Bank West my opinion

August 16, 2008


OK I bank with Bankwest, have done for around 4 years now, always found them pretty good when I was in Perth.  Moved to Melbourne, what a nightmare.  Only 1 branch, which is in the city so if you don’t work there your pretty screwed for doing your banking over the counter.

Anyway in what I thought was a great move by Bankwest the opening of several branches in key shopping centers and locations around Victoria the plot thickens.  Are these banks or retail outlets.  I went into the Fountain Gate branch yesterday with the intention of paying into  my credit card account.  What a nightmare.  Granted they are a new branch, only been opening a few days.  However apart from the funky design and pleasing manners of the staff it was a shambles.
No one and I mean NO ONE seemed to know what they were doing.  I got asked 4 times literally if I was being looked after, which technically I was although the person that I was actually dealing with had no idea how to do the simple task that I bestowed upon him.  All I wanted was a balance so I could pay over the correct amount of money.  This seemed almost impossible for him to achieve, I politely asked him if he actually knew how to do it, mentioning that I have no issue in waiting while he finds someone who could help me.  He insisted on completing the task, of which it would have been quicker for me have called Telephone Banking and got the information I needed.
An isolated incident I ask myself, NO.  This has been a similar situation that has happened in most of the branches I have visited.  Apart from  the main City branch, which is not worth mentioning as it always has lines of people waiting for the only 2 tellers to hurry along as fast as possible whilst various other staff members simply chat away about their plans for the evening.
All up I am very disappointed in the whole role out of new stores, they seem far to focused on competing for new business with flashy gimmicks  and funky uniforms, whilst really all they need is some old fashioned customer service.  If they want to be regarded as a retail outlet thats great however would you shop for your groceries, clothes or gadgets from a store that has such more service….. I don’t think you would
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3 Responses to “Bank West my opinion”

  1. Jeffry Pilcher Says:

    So…How would you rate your “Happy Banking” experience on a scale of 1-10?

    Are you going to switch banks? Or is that too much hassle?

    Shoot me an email if you want. You can find my address at my website.

    Here’s two articles related to Bank West’s brand experience:
    http://thefinancialbrand.com/2008/08/12/bankwest-virtual-branch/
    http://thefinancialbrand.com/2008/03/04/offbeat-australian-campaign-promotes-happy-banking/

  2. Craig Says:

    I have to say that the overall look of the bank west stores are awesome.

    However the practicality of it all leaves something to be desired. The whole concept for me just doesn’t work. To much time spent hanging around and once again a huge lack of tellers, the bread and butter of all banks

  3. Sunili Says:

    The “retail stores” cf branches thing seems to be rolling out across lots of banks these days. Have seen it at NAB, ANZ, CBA too. I have to agree with Craig — I would prefer more teller operators than door boys asking me if I wanted a drink. If we weren’t waiting so long we wouldn’t be getting bloody thirsty in the first place. Some points missed in translation, mayhaps.

    Just switched over to BW from Comm Bank this year, and while I am loving the pink mastercard debit card, I have to admit that it’s only marginally better anyway. And I have had some experiences recently where the banking has NOT been happy.

    Bottom line: banks are never going to be your friend, no matter what the marketing tagline is. You know who told me that? A women working at the bank.

    (And, ironically, there’s talk CBA may just buy BW out anyway? Back to square 1.)


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