foobar on computers, software and the rest of the world

Part II of: The 'Verified by Visa' fiasco ... courtesy of ANZ

, posted: 30-Jun-2008 10:53

I recently wrote about the problems that ANZ's New Zealand customers have with the new "Verified by Visa" programme. In short: ANZ signed up with "Verified by Visa", but only for their Australian customers. If a New Zealand customer then attempts to purchase something from a participating online merchant, they are confronted with the "Verified by..." dialog, which they cannot properly fill out, since ANZ-NZ has not signed up for it. As a result the purchase cannot be completed.

ANZ just managed to make it worse by showcasing ignorance and shelling out bad advise to their customers. After describing the problems in an e-mail to ANZ's customer service, I now have received this utterly useless reply (emphasis mine):
Thank you for your feedback sent via the ANZ website.

More than ever, customer feedback plays a vital role in monitoring and improvement of our service and procedures. I would like to thank you for taking the time to raise your concerns over Verified by Visa. This matter has been forwarded to the appropriate team who investigate possible improvements in our products, processes and services.

Currently ANZ New Zealand does not support Verified by Visa; at this stage there has been no communication to have this as an option for our cardholders

If you wish to purchase a product with a particular merchant whom uses the Verified by Visa system we recommend you contact the merchant directly to have the transaction processed manually. A manual transaction will only require you to provide your card number, expiry date and CVV number (located on the reverse of your card).

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

If you have any further questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact an ANZ Customer Service Consultant on 0800 269 296 or if you are currently overseas +64 4 470 3142, or by sending your request via Email.
So, what do we have here in their response? Firstly, yes, it would be a possible improvement if ANZ wouldn't leave their customers stranded with various online merchants and if stuff would actually work. You'd call that an improvement, yes.

Secondly, we have to hear that there has been no communication about making it available to their NZ customers? So, in a one-sided manner they sign up their Australian customers and don't care at all about what happens to their NZ customers? Is that it? Time to change to an NZ bank?

And what's up with the recommendation to contact the merchant for manual processing? There are several problems with it.
  1. Not all merchants can accept manual transactions. Some smaller mechants don't have manual processing facilities and rely on a third-party online payment processor.
  2. Some merchants don't want to be contacted for such manual processing. Ever talked to someone from the sales department at Skype? Didn't think so...
  3. Many businesses don't want to have to deal with storing highly sensitive credit card information. They use third-party credit card processingproviders for that very reason. Again, the advise from ANZ is rendered useless, and in essence would just force their customers to expose the credit card information unnecessarily to more people. That is not good security practice! Why are all those online payment forms SSL encrypted when we just go ahead and call people and blurb out all this stuff over the phone?
  4. Some merchants will happily charge you additional fees for manually completing a purchase. Qantas, for example will charge $40 for the privilege. Don't know if other airlines have similar charges. Anyway, will ANZ reimburse me for this cost? I don't think so.
So, does anyone know of a different credit card here in New Zealand - other than ANZ - with which I can continue to earn Qantas frequent flyer miles?

But maybe there is another way. I think it would be useful if ANZ's New Zealand customers would contact ANZ to let them know how rediculous this situation is and that we would appreciate a better response and actually some care on their part. You have seen the phone number in their e-mail above. Their e-mail address is: It should suffice to let them know in a few words that you are aware of how they are failing their NZ customers at this point and that you'd appreciate a very swift resolution to the issue. And even if you are not an ANZ customer, you could still let them know that you don't appreciate how they treat their NZ customers and that you will have to reconsider working with them in the future.

Just an idea.

Other related posts:
More Apple madness (follow up)
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Comment by Technofreak, on 11-Jul-2008 09:01

Look's like it's time to give the Aussies the flick, choose a New Zealand bank and find a differently frequent flyer programme.

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  • Who I am: Software developer and consultant.
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