Monday, November 17, 2008

A Gift From Public Bank To DIY And Then To ISO Part 1

Recently I applied a new credit card from a local bank that I have never dealt with. I applied the card not because of the bank but to enjoy employee benefit given by my lovely employer (Ha! First time I said my company "lovely" publicly!)

And I guess as a welcome gift I received a gift from the bank after a month I received the card. This is the gift...


Likely you already knew what it is...


Yeah, an 1GB USB thumb drive. It's really a "thumb" drive, it's as big/long/fat as my sexy thumb...


Turned to the back. Pressed the button and the thumb drive popped up and swung over to the other side so that it could be plugged into an USB port...


Although 1GB isn't a huge capacity and dirt cheap nowadays, plus the build quality wasn't good, but still I would like to thank the bank for being so generous. Let's get it plugged onto my Wind...


Okay, the fatty butt of the gift could not live along with other USB devices! Just to be sure and proof, other devices have no problem to be neighbor to each other on my Wind...


Since side way is not possible to enter the body, let's try the top-down position (opps, sounds like 18SX). Hehe...


Ah~ Pretty tight. I started to think about efficiency and effectiveness. Anyway, I leave these 2Es to later time, let's try to solve the fatty problem.

The outer ring was easily removed from the body since it was loose (this was the build quality I mentioned above), which revealed the screws for dismantling the fat body. A mini screw driver did its job...


After few seconds, the job done...


Let's try again...


Perfect! Does it look cool if I take out its cover?


Better not, that exposes the "organs" and risky to damage especially data loss.

Now, let's compare the actual gift (the drive) with other redundant parts...


So, the first E, the effectiveness, why the bank made such a bulky stuff that the "actual value" of the gift was only on a tiny part? Did the bank think of practicability and applicability (from customer perspective) of the gift when made decision on its design? Did the bank try it out whether it's as easy to slot in any PCs as ABC without any hassle to unplug other USB devices? Yes, undeniably, the gift box should be a must, but what about the fat body of the thumb drive, was it a must? Ok, let's assume it's for the brand name, why not imprint the brand on the drive like mock up below?


Was it effective to promote the brand if other customers who received the same gift made the same DIY like me?

Now, the second E, the efficiency. Wouldn't it be more cost efficient to purchase only the actual drive without the fat body which was obviously a useless plastic and made it so impractical to use it as a plug and play USB drive? If so, the gift box would logically be smaller than the current one, wouldn't this further improve the cost efficiency and probably could use the saving for larger capacity like 2GB drive?

An ISO certified company? Hmmm... Perhaps let me summarize a collective experience shared among peers with this bank when all of us applied the credit card at almost the same time:

1. Some of the peers applied few days before I returned to office and submitted my application form. Typically, they should have collected their card before me right? You are wrong if you think this way. I received my card after a week of submission and started to use the card few days later, while those peers were still long-neck waiting their card. One of them even received the card 4 weeks after the submission of the application form! The other called to check status and was informed that the bank was running out of cards for issuance! :-O An ISO9001:2000 certified bank?! Perhaps the bank was running LIFO system than FIFO, or perhaps I was treated as VVVVVVVIP but doubtful, read on...

2. Supposed there were 2 PIN envelopes I should have received. One as T-PIN for telebanking and the other as ATM PIN for cash advance facility. I was told I should have received the PIN envelopes within a week either before or after the card collection. Until now that I have been using the card for almost 2 months, I wasn't poked by any PIN yet. Perhaps the PINs were extreme mini tiny pins that I needed to perform a magnifier or even microscope screening on my post box. Wouldn't it be simpler to call up the bank for a re-issuance of the PINs? I thought so, but I was told 1 set of PINs for 1 card, lost of PIN or PINs requires a new card replacement to avoid security breach. Again, 2Es. Why there is such policy?! Since the PIN is temporary PIN that user must change it on the first use, wouldn't it be effective to have the system to verify if the first issued PIN was not used and then void it, subsequently reissue a second PIN? Was it efficient to reissue a card replacement just because of the PIN? Oh perhaps it's indeed cost efficient as the card replacement cost could be transferred to the customer.

3. And since I mentioned security breach, let's look at this scenario. The card was sent to me via Pos Laju. I needed to collect it from the post office because nobody was at home when the Pos Laju van came. The parcel was classified as C, means only the stated addressee could collect the card, no representative allowed. Secure right? Again, I thought so. Generally, a new credit card requires activation before the first transaction can be made. I opened the parcel and envelope, I read through the welcome letter few times but I could not find any reminder or warning to call the telebanking for card activation like what other banks practice. I tried the card few days later and the transaction went through without hassle! Think of it, if the parcel was collected by someone else and the card was abused, who's gonna to responsible for the misuse? Moreover, I wouldn't know until I receive the bill after a month! I also did not receive any verification call from the bank after the first transaction went through. Yes, the parcel was classified as C but from experience that I helped my brother to collect his class-C parcel from the van right infront of the gate, I don't think it must be collected by the card owner when Pos Laju van delivered it to the address as long as someone came out from the gate of the address to sign off the parcel. The "only stated addressee" rule only applicable to collection from post office. And what about if the card owner or even the bank staff made mistake to fill in the address in the application form or the Pos Laju delivery form and someone at the wrong address collected the card? In addition, I wonder how could the bank be so confident that there would not be any abuse during the parcel transmission? Imagine anyone who handled the parcel could just tear off the parcel and the card is his or hers for at least a month before the card owner got heart attack when received the first bill! Secure? You judge.

ISO certified? Oh, I just re-read the ISO awards received by the bank, it's only for "Bank-wide: Provision of Customer Service in Loan Delivery" and "Bank-wide: Provision of Customer Service at the Front Office". Ok, so I shall reserve my words on the "Bank-wide: Provision of Customer Service in whatever Credit Card Related Services" since it's not ISO certified. But I do have experience to share on "Provision of Customer Service at the Front Office", some more at HQ.

To be continued...