In October, 2011 we purchased a townhome from Vandyk's WestPark village in Cobourg. At the time of the acceptance of our offer of purchase, we were asked for a $20,000.00 deposit, payable in four $5,000.00 installments. The cheques were dated Oct. 30, 2011, Nov. 30, 2011, Dec. 31, 2011 and Jan. 31 2012. By early December, neither of the first two cheques had been cashed and we contacted WestPark village to enquire whether there was a problem. We were told that the accounting office was backlogged and that the cheques had been received and were in the system. On Dec. 18 (a week before Christmas!) we took our two grandchildren out for dinner and my husband attempted to pay our cheque with our bank debit card, only to be told that the account was N.S.F. Apart from the embarrassment of having to come up with another method of payment, there was also a great deal of confusion on our part since we knew that there should have been ample funds in our account to cover this bill. On returning home, my husband checked our online banking account and discovered that all not only had the two cheques for Oct. and Nov. been deposited, but so had the post-dated cheques for Dec. and Jan, - $10,000 out of the account beyond what we had transferred funds to cover!!
A meeting with our banker on Monday morning established that the fault lay first, with Vandyk staff who had taken the cheques for deposit, and second with the initial bank to which the cheques were taken. After that, they enter the system and are not personally checked at any time following. We had no recourse re: cancelling payment since 24 hours had passed before we even became aware that the error had occurred. Vandyk did send a letter of apology and an offer to cover any out of pocket expenses (e.g. overdraft interest) incurred, but flatly refused any further compensation for the stress we experienced and the many rapid arrangements required to sort out this egregious error by Vandyk personnel. This was a clear breach of contract on Vandyk's part, and we very seriously considered terminating our purchase immediately. Our feeling was that if errors of this type are made (and we have discovered that we were not the only buyers who experienced this same issue), how confident can we be in the attention to detail during the building of our home? Ultimately we decided to continue with our purchase since this townhome offered all the features we had been seeking, but we will be vigilant as the building proceeds and we would also like to warn any prospective buyers to be extremely cautious in providing post-dated cheques since there appears to be no protection or compensation for the upheaval early deposit can make to your finances.