Tips for making an effective complaint
If you have a complaint, take some time up front to clearly define the problem and the outcome you expect. This can help you make a stronger case and put you in a better position to get the results you want.
Some complaints may be resolved quickly. More complex complaints may require several steps. Need help along the way? You can get in touch with us at any time to discuss your options.
Gather your facts
Think about the problem and the result that you want. Write down the main points in the order that they occurred. Note the name of the firm, the accounts and securities involved, who you dealt with, key dates and the circumstances surrounding the issue.
Put together a file of any supporting documents. Include copies of application forms, statements, transaction confirmations, cancelled cheques, agreements, certificates and all relevant correspondence to and from the firm. Never send the originals of any documents in case they get lost.
Put it in writing
It’s best to make your complaint in writing, especially if you lost money or there was an unauthorized trade made in your account. Make sure you include your complete address and a phone number or e-mail address where you can be reached.
Contact the firm
Your first step in seeking a resolution is to contact your adviser or their firm. OBSI [link] and the IDA arbitration program [link] require you to follow the firm’s complaint process before they will investigate a complaint.
Once you begin the complaint process, make sure you document all the steps you take to get it resolved. This includes telephone conversations, e-mails and faxes. Keep a log of the times and dates of phone calls, who you spoke with and what was discussed. Communicate in writing as much as possible and keep copies of all correspondence.
"Know your client" form
Your adviser is responsible for completing a form that accurately describes your financial situation, investment objectives, knowledge, experience and risk tolerance. This is called “know your client” information. You should receive a copy of the completed form.
While this information may seem overly personal, it’s critical for determining what investments are suitable for you and is a key document if something goes wrong. Make sure you contact your adviser to update your information whenever your personal or financial situation changes.