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An inconvenient internal complaints process

The story 

James used his credit card to pay the deposit on a campervan rented during an overseas trip.  At the end of the trip the credit was returned to James’ credit card account and James wanted to transfer the credit into his bank account.  James contacted the credit card company but the credit card company did nothing. After months of frustration James contacted FSCL. 

We referred the complaint to the credit card company’s internal complaints process and the credit card company promptly refunded the credit.  However the credit card company agreed the service James received had been less than satisfactory and agreed to pay him $100 in compensation for the inconvenience caused by the poor service. 



After two months, and many emails and telephone calls, James had still not received his $100 compensation.  James’ frustration was growing and we became involved again.  


FSCL’s review 

We advised the credit card company that if the compensation was not paid we would have little option but to issue a notice of recommendation.  Although the credit card company offered to increase the compensation to $150 the money was still not received, and we issued a notice of recommendation. 

We were at a loss to understand why the credit card company had been unable to resolve the complaint.  The credit card company provided very little information but we accepted James had been inconvenienced by the credit card company’s failure to transfer the credit balance into his bank account.  While people do experience inconvenience without any expectation of compensation the credit card company had acknowledged the inconvenience caused was undesirable and wished to put matters right.  Regrettably the payment of compensation was not straightforward, resulting in continuing inconvenience.



Given the ongoing inconvenience we suggested the credit card company increase the compensation offered to $200.  Two weeks after the notice of recommendation was issued the credit card company paid James $150 and just over two months later the credit card company paid James the further $50. 



Although the complaint was ultimately resolved it was very disappointing the complaint required our involvement at all.  If the complaint had been appropriately dealt with by the credit card company’s internal complaints procedure: 

  • James would have been spared the frustration and annoyance of a drawn out complaints process, and 
  • the credit card company would not have had to pay an additional $100 in compensation the or our case investigation fee. 


At the end of the process James said: 

I really appreciate the help you and your organisation have provided, without which I’m sure I would still be banging my head against this arrogant, incompetent and insensitive corporate brick wall. 

I will now redeem the credit on my card balance in full and close the account, never to be resumed, despite the regular ‘valued customer’ invitations I receive from … to increase my credit level and take advantage of many special offers.  The irony is obviously completely lost on them.