Every year, a large number of clients turn to the Ombudsman because they were either unable to raise concerns with the bank at all or their concerns went unanswered. This regularly leads to great frustration. The ombudsman’s staff must first listen to the customers and calm them down. Afterwards, the ombudsman tries to get the financial institution’s contact person to accept or answer the client’s concern. Most cases are solved in this way without further ado, although it must be said that the institutions concerned, which are conspicuous for their deficiencies in service quality, often find it difficult to deal with enquiries within a reasonable period of time, even after being contacted by the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman finds it questionable when customers have to turn to fee-based hotlines for their concerns without any alternative, which even charge for the sometimes untenable waiting times.
In the present case, after the Ombudsman contacted the bank, the customer was helped immediately. It turned out that the card could not be activated online due to a technical problem. This had to be done manually with the help of the bank employee. The customer was reimbursed for the telephone costs claimed by means of a credit to the card account, whereby the bank stated that this was a gesture of goodwill. The customer thanked the Ombudsman, who closed the case.