Dear Commonwealth Bank…


Over the past twenty-four hours I’ve posted customer feedback to the Commonwealth Bank’s Facebook page. It’s the first time I’ve done it, but for reasons unknown I’ve had to do it four times now. That’s because each and every time I’ve posted the feedback, my post has been visible for up to three minutes before disappearing.

In the space of a week, the Bank declined to waive a $4 account-keeping fee, failed to respond to suggestions that I might take my banking needs elsewhere and allowed me to close an account I’d held with them for nearly 21 years without asking me why. In all of this, the Bank effectively refused to acknowledge my loyalty as a customer of 35 years’ standing. Now, it seems, they won’t even allow me to post to one of their social media pages.

Is it premature of me to develop a complex yet? Coz seriously, I’m starting to feel a bit strange about all of this.

I know I’m only one paltry, insignificant number among their millions of customers and maybe I would’ve just walked away if the Bank had the mettle to say “honestly, Matt, you’re just not worth that much to us as a customer”. Maybe that degree of bluntness is what situations like this really call for. But I work for an ADI** myself, I know how all this stuff goes. I know what the buzzwords of the moment are in the corporate world and that’s specifically why I can’t understand any 21st century organisation – particularly a financial institution – showing such flagrant disregard for a long-term customer who’s clearly about to turn on their heels and head to a competitor. It’s so counter-intuitive that I just don’t know what to make of it.

At any rate since they clearly don’t want it shared on their social media, I thought my CommBank feedback was ripe for sharing as an old man rant.

Here’s what it looked like when I finally thought the post had stuck:

Facebook post - attempt #3: just when I thought it had finally stuck...

Facebook post – attempt #3: just when I thought it had finally stuck…

OK so it’s not your typical piece of feedback. It’s probably expressed a little differently to the norm. But would I ever have wanted it to sound all whiny and be filled with spelling mistakes and grammatical inaccuracies, like almost everything else posted to social media by virtually everyone? Would I have wanted it to come across as just another pedestrian gripe-fest? Would I have wanted it to not put a slightly tongue-in-cheek spin on what is, in reality, a very serious message? Of course I wouldn’t have wanted any of those things.

Silliest of all is that, in the end, all I wanted was a $4 monthly fee waived. That’s all I needed to see to renew my faith in them as a financial institution ready to acknowledge long-term customer loyalty. $4… $48 a year… they’d need to charge that fee to my account for 972,000 years before it cumulatively reached just half of one percent of their profit for the last financial year alone. That’s how utterly greedy they are. Common wealth? Pfft! I’ll be the judge of that…

Has a bank’s name ever been so utterly inapt?

** ADI stands for ‘authorised deposit-taking institution’, in case you were wondering.

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