Monday, December 13, 2010

My Letter to Vancity.

Hello. I have temporarily moved to Melbourne, Australia from Vancouver. I let the bank know that I would be doing this before I left, as I realize, even though it is the 21st century and we live in a globalized culture, the idea of somebody trying to use an ATM card in another country is somehow shocking. I used my card once at the National Australian Bank on Dec. 7th and was able to make one withdrawal for $400.00. When I tried to use it again later, my account had been frozen. I tried to call the bank to sort this out but there is no 24 hour number to report or try to fix this sort of problem. Again, let me remind you it is the 21st century. When I finally reached someone on Monday in Vancouver, I was treated with the most lackadaisical and uninterested attitude by your 'service' representative. I was told that there was no record of me having told the bank that I was leaving the country. I was also told that my ATM card had been compromised due to 'skimming'. When I asked where, when or how the card had been compromised the service rep. could not tell me. I was under the impression that these sorts of precise electronic transmissions were traceable in some way. I was then told that I could receive a new ATM card in the the mail in no less than, wait for it, one month. I need not remind you again about the 21st century? Hello, Fed-ex? Hello, UPS? Then the service rep. told me that I should use my Visa card to make withdrawals and when I told her that I would be charged interest on the account immediately, she had no reply. In her defense, she did then come to a conclusion that I could go to the bank here and my card would be unlocked for enough time to withdraw some cash. I appreciated the temporary solution, albeit less than ideal. I will be getting in contact with Vancity again in the near future to make this arrangement again as I wait a month or longer, for my new ATM card to come in the mail. I then realized that Vancity Visa may also be surprised that someone may have left the nest and tried to pay for something overseas. Without my ATM or Visa card, I would truly be in trouble. So I called Vancity Visa and waited on hold. And waited. And waited. Then for some reason, I was hung up on. You can imagine how this may have made me feel after all the previous frustration. I thought that when I called back, I would call the 'lost or stolen card' number, as this would surely receive prompt attention. Alas, after ONE HOUR on hold, I could not raise anyone over at the old call centre. ONE HOUR on hold from Australia! I had to hang up after the 'once every minute' requests from an automated message for me to apply for a higher credit limit to avoid potentially embarrassing credit declinations, not to mention offers to call me back. I tried that while I was still in Canada and it took 3 days to finally make a connection with someone. In short, I am an extremely unhappy customer at this point. The reason for this correspondence is not only to register my discontent, it is to state the utmost importance of my Vancity visa not being cut off due to it being 'compromised'. Thank you. I expect a swift response.

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