Friday, January 19, 2007

The Honour Fee vs. The Foreigner

For a while I was thinking that I was assimilating quite nicely here in Oz - I have great friends, I live in a lovely household, I know my way around, my accent is a hit, I am using Ozzie slang, but you know what? Forget it! I'm a bloody foreigner!

A few days ago I received a letter from my Australian bank (ANZ). I was declared an Honour Fee of $35. I hope that you agree with me that there is an apparent paradox here by the use of the combination: declared an Honour Fee. I was puzzled, but the letter continues

"Recently you tried to withdraw an amount of money from an ATM, while at the time you had insufficient funds to do so.

As a service to you, our valued customer, we have provided you with the extra funds based on your banking history with our bank.

For providing this service to you, ANZ has now declared you an Honour Fee of $35"

*eyes turned blood red and smoke rose from the top of my head*

WHAT???!!!!

I never asked for this 'service'!! Shove your 'service' up your ass ANZ.

I called to get to the bottom of this:

"Good Afternoon, ANZ banking, Omar (or some other Indian name) speaking"
"Yes, Jago speaking. I just received a letter saying that I have to pay an Honour Fee of $35 to you."
"I have your banking details here and yes that is true."
"I never asked for this."
"It is a standard service of ANZ banking."
"How nice."
"Sorry Sir?"
"Can I ask when and where you 'provided' me with these extra funds?"
"Of course Sir. On the 3rd of January you had a 30 odd dollars in your account and you tried to get 100 dollars from an ATM in Port Wakefield."
[silence]
"Omar.. Listen to me, are you telling me that ANZ gave me 70 dollars 'extra' to afterwards charge me the sum of 50% of this amount!! I don't call that service, I call that extortion!!"
"This is a standard ANZ procedure, Sir."
"I bet it is! I would like to earn money myself like that!"
[silence]
"I want to cancel this 'service' immediately."
"That is possible Sir, but I have to go trough a script with you."
"No, no script, just do it. You have my complete permission."
"No Sir, I need to go through the script."
"For Chrissake.. get it over with!"
"Do you understand that..
blablablabla no 100% security that ANZ can completely close the account for further excess withdrawals"
"WHAT? No 100% security, what kind of bank is this? So you always want to reserve the right to extricate money from me without my consent??!!"
"I'm sorry Sir"
"No you are not! You are just reading your script! Continue" [shit that was rude...]
"Furthermore ANZ reserves the right blablabla
[1 minute] blablabla
"Do you understand this Sir?"
*grinding teeth* "yes"
[2 minutes] blablablablablabla
"Do you understand this Sir"
*tapping feet and sighing* "yesss"
[3 minutes] blablablablablablablabla
"Do you understand this Sir"
*pulling hair* "YEESS! YESS! YESS! GET IT OVER WITH! PLEEEAASSEE"
"And finally, do you understand.."
"YES! COMPLETELY!"
"Thank you Sir, the changes will be made overnight."
"Fabulous, have a good day."
[clicked phone off and smashed it on the table]

AAAAAAAAAAARRRGGHHH!! And can you believe that at the moment I'm reading Kafka? This can't be a coincedence...

1 comment:

Kworb said...

Well at least it's good to know that all this bureaucracy and companies extorting money out of people in a sneaky way isn't limited to the Netherlands. :P