The story – the missing money
For many years Angela had a gold credit card and a platinum credit card with Quick Cash. She always paid the balance off on time and considered herself to be a good customer. In February Angela wanted to transfer $3,193 from her bank account to pay off the balance of her platinum card. She accidentally paid the $3,139 into her gold card account. Angela asked Quick Cash to transfer the funds to her platinum card. Somehow, in the transfer the funds went missing.
In March Quick Cash placed a temporary credit on her account and suggested Angela ask her bank for its records to help Quick Cash locate the payment. Angela went to her bank where a staff member spent half an hour on the telephone with Quick Cash checking the information provided was correct. Over the next six months Angela contacted Quick Cash numerous times trying to locate the payment. In September Quick Cash told Angela it could not find any supporting documentation, and the temporary credit had been lifted. This meant that Angela again owed $3,139 on her gold card. The letter did not refer Angela to Quick Cash’s internal complaints process or FSCL.
Over the next two months there were 28 conversations between Angela and Quick Cash. Quick Cash said it needed supporting documentation to find the transaction and Angela said she would go to her accountant. Quick Cash told Angela’s accountant it needed Angela’s bank statement. Angela sent a bank statement printed from internet banking, unfortunately it was unacceptable to Quick Cash.
In November Angela contacted FSCL. We referred the complaint to Quick Cash’s internal complaints process. Quick Cash advised the internet banking statement was unacceptable because it did not have Angela’s bank logo on it. Angela provided a bank statement with the logo, Quick Cash located the payment and credited it to Angela’s platinum card.
Angela was very pleased that after 10 months the transaction was located but considered Quick Cash’s handling of the missing payment and her complaint was unacceptable. Angela thought she had given Quick Cash the information it needed in March to find the transaction. Angela was not asked for her bank statement with her bank’s logo on it until November. As a result she incurred $1,600 in accounting expenses and a considerable amount of inconvenience.
Quick Cash agreed it had not handled the situation well and offered Angela $1,500 in resolution of the complaint. Angela declined the offer saying this was not enough even to cover her accounting expenses. Quick Cash was not prepared to improve the offer saying Angela had contributed to the situation by failing to provide the supporting documentation it needed to locate the missing funds.
We considered this complaint was a clear example of a failure to view a complaint from a customer’s perspective. Although Quick Cash had asked Angela for supporting documentation, Angela believed the documentation provided by her bank was what Quick Cash was asking for. Quick Cash had never told Angela it needed something as simple as a bank statement with her bank’s logo on it showing the transaction. As a result the complaint went on for many months causing growing frustration and anger. Quick Cash did not refer Angela to either its internal complaints process or to us. Angela felt she had no option but to ask her accountant for help, incurring additional costs.
We were concerned about Quick Cash’s processes. It is fundamental to dispute resolution that complaints are identified early and referred to the internal complaints process and where appropriate the external disputes resolution provider. Quick Cash failed Angela on both counts.
We proposed to recommend Quick Cash contribute $1,500 towards Angela’s accounting expenses. We discounted the compensation slightly because Angela continued to engage her accountant for a short time after referring the complaint to us. We also recommended Quick Cash pay Angela $500, the maximum compensation available we could award at the time, for the inconvenience she experienced.
The complaint was resolved as we suggested.