The cluelessness of the Commonwealth Bank


Here’s a good example of truly horrible and misleading corporate communications.

On Saturday morning I got this message on my phone:

Not very informative or useful, so I logged on to Netbank to check it out further.

Almost the same, except for the fact that it’s NOTHING LIKE THE SAME. Great messaging, Commbank, send different messages depending on which medium the customer first sees.

Naturally, I went and looked at the transaction history, which showed the validated AMEX charge is for a hotel in The Netherlands, which is not a valid charge in any way. Several more are pending.

So I headed out in the car, went to Woolies, bought some food, tested the AMEX card. Worked fine, So I went and filled the car up with gas and petrol, just in case. Still works.

Walked to Coles, bought some cat food, withdrew cash this time (using the Mastercard/EFTPOS card) and all was good. (Would I have withdrawn cash at Woolies if I’d remembered, so I had cash at the petrol station? Why, yes I would have…)

Rang the bank on the supplied number, was on hold for ages (after they disconnected me the first time after a few minutes), got through to a bloke who took details. Was told the bank would cancel the AMEX card but that the linked Mastercard would work just fine.

A couple of minutes later, an email arrives from Commbank.

Err, what? That’s not at all what I was told, in fact, it’s the opposite.

Not entirely trusting them for some reason, I walked up to Coles again (the cat now has food for weeks if not months) and sure enough, the Mastercard credit doesn’t work. It does, however, function as a debit card. Will this be the case tomorrow? Who knows? But at least I’ve got cash to buy food with, and the car is fully fuelled. (Update, the Mastercard credit worked this morning. Their systems are about as good as their communications, it seems.)

But their ability to push a coherent, helpful message is appalling. Messages sent at the same time to different mediums saying different things (neither of which is correct, anyway)? That’s an appalling lack of oversight and testing.

Also, Commbank, stop telling me “All our telephone staff are busy – we’ll assist you as soon as possible” every 30 seconds while I’m on hold. I’m sitting here trying to get things done while I wait ages to talk to someone, and EVERY SINGLE TIME a voice breaks in on the “music,” it breaks my concentration because I expect it to be someone to talk to, no just the same trite, incorrect, dishonest message. Get some decent music, and just let it run – at least that way I won’t be continually interrupted to be lied to. Most people can work out that if there’s music playing that they’re still waiting in line. Your lies don’t help, they harm, in more ways that one.

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