@RBC_Canada’s credit card purchase alerting system problem

I’m disappointed @RBC_Canada isn’t concerned about a serious problem with their credit card purchase alerting system.

I called to report what I consider to be a serious problem and was told by the agent to “turn it off and on again.” Fans of The I.T. Crowd TV series will find that particularly amusing.

Details follow, but it turns out there were two problems. The first is that the text message I received immediately after making a purchase listed the wrong store location. Oops! The second problem is that a second alert received two days later, although for the correct store number, was spurious. No purchase has been recorded online today.

When a credit card alerting system is providing incorrect information and then an incorrect alert, it’s a serious problem IMHO. If it’s crying wolf then the alerts for unexpected purchases would soon be ignored and then the system is worthless. Hey RBC, this needs to be taken seriously and fixed.


I made a purchase at a Staples store on March 7th that was over the $50 alert limit. I immediately got a text message alerting me to that fact. So far so good. At 10:53 today, March 9th, I get a second alert for the exact same amount from a different Stapes store. Ah ha! The alerting system must be warning me of a fraudulent purchase, perhaps by a Staples employee, right?

The first thing to do was verify the second purchase by looking online at the credit card transactions. Hmm…that’s interesting. There is no purchase today from Staples, but there is one for the 7th as expected. So why the alert?

The alert at purchase time from the Staples store in Kanata ON said Staples #91, which I didn’t realize until today was for a store in Sydney NS. If I’d have known, I would have called then (and been told to turn alerting off and on again no doubt).

The spurious alert today was for Staples #87 in Kanata ON, which is correct and matches the store number of the transaction online.

Having developed and tested software for decades, this would be at least a priority 2 bug report, bordering on priority 1 because it undermines the trustworthiness of the alerting system.

I will be interested in seeing RBC’s response.

Author: Tom

Destroyer of software. If I haven't tested it, it hasn't been tested.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *