By Jove there’s got to be something between banks and I, and all of the wrong kind! If I didn’t know better I’d say/think it was karma but it’s definitely not. Not with the slave hours I put in as a marketer for Intercontinental Bank (now merged and renamed Access Bank) back in 2006. That’s a story (or some stories) for another day.
Remember the GT Bank drama chronicles that I documented? Sigh… That was an ugly experience for all the parties concerned, my humble self included. Glad it was sorted, and I still feel sorry for the persons burned in the process of me getting sorted. Do you know I ended up looking like the mean person when I was the one who had been wronged? Sigh again.
Ok, let’s chronicle this episode, shall we? I had been told that Stanbic IBTC, being a ‘foreign bank’, would have less issues with caring for their customers. After this encounter with them though, only ‘same ten and ten pence’ comes to mind when I think of them.
So I was in Nigeria in August for my aunt’s funeral and decided to use the opportunity to sort out my accounts – shut down some, and start to use others a bit more.
Got into Stanbic IBTC on the 14th of August with my cousin who works in the Asset Management wing. We went to the counter, I said I needed to register for internet banking, and I was asked to fill out a form. I filled it out carefully and was told I would get a text in 24 hours. Did I get it? Of course not!
Went back on the 21st,and I was told that I didn’t get the text because…(wait for it)… the phone number on my account wasn’t a Nigerian number. What!!! Is there a reason why no one mentioned this when I filled out the form? When I opened the account in February? The lady said she noticed after I had left. No one could email to say this?
Breathe FGS, breathe. I was asked to fill out a ‘change of phone number’ form (or some other silly sounding document). I filled it, and again I was told I would get a message in 24 hours. Yeah right, of course I didn’t get it. Wouldn’t have needed to blog this if I’d gotten it.
Now, my flight back to the UK was slated for the night of the 26th of August and so that morning, in the course of my last-minute errands, I dropped by Stanbic IBTC to ask about this mysterious text that had probably sworn not to appear on my phone, and ask about their definition of ’24 hours’.
Got there, and brethren that was when someone pulled out the ‘change of phone number’ document to attend to and put through the system! Then they said to “go home and expect the text in 24 hours”.
That was when I ‘sparked’. How many times would I have to go and come for something as inconsequential as internet banking? How many times would I go and wait for a text that was clearly never going to come? I was miffed. Especially since, being the typical Nigerian lady, the ‘never-smiling’ urchin behind the counter decided to mask (or attempt to mask) her incompetence with bravado and sass.
Wasn’t having none of that so I asked to see the manager. And I asked for her name (Temi) because I didn’t really see what I would be describing to the manager. I went upstairs, met him, and complained, complete with dates and times. He apologised profusely, rang and had harsh words with the customer care team because apparently I wasn’t the only one who had complained of poor treatment from a customer care unit that’s supposed to ‘treat you right’.
Ladies and gentlemen, I got the so-called text within the hour! Why must issues degenerate to near fisticuffs before people do what they are supposed to? Why?
Not only did I get it, the manager told me I could have sorted out the online banking business online! Mind you, the customer care guys had said it could only be done in the bank.
P:S – I wasn’t told I needed a token for transactions, so chances that there will be a part 2 to this tale are very high!
UPDATE: a couple hours after this blogpost was published, I saw this message on Twitter from Stanbic IBTC.
Very nice of them… I will be getting in touch!