Dumb & Dumber IV: Even More RBC Disrespect

Christopher Rath


I've been an RBC customer since about 1975. I've had my share of ups and downs with their customer service, but their latest idiocy has pushed me over the edge: they've begun to revamp the RBC online banking website. The old site had real problems (for example, after receiving a message that a statement is ready, it takes 10 left-button mouse clicks to actually open that statement); however, the new site is even less functional.

I attempted to contact RBC via their Twitter account, @AskRBC; but, that was like talking to a stone. @AskRBC insisted that if I pass my feedback to them that they would pass it along to -the management responsible for the website. I did pass the following letter along to @AskRBC; but, true to form, I have never even received an acknowledgement from RBC management that they even received my letter. I reached out to @AskRBC and they told me it was policy not to reply to feedback. Yet again, dumb and dumber, loser behaviour.

Clearly, RBC has no idea that customers exist for any reason except to be fleeced.

Here's my feedback to RBC…


RBC Customer Relations
c/o @AskRBC

Dear RBC,

Note, to help identify myself to you, my chequing account number is xxxx-xxxxxxx.

You recently began to roll out changes to the online banking website.  Your announcement claims that the new site is “better” and “…enhance the look and feel of the site and make it even easier for you to manage your finances.”  Unfortunately, these claims are false.

The new site design takes up at least 3 times as much space as it should.  It doesn’t scale to small laptop screens.  It seems to assume that everyone has a big monitor… or, multiple monitors.  My only computer is a small laptop, and I have no interest in using an app on my smartphone to do my primary banking work.

 Your announcement of the change also claims that the new site enables me to:

  1. Easily view alerts, messages, and other communications at the top of the page.
  2. View your account balances at a glance.
  3. Stay up to date on RBC Rewards®.
  4. Access features more quickly with Quick Links.

However, I could do all of these things on the old site too.  The new site doesn’t actually deliver anything new except a change in “look and feel”.

A feature missing from this first screen is the “Download Transactions” link.  On the old site, that link comes and goes from page to page, and never appears in a predictable location.  On the new site, the old situation is maintained.  In other words, the new site has not made things better.

Change for the sake of change is foolish and pointless.  It’s what bad managers do when they don’t know what else to try.

The previous site had some real problems; the poster-child issue being that to go from a notice of a statement to reading the statement took 10 mouse clicks (at least 8 more than it should have taken).

The new site is even less usable.  See the following screen shots to understand what I see as problems with the site.

See how the initial page fits within the window.  This is GOOD.

Notice that the sign-in screen doesn’t fit.  I have to maximise the window to fill my entire laptop screen if it is going to fit.  This is BAD.

Note that the account summary page also doesn’t fit.  Why not?  It’s not because there’s too much information; it’s simply because a lot of unnecessary whitespace has been added to the page.

The account pages themselves are all too big.  The one account that does still display properly is the credit line page.

On the new, overly big, account pages, notice how a line in the ledger takes up 3 times as much vertical space as it should.  The columns are too wide as well.  The page content should have compressed itself to fit the open window—fixed width (and height) widgets are a result of lazy programming.

Note, once I’ve executed a transaction, the transaction summary page is also still in the old compact format.

Your application development guys are probably going to tell me that this is so that users on tablets can better interact with the site.  That’s really wonderful for those users, but what about those of us using laptops. 

Just to be clear, I’m using an HP 2760p Tablet PC running Windows 7 Pro and IE11.  I can either use the touch screen or a keyboard and mouse.  It is much, much more efficient to use the keyboard and mouse when they’re available. 

I get that tablets aren’t a fad; but, look at how users actually use them: after buying their tablet (iPad, MS Surface, Samsung, or whatever), they immediately go out and add a keyboard to the device.  Thus, the use case is predominantly a keyboard and mouse + touchscreen model.  Forcing a too-big screen layout on the majority of users just to cater to the touchscreen-only minority is wrong-headed.

My personal use case is that while doing online banking I often am referring to other electronic documents and email.  It is most efficient to have two small windows open on my screen so that I can refer to the document while typing into the banking website.  The new RBC site doesn’t allow that behaviour; instead, I must now switch between the RBC window that occupies the entire screen and the other smaller document window—this both slows me down and introduces more opportunity for error.

In my own application development days (25+ years ago), the way we kept the developers from creating applications that didn’t align to users was to have the developers work on the same (or worse) hardware as the users would be using.  It seems to me that RBC has forgotten this lesson of the past and jumped headlong into the new world where developers have much more powerful and feature-enabled machines than real-world users.  This just results in bad applications and it’s very sad for RBC that it is not a learning organisation.

I have been an RBC customer since 1975, but it’s getting more and more difficult to remain an RBC customer.  RBC just doesn’t seem to care about its customers; instead, it’s catering to shareholders.  While I realise that RBC has a fiduciary responsibility to shareholders, that doesn’t mean that RBC is supposed to simply f*** over its customers in its journey to return a profit.



©Copyright 2016, Christopher & Jean Rath
Address: 1371 Major Rd., Ottawa, ON, Canada K1E 1H3
Last updated: 2016/02/08 @ 05:47:46 ( )