That’s a great strategy Mr. Clyne. Perhaps you ought to communicate this with your credit card division because I sure didn’t experience it.
On 11/07/2014 (Friday), after researching a handful of 0% interest credit card offers, I called NAB. I could have applied for the card online but chose to call because I thought that it would (perhaps) make the process easier/faster.
Why was I after a 0% interest credit card?
I haven’t been to visit my parents (living in India) since I arrived in Australia in March 2010. Yes, it’s been over four years since I last saw my parents in person. Skype is great and I’m thankful for it but it just isn’t the same. Not only that, since being here, I have been blessed with a beautiful wife and a precious baby boy. So yeah, the credit card was going to play a major part in helping me secure some expensive plane tickets that would make it possible for all of us to travel.
Back to the phone call to NAB. The man on the phone was pleasant and we had a great chat. I was as truthful and honest in the answers I gave to the questions I was asked. It took about 25 minutes but in the end, I was told that I was approved for the $5000 I had opted for.
Though I was skeptical about finding inexpensive airfare, I was pleasantly surprised and was grateful to God for what I found through Flight Centre. The problem was that I had to act quickly and purchase the tickets or kiss it goodbye. I knew I was approved for the credit card but it would take a few days to arrive, days I didn’t have. I logged into my NAB portal (I have an account with them that I don’t actively use) and as I had suspected, the card was listed on there. Sweet! As you can imagine, I was excited. The portal didn’t show the expiry dates and other details but I decided to call NAB to see if I could get at least some of that information.
Imagine my surprise when the lady on the other end told me that my credit card account was being closed. Surprised, frustrated, I asked why. All I was told was that I didn’t meet the lending criteria! Did I not spend 30 minutes on the phone, answering questions? Was I not told that I was approved? I asked why. After being put on hold, she came back to ask me about my visa status. I said that I was in the process of getting my partner visa, that I used to be on a 457 and now had a bridging visa as the decision was still pending (normal process). Apparently, this was the reason why I didn’t meet the lending criteria, that what I said about my visa status didn’t match the information they had! As far as I can recall, I was truthful about my status. I had nothing to hide! The ATO considers me a resident for tax purposes. I have a bridging visa from immigration as I wait for submitting one last document (from overseas) to them so that they can make a final decision on my valid partner visa application! Does NAB know all that about me? WOW!
So, when I was on a 457, credit card companies (CommonWealth Bank & HSBC) had no issues throwing credit cards my way but now that I am making attempts to get permanent residency, despite having a steady job for over four years with the same company, despite having no criminal records, despite paying rent on time, despite being a tax payer, despite having any outstanding debts (save the odd $200 on an HSBC card with a much higher limit than $5000), despite all this, I didn’t meet the lending criteria?
There wasn’t much the lady could do except be sorry. Yeah, I felt sorry for me too. I was angry and frustrated, but more than that, I felt sad. “What does it take to make it in this world?” I wondered to myself.
To add insult to injury, a few days later, I got the welcome letter and enclosed was the credit card I couldn’t use! If I was hurting before, it hurt some more now.
Today (21/7/2014), I received this letter.
It hurt even more!
I requested to close the account?
No, you did, after stringing me along.
I did manage to contact NAB on Twitter and it did result in a phone call from complaints. I haven’t heard back since, though I was told someone else would try to contact me.
It’s ironic that when I first called NAB, I told them I was considering switching to them because I wasn’t happy with the fact that CommonWealth Bank wanted to charge me $35 to cancel a bank draft worth $35 (a topic for another day). Not only that, my wife who is with NAB, was also encouraging me to switch, even have a joint account there.
After this incident, I don’t want to be a NAB customer anymore and I have also asked my wife to close her account and move elsewhere.
We are not rich people with hundreds of thousands of dollars but we are people nevertheless.
We have worth.
We have value.
I doubt NAB will ever understand how terrible they made me feel.
All of this could have been avoided if in the initial conversation, I was told of the visa requirements.
In the end, I had to borrow the money to pay for the airfare.
Honestly, I don’t know what, if anything, will come out of this post.
Life isn’t easy and I know we all face many challenges and struggles everyday but we can all agree that such incidents are needless and need not add to the burden we all carry.
Sharing something this personal (especially when it relates to finances) isn’t easy but I knew I had to do it.
Thanks for reading.
I received this letter in the mail today. Yes, NAB has sent me the PIN for the card they initially approved and then cancelled on me. NAB, haven’t you done enough damage or are you not through dragging me through the mud?
Something is seriously wrong at NAB and it seems like I have the pleasure of experiencing it firsthand.
Thank you NAB.
Today, I got a call from a member of the NAB Resolve team. He was very polite and heard the facts and all that happened (he even told me that he read this post!) and did what I wanted NAB to do in the first place: take ownership of the situation and apologise for the way everything was handled. It didn’t stop at an apology. NAB went further and took tangible action and I am pleased with the outcome.
Thank you to NAB for listening and for choosing to acknowledge me and make amends.
You have gained a customer and you have reinforced my belief that major corporations can provide good customer service. All it takes is effort and desire to do right.Thank Sri 🙂