STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!

Monday, February 19, 2007

First ISPs, and now BANKS.

Following on from my indepth explanation of why my ISP is "t3h suxx0r", let me now explain why banks, or specifically this bank, also are deserving of that title.

I'm a member of emailcash, and although it took me 3 years to earn my first $30 with them, I hopefully will shortly earn my second in about 6 months. Considering the work involved is effectively nil, that's not a bad deal. Anyway, the reason I'm up for cheque number two is that the above-mentioned bank offered me 1000 reward points if I successfully applied for their credit card. After looking into the card's details ($60-something application fee, 9.99% interest on cash/purchases, 0% on balance transfers for 6 months) I thought it sounded like a good deal, and given that the 1000 points would tip me over another $30 emailcash cheque, that sealed the deal.

So I applied. I included on my application the details of my existing credit card balance, and because it was an existing expense, I also included the $200 a fortnight we put into the credit card to pay it off. Bad move, but I'll get to that in a second. Anyway, time passes and eventually I get an email letting me know that my application has been approved and the cards are in the mail. Given the application fee and the second card fee, that brings the total spend to $80.

Today, I decided I'd like some details. Namely, how much have I been approved for, and when will my balance transfer go through? So I give them a call, explain I don't have my card yet, and then ask the first of my two questions. The answer I get is a good $3000 below the balance transfer I'd specified.
{insert shock and frustration}
How flipping stupid can a bank be to not realise that if I want to transfer a balance of x dollars onto a new credit card, that approving me for x - 3000 dollars is not going to make me very happy? How about giving me a call prior to putting the approval through and asking me if I want to go forward? How about asking me how much I'd like to apply for, so that you can deny it if I don't make enough to get that much credit?

Anyway, my only recourse is to wait until the cards arrive and then apply for a reassessment. More time, more details needed, and I'm already $80 out of pocket. I'm not impressed. However, I did realise part of the problem is probably the fact I'd used my fortnightly salary allocation spreadsheet to do my monthly living expences. We put $200 a fortnight on the credit card to try and pay the debt down, but my minimum payment is WAAAAAYYY less then that. Hopefully I can get this resolved quickly. However, I still hold that the bank is completely idiotic for approving an application for a card that logically requires a limit higher then what they're approving. Do you want to make your customers crazy!??! Gah.

4 comments:

Joel Baltaks said...

Yes, my general experience with banks is that they drag their heels as much as possible if you're going to give them less money, and they jump the gun if you're going to give them more money.

By this principle, now that they've got your money coming their way, they'll be a-draggin their heels to change the situation. Just keep jumping up and down...

If it's a clear case of Bad Banks (TM) then you can threaten to report them to the ombudsman. Banks get scared by this because it means fines.

Tam said...

But surely a fine for a single breach - if this is the case - is so insignificant that they end up doing as they please?

Regardless, I wish you the best of luck in this situation. It's a shame that credit has become such a major part of our life....

Joel Baltaks said...

I've been informed by an acquaintance in the banking industry that complaints to the ombudsman do work, because they result in an automatic three thousand dollar fine regardless of what happens. Naturally the bank may be fined more than this if they were in the wrong.

It's not a gargantuan amount for a bank to pay, but it's enough to make them seriously take notice.

Tam said...

Wow. I didn't realise it would be so much. I guess that if you are fined merely for a complaint being lodged, there is a high incentive to avoid any problems...