I’m not normally a big one for ranting and raving but today I was thoroughly put out by a certain bank (that I happen to bank with in both Australia and New Zealand – was that clear enough?). Whilst being here in NZ I have been monitoring my accounts to make sure that the debt that seems to accumulate on my Australian credit card is paid off from time to time. This has been quite useful as I also get notified through “Secure Mail” when an international transfer has been completed etc. Unfortunately I haven’t been that diligent in reading my snail mail – in fact I hadn’t even thought to check with my family (where the mail is currently being sent) to look at any of the mail from the bank. I guess I assumed that if I needed to be notified about anything important it would appear in the Secure Mail section of the Internet banking site.
Anyhow today I went to pay for something using my Australian credit card only to discover it had been disabled. After spending a few minutes (more likely more….) on the phone I managed to get hold of an customer service lady who was kind enough to inform me that the credit card had been disabled due to lack of payment. Apparently it is going to take up to 24 hours for it to be re-enabled (after I make a payment) – good thing I’m not in a rush to use it!
Figuring that I must have missed something I returned to the Internet banking site. From there it appears that yes there was indeed an amount owing on the card (not particularly high I might add) but there was nothing in either Secure Mail or any where else on the site to indicate that an account had been disabled. In fact the only indication was that my “available balance” on my card was 0.00.
While on the phone to the bank I did enquire as to why I hadn’t been notified (using a modern form of technology, since I do have an email address on my profile). Apparently they can’t send secure information via email (reasonable, but isn’t that what Secure Mail is supposed to be?). They also informed me that I should have notified them if I was travelling overseas – how is this protecting my privacy? In fact if someone had bothered to look at my records they would have seen that they had already contacted me earlier in the year (after the first few NZ transactions on the card) at which point I had informed them I would be in NZ for the remainder of the year.
I guess my point here is that you can have all the processes in the world, but if they don’t match how the user does business then you can’t really say that you are providing customer services (let alone good customer service).