"Dear Westpac ...just some feedback … Having received your kind invitation to 'upgrade' to a super-duper Black Mastercard, I phoned the 'exclusive' Black 1300 number to ask a couple of simple questions, and sat for 12 minutes while waiting for someone at this supposedly 'Black Card Priority Service' number to be available to talk to me, before I had to go and do something else and gave up waiting.
I would have been happy to leave my number and for someone to call back, but I know (from previous encounters with the Westpac credit card enquiry line) that this is not an option that Westpac offers. [Even the bog-standard ANZ service is better than this, with many enquiries being able to be handled via their online secure email system.]
So on the basis of this first and (so far) only experience, I would have to doubt Westpac’s claims of ‘black’ signifying a distinctly superior card product."
Of course, I wasn't happy to leave it there ... I took the trouble to fill out a product enquiry request on the Westpac website, giving details of the above experience, only to push the 'send' button and receive this message:
So then I went to the section of the Westpac website that enables me to give feedback/file a complaint. And not wanting to type it all over again, I attempted to paste what was essentially the above text into the feedback/complaints box, only to receive this message:
The upshot is that I really don't think Westpac has got it, even after all their years in the market place.
So what am I going to do about it? I'm buying more Westpac shares. If they are using this approach to boost profits, then I want my share of them!
POSTSCRIPT 1 - (16 August 2013): I did indeed buy more Westpac shares, and so far (in just two months approx.) they have gone up 12% !
POSTCRIPT 2 - (20 September 2013): Since writing the above post, I've had occasion to use my nice new black Mastercard to pay a sizeable sum for an overseas holiday, in $USD. The fees charged by Westpac for this transaction of $USD20,000 approx were $AUD600 !!!! So I did a quick search to find out why. Here are the salient points in relation to owning and using one of these cards:
- Annual fee $395