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27 March 2020

Earlier in the week I wrote an article titled ANZ requires blind man to visit branch during Coronavirus crisis to collect bank refund or money lost. In the article I discussed how ANZ posted a cheque to me to issue a bank refund, but required that I visit a branch during the Coronavirus crisis to cash it or the money would be taken away. I’m pleased to report that thanks in large part to the promotion of the article by Blind Citizens Australia (BCA), the story has had a happy ending.

The
issues raised in the original article discussed how the ANZ, bank which has
great accessible online banking features chose to provide a bank refund by
cheque which needed to be cashed within a short space of time. This is
virtually impossible during the current Coronavirus crisis and would go against
current government advice. In Trying to contact the bank, an automated
assistant indicated the call wasn’t important enough at this time and repeatedly
hung up making it impossible to directly discuss the matter with ANZ,

In light of
the article I wrote about it being shared by BCA and circulated on social
media, ANZ heard about the issue and called me to discuss the matter. They offered
and apology and have pledged to review their processes so that people with disability
and vulnerable health conditions can be better supported by having similar
matters handled electronically. The ANZ representative also explained that the
call system, which is under tremendous strain due to the number of enquiries
during the Coronavirus crisis, would also have its processes reviewed.

As discussed
in the original article and with ANZ on the call, it is difficult to understand
why when funds can be removed from a bank account in error electronically, the
reverse can’t be handled electronically as well. ANZ have acknowledged the
point and will look to improve their processes in the future. The refund of
$16.74 was credited to my bank account today.

I’d like to
take this opportunity to offer my thanks to BCA for their support in promoting
the article which led to my concerns being addressed, and to offer my thanks
and gratitude to ANZ for taking the time to provide the apology, provide the
refund and pledge to improve their processes so people with disability can
continue to use their accessible online services.

The Centre for Accessibility is a joint project by Media on Mars, DADAA and Dr Scott Hollier and is funded by the Department of Communities, Disability Services.

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