Monday, 6 August 2007

Colonial Geared Investments - the conclusion

This is Part 4.

Part 1 is here.
Part 2 is here.
Part 3 is here.

I meant to post the follow up to this last week, but hey! I was on holidays, so there.

Anyway, I had given Colonial a week to respond to my complaint, and I hadn't received a response. During that time, St George Margin Lending wasted no time in sending me out the paperwork for me to complete and send in to them in order to get my new margin loan underway.

I felt that a week was enough, so I sent it in and was kinda shocked that 3 working days after mailing the paperwork to St George, I get a call from a rather nice lady by the name of Joan Berkery-Coleman from Colonial. Thinking that this was about my complaint, I geared up (bad pun) for the response.

She hadn't actually seen the complaint. Instead, she was ringing about the refinance paperwork that had landed on her desk. So I told her straight. They'd dropped the ball on the Platinum float, and their response to my interest rate query was unacceptable.

Joan took all of this well, and asked me to forward her a copy of my complaint, which I did. She took a deep breath and told me that they'd got a lot of new staff in their call centre and as a result, some of them are still learning the ropes.

She asked me if they could keep my business if they could match the rate that St George were offering. I said nice (it's less than Colonial's) but I would also like them to match St George's gearing ratios as well, which are also currently better than Colonial's.

She couldn't promise that.

Having already filed the paperwork with St George, I decided to proceed with the refinance, and told her. She said to me that if things go pear-shaped with my new margin lender, please get on to the phone to her directly, and she would arrange a special rate for me.

Rather nice, I thought.

Anyway, two days later, she sent me this:

Hi Dikkii,

Thank you for taking the time to speak with me on Monday. Whilst I am extremely disappointed to lose your business, I am very grateful to you for your candid feedback.

Every organisation undergoes a period of high staff turn over and unfortunately the Relationship Management Team in our Sydney office is no different. Our team will only benefit from your feedback and we have initiated additional training support for the new team members to ensure our high service standards are maintained at all times.

Please accept my apologies for the poor level of client service you have experienced.

As we discussed, at any time in the future, if you would like to renew your relationship with Colonial Geared Investment, I will be delighted to assist. In the meantime, I wish you continued success with your gearing strategy.

Yours sincerely,


Joan Berkery-Coleman
Executive Manager
Premium Business Services

I fired this back at her - she really did put in a bit of effort, I felt:

Hi Joan,

Thank you for your email. I really do think highly of the call that you made to me on Monday, which must be an unpleasant task.

The decision to re-finance is not a decision that one makes lightly, especially in light of the mountain of paperwork that accompanies it. As I said in our discussion on Monday, I have been largely happy with Colonial Geared Investments' service. It's just that I felt that the ball had been dropped a couple of times this year, and the email from your guys below (who continue to remain nameless) just really got me looking around for something different.

And if things don't work out between me and St George Margin Lending, rest assured that now I have your email address, you will be the first person I speak to about this. May I just say that as a shareholder and a former employee of the CBA, I found you to be respectful, courteous and I consider that were there more like you responding to emails, this wouldn't be such a serious issue.

I wish you all the best.

Yours sincerely, Dikkii.

I got this back, not long after:

Thank you Dikkii,

Your comments are appreciated greatly and I do look forward to speaking with you in the future.

Kind regards,


Joan Berkery-Coleman
Executive Manager
Premium Business Services

All done - but I still haven't got a response to my @#$%ing complaint.

Disclosure: This blogger owns shares in Commonwealth Bank of Australia (which owns Colonial Geared Investments) and Platinum Asset Management Limited.

Standard but necessary disclaimer: This is not advice. Only a complete idiot would think that any of this constituted advice. It's not even vaguely reasonable to consider this to be advice. If you are in any doubt as to the content of this, see a good, independent financial adviser immediately. They do exist.

1 comment:

The Hulk said...

Wow. Someone who knows what they are doing and has excellent customer service skills. Rare these days.
The blog is working out well. It is exceeding all expectations. Sometimes a little complaint goes a long way!! .... unless it is to Red Rooster.