Colonial First State, Failure on ‘Duty of Care’

Having been put in a position where I have no income by an as yet un-named third party failed procurement process, I have been forced to attempt to withdraw the maximum allowable under hardship from my Superannuation funds.

Apart from my PSS Superannuation I had 4 other smaller funds which totalled approximately the maximum 10k that you are allowed to withdraw under the current APRA legistlation.  I have withdrawn so far from two funds, being AXA and MLC, both of these withdrawals went smoothly and the funds were in my account in around 48 hours.

My experience with Colonial First State has been entirely different.  I requested the forms from Colonial First State who sent them to me via email, I filled them in attached all of the required documentation and sent the original filled form with statutory declaration and copies or originals of proof of my current financial situation on Friday 23 October, 2009.  I rang Colonial First State on Monday 26 October to confirm that they had received the completed application and that the application complied with their requirements and that all documents were valid, they confirmed that this was the case. Colonial First State told me the application was likely to be processed on Wednesday 28 October, 2009, the application was not processed on the stated date.

On Thursday 29 October I emailed Colonial First State and told them that the payment had not been processed and that I had been technically evicted from my house on the 27th October.  I received no answer to my email and rang Colonial First State at around 9am on Friday 30 October, 2009. The Colonial First State officer who took my call informed me that the paperwork was in fact not correct and that I needed to provide them with proof of my monthly or weekly rental payments, I was advised that a scan of my rental agreement converted to PDF and emailed directly to the person I was speaking with was acceptable. I confirmed with the officer that they had recieved my email and that it was all in order this was confirmed.

The officer then informed me that it would take another 10 working days to process the claim, when I explained that I was being evicted from my home along with my two teenage children, his response was that that was unfortunate. I pointed out that AXA and MLC were able to process the claim quickly under the circumstances and his response was an indifferent ‘Different companies have different processes’. To me this is a completely failed process with absolutely no duty of care to myself as a client of Colonial First State. I will never do business either through my company Imagine Innovation or personally with Colonial First State again, unless they can prove that they have changed their processes to be human-centric and to show a high level of duty of care to their clients.

It astounds me that large enterprise corporates think they are above showing ‘Duty of Care’ to their clients, which exacerbates the stresses and hardships people like myself are already having to deal with in a very unsavoury situation.

Colonial FIRST State Suck!

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