For many people, banks are large corporations which can be intimidating to deal with. But if they make a mistake or start giving you bad customer service, you'll need to speak up. Here are some tips from Lifehacker tipster Paul Fenwick, who recently got his mortgage provider to reverse a $400 charge they'd put on his loan without notice.
Paul's advice? Take notes, be unfailingly polite but persist in escalating your complaint, and be prepared to take your case to the ombudsman (BFSO) or appropriate body (such as VCAT in Victoria).
"As it happens, I've never had a case go to either the BFSO or VCAT, and that included our dispute with RHG. Why? Because it's much cheaper for the dispute department to roll over on a $400 dispute than it is to go through all the time and expense of a legal process. Even if they win, the time taken to bring a dispute through VCAT will end up costing them more than $400. This sort of process tends to be a very reliable way, albeit a somewhat time consuming one, to resolve a dispute with most large organisations."
Check out Paul's blog for the full story. And if you liked his hack, check out his previous Lifehacker tips - including how to declutter the web using Greasemonkey, and how to hack the best seat on an airplane. Thanks for the tip, Paul!
Beating up banks - a tale of success [Paul Fenwick]