Sunday, December 10, 2006

UOB Singapore Dumps on Internet Customers

I was making a routine login in to my Internet banking account this evening when I was presented with a new screen demanding that I accept new terms and conditions. The choice was clear - accept or logoff. Since I needed to pay some bills, I clicked on the "accept" box, but not willingly or happily.

This habit of coercing customers into accepting new terms is one of the uglier behaviours to emerge from the move to the online world. Instead of being presented with legible contracts, we are now ambushed with demands for agreement or service is withdrawn. Software companies are fond of this sort of thing as well.

Being the trusting sort of person I am, I tried to copy the terms for later perusal. Cleverly, UOB has prevented copying the text. However, there is a link in micro-font at the bottom of the screen that leads to the terms in the form of a PDF file.

It is a 26 page document! However, the document is locked, not permitting the copying of text.

And predictably, it contains a number of completely one-sided denials of responsibility, and impossible demands.

UOB may send your Username and Password to the customer by any means available. However, UOB has no liability if it is not received or intercepted. Good start.

The customer is responsible for, and MAY NOT DISPUTE, any transaction carried out on Internet Banking.

The Customer may not record ANYWHERE his Username and Password. Hope you have a good memory...

UOB may refuse to carry out any or all instructions for any reason whatsoever.

And my favourite so far (we are only on page 8 of 26)

The Customer must compensate UOB for any direct, indirect or consequential loss and/or damage, without limitiation including loss of profit or interest (whether forseeable by you or not) suffered by UOB.

When is the Monetary Authority of Singapore going to stand up to the local banks and end this manifestly one-sided abuse of customers?