I joined Kiwibank back in 2002, mainly because it said it would not be like other banks, would take care of customers.

They put Foundation Customer on my cards and after a few years they sent me a little badge, which said I was a foundation customer. It broke by self-deterioration a few years later.

They were OK. But I moved overseas. I lived in England for a number of years, and I suppose I got used to the fact that the banks there, don’t really have charges on all their accounts and do not charge for card replacements, even when lost.

Over the years Kiwibank, however, had tens of thousands of my dollars. I never borrowed a cent from them.

One day in the UK, I was expecting a fairly large deposit to go into my Kiwibank account. But to my dismay, when I opened the internet banking link, I found that my account had been closed.

With UK banks, there is always an advisor to help you instantly, and 24/7.

Not Kiwibank. They took over a week to reply. Bear in mind I needed that money urgently. Finally I got a message from an advisor, saying that my account had gone into overdraft due to their charges. And because it had gone into overdraft over 20 dollars, the account had been automatically closed.

I said, well, what about your promises at the start when I joined Kiwibank?

What about the fact that I had never borrowed a cent over the last 15 years?

What about the fact I was a Foundation Customer?

I asked if they could re-open the account. I still had a New Zealand postal address, after all, and if they re-opened the account, then the deposit would clear the 20 something dollar overdraft.

The advisor told me, sorry, nothing we can do. Those are the rules. I would need to personally travel to New Zealand to apply to have the account re-opened, if I wished.

In the end, I had to have the money sent by Western Union, which of course cost me alot of money.

It shows you about banks. So, to me, Kiwibank, has become an inefficient and expensive bank, not the nice, different bank they promised, the only one who looked after their customers.

Well, at least I have my broken badge.