It is funny how some banks find it so easy to take your money when opening a new account but frustrate you when you want to close that same account.
Months ago, I signed up for internet banking with Stanbic bank and was told it would take 24 hours to activate but guess what, it took almost three days. Aden? I relocated from Ghana so was counting on doing some transactions online but my password failed to work hence I was left powerless.
A few days ago, I got back into the country and needed some quick cash at the airport but to my dismay my bank card refused to work. You know how embarrassing that is when you have a queue right behind you.
I headed straight to the Airport branch of Stanbic to withdraw the money and then close my savings account as I had relocated and had no need for it. I was able to do the former but was told the process of closing an account takes a while so I should come back the following day at noon to retrieve the remaining money in my account.
Being the diligent person that I am, I arrived punctually at Stanbic, waited fifteen minutes for a staff member who pretended to be so busy processing my request( which I felt should have been done the day before), only to be told I couldn’t close my account at that branch as I opened it at another branch. Can you imagine? Are they mad?
Why wasn’t I told this the day before? And why do some banking staff feel they are doing you a favour by serving you? ‘Massa’, if the job is frustrating you, quit. There are millions of people waiting to occupy your position in a microsecond.
My fellow readers, if any of you are bankers, kindly explain to me the meaning of networking in your domain. Why can’t I close my account at any branch just as I can deposit, withdraw and do other transactions? School me please.
I had no choice but to drive to the other branch which was across town as I was traveling out the following day. After conveying my frustrations to one competent looking staff member, he assured me I would be able to retrieve my money but it would take a day or two for my account to be closed so a sum of 50 Ghana cedis would have to be left in the account. When asked what would happen to the money once the account closes, he said it could be transferred to any other bank account of mine. After filling some forms, he assured me he will be right back and vanished for over an hour.
As you can guess, I am fuming by now as an hour is over-stretching it. I summoned a security man and another staff member to call the gentleman that catered to me. Predicting my fury, the coward sent a female colleague to deal with me minutes later. She tried to calm me down with some long explanation I am not wiling to listen to till she mentioned a 15 Ghana cedi transaction fee for transferring the 50 Ghana cedis to another account.
“Can customers also charge you a fee for keeping them waiting?”, I ask and she laughed. At this point I was boiling and I felt I was about to go ghetto crazy in that banking hall but thank God for Jesus humph. I told them to keep the 50 Ghana cedis but this is not before letting them know what I think about their bank and their services.
At this point a senior colleague walks over and tries to salvage the situation and has the impudence to ask me why I wanted to close my account. I vented for while, said thank you and walked out with my head held high and my best ‘swaggalicious’ walk because at this point everyone including customers are focused on me.
Getting into my car, I couldn’t help but think to myself that I would rather keep the rest of my money under my pillow than invest in Stanbic bank. And to think I wanted to open an account with them in my new country of abode. God forbid.
At this particular juncture, I leave you with one more question. Why should it take hours or even days to close an account that took minutes to open?
If you own a restaurant, café, hotel, bar, night club, tourist destination, customer service based business or any lifestyle ‘joint’ in any part of the world, why don’t you invite one of our lifestyle writers to enjoy your food, stay at your hotel or explore your services so we can honestly review your business—and give you the needed worldwide publicity.
Even if we are not invited and we ever happen to be your customer, we will not let go our observations so to let others know what we honestly think.
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