I’ve been a Guaranty Trust Bank customer since 2003, just under thirteen years. A child born then would have started their period or had their first wet dream, depending on their gender. To be honest, I got the account because a close family friend worked there, and in the days when ATM’s weren’t popular, it was easy to ‘check my balance’ anytime I wanted.

Moved from one account to five in 2o10, needed the domiciliary accounts because I was going to school. Since then I’ve fallen in and out of love with GTBank several times and I’m almost equating my relationship with them to being in an abusive relationship I’m gathering the willpower to leave.

Some days I’ve found out my account was frozen (for the most silly, unfathomable reasons) when I tried to use my card, other days their ‘system was down’, while on some other days the card would just be declined, on a well-funded account. Each time I’d have to call, stay on hold (you know the drill), exchange emails, and not get anything sorted till I yelled. And then I’d feel bad about it later.

But, I have stayed. Why? Cos even with their cumbersome token business, theirs is the only Nigerian internet banking system I use, and so far, so good. Plus, being able to use my Naira card abroad is just brilliant. Saves me both time, and charges with transfers to my accounts here.

Today though, I’m livid.

I traveled to Nigeria on the 7th of March, got in early in the morning on the 8th. Same day, I went to GTBank situated in Bloomsbury Plaza, in Wuse 2, and asked for a new ATM card. My card would expire in April, my ticket back to England was dated 01-04-2013 (also known as the 1st of April), and I didn’t want to take any chances with it not being ready.

I spoke with Jimoh Ojo, a Customer Care Representative, and explained that I needed the card before the 1st because I needed to travel with it. He said I didn’t need to make a request for it, that my card would automatically be sent to Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, where the account was opened. I had no business there and I said so, and so he said to request a new card, I would be charged for it, and it would take eight days, during which the card I had would be disabled. I agreed, filled out a form, and left.

Traveled to the East a couple days after, got back to Abuja on Monday, and visited the bank on Wednesday the 27th of March to pick up the card. To start with, I had to stand and wait for the said Customer Care Representative to finish taking pictures of his colleague, then the female beside him asked what I was there for. I told them and after I wrote out my account number on a sheet of paper they provided, Jimoh Ojo said (very calmly), “your card would have been sent to Abakaliki”.

I nearly passed out. With all the pains I took to get to the bank on the 8th just to avoid this, and all the advice I was given? GTBank had NINETEEN (19) days to provide a card they claim is ready in 8 days, and what do I hear? With all the civility I had left, I explained the events of the 8th, expressed my displeasure and then he said, “let me see if the card was sent here”. Of course it wasn’t there. To check if the card had really been sent to Abakaliki, and I was told, “the system is down”.

Anger. Frustration. Disgust. Especially when they started on the ‘don’t be offended please’. Really? I should be ecstatic and probably buy you roses for not doing your job? I was going to sit and wait for the ‘system to come back up’ but he promised to sort it and let me know (plus I had so much to do) so I left. To be fair, he called later that evening, but only to say the system was still down. *sigh*

Thursday the 28th of March was the last working day before Easter, nothing. No word, no card.

I returned to England yesterday, without my ATM card, and bile in my heart, especially since when I tweeted about it, the silly person behind GTBank’s Twitter account sent me the generic, spam type message – Hi, our sincere apologies. Please contact us via careonline@gtbank.com with details of this issue. Thank you– they send to every tweet they’re mentioned in (I’m sure if I checked well they’d give that reply to a greeting as well).

Not due in Nigeria till Christmas time so dear Guaranty Trust Bank, what do I do? I’ll rephrase; what are you going to do?

Comments
  1. Eziaha says:

    Reading you anytime is a delight!!!
    Even when u r pissed.
    Pele. Love GTBank tho and tz been a LOVE LOVE relationship with my 3accounts.
    And dia ATM mastercard that works outside Naija makes me love em even more

    Like

  2. Ebere says:

    Gtb was really the ‘ish’ then in Abakiliki. Well for me it has also been love realtionship with moi and GTB on all my accounts. Well generally I think customer service is terrible in Nigeria. You think Gtb is bad?try fidelity bank,from their head office down the chain,they are all utterly,absolutely terrible!

    Like

  3. Nse says:

    Okay dearie, let me break this to you really nicely.. you are not getting that card till January 2014 at the earliest!!! I know it sounds mean but you just kinda wrote my own experience almost verbatim especially the falling in and out of love part. I, on the other hand told anyone who cared to listen that they needed to bank with GTB and even when things were not so rosy between us, i always forgave them and like a relationship between a guy who goofs every now and then but can also be sweet, i always take them back. Like you i started my love affair in 2004 and also have five accounts! The fact that the naira card works in the UK was an added plus as it eliminated the delays in money transfers from naija while i was schooling. So i go visiting naija in Dec2011, before that if you recall, there was a fire outbreak at one of their branches in Lagos just before Christmas that year so i was unable to use my card in the UK before leaving. When i got back i noticed that it was almost impossible to use my card at any other ATM. I would have to use a GTB ATM before the card would work so i scoot over to the bank and lay my complaints and i was asked to call their customer care line which i did and was later assured that the card was fine. I could use it on other ATMs so i assumed it was okay only to go back to the UK and to my horror, it wasn’t working!! so i called the customer care line again and they said i needed to request for another pin. If you have an ATM card in Naija, you know the drill with cards and pins. So i wrote a mail to my account manager and explained the situation. i suggested they cancel the card and issue a new one and i will give someone the permission to collect on my behalf and they said that was fine. so they cancelled the card, i signed all the indemnity forms and every other form and wrote a letter authorization with the person’s ID card and International data page and sent to them. This was about the middle of May 2012. to cut the long story short i did not get my card and pin until i got back to naija. i got back in November, went to the bank and laid my complains, i did not get the card till December just before Christmas!!! It took me roughly 7months to get my card! So dearie as much as i feel u, just zero your mind.

    Like

  4. zahymaka says:

    I thought I was the only one having issues with them. They’re horrible.

    Like

  5. Zainab says:

    I’m tired of them, they are so slow and incompetent. You can actually see it in their customer service peoples faces, so uninterested like they could care less about you and your issues.

    Like

  6. I lost my ATM card few months back to a scammer who eventually went to deduct some amount from my card but to my surprise, it took me 3-4 months to get it back at Ibadan branch. The bank is getting messy these days unlike before. Maybe low level of high qualified personnel. Sorry for your experiences.

    Like

  7. Techatlast says:

    Reblogged this on My Blog and commented:
    Bad time for GTB customers in Nigeria

    Like

  8. Promise says:

    WOW! is all i can say. But seriously on a scale of 1 to 10 i will rate GTBank 5. trust me that is the highest i can rate any bank in Naija. But it is annoying that GTbank still refuse to improve on the 2 most important aspects of banking in Nigeria today namely, Customer Care and ATM Services. The ATM machines are either down or inoperable from other banks and i pray i would not have cause to call their customer care cos its same with MTN’s. Aside these 2 drawbacks GTbank is still my best bank in Naija (cos i have suffered worse). Come on GTBank Firstbank reproduces ATM cards like magic. i opened a Firstbank account and as soon as the account number was ready, i was asked if i want to pick up my ATM Card? i was shocked! GTBank learn from others and upgrade your services. Afterall, this is Naija- the giant of Africa!

    Like

  9. hounge says:

    What I’m trying to understand is why you were asked to fill form for a new one, when all you needed was to fill a transfer form. Which is what I was asked to do, though I must say that the two weeks I was given for it to be transfered took a little longer.

    Like

  10. Bahdoski says:

    All Banks have their flaws which boils down to a certain Human being not doing the right thing at the right time. Snapping pictures while Customers are present, standing, smh!

    Like

  11. Mark Amaza says:

    GTBank used to be the ish, you know, the bank for cool kids. Things were efficient. No unnecessary queues, things moved well and banking was made easy. Now that everyone has jumped on the bandwagon, they have refused to scale the previously excellent experience. It is like they were not expecting people to be drawn by excellent service. Note that I use excellent here very liberally, as it is a matter of comparison. As usual, customer service in Nigeria is, for lack of a better word, atrocious. It is something that Nigerian businesses desperately need to look into. As I write this, I am scared for myself. It is a month to my ATM card expiring and I am not in the town the account is opened in neither am I sure I intend going there soon. May this not be my story too.

    Like

  12. @ba55ey says:

    Do send a mail to the email given to you, narrate everything including names of the consultants involved….just like you’ve done here.
    Go to gtbank.com, at the bottom left, click on ‘whistleblower’, narrate the same thing, same way, same details. Include your contact details as well. Then, relax!

    Do not conclude that your ATM cannot be sent to you in the UK this month!!!!

    Like

  13. Femi Olalere says:

    If you have any transaction inside banking hall of GTBank, remember to take along your sleeping mat. Though they are good with Internet banking.

    Like

  14. nemi says:

    i still think zenith bank is the best, in terms of internet banking, ATM services, Customer Care. I have been using them since 2005 and no regrets so far. It just that they are not masses bank and so it may not be fair to compare them with GTB, All this same customer services like someone wrote atrocious in Nigeria. Its everywhere, from govt offices to private establishment, from eateries to mama put, they behave as if they are doing you a favour. It is just sad.

    Like

  15. yes says:

    My honest position, i will recommend DiamondBank and Firstbank anyday!!!

    Like

  16. Olive says:

    So sorry for that Chioma. That was customer service at the poorest degree. I feel so bad about this! Jeez!! whats so hard in excellent customer service?

    Well, how i got my new ATM card: the card i was using was to expire on March 1,2013. On December 2012, GTB deducted N1,000 from my account to print a new ATM card for me (though i was not told, i just assumed it was for the card). Honestly, i think they should have told me so that i will be better informed because i almost contemplating going to the bank to ask what happened to my 1k, other than them deducting it like that. So, last week of February 2013, I walked into the branch (luckily for me, that was where the account was opened) and collected my card in 30 minutes 🙂

    Like

  17. Hauwa says:

    I just transferred my account to Diamond. Can’t cope with GT anymore. Especially that Bloomsbury branch! Had a terrible experience trying to get another ATM card and found it extremely difficult to withdraw because there was ‘no network’ plus the long unmoving queues. In addition, they are not flexible at all. For instance you can’t even use their cards on platforms like quickteller. I’m glad I switched to Diamond. They have very good customer service. I’ll have very little or nothing at all to do with GT effective immediately.

    Like

  18. emem says:

    i love GTB althogh the whole ATM renewal and customer service issue is the only headache i have with them too.

    Like

  19. […] In case you  missed the very sad story on my ‘ordeal’ with the Bloomsbury branch of Guaranty Trust Bank in Abuja, it is here. […]

    Like

  20. Jerie says:

    Wow! Was also a victim!

    Like

  21. […] be aware that so far, my greatest albatross is banks. I have stories of terrible service from GTB (which they rectified), and from Stanbic IBTC (which they rectified […]

    Like

  22. Any good bank would bear the cost of sending you the ATM card. We dont have any good banks in Nigeria…hence…I am opening one.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. […] to their bank to get my ATM and after delaying me for about two weeks, I went into the bank, and the staff felt they needed to finish taking their photographs before they attended to the customers. Ended with them sending the card to my house in London via […]

    Like

  24. Chris says:

    Currently facing one at the moment, the bank is shitty , always temporarily not able to carry out transactions in diaspora.. Thank God I opened a diamond account when I visited Nigeria… And it has been so perfect .

    Like

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