Just when I thought…

And I’ll follow that statement with…..”…that I had everything under control…”

ANZ bank, have seemingly gone out of their way yet again to make my life more difficult, I moved out of NZ approx three years ago and headed to Aus and ever since I’ve left I’ve been able to use my NZ bank account online without any issues. Today I’m making a payment to someone in NZ for something I’ve bought and I click to ‘confirm and pay’ and boom…..”A Message has been sent to your Mobile phone, please confirm the code to continue”…..

Erm, firstly, that phone was closed down three years ago….secondly, if I did own a phone how do you perceive I’d get coverage whilst I’m down here exactly? I mean, I can’t be the first person to live in an area of no coverage, there must be millions of people world wide e.g. people in outback Aus & soldiers in war zones that cannot get mobile coverage that readily that maybe need to pay bills at home too? – I know that with my Australian account (Commonwealth bank) that I had to call them and tell them that if they insisted on me using a txt code authentication system then I was left with no option but to close my account, when I finally convinced them that Antarctica doesn’t get cellphone reception they finally said they’d send me a keyfob instead. The system of delivery is one thing but to not tell me that they were switching to a txt code based system is another, with some notice I could have arranged something, moved to another bank or whatever but I had no notice at all in my bank messages of this new authorisation requirement.

I find this all very interesting, for years all banks have never been able to tell me that my account is overdrawn or about to go overdrawn unless of course I log in and I can see it for myself…..I log in a day late and ….BOOM, I get a $25 fine for an unauthorised overdraft…….Why can’t they email me to tell me my account is about to go overdrawn? I’ve had this conversation with a number of ‘tellers’ in the banks and they say the same thing…”I’ll pass the message onto our IT department for consideration”……….Do they think I’m an idiot? Your IT department know’s who I am, they email me three times a week with offers of business loans, mortgage rates and business consulting ideas yet somehow seem to oversee the fact that I might want some service for the $4 a month I pay them for my “online account”….It’s really rather disturbing to think that they are well aware that people are ‘human’ and deliberately target their busy lives and forgetfulness as a method of extracting $25 a time out of us just because they see fit….Imagine how many millions a year they make in those fines?

So yes, they’ve got an impolite email but even more importantly they’ve got six months until my mortgage renewal is up so I can take my business elsewhere – This isn’t the only reason I might add, I mentioned in my last ‘rant’ that I was having concerns about fossil fuel investments, the big four banks in Australia are known to support investments in fossil fuel & big mining companies and I’ve been following with great interest the success of the recently formed ‘ethical divestment’ groups which are growing with some momentum. ‘Ethical divestment’ is the act of ensuring your money is moved and invested with an ethical company, i.e. one that isn’t destroying the environment and encourages the growth of self sustainability – It’s getting to a stage now where some big players are starting to move their money out of banks based purely on divestment decisions which is starting to be noticed by the banks – I’ve not got the list to hand but a great deal of Universities (Harvard in the US moved $billions) and govt councils are moving to ethical banks which is good to see. It’s not something I can do from here but I will as soon as I get home. If you’re interested yourself have a look at 350.org on facebook as they’re leading a good charge.

Anyway, apologies, I’ve turned my last two posts into rants which I promise I won’t continue with, however if ANZ are reading you should probably know that I’ve had over 60,000 hits on this site in the last twelve months so you might want to take heed!

Trip to Ace Lake

On Saturday I jumped in a Hagg with some of the others for a quick drive to Ace Lake and Deep lake for a recce of the area, the lake sampling science project team need to get some samples up from the lakes and we were trying to work an easier way of doing it without driving across the rocks and causing localised damage, so far we’re thinking about a sled, 1000 mtrs of rope and a few other bits of kit to slowly drag the sled full of water up the slope towards the Hagg using the winch….Time will tell how that approach goes, I’ll update later…Nevertheless it was nice day to get out and get some shots even though I was getting a bit ‘sick’ of driving the Hagg over the Sustrugi…

Blizz Days & Snow Ball Fight

We had a good blizz through last week which was a couple of days of 50knt winds and a fair bit of fresh snow, there were some new ‘hills’ built up around the place when the carnage cleared which are stunning to get photos of when they’re fresh and the shapes they make are great – that said, it’s also rather tempting to go out and play in the fresh stuff so I put a note on the white board on Sunday that a snowball fight was taking place at midday for all to join in and make a quick film clip – The below clip was the response, some of us lasted an hour but it was exhausting climbing up the slope with some being more successful at it than others, still it was a good laugh for all of us to be five years old again, my clothing is still drying in the cold porch..

Anyway, that’s more than enough typing for a Monday, enjoy…









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