4 citizens in Canada but most of the people from my personal experience i hv helped wit wer really happy ,wen ur in a problem if u hv any probs wit any bank accounts etc u don’t care if ur speaking to an Indian or Canadian . But there r few people who calls in and creates problems wit the cal and don’t like to speak wit a Indian employees wer in its really a bad experience they must think tat we r in the office 4 whole nite doing service to them. According to my research TD is the most best bank than any other bank its nt because am working there but the service TD provides is great .

  10. Ash

    Dec 8 2010

    Guess what? There was a massive snow storm that crippled the Onshore call center for TD and it had to shut down in the last 2 days. The onshore employees are at home having a snow day.

    Thank goodness, they have offshore or I wouldn`t have been able to activate the Credit Card I just got in the mail.

    There ARE benefits.

  11. wow

    Jan 26 2011

    I am really frustrated to have to talk to agents in India who have no idea what they are talking about.

    I mean I talked to 3 different individuals all from India and none of them had a precise answer to my questions. Most important, they do not seem to have any knowledge about account dealings besides stating their name and ours.

    Seriously, this needs to be taken care of. I am certain that I am not the only one annoyed by these ignorant people.

  12. Tommy

    Mar 14 2011

    I recently had a short conversation with a gentleman working in an Indian call centre serving the TD bank. I asked the man if he’d be willing to tell me what his monthly income was and how long he had been working for the TD call centre — 20,000 Indian, which he then converted to Canadian with his calculator to $460.

    I was quite surprised. The Toronto Dominion bank executives (the same year this “experiment” was started) received some very handsome bonuses.

    I’m not saying it’s odd that they did, it’s quite routine for them to receive bonuses every year. I’m just saying that perhaps they don’t need to lie to us and say they need to save money by outsourcing jobs aat the expense of Canadian citizens.

    And as for the economists who endorse the outsourcing of these jobs, you should go back to school. You are ignorant or just plain liars, using your name as economists to censor the truth from TD’s customers and make them think this is good for the economy, which is both untrue and is lacking in taste, as it insults the intelligence of TD account holders in Canada.

    I’ll explain. If these executives put Canadians to work instead of east Indians, the money paid out for the service from the bank would be put into circulation in the Canadian economy. In Canadian stores paying other Canadians. Thus continually helping Canadians.

    But once that money has been exported overseas, it only helps the Indian economy andd the short term gain is only felt by the executives in Canada and the places they spend their money.

    Now really what’s going? The bank saves $600 every 2 weeks on every Indian employee answering phones, while the Canadian job market loses $1,200 for every Indian employee answering phones, and our federal budget loses $200 per employee and so on.

    While some economists are paid to endorse this, other sensible people can see clearly that the overall economy is not improved at all, because there is less money in circulation from this course of action and definitely the Canadian economy is hurt most of all.

    Think about it. India is already vastly overpopulated. So give them money and jobs? No, that doesn’t improve that situation at all. More money in an overpopulated region just means more births. And isn’t this whole scheme called running sweat shops? Next.

    We have our own problems with poverty in Canada and it costs a lot more money to live here. Maybe, just maybe, executives should get bonuses when they figure out how to improve the economy they are based in by putting more people to work. Thus increasing the cash flow, thus increasing their own customer base, thus investor base.

    Because a Canadian working for TD will have a TD account with $1,200 in it every 2 weeks, rather than $220 and an executive that loosely blows the cash and lessens the overall worth of the TD bank itself.

    Plus a higher percentage of the bonus goes straight to the government and purchases less product in the Canadian economy, thus having less spending cycles before it is fully absorbed by other contries anyway.

    The longer we can keep that money here, the more times it gets spent here and the more families in Canada benefit. In India, it simply does not benefit our economy.

    Ask yourself what Canadian products are exported to India? Welll?

    And then on top of all this, you gotta trust some one in a foreign country that gets paid less than Canadians pay jobless. People to sit around and drink beer and watch TV on welfare with their banking information. NO.

    Outsourcing is only useful or good in an economy where everyone is already too busy with more important higher paying jobs. As long as we have people with no jobs that can operate a phone, we don’t benefit from from the loss of federal revenues spent on welfare.

    Because for every Indian employed at $460 a month, we have 1 jobless Canadian costing the rest of us $650. And that gets taken straight off our pay checques. So whoever is handing out the kickbacks they call bonuses at the TD should get a solid kick in the nuts.

    We aren’t that stupid. What you’re doing is wrong and is not helping Canada. It’s greedy. It makes me enraged every time I have to call the bank since I talked to this gentleman.

    As for those economists, who were they? I wanna hear names. Or are they not willing to say? Or were there really economists saying this was a good idea? Or were there just greedy executives scheming for kickbacks?

    I think anyone who reads this will recognize the truth. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Deception is Capitalist.

  13. Tommy

    Mar 14 2011

    Oh, and you, Ash, they should have two call centres in Canada, rather than 1 here and 1 there. And as for your credit card. Those are immoral and evil too.

    Think about it. Japan attacked North America on credit and is the most in debt country in the world.

    Almost all war is fought on credit and borrows our future’s resouces. If everyone could only spend money they have, we wouldn’t be so short of resources now and the world population would not have grown to such an unmanageably high nuimber.

    Thinning of the herd is needed. Everyone in the world should have their credit wiped out.

  14. Jim Dalton

    Apr 9 2011

    I recently had a problem with and offshore representative and had to use a supervisor to fix it, the supervisor was in Markham Ontario and answered many questions for me.

    I then left the following message in the feedback forum on the TDCanada trust customer support page. I encourage all those who care about Canadian jobs and security to be the squeaky wheel and make some noise where it counts.

    following is pasted from the feedback I sent….

    After inquiring with an easyline supervisor as to how to get onshore operators I was informed to dial the easyline as normal but not to insert access code when prompted and dial 0. This worked as she said it would. I suggest that your automated server informs you that this option is available for those who wish to support and encourage Canadian employment opportunities and keep our personal banking information at home.

    A proud Canadian.

  15. moe

    Apr 10 2011

    In addition to security concerns related to my personal information, I find it it extremely galling when my TD banker brags of their investment in Canada. Hence their interest rates cannot be as competitive as those with a limited presence in Canada.

    I guess I’ll cut the middle man and deal direct with ICICI if I am to deal with an offshore bank!

  16. Steph

    Aug 26 2011

    What’s the hue and cry about outsourcing? I don’t think it’s a loss for anyone either here in Canada or India.

    On top of this, we get extremely decent and polite customer service representatives helping us to every possible extent regading banking.

    I think TD is doing a great job by outsourcing to India. Power to you, my friend.

    I love their service and the small chatters in between solving complex banking transactions.

    We need to clear our pre-occupied mindset and shun racism.

  17. Jeff

    Feb 18 2012

    Cibc and presidents choice jobs are being outsourced to India. They can pay 60% less and thus increase their profit margin and executive bonuses.

    And I got a letter from them saying they are increasing their fees.

    Banks don’t care about their customers or employees. No wonder they are making crazy profits even during a recession.

    It’s better banking with a credit union.

  18. c3p-whore

    May 20 2013

    I believe they were planning to outsource a long time. I remember discussing it in 2004 and many of my coworkers were not on to outsourcing.

    The treatment of employees at the call centres really started to go downhill. Some employees started to discuss a union.

    They merged my department with another call centre. I spoke to many who left because of the working conditions. They gave bad PAs to many workers for not following a call centre script to the letter.

    I know I may sound like a whiner to many, but working in a regimented call centre is no joke. I finally left in 2006. I was really forced out.

    The funny thing is I called this year and assumed that my call was being taken in Markham or London, Ont. It was taken in India and the rep told me there are two centres in India.

    It now made sense. They forced people out because they didn’t want to give a package. They then outsourced.

  19. Ho Ka Kui

    Aug 23 2013

    I worked at TD. This so called LEAN transformation started at end of April.

    Majority of the IT jobs are now being offshore to INDIA. Division is a mess.

    I am still there but don’t know for how much longer. Terrible place to work for. Horrible for the country. Private sector corporate greed is exactly what it is.

    Wait till Jan 2014 when the new Indian CEO takes over. Another Rogers in the making.

  20. K Summers

    Oct 8 2013

    What the hell is going on? Why are Canadian jobs being lost to off-shore Indian call centres?

    I will be contacting my local branch in the AM and demanding an answer. I’m sure that I’ll be getting the expected answer.

    My next task will be to find a bank that doesn’t have offshore call centres!

  21. clinton

    Aug 26 2014

    This is clinton. I am working from india for td and we are happy serving the bank customers.

    We cannot access the personal information of customers like pins …we are not even allowed to carry our phones on the floor for security reasons.

    So Canadians, your information is safe, not to worry.

  22. Steve

    Dec 3 2015

    I have been with TD for 35 years. Every single dollar of investments is with TD.

    I called its Customer Service yesterday and was rerouted for the first time to INDIA. WTF? I never gave TD permission to expose my financial assets to foreign countries!

    This is 2015. Fraud is easy to do today. There is a worldwide religious war of extremist Muslims attacking others, stealing from others.

    Many Indians are Muslims and desperately poor. Many have friends in Canada, to whom they coukd forward my personal financial and contact information and plan fraud, kidnappings or even murder of me or my family.

    It’s one thing to share my personal information with TD Canada employees. It’s another to share with India or anywhere else.

    I’ll be looking to transfer ALL of my financial holdings to a company that will only hire Canadians working in Canada.