General advice warning. The information on this site is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs or circumstances into consideration.
Hi. I am the founder of Help Me Bank and I have been working in finance in Australia for nearly ten years. Whilst I was aware of the types of things that can happen to people from when I worked in personal banking, insurance and superannuation – I was not aware of the true impact of those things until I experienced them myself, as a customer.
I was overseas when my card from one of the major banks stopped working. I had to make a call to the Australian bank and when I did, I not only wasted a whole heap of money on the phone bill – but my problem was not resolved.
It was due to pure luck that I had a second card, from another bank to use. I was angry and upset, because I thought about what would happen if I did not have another card? What if I was stuck overseas with no money, because the bank decided to block my card even though I had told them that I’d go overseas and provided them with the dates and locations, as they had asked? Why did I even bother informing them of my trip if they would still do this?
That’s when it hit me; I started to think that this is how all of the customers I used to deal with felt. Staff attitudes towards customers were negative. Nobody understood why anyone would be upset over something that’s either ‘easy’ to fix or so ‘minor’. I mean, after all, why couldn’t I just get over it and use the other bank’s card, whilst shutting up and remaining a customer of the first bank?
Well that’s just it, Australia. That’s what they expect you to do as a customer. Banks and other financial institutions are there to make money, even if it is at your expense (which it often is). It’s quite fair when you pay for a service and get that service, for example. However, is it fair when you pay for a service and have to follow up with a call centre, if you’re lucky enough to get onto the phone to a representative in the first place – because you haven’t received whatever it is that you’ve paid for? I don’t think it’s very fair.
This site was made in order to provide some actually helpful tips for banking and finance in Australia. It has you in mind, it has the fact that consumers are the first to suffer and the last to receive any benefit in mind.
I do not get any commissions, payments or any other kind of compensation for running this site. I run it because I know how complex the Australian financial landscape can be. I know that for every caring customer service representative, you get five that don’t care if you’re in trouble.
So although they might not want to help, I do. So please go ahead and read the articles on Help Me Bank. These articles are for you, not for the banks or financial institutions.
If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch by clicking ‘Contact Us’ in the menu on the top.
Please note that we want to give credit for all of our images, which are labelled for reuse. We did not create any of the images and do not take credit for any of these photos. We obtained them from Google (labelled for reuse images only), Wikimedia Commons and FreeImages.