I went to the bank with our Free letter from my middle daughter’s University (the nice one in Nova Scotia), which was e-mailed to us (for use in RESP Redemption), and finally the entire RESP story came into crisp and clear focus. It can be summed up with a simple phrase that we will call the Big C8j Customer Service Rule:
People who work in phone centers for banks (or any financial service) do not know how things really work, in the bank branch.
What do I mean by this? Remember all that ranting I have done about getting letters to get money, and having to pay $12 to get them (and YES that DOES piss me off), well that’s not how it all really works, when you are hoping for RESP redemption.
How RESP Redemption Really Works?
We showed up at our local branch, with our Letter of Enrollment in hand, and I had no idea what to expect, but luckily Good Providence, Karma or whichever way the Universe works, smiled upon my wife and I. The “teller” we spoke to first was the Branch Manager, this made the whole process much simpler, and smoother running.
First we discussed what needed to be done with this Letter of Enrollment that we had received from the University (this is the Free one that was simply attached to an e-mail). The Manager said it was sufficient to execute an RESP redemption from my daughter’s RESP, HOORAY! HUZZAH! WHOOP! WHOOP! I was hoping for confetti to drop out of the ceiling, however, this is not the end of the story.
The Manager then said if I wanted to make the withdrawal, I could make an appointment with one of the Mutual Fund Experts and then I could do my RESP redemption.
Insert the sound of screeching brakes, the Process was about to be derailed, because there was no way I wanted to make an appointment to get at this money (sit down for another 1/2 hour with an Expert, later in the week?!? NFW). I pointed out that I usually did all of my banking on line, and if the Manager was able to set the “She is Going to School For Real Flag” on my daughter’s RESP account, couldn’t I simply do this all on line? The Manager thought about it, and agreed this might all be possible, but he was not sure (a small sigh of relief the process was not completely derailed).
The Manager then pointed out that normally I should have made an appointment to bring in this letter, because a normal bank teller cannot do this, hence the statement: People who work in phone centers for banks (or any financial service) do not know how things really work, in the bank branch. I explained that I had been told on the phone RESP redemption was all do-able with a normal teller,the Manager said no they can’t, but because I was lucky enough to get him as my Teller, things would all work out nicely.
The Manager then pointed out that, in fact, since he was the one setting the “She is Going to School For Real Flag” on my daughter’s RESP account, I didn’t really need a Letter of Enrollment at all, the branch in fact will take a Proof of Payment (i.e. a receipt from the school), a copy of my daughter’s schedule, or a Transaction number which shows the amount was paid to the University (or a canceled cheque I assume).
Let me repeat that important rule I have stated twice now: People who work in phone centers for banks (or any financial service) do not know how things really work, in the bank branch. So, for my oldest daughter’s RESP all I need to do is bring in my proof of payment, and her RESP account will be freed up to have money extracted from it, I will be doing that very soon.
Is It All Over Now?
Not quite, as a Caveat, I have not attempted to take money out of either RESP account on line yet, so this still may all end in tears, when I attempt to withdraw money from the accounts, I hope this is me being paranoid, but I suspect there are still a few more interesting twists in the road before I reach the promised land. I have also noticed that on the allegedly fixed RESP account on line, there is no button to REDEEM MUTUAL FUNDS, only two buttons to BUY or SWITCH them, which is not good news.