The bank where customer service was a joke

A YourLifeChoices member, who wishes to remain anonymous, adds his experience of a ‘communication error’ at a National Australia Bank branch.


I read, with interest, you article about the problems with National Australia Bank. This was my recent experience.

On Monday 21 February, I attended the Whitford Western Australia branch to deposit an amount of coins and notes that were in separate bags. They had been collected from the entrance fee from a monthly seniors meeting that had been held locally.

They stopped accepting the cash over the counter last year as they had installed a coin deposit and counting machine, which I use every month. They still accept and count the notes over the counter.

Last Monday, the coin deposit and counting machine was “OUT OF ORDER”, therefore, I went to the counter to deposit both the cash and the notes. The cashier (note the term) announced that she would accept the notes but not the cash as it had to go through the coin counting and deposit machine. But the machine is out of order, says I, so would you please take it over the counter? She refused.

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I asked for the manager and was informed there was no manager on-site. I saw a head above the vision screen in an office so headed that way. She beat me to it, went in and closed the door. A young man (spotty youth, I’m tempted to say) emerged and explained that they could not take my cash as the machine was out of order. Yes, says I, so please take our deposit over the counter. He refused and said it wasn’t possible.

I asked to check whether this was actually a bank as I thought the object of a bank was to handle its customers’ money. Not if the machine is broken, he replied. So you are a bank for customers but with no customer service? He had no response.

I again stated quite strongly so everyone in the queue that had built up could hear this was not customer service that was expected from a bank.

He shrugged his shoulders. I stated that if it was my account, it would have been closed there and then. He suggested I come back another day. I requested compensation for my wasted journey – a half-hour at $100 per hour plus 15kms of travel at $0.72 per km. He refused and suggested I go to a local post office (not even to another local branch).

I was left to leave the bank feeling extremely vulnerable as everyone in the queue knew I had a folder full of money.

I will be writing to the CEO of NAB to express my disgust at the way I was treated and the total lack of customer service. Is this the tip of the iceberg for the future for all banks?

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On Thursday, this person wrote:

I’ve received two calls from NAB – one from the manager for the northern district of Perth and then one from the manager of the branch where the cash payment was refused. I was then invited to meet with the branch manager.

I was advised that it [coin refusal] was a ‘communication error’ with incorrect information passed down to the staff, especially in the case where the cash machine was ‘out of order’.

However, they were keen to ‘ educate me’ about an arrangement with post offices where there was a sign.

I objected to the term ‘educate’ as I’m not a five to 11-year-old. Better terminology, which is more customer friendly, would be to ‘inform’ customers of alternatives.

It would appear that the ‘educate’ word is something they are using throughout the business. Let’s hope they rethink their approach and understand that their business needs us as there are plenty of alternatives out there.

The author wished to be anonymous but requested that his $20 Prezzee voucher be donated to help Ukrainian refugees.

Friday Reflection is your chance to write on any topic that stirs you. Simply send your contribution to [email protected]. Published authors will receive a $20 Prezzee digital gift card that can be spent at more than 120 retail outlets.

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YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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