A Westpac ATM ate my card over the weekend, and told me that it was expired. Since I know it was due to expire in February 2011 I was not impressed.
Anyway I marched on down to the branch (luckily they are open until 12:30 on a Saturday to give them an earful. But no, they told me that as my card was a handycard, and they had issued me with a whiz bang (but not wanted)debit card this was normal, and it was my fault for using it when it had expired.
One of them kindly explained that it would have expired about 10 days after the first issuing of debit card. NO, cause said debit card was received last Feb, about 2 weeks after the new handycard arrived. Oh, well 10 days after I used, also a negative as it was first used about 45 days ago in NZ. Turns out that Westpac had decided that 1 Jan was the end date of all handycards (i am not the only one!) and unilaterally expired them. WITHOUT telling branch staff, or those pesky customers. (insert naughty word of choice)
Now the thing is, the new cards are more secure, and with the recent card skimming issues,I should be happy. But I am not, thanks to the incompetent people in Westpac marketing.
They sent the new debit card (which I can still use like a handycard + pretendy credit card) about 2 weeks after I had been issued with a new handycard. Unsolicited debit card. My first reaction was that someone had tried to request it for me, so not a win on the security front. Next thought, after a totally unreassuring call to the bank, was that it was illegal. ASIC agrees with me, and stared prosecuting them, about a month ago, Westpac won.
Firstly, was it really that hard to go through the files of who was receiving a new card soon, and just issue the debit card as the replacement? At least part of my problem was that it was issued two weeks after my other card. (which arrived with about a month to spare before my original card expired). I have done that kind of mailout. It isn’t hard to talk to IT and create the right reports, that identify the right situations. So total failure of forethought.
Secondly, if the letter had given me a good reason to use the card, I may have more accepting. As it was it told me how wonderful it was that I know have a debit Mastercard. Hm, I already have a real mastercard, with Westpac. And, since there is usually more money on that than in my account, I do appreciate its benefits. Kind of pointless having two.
If they had told me upfront that this card is more secure- hey probably things would be fine. but they didn’t. The one real, positive element I would appreciate, they didn’t bother to tell me. Sooo don’t know if it is really. Failure of actual marketing skills.
We won’t get into the bit where the PIN was different (so it isn’t *just* like my old card then), and the fact that I now need to hit cheque rather than savings when using an ATM or EFTPOS. (that is actually really starting to annoy me too, as I keep forgetting).
Then we get to the point that the old cards were unilaterally cancelled on New Year. SO, if I had gone out, and just taken my usual card and some id to go out (as I have done in the past) I would have been in a bit of a pickle at the end of the night. How hard is it to send a letter, or an email to people. It isn’t like they don’t have the information. But no, the ATM just ate my card. stupid
This isn’t the first time they have done the whole significant change with no warning thing to me. but it is going to be the last. Goodbye Westpac.