Beware of Victorian Teachers Credit Union FEES

Beware of Victorian Teachers Credit Union FEES … my wife just lost $90 in 2 weeks.

It all started when she started a new small business, something that we as a community should be supporting, someone with an entrepreneurial spirit. But coming froma teaching background she was also used to regularity of her income.

And it wasn’t just the extra cost and lack of immediate cash flow … but her daughter was having a baby, our first grandchild and she was part of the birthing team at the home birth.  So with two trips to Melbourne and all the excitement I can understand how she forgot to transfer some money to cover automatic payments like Medibank, and the car insurance.

Now picture a bank that cares for their customers.

Have you got that picture?

Well I have a picture from around 1985 one morning, rushing around shopping and banking and when I returned home the telephone went (mobiles weren’t that popular back then) and the voice said “Hi, it’s ‘Jane’ here at the building society and I think you left your leg of lamb here at the bank. Have you lost a leg …?”

WOW … even back then I was impressed with that quality of service.

The staff at the bank actually knew me, and it was ‘real’ service.

So the irony of the Victorian Teachers Credit Union banking system is that occasionally, when you make a payment on-line you get a phone call from a customer service staff member to check if you just made the payment.

Now I used to be a professional risk engineer and I do not believe that the risk of internet banking fraud is really very high, but it’s nice of them to call, yes?

So what’s the point in  sending my wife a letter after her account has been debited with all the fees? It’s a bit of a waste of time in my opinion … except they did say you can change from automatic payment to say BPay which would prevent the overdrawn fee. That’s a possibility.

And the cost of sending the letter, which is signed personally must be at least $1.

Wouldn’t it serve your customer better to call them … just like when they make an on-line payment? Surely they don’t do it for the revenue from fees and charges? No, not a credit union, that’s something only the BIG banks do isn’t it?

Ninety dollars in fees in two weeks … last time that happened was with one of the BIG banks whom we had just opened an account with because they were ‘next door’.  We soon moved our accounts.

I would install a system that sends out an automatic text message or email giving the customer say 24 hours to rectify the account, in fact I think the Victorian Teachers Credit Union used to do something like that.

Is service really that hard to provide?

I mean … I can walk into any bank almost anytime of the day and find staff members who could be more actively employed.

Have we simply allowed service to just disappear.

It appears to be the case at the Victorian Teachers Credit Union.

How Safe Is Melbourne Water? Could It Kill You?

If you live in Victoria, Australia you will have heard of Melbourne Water, as the name suggests it is responsible for much of the water assets that serve the city of Melbourne.

And you also have an opinion on the pros and cons of “tap water versus bottled water”, but this is not what this article is about. This article is about the safety philosophy of an organisation entrusted with supply and delivery of a life supporting resource such as water.

I would expect the philosophy of a public body (and their servants) responsible for life giving “water” to be beyond reproach and certainly not subject to any lackadaisical attitudes but that it not necessarily the case … but you be the judge.

Imagine you are a young woman taking your very energetic dog for some exercise … and you have decided to ride your bike with the dog running beside you. I’ve seen many people do this without incident.

Picture this woman (who happens to be a close friend of mine) riding along a “drainage pathway” … sort of an ‘overflow’ if you like that can take storm flood waters, but for the majority of time it is a quiet and very safe pathway to either walk the dog, go for a run or a ride.

But what if, as you are riding at high speed along the path it just disappears in front of your eyes?

The young woman, out taking her dog for exercise … is now heading headfirst into a concrete hole and has no way of avoiding the disaster.

Her neck and jaw hit first (see the red cross) into the hard concrete edging of a meter wide cross drain splitting her flesh and running deep grazes into her throat; her bike’s front wheel of course had plunged into the crevasse.

Trying to ‘break her fall’ was a natural instinct which lead to a fractured wrist, and her body, traveling at around twenty kilometers an hour also hit hard cracking a number of ribs and badly grazing the skin along her throat.

Blood was pouring from the gash under her jaw, her clothes now literally covered in her own blood as she dragged her damaged bike back towards the road in a vain attempt to get help.

She waved down a taxi … but one look at her at it drove away, leaving her to abandon her bike, still holding onto her lead she slowly took herself and her dog the kilometer or so back home … a shared house that she had only moved to some days earlier. The fact that she was not familiar with her surrounds in some way helped contribute to her accident, but it really wasn’t an accident, but rather it was a disaster waiting to happen.

See, if an accident can be foreseen … then it probably isn’t an accident in my opinion. Those responsible used to have an obligation under ‘common law’ to remove the hazard. You could say it is a moral obligation especially if women and children are likely to be injured unnecessarily.

Injured and upset, this young woman eventually made it to the emergency area of her local hospital. The attending doctor sent her for Xrays, stitched her jaw and dresses her abrasions.

He said “You are very lucky not to have been more seriously injured. You could have broken your neck.”

Six weeks off work as the result of an accident that could so easily have been prevented …

The cost to have put a concrete slab, or galvanised grate across the open side drain would certainly be a few thousand dollars, so why would a large public authority DECIDE NOT TO FIX THE PROBLEM when they have seen the results that their hazard has caused.

It can surely only be that safety, and in particular PUBLIC SAFETY, is not a high priority.

See, the accident happened eighteen months ago … and yet the hazard remains, awaiting it’s next unsuspecting victim. Men and women ride along this drainage pathway every day. Unfortunately some do so for the first time … and would not expect the path to disappear.

Your Healthy Planet.com is a global initiative to reward individuals, businesses, clubs and organizations that exhibit excellent customer service, and have healthy, green, sustainable products and services that make a positive difference.

This hazard will be rectified … I’m just very surprised that it wasn’t done within days or weeks of my friends ‘accident’.

If you know of a media contact in Melbourne who could help make a difference here and prevent some one else suffering a similar injury please let me know.

Leave a comment below or contact Melbourne Water and inquire if the hazard has been rectified.