Don’t bank with ANZ
Advice if this has happened to you:
Many people have been finding my blog because this (or something similar) has happened to them. I’m so sorry to hear that you are going through what I did. It’s disappointing to hear that it’s still happening. If you read the entire post (and it’s long so it’s ok if you don’t!) you’ll know that mine was fixed by somewhat of a fluke.
I wish I could help you more but all I can say is:
- The phone lines were fairly useless. Do make a formal complaint and do ask for compensation (because this is fucking stressful) but the most important thing is to get it fixed, then deal with the complaint.
- Go into a branch. Do not speak to junior staff as they have next to no training and skills in any of this, even though they do seem to have the ability to fix it. Speak to the branch manager only.
Friday, 18th December.
I stopped by Woollies for some food on my way home from work today. Tried to pay $6 on my eftpos card which is linked to my main bank account where things like my salary are deposited every fortnight.
Dunno, maybe I put the wrong PIN in.
Paid cash & logged into the ANZ iPhone app as I walked out of Woolies.
My account doesn’t exist.
Drove home WTFing and got straight onto the phone to ANZ.
I got through after a “we’re experiencing higher than normal call volumes” wait. The guy said there are no notes to say why my account was closed. He said usually it’s collections who close accounts so he transferred me. Only it’s after work hours. I get disconnected.
I guess no one needs money on the weekend.
Get through to someone after another wait who investigates and says there are no note on my account and no name to who closed it. Apparently there was a deposit yesterday and I said that’s not right.
After them going through what sounded like lots of screens they said that it was the collections department that closed my account. I can contact them on Monday, but apparently they can’t always reopen a bank account. I ask if they normally would close a WELL USED bank account without talking to the customer. He can’t answer as he has never worked in that department. I ask the guy more questions and while he was as helpful as he could be with complaints numbers and opening hours and so on he couldn’t help me. Resist the urge to swear because I know he didn’t do it and it’s not fair for the call centre staff to cop it. I’m sure he could hear it in my tone though.
WHO CLOSES A BANK ACCOUNT WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF THE CUSTOMER?!
Eat part of my dinner but can feel it coming straight back up as acid. Fucking stress. Like I haven’t had enough of that this year.
ANZ on Twitter finally respond to the conversation they’re tagged in. Ask me to DM my full name, postcode and contact number, which I do. Awaiting further replies.
The one consistent question I had on the phone was if my account was overdrawn. Yes, it was. By about $70. But I also have a $500 overdraft and my salary gets deposited in there in a few days time. Which, oh, by the way, according to the last guy on the phone, it’s ok because my salary will just be rejected as the bank account doesn’t exist. Yeah…. THAT DOESN’T FUCKING HELP ME WHEN THINGS LIKE ACCOUNTS DEPARTMENTS CLOSE OVER CHRISTMAS.
If I don’t have a bank account on Monday, or if I can’t get my payroll department to update my pay details to the other bank I have an account with, then I won’t get paid again until probably mid January 2016. So yeah, that will really help me pay for fuel and public transport to get to the new job I’m starting, as well as TOTALLY helping me to pay my rent, bills and everything else. Maybe ANZ are annoyed that I don’t earn enough money and struggle as a carer and sole income earner. Maybe they don’t like people who don’t make enough money and have to use the overdraft function to buy things until the next pay day, at which time it is ALWAYS completely covered.
Forgive my possible ignorance here, but isn’t that kind of what an overdraft does?
Things I need to do with my next pay:
- Buy needles for my T1 diabetic dog
- Pay rent
- Buy diabetes and non diabetes related medications and supplies for my husband
I’ll update this as things go along. But for now, I say don’t bank with a bank that CLOSES YOUR ACCOUNT WITHOUT TELLING YOU.
At 8.08pm on Friday they finally called me back. After verifying who I was I got the exact same story with no new information.
- Collections closed my account.
- Collections are the only people who I can talk to.
- There is no one they can call and wake up and help to fix this.
- I can open a new account tomorrow at the local branch but they can’t help me with the account that was closed.
- They cannot redirect my pay into a new bank account if I open a new account tomorrow.
The phone cut out and they called me back. They literally said that they thought I hung up on them. I can’t even begin to describe how frustrating that comment made me. I’ve done nothing wrong here!!
So yeah. Right now I’m sticking with my statement: DON’T BANK WITH ANZ.
Update 8.45pm Friday
Even if I can get through to the Collections team on Monday, there is apparently no guarantee that they can reopen my account. Thankfully I sold a spare item this week on a classifieds list so I have a little cash (less than $100) and I have half a tank of fuel as well as an ok stocked pantry, so if I sit at home all weekend I shouldn’t have any expenses. I am down to about $2 on my go card but that will get me to work on Monday and from there (in theory) I will know more.
My main concern right now is that my pay will go into my account on Tuesday. I do have a bank account with another bank but I don’t know if the payroll department can change my pay at this late period to that bank. I really hope they can. Or if they can’t, I hope they can let it be rejected and do an emergency manual payment to the other bank.
If neither of the above payroll related options are possible, and if ANZ won’t open my account, then that’s when I am truly fucked.
‘Thanks, ANZ. I’ll have this unbelievable stress hanging over me all weekend.
Update 6.30am Saturday.
I managed to eat one slice of toast for dinner late last night and it didn’t make me feel sick. Stress can bite it. I slept, but not until late and not well. I missed a few hours compared to normal. I started coughing last night when I was really stressed and it had me wincing with chest pain every time I coughed.
I woke up and thought back over Friday night. I feel stunned that this has happened. I’m now working on the assumption ANZ staff don’t have phones, computers, envelopes or stamps of any kind in their offices because that’s the only reason I can see that they can’t call, email or post me a letter to say they’re closing my account.
I’m tired, mad that my time is being wasted, mad a the complete lack of communication skills by ANZ and mad that “another department did it and they’re closed” is still considered a response in a 24/7 world. I mean, it’s a bank. They make a lot of money off of their customers. Surely they can get someone to sit at a computer on the weekend, pay them some overtime and get this fixed. They probably don’t want to interrupt people on the last weekend before Christmas. That wouldn’t be nice of them, would it. Oh, wait…
Update about 11am Saturday.
I arrived at my local shops at 8am, knowing that on the last weekend before Christmas parking would be hell. Especially as the closest shopping centre to me has reduced car parking due to two different construction areas.
I spent an hour sitting down, writing lists, researching who else I could complain to about this. I managed to eat a bacon & cheese roll but I still felt queasy from eating at all.
I waited outside the new branch for about 15 mins before they opened.
I was first customer in, and taken to sit with a personal banker straight away.
A lot of what he said and did was identical to everything people told me on the phone last night. It was closed. No one knows why. You’ll have to speak to the collections department. The collections department doesn’t work on weekends. The personal banker helping me called 2 or 3 different lines and we got nowhere.
I’m obviously not planning to bank with them for long after this but I wanted a basic account opened in the interim as a place for money.
I “had” to go through their money and life goals review to get an account opened. They wanted to sell me savings accounts, home loans blah blah blah. He was kind and respected it when I said I doubt I will be banking with them for long so please just open the basic account & stop talking to me about other things. The process took long enough. Then printers wouldn’t work so I couldn’t get the account paperwork to sign.
After what was far too long for my current stress levels (and far too much small talk, even though I basically wasn’t replying), an everyday account was opened. I was asked what colour ATM card I wanted. My reply of “I don’t care” seems to have netted me a black ATM card. Which I think was supposed to arrive in 5 business days. Anyone remember Christmas is soon? I said “So it will arrive in 2016?”
Then he realised he could link the new account to my existing ATM card.
We were “done”. Nothing more they could do to help me.
I asked to speak to the branch manager regarding the issues of accessing information from ANZ departments on the weekend.
He said there was no branch manager on duty but there was a senior personal banker. I said fine.
He walked over to where the senior personal banker was, talking to who appeared to be a customer.
I overheard some comments about “account closed” and “collections department”. Fuck, I thought. Don’t tell me another customer is in the same branch as me with the exact same problem. I’m still not sure, but I don’t think so.
A woman in a denim skirt & singlet came over to me & introduced herself as a branch manager from a branch a few suburbs away.
She sat down and with a few keystrokes, reopened my account.
Yep. It was literally that easy.
I burst out crying. The elsewhere branch manager sent the personal banker to get me water & tissues. I explained to her I’m the sole income earner & a carer and told her how stressed I’ve been for the past …well since 5pm ish yesterday.
I was there for a little while longer, discussing a few more small things but nothing big.
While I have complaints in already, and will be following up this entire situation in a number of ways, I am eternally grateful to sheet luck that the branch manager from nearby was there. And she was so lovely.
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Luck should not be the reason a problem is solved.
I will be following up on complaints, changing banks and also writing a personal thank you letter to that branch manager, copying in senior management. She is my lifesaver.
Please keep your fingers crossed for me that my account stays open until I have been paid on Tuesday & can swap banks.
I’m not sure if I will be able to swap banks this year; there probably aren’t enough business days left to sort things out. And I’m working Mon-Thurs next week.
I’m going to attempt to relax for the rest of the weekend, ignoring the pains in the side of my head, my chest when I cough and this stress related reflux. I’m off to my GP later today anyway so I’m going to ask her for some help with immediate stress.
Update Sunday 9pm.
The rest of Saturday:
I tried to forget about it for the rest of Saturday, but tiredness made it hard to concentrate on my book so I was a bit restless between books, playing with my phone and DVDs.
My GP checked me over yesterday afternoon and told me that given what happened, and seeing that my chest is clear, my symptoms are acute stress.
I do manage to eat dinner. But when I went to wash a dish…no hot water came out of the tap. We tested the overflow valve. The hot water system didn’t seem to be doing anything. I dug out our lease from the filing cabinet and called the real estate’s plumber. He didn’t answer but we ended up having a text conversation of things to test and try and photos of the hot water system. We ended up with dribbles of hot water, so he said he would be around the next morning.
The plumber showed up on time and tried to fix the flow a little. We’ve got some hot water…just enough to shower and do dishes. It’s pretty weak though. He’s coming back on Monday when he’s had time to get the parts for our very old hot water system. Basically it’s just plain old and probably needs to be replaced, but he has a few things to try first to improve it. And obviously that’s cheaper for the owners.
Incredibly grateful (which is rare – about renting) that I rent. Imagine if I owned my house and my bank account had been closed and my hot water system died? Shit timing but clearly this proves it’s possible.
I spent a little bit of the morning sitting in my car at the beach, so the sunlight and fresh air was nice. Spent the rest of the day playing games on my phone and watching DVDs.
Started getting anxious and feeling stressed again this evening – who to call first tomorrow ANZ or work’s Payroll staff? …what to try first…all the options flying through my head.
Exhausting weekend. And I’m scared it could all just repeat itself tomorrow. Even if they leave my account open, how do I know they won’t just close it again? How do I know they won’t do it with my pay in it?
What I forgot to include earlier is that in one of the five conversations I’ve had with ANZ staff this weekend – one person told me that they actually tried to close my account on Thursday, but I used the account so they couldn’t. So that is a minimum of TWO BUSINESS DAYS in which ANZ could have called me and told me (or talked to me or WHATEVER) but nope. I don’t see how this is anything but deliberate when my phone, email and address details haven’t changed in about 5 years.
Update Monday 7.20am
The mythical weekdays only number they gave me was credit card collections and they can’t help as they do credit cards. They put me on hold as they tried to find who I can talk to.
When she came back, she said “it may have been a hiccup” and “we’ve had a few like that”. Apparently they’re investigating a system error and that’s all they know. Or all they’re willing to tell me.
I again repeated that I am a sole income earner and carer and I need to be able to get my pay. She said that if my pay is going in that account in the next 48 hours then it should all be fine.
That call ended with nothing else really said.
So I called the complaints department (which brings me up to the 7th person that I’ve spoken to from ANZ since Friday) and they had a look into my account. Like everyone else, they said there are no notes on my account and it’s currently open and it should stay open. They found my online complaint (which links to this blog post, because I can’t be bothered retyping it for their fields and I’m not doing extra work when I’m not the one who fucked up) and said that I have a case manager and they will call me in 24-48 hours.
So, once again, let’s all just hope that my bank account stays open? Hope doesn’t pay bills.
The only other good thing the complaints team said is that if it gets closed again, to give them a call and they can call through to a branch and get it reopened for me.
So, if anyone else is reading this who was part of this “hiccup”, I have three bits of advice: don’t believe the frontline staff when they say they can’t do anything; it only takes a few keystrokes to reopen an account; and talk to complaints to get them to reopen an account for you if can’t physically get into a branch.
Anyway, now I’m going to call my Payroll Department at work and see if I can get my salary put into a different bank anyway, because I’ve lost all trust that I will be able to access my money via ANZ. Ever.
ANZ, work on your damn internal communications and access to information, because this entire situation is completely unacceptable.
Update written 8am Tuesday.
I had a call from my complaints case manager (the 8th person from ANZ that I’ve spoken to over this). I think their standard is 24-48 hours for a response but in Twitter private messages with the ANZ social media staff I said that I expected a call today. It was about 15 minutes later that I got this call.
One thing I noticed is that this seems to be the only person (with the exception of the lucky elsewhere branch manager from the weekend) who wasn’t reading from a script with me. Obviously I can’t prove that but also sometimes it’s obvious when people are reading from a script because the same things get repeated to you as an “answer”.
I ran through the situation with her, she checked out a few things on my accounts in her system (same as everyone else, there were no notes about why it was closed) and then she said she would investigate and call me back around 4pm.
The work day went on. I was a pretty shitty employee yesterday. Tiredness and stress do not make for a productive employee.
I received a follow up call from the complaints case manager that afternoon about 3.30pm. It appears to have been a maintenance glitch affecting a small number of people. My account is still open. They are going to make sure the money that was deposited in my account on Thursday to bring it to zero to close it isn’t taken out again.
Update written 6am Wednesday
So ANZ said yesterday that they wouldn’t take out the $98.38 deposit they made to make my account to zero to close it. (Interestingly, I swear the person at the branch on Saturday said I was about $70 overdrawn, so I don’t know why $98.38. Maybe some charges happened in between somewhere?)
And what happened this morning? They took it out.
Then I was offered a $150 goodwill payment. But didn’t mention that they’d taken money out. So effectively I was offered $50. I told them my focus was getting paid and I would discuss the goodwill payment later.
This happened to about 20 people. I think I was the first to report it and they’re now trying to contact others it has happened to.
In the mean time, in order to take that $98 back out of my account they reinstated my $500 overdraft so now I’m being charged for interest.
Oh and the kicker: the monthly account servicing fee just came out too. It’s only $4.83 but right now its not the amount, it’s the principle that makes me mad.
My pay went in Tuesday afternoon.
I paid bills and transferred my money elsewhere. Thankfully I already had bank accounts elsewhere. I did get another call from the complaints case manager yesterday afternoon but I missed it because I was out buying food.
Firstly, I would like to say thank you to those friends and strangers who read this on Friday and privately contacted me asking if I needed money. Thank you so much for your kindness. I was very lucky to have had cash on me (I’m usually pretty cashless, though I’m rethinking that now). Receiving kindness when you’re under stress means a lot.
Secondly, I want to clarify that my issue is not so much that the glitch happened – glitches happen – but the lack of communication, the punitive way a few people spoke to me, the “it’s a weekend” attitude and the general lack of knowledge of most staff…the WAY this was handled was far worse than what happened.
Of course, I can only say that now seeing as I did get paid and there were no “extra” things I had to do, such as see if a manual payment to another bank account could be made by my work’s payroll department.
If I had called on Friday and someone had said “Oh that’s unusual, let me make a few phone calls and I’ll get back to you in an hour about why this happened” it would have been a very different level of stress!
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