Saturday, January 17, 2009

Banking Customer Service, huh?

Taking last Thursday off to go to a music festival, I thought I'd kill 2 birds with the one stone and visit Suncorp to close an account I no longer needed. Suncorp's flakey definition of Customer Service decided, however, that was not to be.

Walking into the office, I was greeted by a pleasant young gentleman who directed me to the tellers to conduct a final withdrawal and close the account. The sour-face mole on the teller promptly swiped my card and in the most resigned of tones explained that I could not close the account because it was "dormant". I was perplexed at this, as I had used this very same Visa Debit card over the weekend to buy some iTunes songs. But, apparently, that was the "sub" account and the "main" account had not been used ever, and so had gone to "sleep". I would need to transfer $1 from the "sub" account to the "main" (or "dom") account to "wake it up" and then transfer the $1 back out again.

"Ok, let's do that," I requested of the young lass, who was ever eager to serve me. By which I mean was ever eager to shoot daggers of contempt into my heart with every breath she took as I was obviously too daft as to not understand their quite simple business operations...

"Oh no, I can't do that.. You'll have to go over to that phone on the wall and call telephone banking to do that," was the obvious reply.

Perplexed, I trundled over to the phone, only to be requested by the automatic answering person to enter my phone banking password. As I had never used such a service, I had no such password. With no option on the system to talk to a human, I gave up on the phone menu merry-go-round and went back to the first kind gentleman to help me.

Seeing my perplexity, he kindly stepped in and guided me through a 9-minute phone wank in which I reset my phone password, transferred money from one account to another and back out again and in the process "waking up" the account. Great. Awesome. My 11 minutes so far in this branch were proving very productive.

He then lead me back to another teller to proceed with the final transaction and close the account. But still nothing - this time it was because I had used the account 5 days ago and there were still some Visa "authorities" pending. A good 15 minutes of pleading and trying to make them realise the stupidity of their systems, I was finally over the hilt of frustration when they told me I had to come back another day and close the account. Nope. No fucking way was that happening. Not on your fucking nelly was I doing that.

Luckily, the helpful and patient teller kept searching for ways to ensure I did not have to step foot back into one of their god-forsaken branches. Scoffing at the absolute stupidity of the course of action present, I finally relented, if only to stop myself from going postal.

Their suggested action? I was to take my card, and the forms they had already filled in, along with a self-addressed pre-paid envelope the young girl had given me, and write a letter requesting the account be closed. After being refused by Rebekah to pen the letter right there and then and cut out the postal middle man, I left in absolute dismay at the bank's complete inability to be logical and customer focused.

I always knew banking was a black science filled with bureaucratic bumbling, but this was just plain ridiculous! Surely no other business can behave in this openly hostile way to their customers?


Moko 2.0 said...


I remember a fella on the south side walking into a real estate agent (early last year?) and blowing away the poor young bitch on the counter that was making her debut in real estate secretarism. He then promptly blew his own fucken head off.

What you experienced is why he did it.

Frustration and the absolute lack humanity with bureaucracy and the people who use that as an excuse to be....munts. Of course he goes down in history as one of the biggest arseholes ever to exist while the fuckers and the system that caused it keeps filling bank accounts. Not yours, or mine either.

Banks just got the go-ahead to shaft you even harder, by the way. They can now charge you WHAT.EVER.THEY.WANT when you use the 'enemies' ATM's.

Someone will REALLY break oneday. I betcha.

Jamin (but also known as Albion Love Den and Blue Box on jspace) said...

I'll admit there were fleeting moments during the above exchange where I was day dreaming of a bell-tower and and AK-47...

Anonymous said...

Hmm I think I would have said, "But I heard you're about to go broke so I need to get my money out TODAY" really loud and repeated it until they just paid me to leave before I started a run.

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