The first response to my complaint:
Dear Ms… ,
I am writing to you with regards to the 28 Degrees MasterCard query received on 5 April 2012.
We understand that your complaint to be;
· That cards issued to you have been sent to an address in Australia rather than your overseas address.
· The emergency replacement card has not worked in the country you are in due to GE Money stoping certain transactions.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your concerns.
I have reviewed the various contacts you have made with our office and advise that on 7 March 2012 a card was issued to an address in Hungary via priority DHL, which was later returned to GE Money as undeliverable. The consignment number for this courier is xxxx, and can be tracked on http://www.dhl.com.au.
I note that the address the postage was sent to was one that was updated on the account via the online service centre.
I also advise that a card issued to you on 1 April 2012 is currently being returned back to GE Money as undeliverable, the tracking number is xxxxx.
In order for GE Money to order a new permanent card for you, we require you to contact our office on 1300 XXX XXX between the hours of 8 am to 7pm EST, alternatively, If you are contactable between these hours we will be able to make arrangements to contact you on a preferred phone number.
GE Customer Resolutions
My response: (With a lot help from Mister B, because I was equal-parts pissed off and sick of dealing with these people, I was about ready to give up.)
Thank you for your response. I appreciate that you have given me more detailed information than many other employees at GE have been able to.
I’d like to bring a number of points to your attention which appear to have not been recorded on my account, despite numerous conversations I have had with your office over the last month. I can only assume that this is why you haven’t addressed them in your response.
1. GE issued a card which had a faulty chip, resulting in the first replacement being sent. The original card actually worked just fine as long as I signed for it. GE, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to cancel that card without actually contacting me, resulting in the current situation. No one was able to explain to me how this happened.
2. When I contacted your office around the end of March, I was told by ….. at Customer Solutions, that the card was sent to my previous Australian mailing address, as cards can not be sent to an overseas mailing address. Clearly, this is not aligned with your statement below, nor does it correlate with what the first customer service rep told me when I first called about this card. I checked the tracking numbers you have provided, which confirms that the information provided by ….. at the GE call centre was incorrect.
3. In the meantime, based on the advice provided by GE call centre, I have contacted Mastercard International for an emergency replacement card, which was delivered within three business days via UPS. Then, for some inexplicable reason, your office decided to cancel that card as well, which resulted in security being called on me in a shop when I tried to use the card. The same thing occurred, when your office decided to cancel my first card. As you can imagine, with a language barrier here, it is difficult to explain this to someone in a store, not to mention embarrassing.
4. I finally managed to contact your fraud department, where a rather unhelpful and rude person called …… confirmed that the MC emergency card was cancelled ‘as a result of the computer automatically placing a block on it, which can’t be lifted’. No explanation was offered as to why and nor were any solutions being offered. I also did not appreciate ….. cutting me off mid-sentence and saying “I don’t know, I don’t program the computers.” Certainly not helpful at 2am, when I was told by ….. the previous night to contact Fraud over this issue and it would be solved.
5. I was transferred back to the call centre at my request, where I was informed that a new card will be issued but it may take up to two to three weeks for it to arrive. The girl I spoke to was on hold with her supervisor for 10 minutes in order to gain further information from them for me. After 10 minutes I told her I could not stay on the phone and wait as it was after 2am. Apparently due to a public holiday there was only one supervisor on duty. Again during this phone call, there was no mention of the card being couriered by DHL.
In the meantime, I have been using my ANZ card for purchases and ATM withdrawals and purchases which have resulted in a large number of fees being generated on my account. Not to mention that cost of calls I’ve been forced to make from Hungary to GE in the middle of the night.
To make matters worse, I noticed in your response that your office is in fact able to make arrangements to call me in Hungary. When I requested a call back from your call centre, I was informed that you do not call customers abroad.
The above is just an excerpt of the detailed document I have prepared for the Ombudsman prior to your email.
In summary, I would very much like GE to refund me the fees, cost of calls and to be compensated for the lengthy periods I have spend on the phone with your office, making the last four weeks of my ‘once in a lifetime’ trip extremely stressful. I will provide you with a final amount upon your response. Most importantly, I would very much like a new card (and this time, a properly functioning card) to be issued to me at your earliest convenience. May I suggest that your office uses registered, express mail this time, instead of DHL.
Prior to that, I’d appreciate it if you could confirm that address on you have on file. I have provided your office with this info twice now and I would also like to point out that MC International had no issues delivering that card to me. I have also been able to receive important documents from Australia for my visa here via International Express post from Australia Post, so I have no idea why DHL were not able to deliver. Perhaps a phone call or email to me in Hungary (I have provided this information to GE) could have solved this problem instead of the card being returned to Australia TWICE!
Please note for your own reference my mobile phone number here is XXX XXX XXX XXX.
I rather prolonged this unfortunate experience by taking this up with the Ombudsman but unless a positive response is received by close of business Friday 13 April, I will certainly be in contact with their office.
I look forward to a swift resolution.
BAM! KAPOW! Having a boyfriend who works in banking and knows how useless they can be unless you really tell them who’s boss has certainly worked in my favour, because the next email indicated that they were in fact taking some notice:
Unfortunately ….. is not in the office today, so I’ll be looking after the case today.
I have reviewed all the documents and information that you have provided us with, and I would like to discuss them with you further. Is it ok for me to call you today? I will be in the office until 7pm Eastern Standard Time and can call any time before then.
If it is not convenient for you to talk over the phone, I’m happy to continue communicating via email.
(Nice Lady Who Shall Remain Nameless)
Customer Resolution Team
Advice from Mister B: Get everything in writing, don’t bother staying up for them to call. Tell them you’re travelling (we were) and that email is fine. Further notes from the bank employee – if it was bad news, they would probably email so as not to cop an earful on the phone from a disgruntled customer. It’s probably good news.
So I wrote to her thanking her for contacting me and said we were driving for a few hours and that email would be best. Her response is as follows:
First I’d like to thank you for your patience in regards to this whole situation. I apologise that this has gone on for so long, and as you requested we are looking to have a quick resolution for you in this matter, and let you get back to enjoying your trip.
There’s a few things I’d like to confirm with you. In regards to sending the card, we will be organising for a new card to be couriered to you. We will provide DHL with your international number to call you if they need any help finding your address. In regards to the address, on the letter that you sent, the address mostly matches our system, but instead of “2 emelet 7” it is only showing as 2/7. Will this make a difference? And when you updated the address online, was this the only way it was possible to enter in the information? If you can let me know if the address we have is ok to courier to, we will organise a card to be sent straight away.
Rest assured that we will be able to credit your account for the fees that have been charged by ANZ and the cost of the phone calls as well. We have reviewed the information that you have provided in the letter dated 5th April, and will be crediting $150.00 to your account once you confirm that this figure is ok.
We are also committed to addressing all the points that you have raised in all your communications. You have been provided inconsistent information, and again we apologise that this has occurred. The level of customer service that you have experienced is not the standard that we aim for, and this will be addressed internally. We have definitely recorded all your concerns and are not treating this situation lightly.
….. will be working tomorrow should you wish to discuss the matter further, otherwise I will be back in the office on Monday, and more than happy to reply either by Email or by calling you.
(Nice Lady Who Shall Remain Nameless)
Customer Resolution Team
My final response was that I was appreciative of the complaint being taken seriously, I was satisfied with their offer of $150 to be credited to my account, and I clarified how the addresses work here. I also provided Mister B’s phone number and gave consent for him to sign for the card should I not be home.
FYI, 2 emelet 7, means second floor, door 7. So whilst the building is number 5 on the street we live on, our apartment and letterbox are identified by 2/7 or II/7 or 2 emelet 7. It is confusing, but I thought couriers were like postal ninjas and could work this stuff out? I also thought that maybe they would be in cahoots with the local postal service with this stuff? And let’s face it, a phone call wouldn’t have gone astray before the second card was returned. Hmm.
Anyway. Apology accepted.
(Sorry mum, for swearing…)