I received an important looking letter from the Commonwealth Bank this week. Since I don’t have any CB accounts I was immediately a little suspicious. It goes on for some pages but in summary says:
For a period they owned Count, a financial advisory support service.
They were not too sure if they took a fee for no service in some cases and so they have decided to refund all fees for the period just in case.
Therefore they were refunding my fees for the period and if I filled in the attached form identifying myself and giving my bank details they would make the refund to the nominated account.
My scam radar started to ping very loudly at this point.
On the plus side, I did use an adviser (that I have parted company with now for reasons entirely unrelated) who used Count’s services. The period was right and, without checking deeply filed documents, the amount looked about right.
On the negative side, when did you last get a letter out of the blue wanting to give you quite a bit of cash for a rather strange reason?
So a phone call through the CB switchboard (not the number given in the letter!) was in order. After some wasted time due to phone-answerdroids who knew nothing about it, I was connected to the department running the refund. Yes it is legitimate. If I don’t want to fill in the form and post it (post paid envelope supplied) I can email it.
It looks to me like this largess was weighed against the cost of reviewing each historical case in detail and having to deal with the publicity and more complications when some customers decide to dispute the assessment.
This is probably a consequence of the Banking Royal Commission but it is such a long chain of association and years elapsed I have started a new thread.
We had a similar email about being possibly owed a refund if we were CFS (Colonial First State) customers through a financial service. There was a long list of services and products, one of which we were with. I’m not sure where the error was in the chain, but I don’t think it was CFS. They’ve already dealt with “issues”, haven’t they?
So I contacted our financial advisor, who said it was news to them (it was the day we got the email), but they checked, and yes, it seemed to be legitimate and we could be part of the class action.
Nothing was required or demanded of us, other than to advise us that we may have been overcharged for whatever the transactions were and may be entitled to reimbursement. I don’t think any one customer is owed much money, but overall it might be a substantial payout for whichever party is at fault for the overcharge.
Still, I wish they didn’t include links, because when you get an email like that with links, the alarm bells ring. And when it is a legitimate email with a legitimate link, it starts to erode my natural suspicion, something I don’t want to happen.
CFS, BUPA, AGL etc etc like many businesses email out all sorts of content. For those who have opted out of paper mailed statements etc the emails typically include links taking you to a service to login, or worse imbedded content.
Few follow the principle of requesting you to log into your account to view an important document or respond further to linked correspondence. The exceptions include MyGov, ASIC and our Accountant(it varies).