Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Which bank? Oh, that one celebrating 100 years of SUCKING

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.

As such:

Commonwealth Bank of Australia?


Monday, January 2, 2012

Occupy 2012!

Well, to say we've been rather....what's the word....forgetful? Distracted? No, that's not right. Oh, I know what it is - lazy. Yep, that's the one. Lazy.
To say we've been rather lazy is kind. We haven't done anything. For almost two years. And that, my friends, is shameful.
You might think that we've gotten calmer in our older age, maybe matured a little bit. If you thought that, then you are a fool. We are just as mad at the stupidity of the world as ever. And to that end, I would like to go on to introduce the topic of this post: The 'Occupy' Protestors, one of major causes of rage for me in 2011.


Okay, so it started in New York, where I guess a few people can legitimately have claimed to have lost their jobs to financial mismanagement, etcetera. But then to have it spread all over the world the way it did? Half those hippy freaks didn't even know what the hell they were protesting. Not one protestor I heard could actually articulate what they were doing and why they were there.
"Um, we're protesting the MAN, man!"
"The economy!"
"Big business!"
And then to add the stupidity of the general protest, it's how they did it. Sit in a park. REALLY?! That's your big idea?! That's what I do for picnics, buddy, not when I want to change the world.
They appear to have achieved exactly nothing. Why? Because hippies, by nature, aren't an organised people. They appeared to have no agenda, no actual plan, and no idea.
"So, what do you want to achieve here?"
"What sort of change?"
*awkward pause* "The good kind?"

Let's look at this guy, for example. He was an Occupy Adelaide protestor.

Let's be honest, mate, you'd join any peaceful protest happening quicker than you could say
"Hey mate, are you going to share that weed?"

I don't know if perhaps they had some ideal that perhaps we'd revert to a bartering society? I guess they'd have to protest that eventually too, because it's tough to barter when you have no skills that anybody wants. No, thanks, I'll pass on your hand-woven hemp undies.
Maybe they were looking more towards Communism as the way of the future? Bad news, hippies. That's been tried and, I gotta be honest, it hasn't always worked so well. You may think there's not, but guess what - there are always better animals* (*George Orwell reference to make me sound smart!).

I think the funniest thing I saw was in Amsterdam, where there was a 'Occupy Amsterdam' protest going on (the fact there was one there at all is hilarious enough). Anyway, they had a banner with a 'Sponsored by' message and then logos from all the big European banks. Then, somebody had spray painted on it "THIS IS IRONY". Hippies, if you have to EXPLAIN to people that it's irony, then you have failed in making it ironic.

Anyway, welcome to 2012. Now let's all go back to worshipping the almighty dollar. HUZZAH for capitalism!

So, 'Occupy' protestors of 2011?