Just before Christmas my bank had sent a letter notifying clients it was switching credit card service providers.
Westpac had cautioned any automatic payments linked to Visa would become redundant from the cut-off date because Mastercard was going to be the preferred service.
It advised clients to make all necessary amendments to ensure they didn't incur any penalties.
As an internet account user, I had a cursory glance in a quest to sidestep any pitfalls but my guard was up this month when I received a letter notifying me I still had a transaction linked to Visa. I have set up an automatic $30 drop early each month from my savings account to the credit card one to ensure I don't incur any interest on monthly payments if I ever forget to find myself off side with the deadline.
I had phoned the 0800 Westpac service for clarification, also asking why I was still receiving paper statements when I had requested it be stopped years ago. I also went off on a tangent on why Westpac, as an international brand, doesn't have compatible services with say, for argument's sake, a branch in Australia or Fiji.
The upshot was the Westpac employee, after lecturing me on overseas services, offered to tweak the automatic monthly deposit from Visa to Mastercard.
My quibble remains: "If I have tripped on monthly payments to incur interest on my credit card, should I be held liable?"
After all, Westpac switched credit card providers so should clients pay for tripping on an inconvenience the bank has caused?
Assuming Westpac has 1.5 million customers — that's some serious dosh it'll rake up in interest payments through oversight. It is, dare I say it, something the banking ombudsman needs to look into.
I hear you, I hear you. What on earth has that to do with sport?
New compact venue in Hastings need not rival McLean Park
I suspect that's how Black Caps coach Gary Stead must feel like — if what New Zealand Cricket CEO David White says is true about the mentor taking a sabbatical.
The "plan", laid out six months ago for Stead's enforced hiatus, left the coach between a rock and a hard place.
The groundswell of vitriol is not surprising given the Kiwis' 5-0 whitewash against India here.
NZC becomes Westpac here because Steady was reportedly reluctant to take the "pre-planned" break. It wouldn't have taken a genius to figure out it was going to put the mentor in a very poor light.
Speculation is rife and the damage to his reputation is extensive. Is Steady struggling to handle the heat in the kitchen?
Is it just a matter of time before he chucks in the towel?
How bad does it make him look when his assistants in the coaching stable are able to pull the Black Caps out of the doldrums in clinching the three-match ODI series 3-0.
Like my credit card interest, the penalties aren't going to break my fiscal back. It's more a case of principles. Have the Black Caps reverted to "Lord of the Flies" culture where captain Kane Williamson and senior players are calling the shots (that is, the Brendon McCullum era), if Tim Southee's reaction to his dropping in Australia is anything to go by?
NZC changed the rules of engagement on account of Steady's predecessor, Mike Hesson, quitting suddenly and then it quietly observed while former international Jeremy Coney waded in.
White did play bat/pad when criticism hit a crescendo and his explanations were plausible and commendable on the mental health perspective but, ironically, the damage is done.
Could it have been handled better? Most definitely.
Remove the emotional outburst from the egg and rotten tomato-pelting mob and you'll find the ODI series is the least important of the formats.
Smiling India captain Virat Kohli, when asked post-match two if he was disappointed they were heading into a dead rubber in Tauranga, had said the ODI series didn't carry any weight if one looked at the international calendar. Of course, the T20 World Cup is and so is maintaining their top-rung status in the quest to become test world champions.
On that assertion, Stead taking a break to avoid the risk of a burnout makes sense if the intensity of the world cup and test drubbing was the intention.
Nevertheless, it still makes it look like, as Coney argues, Steady had abandoned ship as it was drifting towards a glacier.
If he needed a break, a more opportune time — logic suggests — would have been after the ICC World Cup in England and before the Australia tour.
There seems to be more sound bites and centimetres dedicated to highlighting Southee battling a gastro bug than Stead's mental health as a consequence of having his character maligned.
Seemingly selfless ill or injured players tend to take themselves out of the equation rather than offer a below-100 per cent service for the collective good. Again, no one questions Southee's nobility nor his ability to bowl out quality batsmen such as Kohli.
What is contentious is whether Southee still has the stomach for death bowling. Steady was right to drop him in the Aussie test because he wasn't fulfilling his portfolio as a new-ball bowler in taking wickets in the first innings.
Williamson sat out some games due to a shoulder injury but what does White think of the skipper's mental health? What of other players?
Laying the Black Caps' shortcomings at the feet of the coach is looking for a scapegoat.
Former Hawke's Bay academy coach and ex-international Brendon Bracewell used to say:
"Coaches talk about bowling in the right spots and channels. They also talk about batsmen keeping their heads down for long spells when they are out there but they can't go out there to play the game for them."
For the record, Tim Seifert didn't sell Tom Bruce "down the river" in the fifth T20. Bruce was guilty of ball watching because Seifert had driven the ball into his "V" so it was his call and Bruce should have been watching him, not the ball. Had Bruce done that he would not have been stranded at the non-striker's crease with Seifert half way down the wicket.
While Stead is, ultimately, responsible for what the balance of the team should be — with Gavin Larsen as the conductor — the players must take ownership once they are on the crease.
Like Westpac clients, the coach shouldn't have to incur penalties for NZC's oversight.