KiwiBank, you suck [but you're forgiven for the most part].

, posted: 10-Feb-2009 13:45

Update 2:

As promised, the fee is refunded.  Thanks KiwiBank.

Also, I find it IS possible to get an alert on a failure on an automatic payment - but it's OFF by default (i'm guessing here that this facility was added sometime after I created my accounts and setup my low balance alerts which I use to ensure I don't accidentally try spending more than I have at the supermarket or something).  Certainly I wouldn't have left it off/turned it off.  I guess that's what you get for being an early adopter, new features sneak in without you noticing.

According to KiwiBank, if the alert is turned on then the first time the payment fails, it will alert you, then it will try once more the next day before dishonouring.  So, with the alert on, it actually almost does what it should do. 

Except, I think it should definately be an opt-OUT thing, I can't imagine many people do not want to know when thier AP's fail.

Update 1:

Ok, so Kiwibank very quickly replied, so only fair to let the masses know...

  1. They are going to refund that fee (havn't done it yet, but say they will), atleast this means I'm only up for a bit of penalty interest on my tax (luckily only residual tax, so not too bad).
  2. They are redeveloping the internet banking website so that "This should mean that when a future dated bill payment dishonours, you will see the name and not a bunch of numbers.", but there is no ETA on the new website going live.
  3. They are aware of login issues, and advise to do the usual clearing of cookies, cache etc...
  4. They are aware of the log-you-out issue, and apparently the "new systems" will fix it.

I still think that Keep Safe sucks. I still think they need to send an email or something before a dishonour so it can be corrected.  But credit where credit is due, Joe from Kiwibank replied very quickly and not just a standard template response, actually read the complaints and responded to them.

Here's my original rant for the record....

I have been a KiwiBank customer for quite a long time, I have personal, company and investment accounts with them.  For a long time I
have praised KiwiBank for the service they have shown me over the years, even if many do not share that opinion.  But not today.

So this morning I had the winning bid on an auction and I headed over to my personal Kiwibank account to send some cash, that's when the trouble started.

First up, I was forced to setup this crappy, horrible, really-I-hate-this-thing, DIAF already, "Keep Safe" thing where by you give KiwiBank some questions and answers then when you log in Kiwibank shows you the question and you have to enter random letters from the answer.  I just hate this, I'd hate to be a dyslexic and have to get through that for sure.  How is it any better than having a password I ask you, seriously, it's just retardedly annoying.  Give us SecureID if you want to get serious about security, not this stupid get-in-the-way theatrics.

After getting through that rigmarole I was presented with my account summary, and what do I see, but a dishonoured automatic payment fee of $30.  Now I have money invested with Kiwibank across my personal, business and call accounts, this payment was from my personal account which had got a bit low because I hadn't paid myself from my business account for a while.  Fair enough, I should pay myself more often I suppose, but...

You would think the least they could have done was sent an automatic email at some point advising "hey, you're account is too low for this BP which is coming out in a day or two, better check on that eh", or even a "hey, we had to dishonour an automatic payment for such and such today, we charged you $30 to do nothing", but no, NOTHING, not a word.  Not before, not after, nothing except a line item on my account (perhaps something is coming in the post, but that's too late!)

Even worse is that this was apparently (as best I can tell, because they don't tell you what they dishonoured, just that they billed you thirty bucks for it) my residual tax payment for last year!  Which I would have scheduled (months and months ago) to go our on or before the 7th (due date, I usually schedule these payments to go a few days before to be safe), and which is now late, causing me not only the $30 dishonour, but also penalty interest on my Tax!

It means not only did Kiwibank not say ANYTHING about this to me, but also they probably tried a few times between at least the 7th and the 9th (when it was dishonoured) still without saying ANYTHING.  They even eventually gave up, still without saying ANYTHING.  It's just as well I happened to win that auction or I wouldn't have know about it and interest would just keep on accruing!

Ok, so I figured I'd just send a bit of a complaint to Kiwibank, I was in rant mood by now.  Kiwibank have an online "Secure Mail" system, whereby you can discuss anything regarding your account(s) over email, so I selected to send a new email.  20 minutes later after writing up my various complaints, I hit the send button... bang, I'm logged out!  Back when Secure Mail was still in "beta" I had actually come up against this before, and I notified kiwibank of the issue then, it seems, nothing has been done.

So I frantically click back to try and copy my email text, but to no avail, it's gone.  So I try to log in, various frustrating errors happen, it complains several times I'm putting in the wrong CAPTCHA (I'm not), sometimes it logs me in and then instantly tells my my session is timed out and logs me out.  Eventually I get in, the "Keep Safe" system I notice tells me I have unsuccessfully tried twice, no, I certainly hadn't. 

Eventually, I retype my email adding some more complaints in a text editor and copy-paste into the new Secure Email, just to be sure....

This email contains a number of complaints.

1. Re: BP DISHONOUR FEE #XXXXXXXX, there is no indication as to WHAT was dishonoured! Am I supposed to GUESS?! Please advise!

2. It is disgraceful in this electronic age of e-mail and txt message that your bank does not see fit to advise it's loyal customers when a BP is due to come out and the account is "low", a simple automatic email is all that it requires. You will note from my accounts that I hold significant funds with Kiwibank, the least that Kiwibank could do in these situations is to advise it's customer of the situtaion before it happens!

3. It is also even more seriously disrespectful of the bank to not at least advise it's customers when a BP is dishonoured! I suspect that this is infact a TAX payment (but see point 1!!), if I had not noticed the dishonour there then if I'm right my Tax would not have been paid with SERIOUS implications! It's simply unacceptable that such a matter should go without an IMMEDIATE contact from Kiwibank by an automatic email! Seriously, are your programmers THAT lazy?

4. This is the SECOND time I have typed this email, because your buggy system of "Secure Mail" STILL logs one out when they type up a long email and send it, causing the mail not to be sent. I advised Kiwibank of this SERIOUS error in your system when the system was still in "Beta". It's extremely concerning to see that the developers of Kiwibank's systems take bug reports with no interest at all!

5. When your cruddy mail system logged me out, I had to try logging in NUMEROUS times, your system kept just logging me out as soon as I got in, or claiming that the "code" was incorrect (when it most certainly WAS NOT). Again, your programmers have been VERY lazy in fixing this serious issue.

6. When it finally worked your HORRIBLE "Keep Safe" system told me that I'd already attempted twice, WHAT! No I hadn't! It seems your "Keep Safe" system is as badly programmed and buggy as it is INCREDIBLY HORRIBLE SECURITY THEATRE! If you really want to get serious about security then just do the right thing and issue SecureID type devices to your members!

Signed, one pretty cross KiwiBank customer who is seriously considering shifting all banking and investment due to these complaints.


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Comment by Juicytree, on 10-Feb-2009 14:47

....and they now reserve the right to take diddly squat notice of your complaint - arrogant b**st**ds these banks. 

Just had an issue with ANZ and got logged out of their secure mail prior to finishing composing an email.  Tried to close my accounts using secure mail but they require me to front up to a bank with id - what the hell is the use of 'secure mail' ??

Comment by timbosan, on 10-Feb-2009 21:12

Actually, these problems seem very similar to the ones I experience all the time on the ANZ site.  Since ANZ have the STUPID requirement that you login on one page and then they open the Internet banking site on another seperate window, you can leave the login page open after closing your banking session, but if you try and login again you cannot!  SESSION EXPIRED is what you get, so you have to close the login window and then start all over again.

I know - all the ANZ Internet banking programmers wrote the Kiwibank system as well!

Comment by Tamara, on 21-Jan-2010 13:43

Wow, this post is nearly a year old! But it came up in my google search as I had this happen to me today :(
"BP DISHONOUR FEE #XXXXXXXX, there is no indication as to WHAT was dishonoured!"
So much for them redeveloping their website!!

I've sent them a short secure mail (after reading your problems with typing a long email and getting logged out).

Thanks for the info on how to set up alerts, wish they had mentioned that when I set up the account!

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James Sleeman
New Zealand

PHP Programmer Extraordinaire

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