Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The insult of a late payment fee. BankSA fumbled the ball.

How unfortunate for you BankSA. I've been banking with you for about 25 years now there have been times where I have had very low balances and other times where I have run an average balance of $40,000. I've never been a particularily bad customer at least . At this moment I have no particular need for credit card facilities and have a range of financial institutions offering me pre approved credit cards.

Almost out of charity but more from convenience I agreed a few years ago to take a little $500 credit card with you. It has worked ok and I normally just pay the balance off before the end of the month. This time when it slipped my mind and you chose to apply a $9 late payment fee.

Sure you have the right to do anything you like as a supplier and I have the right to do anything I like as a consumer. As a consumer I decided to close the account.

When I called your helpline I was run around for about a half an hour before I was with the right person to close my account who did it as a matter of straightforward bureaucratic paperwork. When I quizzed them about whether or not this seems strange that a 25 year customer is calling to close an account because of a paltry fee, they were surprised.

By comparison a similar situation 6 months ago with Woolworths Everyday Money (HSBC) saw the customer service person reverse the charge immediately and keep me as a customer.

It's strange that the one side of the bank is trying to get customers to open new accounts and more deeply discuss their banking needs while the other side of the bank is losing customers.

Giving the bank the opportunity I had already driven out to the branch (St Peters) so that I could talk with somebody about this situation. The teller seemed confused that I would want to talk to somebody about my banking needs and asked if I would like to make an appointment. By then I'd lost interest and left.

I think BankSA dropped the ball today. Perhaps in the new-ish (St George) owners, perhaps it's the Tuesday after a long weekend and perhaps it's just me being an entitled turd. But I'm not an 18 year old begging for my first credit card, I'm not scratching for a living and surviving thanks to the largesse of the banks.

As I make my customer service complaint to Bank sa I will direct them to this blog. If I remain unsatisfied I will close my major account. Or something might grab my attention and I will forget to. Customer inertia is the friend of bad service providers. Often those bad service providers mistake that inertia for loyalty.

UPDATE 7/7/2016

After that confusing and disappointing attempt to close the credit card, it appears to still be sitting there on my internet banking. I will pay it off now and send them an email closing the account, direct them to this blog entry and see what happens. If I don't get a satisfactory "service recovery" I will withdraw all my money, say goodby to our relationship of about 26 years and walk into some other financial institution.

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