Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Just when you thought it was safe to come out, Standard Bank screws up AGAIN

I thought I was footloose and fancy free after closing my very last accounts with Standard Bank last week. I was wrong. 

Having already closed my new cheque and credit accounts (see previous posts) and gotten my new FNB accounts up and running, I could finally close my old E-plan account as well as my revolving loan with Standard Bank. Big sigh of relief.

I went to the "newly refurbished", "upgraded" Standard Bank branch at Windermer Centre. And by "upgraded" they actually mean "downgraded" as you now have to walk a block from the shopping centre branch to see a consultant at a building "across the street" because they no longer have consultants at the centre branch - and no cashiers at the consultant building. Yes, banking with Standard Bank is now even more inconvenient than ever before, and I bet you didn't think that was possible. 

I met with consultant Shireen, to close my accounts. As requested, I transferred out what money was still in my account and was told, "your accounts are now closed" while she looked at my ID and shuffled around a few papers. Er... just like that? I asked her if I needed to sign anything and she said, no. I asked her if she needed to give me any proof and she said, no. I asked her (quite befuddled) if I would receive something in the post to confirm the accounts closed, and she paused and said, yes. She also said she would post me a cheque for the rands and cents that I could not withdraw/transfer. It wasn't very convincing but anyway, I left there mildly satisfied that I was rid of Standard Distaster once and for all.

Then today I thought, hang on, let me just double check. And true as Bob, I log in to internet banking and there my accounts are, both spritely and active as the day they were born; quietly awaiting the next onslaught of bank charges to be debited off them, unbeknownst to me, who years later gets blacklisted and jailed for the astronomical debt in bank fees that has steadily been accumulating....because... MY ACCOUNTS WERE NEVER CLOSED!

I think I aged about 10 years right there and then.

So I went to lunch with a friend to calm down. And then I went back to the branch (oh joy) where I promptly exploded at the poor lady who tried to put me at number 5 on the waiting list to see a consultant. She subsequently looked me up herself and reported that there was "no record of me closing my account last week". Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. And Shireen was not there to explain herself. So basically Shireen had done NOTHING while I sat in front of her last week. Zip. Zilch. And then on top of that, she lied to my face by saying I did not have to sign anything. Today I had to sign stuff! Important stuff that said "closure of account" on top. Stuff that I was expecting to sign last week. But no. Perhaps Shireen had plans of her own for my revolving credit of R22 000....!

As you can probably tell, I am angry. And shocked. I am seriously shocked. Besides the fact that Standard Bank has just been one disaster after another; that she could have just sat there and spoken such absolute bull straight to my face, still shocks me. That she could have left my accounts open to accrue countless bank fees for ever and eternity on, without my knowledge, shocks me. It probably shouldn't. But it does. That she could've said straight to my face that my accounts were closed and I needed no proof nor to sign anything, makes me wonder why she hasn't been fired yet. Or at least demoted. And perhaps I will see to it that she is.

I will be reporting her to her superior tomorrow (when I have calmed down some more) and I will follow up to see what measures have been taken. That woman should not be working in a bank. Full stop.

The reception lady that did help me in the end (someone promote her please), then called me downstairs so they could issue me with a cheque for the R13.10 that was owed to me. A cheque, because they don't have a cashier. For thirteen rand. Really? And so that I can walk to the building a block away and stand in a queue for 45 minutes to cash my thirteen rand? Why, oh why, oh why?!!! Do they not have a cashier?! 

I told her to keep it. There are places I would've liked to tell her to put it. But she was the only person helping me. So I didn't.

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