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thuper, thankth for athking.

< rant

i've been very good lately and making sure that i follow up on my paper work, once i week. it does mean that i usually end up swearing at [insert bureaucratic dept here], but i figure a little bit of pain never heart anyone.

but this week, i just have to rant about super funds. they drive me fucking bonkers. as much as i loathed the previous government, the best thing they did was to free up choice about superannuation, so that you can just have the one fund for all your employers. [probably based on insight from 1985, which stated that people weren't working for the same company their whole career anymore, shock!].

given that, i actually haven't had to deal with the nightmare of superannuation companies for while, until this year, when i joined two separate employees under a federal award. which means that you don't have a choice, you have to go with the industry super fund. dumb.

i've since left both super funds and the first one sent me a letter a while ago saying (basically) 'sorry, we used up all the money in your pitiful and dormant account on our account keeping fees [read:shareholder dividends], we're closing it down'

fine, i said. i didn't want to be part of your dumb fund anyway and if you feel the need to take my $125, then fine. just don't bother me.

well, last week i got a letter from them 'noticing that i hadn't had any employer contributions for a while, tell us what you'd like to do'. to which i emailed them (on the email address on their letterhead) and told them that they already chewed up my money and closed my account a few months ago and could they just close the account (like they said they had) and leave me alone'

i wasn't rude. i wasn't especially lovey-dovey either and i did mention the fact that i didn't even want to be part of their fund, but it was a pretty clear email.

and then, in the interest of true customer service, i get this response:

wow - that's where my dollars go - setting up an email address with an auto-responder telling me to go to the website so that they can have a more secure system... does this confound anyone else? or is it just me?... how about just a better spam filter? or maybe more staff so that you actually get a response? a better database that actually keeps track of the direct mail you're sending out? no... an auto-responder and an online form.



UPDATE: ooh, ooh, one of the drop down menus for the 'category of query' of the online email form is 'stationery request'... yes, i'd like 3 packs of pink post-it notes and one of those cool machines that clips your documents together with those clips you can't open.

UPDATE 2: here's the clear and rational response i got from the online email form:

Dear Sir/Madam,
Thank you for your email received 5 November 2008.

We wish to advise that we have not been able to match the member information you have provided against your account. It is important for the protection of your personal information that we ensure we correctly identify you before responding to your query.

For information on your account please contact AustralianSuper on the number below and we will assist you further.

If you have any further queries, please email us at www.australiansuper.com/email or call our Customer Service Centre, between 8am and 8pm, Monday to Friday, on 1300 300 273. Local call costs apply. If you are calling from overseas, please ring +61 3 8663 1699 during AEST business hours.

Kind regards

AustralianSuper Administration

and then...

UPDATE 3: here's what i got in response to my original email (the one that wasn't secure enough, so i had to email on the website...)

Dear Ms Brown (wow! personal),

Thank you for your email received 5 November 2008.

To obtain information and documentation pertaining to claiming your benefit, please contact our Customer Service Centre by phone. Claim documents cannot be issued by email for security reasons.

AustralianSuper has a website located at: http://www.australiansuper.com

This website provides details about the fund, including products and services that are available to members as well as detailed investment information, including the ASX 200 investment option. Your MemberOnline account allows you to update your personal details and investment options as well as make personal contributions using BPAY and view your account balance. To register for MemberOnline please contact us by phone.

If you require any further information or assistance regarding this matter, please email us at email@australiansuper.com or alternatively you can call our Customer Service Centre between 8am and 8pm on 1300 300 273 for the cost of a local call. If you are calling from overseas, please ring +61 3 8663 1699 during AEST business hours. We will be happy to help you.

Kind Regards,

[this persons name has been remove to protect the innocent, naive or outright stupid]
AustralianSuper Administration

customer service is alive and well people. alive and well.



At 07 November, 2008 04:44, Blogger Stanley Johnson said...

Made me laugh out loud.

Sadly not funny.


At 07 November, 2008 07:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

stan - believe me - i've been laughing out loud too. i'd hate to see if i wanted to stick around with them.. i think i'd want to vomit.


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