Monday, February 20, 2017
In his latest offering, conservative Australian cartoonist ZEG has switched his loyalty to Cory Bernardi's Conservative Party
A good letter gets results
I have always found it easy to write and as a result I write a lot of letters, mostly by snail mail. So when I see something happening that I don't like, I don't just bitch about it. I send a letter to whomever is likely to be able to fix it. And it will be no surprise that I have written to the big bosses of banks quite a lot. As I think everyone reading this will know, banks can be very frustrating
One thing that has been bothering me a bit lately is the way Australian banks keep closing branches or downgrading the services that they offer from a branch.
For a while there was a sort of mini-branch of the Commonwealth babnk right next to where I often go for brunch so that was very convenient. I rather liked the looks of one of the female tellers they had there too. Even we oldies can admire from afar.
But it was of course too good to last. The tellers were abolished and you were expected to do everything through a sort of super-ATM they had installed. There were however still some staff there to help people who could not do what they wanted with the ATMs.
So recently I walked in with a big cheque that I wanted to deposit. But the place was full of customers waiting for personal service. So I decided to give up and visit a real branch the next day. But where was there a real branch? It is not easy to look up. They have a list of branches online but some of them have been abolished and there is no way of knowing what services the remaining ones offer. In a couple of cases there were phone numbers I could ring but when I rang I got only an answering machine that had no answers that I wanted to hear.
What to do? I also have an account at the Bank of Qld. and I have never had to wait long there. So I went in to my nearest branch, found two tellers behind the desk and only one person ahead of me. So I deposited my cheque, was given a printed receipt and walked out happy. Because of their poor services, the Commonwealth missed out on getting my money despite considerable efforts on my part to give it to them. Amazing.
So I wrote a letter. Here it is:
28 December, 2016
Dear Mr. Narev,
As a CBA shareholder and a customer I am appalled at how your standards of customer service have slipped.
I went into your recently downgraded Buranda branch today and found a big queue-up of people waiting for personal service. I had a big cheque to deposit that I was not willing to entrust to your machines. I left rather than wait. Please reinstate its former status
I then went online to find an alternative branch near me. I wanted to find one that had full service. There were several possibilities. But the phone nos. for them were not provided. So I went through the rigamarole of calling your general number. When I was eventually put through to the branches, however, all I got were answering machines that were as uninformative as your website.
After all the hassle I deposited my cheque with another bank.
Why can't you have more contact details available online? Are you afraid your customers might talk to you? Can't you get it into your bald head that customer service matters?
In the absence of an accommodating reply from you, I will raise the matter at the next AGM.
I got a reply from someone called Emma Taylor who did little more than restate her bank's policies. So I wrote another letter. Here it is:
Dear Ms Taylor
Thank you for your letter of 19th.
I am disappointed that Mr Narev did not see fit to reply to my letter in person. A year or so ago I wrote to Richard Goyder of Wesfarmers and got back from him a courteous handwritten note. Perhaps Mr Narev has more dissatisfied customers than Mr Goyder has.
I have found your reply in which you do little more than restate the bank's policies quite unsatisfactory. So I still have comments that I wish to address to Mr. Narev. The following is for Mr Narev's eyes only:
Dear Mr Narev,
I am sure you find as revolting as I do the old stereotype of the fat Jewish banker smoking a cigar, wearing a top hat and looking contemptuously down his long nose at the simple people whom he exploits.
So why in G-d's name are you doing your best to validate that image? You are Jewish, you are head of Australia's largest bank and you treat your customers with contempt by making it as hard as possible for them to contact you and your officers.
WHY do you not have on your website a phone number for each branch? You are constantly changing your branches and what each branch does, so people need to enquire in advance to ascertain what services are available at a branch they intend to visit.
I myself some months ago was going to be in the Stone's Corner area so looked up your webpage and found the Stones Corner branch listed as fully functional. It was not. I made the trip there to find it closed down.
So if it is such an enormous problem to provide phone nos., could you at least keep your website up to date with the level of service offered at each branch? It is surely an elementary courtesy.
And it might even be good business to upgrade your services. The extra costs could result in happier customers who do more business with your bank.
In the absence of a reply from you, I am inclined to post a copy of this letter on the net.
Dr John Ray
There was no reply. BUT, today I had another large refund cheque to deposit. So after my brunch I wandered in to the nearby Commonwealth branch that had given me problems previously. Hey Presto! Big change! A teller's counter had sprung up again, everybody in the branch was being helped and there was a lady standing at the teller's counter waiting to help me. Very different! Exactly what I had asked for! Even though Mr Narev was too grand to reply to me, someone somewhere in the bank must have sprung into action. My letters got results.
A Leftist would of course have found my reference to Mr Narev's origins to be RACIST! Even though I was writing with the intention of helping Jews. I have in fact been a great supporter of Israel since I was a kid. My immersion in the Bible made it permanently clear to me that Israel is the proper home of the Jews.
Some extended background on my thinking about that is here -- JR
Same-Sex Marriage Bill report strikes balance between freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination
It's a very lopside balance. It provides that clergy will not be hounded but everyone else seems to be fair game. You are still in the gun if you don't wish to provide services to queers
The Law Council today said the consensus Parliamentary report into the Government's Same-Sex Marriage Bill strikes a good balance between freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination and called on Parliament progress the report’s findings.
The Select Committee on the Exposure Draft of the Marriage Amendment (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill reached agreement on key issues, many of which align with recommendations made by the Law Council in its earlier submission. These areas of agreement include:
Ministers of religion should be able to refuse to marry same-sex couples;
Removal of 'conscientious objection' provisions;
Creating a new category of independent religious celebrants to cater for those people with religious beliefs, but requiring all other celebrants to marry same-sex couples; and
Strictly confining the exemptions available to 'religious bodies' to discriminate against same-sex couples.
Law Council of Australia President, Fiona McLeod SC, said the areas of agreement would, if implemented, improve the Bill significantly.
"The Law Council has been a long-standing supporter of same-sex marriage, however, changes to the Marriage Act need to carefully balance freedom of religion with the freedom from discrimination," Ms McLeod said.
"We are pleased to see that the Committee suggests that ministers of religion, and certain religious celebrants, should be able to refuse to marry same-sex couples in line with their beliefs. Civil celebrants on the other hand are performing a secular function and so have no other proper basis for exemption.
"We are also happy that the Committee agrees with the Law Council that 'religious bodies,' that were not specifically established for religious purposes, should not be exempt from anti-discrimination laws.
“We further note that the Committee did not recommend exempting individuals or commercial businesses from anti-discrimination law who hold a ‘conscientious’ objection to providing goods and services for same-sex weddings.
"Striking this balance between freedom of religion and freedom from discrimination is a challenging task. It is the Law Council's view that the Committee's suggestions achieve this balance well and should therefore be accepted by Parliament,” Ms McLeod said.
Media release. Patrick.Baume@lawcouncil.asn.au
DON'T feel sorry for the Muslim Rohingya
The Burmese certainly give the Rohingya a hard time but this ingrate may indicate it is deserved
A man accused of setting fire to a Commonwealth Bank branch and injuring 36 people has faced court on 92 charges.
The accused, 21, allegedly set fire to the bank branch in Springvale, in south-east Melbourne, in November last year.
Among his charges are counts of conduct endangering life, criminal damage by fire, gross violence and intentionally causing serious injury.
Staff and customers, including children, became trapped in the bank when a fire was lit. Dozens of people were treated for burns as a result.
The man appeared in Melbourne Magistrates' Court on Thursday evening and was remanded to appear again on May 11.
The 21-year-old is a Rohingya asylum seeker from Mynamar.
Lucky old Melbourne again: Multicultural child molester
A 10-year-old girl was grabbed by the ponytail by a stranger who tried to lure her away in broad daylight, police said.
The man approached the girl on a Melbourne street corner and offered to 'buy her anything she wanted,' police wrote in a release on Saturday.
The girl, who was waiting with a friend near the corner of Springvale road and Windsor Avenue at 3.30pm, was then pulled by the hair after declining to go with the man.
She was able to run away after she kicked the man, causing him to let her go.
Investigators released a sketch of a man wanted for questioning in relation to the February 1 incident.
He was described by police as having 'dark skin with white pigmentation on his neck and arms, dark hair and yellow teeth.'
Detectives from the Dandenong Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team are investigating the incident.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here