The bank is accused of using anonymous accounts to criticise readers of its new website, UBank, and to post comments on a commentator's blog.
UBank launched last week with a website for customers to provide feedback about banking in Australia.
The website reads in part: "We need your help. Please share with us and our visitors what frustrates you about your bank, and more importantly, what you would do differently to improve your banking experience.
"Regardless of the issue: rates, fees & charges, customer service, transparency & integrity or touch points (e.g. ATMs, branches, phone or internet banking), we want to hear from you!"
Users initially made comments like 'plenty of ATM's, and good customer service would be good' and 'I hate it that banks don't pass on the full interest rate cuts'.
UBank's head of online services, Monty Hamilton, wrote in reply: "It's great to see some positive contributions - of course we can all post negative content, and that would be funny for a bit, but let's keep it positive."
One reader responded: "The instructions to the left say 'Please share with us and our visitors what frustrates you about your bank' - so I don't know why you are suddenly turning around and saying 'let's keep it positive.'"
This was met by an anonymous commentator, who accused the reader of being "an agitated [sic] employee from a competitor bank".
Social media commentator Cheryl Gledhill said in a blog post that the anonymous comment, and some others, appeared to be written by an incognito UBank staff member.
Gledhill said that the writer used internal bank lingo to describe accounts, noting that 'people don’t [say they] love their bank... especially if [it] only launched last week'.
"This is a pathetic attempt from Ubank to discredit a consumer with a genuinely interesting point to make," she said.
Gledhill's blog post received strong criticism from 'Frank Booth' -- who she found to be posting from the network name 'NABAUS' with the DNS details 'DNSAU00.NATIONAL.COM.AU'. iTnews has seen screenshots which appear to support this allegation.
However, according to the NAB switchboard, no one called 'Frank Booth' works at either NAB or UBank.
Gledhill also has alleged that the man who appeared in UBank's online video looked 'very like' Matthew Chapman, the creative director at Loaded Tech -- the same person who registered the domain name for UBank's site, myfuturebank.org.
But Chapman denied to iTnews that he was in the video, saying that Loaded Tech had only worked with UBank 'early on in the project'.
NAB accused of dishonesty by social media commentators
By Kathryn Small on Oct 16, 2008 12:21AM