Friday, July 24, 2015

Honesty Not The Best Policy?

For a New Plymouth woman, honesty doesn't always pay!
Louise Jackson noticed a mystery $429 deposit in her ANZ account recently. She rang the bank to sort it out. How hard can that be? VERY, it seems!
ANZ staff told her they could not simply reverse the transaction - they can do a trace, but that would cost Louise $15.
When she said she didn't want to pay the fee (and fair enough: why should she? SHE didn't make the mistake!), the ANZ staff member suggested she call the bank that the dosh came from, to see if it could do anything. Crazy, huh?
Now, at this point, some folk would say
"To hell with it! Finders keepers!" but Louise persevered and contacted TSB Bank, where the transaction originated...only to be told that without an account number or name to reference against, it could do nothing either. (No company name or account number showed up on Louise's online statement, just a three-letter reference code.)
Surely all that was needed was a teeny bit of effort, to compare dates and amounts, and narrow down the possible source that way...? A half-decent computer programme could do it in the blink of a bank charge hike.
But it appears banks don't like to work FOR their customers any more. However, under the spotlight of public scrutiny, they do start to squirm!
ANZ Bank spokesman Stefan Herrick acknowledges the bank does charge a small fee to trace transactions, but staff can waive it under certain circumstances: "In this case the customer shouldn't have been asked to pay a fee for doing the right thing. We applaud her honesty, and thank her for doing what she could to ensure the money went back to its rightful owner."
And surprise-surprise, the ANZ is now tracing the source of the mystery money "as a matter of priority." Quite frankly, too little too late - a weak response from both ANZ and TSB...

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