A surprising bank
Westpac has been telling us, of late, that it is a no surprises bank. Safe as houses. Fiscally conservative. Back to basics and all that. Just what we need in a post GFC world, I have no doubt. But that’s not what I got from them recently.
I was standing in the street, somewhere in Surry Hills on a Saturday afternoon, my phone clasped to my ear, jaw flapping like a Cocker Spaniel and wondering if I was hearing what I seemed to be hearing.
Someone (a live human being) from Westpac had just called me up (on a Saturday afternoon, no less) and left me a message to the effect that they were about to reimburse me for $22 of ATM fees, incurred in the past few months at non-Westpac owned ATMs.
Two days previously I had complained in writing (online) about the absence of any Westpac ATM in the Rocks and the constant reminder of said absence by the imposition of that hideous, hideous $2 transaction fee in the name of…how do they justify it again?
24 hours after pressing ‘send’ I had, as expected (no surprise here) received the usual ‘your request is being dealt with’ email.
For the record, this was what prompted me to write.
First the cute, little (and usually empty) Rocks brand of Westpac closed and with it, its ATM. We can hardly blame them for that, but it was cute and folksy. Then within weeks, it seemed, the St George ATM under the clocktower was gone and we were in the hands of other banks and their infernal $2 transaction fee. Your iPhone Westpac Apps will tell you that the St George Clocktower ATM is still there but of course we know that not to be true. If you want free ATM access, you have to hack up to 182 George St, or worse, to the AON Building on Kent Street. When you are hungry? I don’t think so.
So, when one day it just seemed like one $2 transaction too far, I got on to the Westpac website and complained.
For the record, the full voicemail (if only I had not missed the call and heard it all live) said “yes, they recognised it was very inconvenient for their customers, yes they are sorry that the lease had run out on the Clocktower, yes they are looking for a new outlet and yes, it’s not good enough. And, yes they have noticed that I have incurred $22 in ATM charges in the past few months in non-Westpac ATMs in the Rocks and they are going to reimburse me that amount of money”. Which they duly did.
It’s the no-surprises-but-get-ready-to-be-surprised brand proposition.