This one might get a bit more personal than I had hoped, but currently I feel the need to write about what’s on my mind. I might feel as though I should’ve written about something else if I ever look back at this, but I don’t live in the future. Future me will have to deal with that if it ever comes up.
Over the last two days I’ve received three calls from The Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Like many others out there I have debts that I’m paying off, and just like a bunch of those many, I’m currently behind rather than ahead. It’s the first time since sometime around 2011 that I’ve been behind.
At the moment I’m not getting enough hours at work to be able to survive as comfortably as I’d like, but I can survive. Of course that means other things have to go out the window, but that’s fine. Now that I’m not studying I’m looking for work elsewhere. Getting another job is taking longer than I hoped, but I have to keep on trudging along.
Problem with all of this is that there wasn’t enough money to pay stuff off last month; hence the having arrears.
I’m trying to stay positive about the whole thing, but right now I’m pretty scared as there’s no certainty of work continuing at the moment and whilst I can survive, admittedly I’m struggling. If hours at work don’t reduce further or I get another job, then I’ll be able to catch up on my debts and overall should be okay. Might have to be careful with food consumption, but overall I should be fine. I grew up mostly poor and kind of flirted with doing well for a while before dipping back down, so I think I can ride this out, but I digress.
Yesterday were the first two calls. I missed the first one by not looking at my phone. The second one I received at work. Realised what the missed call was about. Went through the ID process, then asked in a rather blunt and somewhat-forceful tone “When are you going to pay the arrears?” This isn’t how the question was asked verbatim, but it is close.
This was two days after the due date. This wasn’t weeks or months down the track.
I know that financial institutions have processes they need to follow, but that doesn’t mean I agree with those processes. I’m fairly sure that the numerous, repeated written reminders CBA put in front of me (and continue to do so) when I access my account via an online connection are more than enough to get the point across.
I reacted angrily as, well, I feel there are better ways to ask something instead of in a manner that implies the person asking feels as though they’re speaking to someone who can’t be responsible. I gave them my situation, told them I’ll catch up as soon as I can and that I didn’t want a call back or to speak to hardship. End of story.
Come this morning and I received another call from CBA advising that I’m in arrears and asking when I’ll catch up. think. It’s possible that they didn’t get to the question as I… well, I didn’t lose it but I was angry.
Supposedly CBA’s system will automatically dial people if there’s no “pay by” date lodged. I gave them two months and told them to stop calling me. I told them it was borderline harassment (which now I’m not so sure about) and that it was making an already stressful situation even more so.
I understand that this was someone just doing their job. I said that to them and that I wasn’t angry at them, which I wasn’t. This guy was a fair bit friendlier than the one the day prior. I don’t feel good about him copping the brunt of my frustration.
Ultimately this is a really minor thing and I feel silly for writing this out right now. I’m thinking about this as I write it and wondering if I really should share it or not.
Yes, I’m aware that my debts are my responsibility. However, I don’t think that CBA have a good process here. A couple of days that contain a number of written reminders (on another side note, I don’t know how it is for others but they remind me to pay my debts before the due date quite often regardless of if I’ve already paid them or not) should be more than necessary. It shouldn’t be a couple of days followed by three calls. The automated system shouldn’t be so eager to jump on people. If the system requires a date put in that will stop it from calling, then a customer service rep should let a customer know.
Now, with that out of the way here’s a bit that I’ve talked about before that I’m going to mention again.
I have prints (and other forms) of some of my photography available for purchase. Additionally, Culture Eater has a Patreon. There’s links on the right-hand side of this page for these, so I don’t know why I’m including them linked here.
Anyway, any purchases / support helps and personally I’d rather have something to offer than make it a one-way transaction.
If there’s something I’ve shared here that’s not available as a print and you’d like to purchase it, then please let me know and I will make it available.
Most importantly though, if you don’t want to support, please let me know why. If you’re going to like this post and then “walk away”, then please at least share it or let others know. Don’t just like and move on, and please don’t ignore what I’m asking. I don’t feel as though asking people to share this with others is a big ask.