This is more a community service announcement than anything.
So I use BankWest for all of my baking and have done so for quite a number of years and overall been quite happy with their ethics and service considering they are a back and all.
So I use the Oz.Lotterywest app to play lotto. I’ve for a number of years had my BankWest Mastercard as the link card to pay for the purchased lotto tickets.
I was going through my statement the other day which isn’t something I usually do, I just had a different issues that required a lot of back tracing payment. Anyway in do so I noticed a cash advance fee charged. I thought it was for a cash advance I took out, but had replaced before end of day so my end of day balance on my card was $0. Cash advance fees are only charged on withdrawal that have the card owing money. So my first thought was they pinged me for a couple of hours, which I was gonna to dispute anyway as it unethical. I looked into the details of the cash advance fee and seen the allocation as gambling not cash withdrawal. This was odd as I don’t gamble and although lotto is technically gambling the applying the reasonable person test and societal classifications it doesn’t fall into the gambling category. So I didn’t think it was for my OzLotteries purchase, also a multi year precedent of never being charged one before for OzLotteries purchase.
I contacted the bank and their first response was OzLotteries. I countered with the precedent set so it’s unacceptable. They then changed tactic and told me it was because of my cash withdrawal. I explained at end of day my balance was $0 so financially speaking I didn’t withdraw any funds into credit so again unethical and unacceptable. It then escalated and I was told it was the OzLotteries and the reason it has happened now and never before would be due to the merchant changing their merchant code which affects how the transaction gets classified. They agreed to refund the cash advance fee.
This is still not good big picture but I took the win. What they did next they shouldn’t have done as it lead to the discovery I made that has lead to this. The exact same time they refunded my cash advance fee they charge another one for the purchase I’d made with OzLotteries the day after the disputed purchase.
I had had enough of their bs so decided to load every barrel before I contacted them again. I then contacted OzLotteries themselves to asked them about their merchant code, when they last changed it, and any changes they made that would reclassify the handling of their transactions. Turns out they have had the same merchant code with BankWest (I’m not sure if they have different codes for different banks) from day one.
So what BankWest has done is change internally how they classify transactions made to OzLotteries. Changes that incur costs. Not only did they not inform their customers, they also blatantly lied about who and what was responsible.
So anyway with BankWest if your attached card is a credit card and you haven’t noticed yet, change the card to a debit card and fight for you money bank. Don’t forget to get the increased interest fee that are attached to cash withdrawal/gambling transactions also refunded. They tried to not do that also for me.
So although not illegal what they are doing is unethical and predatory in nature. So a bank being a bank while telling you it doesn’t operate like a bank.