Hey America…meet Canada!

America is vaguely aware of the vast land mass directly to the north of the good old US of A. They know that the good hockey players come from there and Canadians use the word “aboot”. The country as a whole, however, is unaware that Canadians build up credit the exact same way that Americans do and that it’s even the same company that keeps track of your credit score. Somehow this information has yet to cross the border. Also, it seems that there’s a rumour going around the States that our drivers licences are not a valid form of ID. The fact that America is misinformed about how business is done north of the border is giving me a bit of a headache.

Banking in general down here has turned out to be a royal pain in the ass. On top of the fact that I have no credit history in the US (which makes it virtually impossible to get a credit card and a monthly cell phone package) Wells Fargo decided that it would be really funny if they picked a random Friday to automatically close my accounts. So much fun! Turns out that the banker that entered my SSN into the system entered it in the wrong spot and overwrote my passport info. This left me with only one form of valid ID attached to my account and according to the US patriot act, that makes me a terrorist trying to launder money, so my accounts were closed. No warning phone call or email, just a polite message at the ATM saying that my accounts could not be accessed and could I please call this number. Bastards.

I managed to get everything sorted out and open a new account and while waiting for my cheque card to arrive in the mail I actually walked into the bank in person to withdraw money. Believe it or not, growing up in the era of the ATM, I don’t think I’ve ever done this before in my life. I handed her my Ontario drivers licence and after looking at it for a while, she asks what state is is.

“Uh, that’d be Canada, also known as the 51st state.”

“Hahahahahaha. We can’t actually accept this as a valid form of ID.”

So basically they can take my money, but won’t give it back to me. Peachy. Turns out the second banker didn’t even order the cheque card. I’m going to have to learn to stop distracting them with the witty banter.

Oh and one last thing. You have to take a driving test to swap your Ontario drivers licence for a California one. It’s probably because we drive on the other side of the road in Canada. Just like England.


5 Responses to “Hey America…meet Canada!”

  1. Mayhem Says:

    Screw Wells Fargo — they are renowned for this kind of shit. When you re-open things, go to Wamu (Washington Mutual) — they have real people working there!

  2. Rohan Jayasekera Says:

    OMG – I need to drive on the OTHER side of the road? Thanks for letting me know!


  3. Rachel Says:

    I agree with Rob…and have been contemplating doing just that for a couple of months now. Either that or going with one of the more local options Monica was talking about where (shock of all shocks) they REIMBURSE YOU for those outrageous fees atms can impose. Wells Fargo chooses to slap me again with more fees instead. EEEW.

  4. Bobby Says:

    Man, I hate Canada. People are just so, I don’t know… witty, and good-looking, and funny, and generally-well-dispositioned. Total douche bags.

  5. Jorge Says:

    Welcome to life as an immigrant. I went through the same treatment when I arrived to Toronto from Mexico…

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