September 27, 2010 by Administrator
Can someone please tell the top management personnel in the GTB(Guarantee Trust Bank) that their customer service is on the fast-lane from Hero to Zero. Please say it so loud that the people upstairs, who usually don’t know what is going on downstairs will hear very clearly.
NNEKA WHO? I haven’t worked in a bank before, and I don’t plan to, but isn’t it funny that these bankers usually have no surname, especially when you call to make a complaint on phone. Haven’t you observed that too? I’m beginning to think that its part of banking training, and this observation cuts well-across Nigerian banks.
Take this telephone call for an example: telephone rings and someone picks up in GTB
GTB: hello, good afternoon, GTB customer care
me: hello there. My name is <I give my full name>, I am a customer and I have a complaint.
GTB: yes, sir, tell me the complaint and how I can help you?
me: yeah, thanks. Actually……< I proceed to explain the issue>
GTB: sir, please may I know your account number?
me: if you don’t mind, can I know who I’m speaking with?
GTB: my name is Nneka,
me: Nneka who? do you mind, can I have your surname?
GTB: sir, why do you want to know my surname?
me: well, at least, I gave you my own full name, and also at least before I give you my account details, its polite enough for me to know who exactly I’m speaking with. There could be 50-Nneka’s with GTB,
GTB: well sir, don’t worry about my surname, just give me your account number, and let me help you
< deadlock begins>
At this point, I usually demand that if the person I’m speaking with isn’t comfortable giving me a surname, he/she could pass the phone to someone else who has a surname. Surprisingly enough, and 99% of the time, the phone is passed to someone else, and then we start the talk all over again, as if I hadn’t spoken to anyone before. At the end of the day, the second person also refuses to give a surname / asks me to send a mail.
Question: what is so important about a surname, a surname that thousands of Nigerians share? If these bankers would search their own surname on google, they would be surprised to find hundreds of same-namers. What is the whole point of a customer care department if these people do not have surnames? That is why I’m asking if its part of bankers-training not to give out their surnames. Or perhaps there is something they are hiding? – just in case…..
Should I allow Nneka the benefit of keeping her surname top-secret and I call back days later to follow up the issue, it is another person who picks the phone. Should I ask to speak to Nneka / who ever I spoke with before by the name I was given earlier, I’m quizzed with Nneka who? / this or that name who? most times, that name doesn’t even exist. And while I burn my phone credit to explain things all over, this new person doesn’t have a surname either – so it looks as if I was trying to make up a story in the first place. I had to close my account in one bank after getting tired of speaking to nameless faceless people. Moving to GTB, its like to namelessness virus is catching up with their staffs as well, or perhaps those nameless faceless people in those other banks have found jobs in GTB. And now that I have resorted to sending mails, unfortunately acknowledgement of the first e-mail comes only after the second mail is sent.
Welcome to Nigerian banking system, someone told me last week.
In one particular bank(not GTB), I had to be transferred to 3-people before the last lady said she is the head of customer care, and then she gave me her own surname. After the conversation, she still passed the phone back to one of the people(who had no surname) I had spoken to earlier, giving instructions on how to treat the issue. Question: what is the whole point of the rigmaroll – at the expense of a customers phone-bill, and at the end of the day, someone would sit pretty on the issue?
The bottom line question is:
- what is the purpose of customer care if customer care personnel have no surname that customers can refer to when they call back to follow up earlier reported issues?
- and why giving fake names in the first place?
- In a society where fraud is the order of the day, why do customer care personnel’s think they should be trusted by their-customers when they can’t even give their own names as proof of identity.
Worse: I see a lot of similarity between Nigerian banks / bankers and the Nigerian Police. All of them have no names.
HOW TO MAKE MILLIONS IN NIGERIA, ONE HUNDRED NAIRA AT A TIME:
The above was passed as a side-comment after I narrated to a friend that I got a NGN100 deduction from my account because I withdrew over the GTB-counter. Why did I go inside the bank to make a withdrawal? their ATM wasn’t working.
Of three ATMs present at that branch, only one behaved as if it worked. I had queued up behind several people who were doing trial and error with the lone ATM. When it was my turn the thing even rejected my card. I proceeded inside the bank and still queued up behind several other people to make a withdrawal. With about 45-minutes of my time gone early in the morning, GTB still went ahead to deduct NGN100 from my account even though their ATMs weren’t functional. So, what am I supposed to do? wait until a miracle happens and the ATMs begin working all by themselves? or hold myself for ransom and not go where I want to go because I’m banking with GTB?
Can you imagine a bank that posts a sign outside reading: Dear Customer, please use the ATM for any amount below NGN60,000(sixty thousand Naira), and yet their ATMs aren’t functional, and yet they go ahead deducting NGN100 from customer’s accounts?
I didn’t do accounting in school, but I think its a damn good GET RICH QUICK IDEA! I could as well go launch a bank and deploy funny ATMs all around.
Should their ATMs be operational and I proceed inside to make a NGN5,000(five thousand Naira) withdrawal, I won’t complain about any deduction, but when the ATMs are not operational, why should I still be held responsible for the banks short-coming.
This over-the-counter NGN100 deduction is the same amount that will be deducted if I were to use another ATM machine in another bank, for example: Zenith. I have always assumed that should I use another bank’s ATM machine, the NGN100 will be shared between the two parties: the bank that has the ATM and the bank where my account is. Now, when I’m making a withdrawal from my own bank and I’m getting another deduction stated as “commission” in my credit alert, I wonder where the NGN100 went.
What is the whole point of deploying an ATM machine is, if it doesn’t work, and why Nigerian banks and bankers are more interested in deducting service charges for services that aren’t operational. And yet, these are the same banks whose staff have no surnames. I have since made a complaint, but no positive action yet.
My conversation with my friend became quite interesting after he made the comment that: Nigerian politicians should have set up a bank with faulty ATMs everywhere, rather than stealing billions at a time, and getting their names in front covers of Newspapers. We tried to do a little mathematics:
For example: a bank with a hundred branches nationwide.
- using one branch as an example: if we assume NGN100 is deducted from the account of 10-customers every day for very funny reasons like the above, the branch makes a profit of NGN1,000(one thousand Naira everyday). By the time the average Nigerian weighs his/her options to go back to the branch and complain/not to complain, considering the amount of time, effort, phone bills, etc to be spent, he/she would rather “forget the issue”.
- across 100-branches, GTB/the average Nigerian bank could make NGN100,000 (one hundred thousand Naira) everyday – no taxes.
- To be on the moderate side, let us assume 1-week = 4-days; we have NGN400,000 (one hundred thousand Naira) every-week.
- After a whole month, each Nigerian bank could have squeezed out NGN1,600,000.00(One Million, six hundred thousand Naira) from its customers.
The above calculation is on a moderate basis, what if things were to be at an extreme: a bank deducting NGN100 from the account of 100-customers everyday? Indeed, this is how to make millions of Naira, hundred naira at a time. I want to believe this is how banks in Nigeria find the financial resources to spread their branches around like rice and beans?. Indeed, banking in Nigeria is a financial risk.