Let me tell you a tale. A tale of poor customer service, of which I have had absolutely enough. Okay, to be fair, this really is a straight up whinge. You know what they say, when you have a bad experience you tell 10 people. Well, I hope more than 10 people read this.
This tale involves my partner (let’s call him Josh, as that is his name), a bank (let’s call them a bunch of assholes. Or Commonwealth, as they’re also known) and an overseas trip.
There we were, gallivanting around Europe, putting all our money onto a Commonwealth Travel Card and enjoying our holiday. Then, BEHOLD! A spanner in the works. We tried to withdraw 400 Euro at an ATM in Rome, using our card, which, according to Commonwealth’s advertising is a:
“…safe, convenient and simple way to access your money overseas”
Well, the money did not come out and the ATM said something about a link failure, so we tried again. Alas, same message, same no money.
I tried my card (BankWest – owned by Commonwealth but clearly less retarded). Same error message, same no money.
We get back to our hotel, and check the balances on our cards. Mine was fine. However, the 800 Euro (from our two attempts) on the travel card was gone!
We immediately called CBA, only to be told there was nothing we could do except fill out a form. Oh, a PDF that we can fill out online? No, of course not. Get form, send to reception to print. Fill out. Back to reception. Try to fax form. Try to fax form again. Wait till next hotel. Try to fax form again.
This is difficult when the reception staff don’t speak great English.
Look, I get that annoying things like this happen on holiday. But what really makes this incident FLAWSOME was CBA’s attitude.
The staff Josh spoke to could not have been less helpful and more condescending.
Not only did they take our money, but we were informed it could take up to 60 days to get our money back. Well that’s completely helpful, obviously, especially when we’re overseas.
Then, there was the way they not-so-subtly suggested that we could have been lying about the cash. It’s always good when your bank works off the assumption that you’re probably trying to steal from them.
The most helpful advice they could offer us?
“I don’t know – why don’t you borrow the money from friends or something?”.
This, accompanied by “We’re doing everything we can to help you.” GAH! Why do people in the service industry think saying that is a ‘Get out of jail free’ line?
You’re not helping at all, let alone ‘doing everything you can’.
You are doing, in fact, nothing.
Actually, I will correct myself – they were doing something: passing the buck to MasterCard, who ‘own’ the product. That may be the case. However, CBA, you SOLD it to us, it has YOUR logo on it as well…you see where I’m going with this.
How about this, CBA – why don’t YOU lend us the money? You, who have f*#ked us over. You, who Josh has been a customer of for some 15 odd years.
Thankfully we had other money in different accounts, so our holiday wasn’t disrupted too much. And eventually we got the money back (SHOCK! HORROR! Turns out we AREN’T thieves!), but quite frankly, the whole incident has left a very bad taste in our mouths with regard to CBA. And, needless to say, we didn't get back the $160 we spent on phone bills trying to sort out the matter.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia?