Wednesday, 10 May 2017

An open letter to Absa bank

 * I wrote this post a few weeks ago when I originally had this problem with ABSA, I then held back on posting it because the money was eventually refunded, well some of it and I was advised that the issue did not come from their side but the company who had set up the debit order, so I thought ok my bad I will contact them, I was also told by a person whom I was dealing with at ABSA that I would have this issue with every bank if I chose to move, fine I gave them the benefit of the doubt and contacted said company.

I was provided with amazing feedback from the company in question, emails and phone calls everyday and was advised that ABSA is the only bank that has had/given their clients issues with this tracked debit order ie the debit order is set for a date but it is tracked so that as long as money hits your account between said date and the last day of the month, the debit order will not bounce or if it does and goes off again you will not be charged for it by the bank.

Said company arranged to speak with an ABSA broker who advised that yes it is an absa issue as it is the way they set up their accounts, I then emailed said lady from absa again and the response I received was again placing the blame on me as the client implying that I need to make sure my debit order obligations are met, which made me irate to say the least because I did my part when I signed for said debit order I checked at least 3 times to ensure that I would not be charged as I dod not get paid on a set day thus all my debit orders are ararnged for month end and I was ensured in writting that the debit order is tracked and I do not have to worry, this is not the case with absa, this is at the end of the day affecting my credit record as it counts as a bounced debit order or a non paid debit order when the debit is paid as in line with the agreement of said company even the bloody sms I receive says tracked D/O.

The lady from absa advised I email their action line which I did on the 24th, I receieved a read receipt but no response, I emailed again on the 26th and I even cc'd the absa lady in on the first email and have received no feedback from either.

Honestly is it so difficult to provide feedback to someone who has been your client for over a decade???

Dear Absa

If you knew me you would know that normally I am the kind of person who greets every shop assistant with a smile, I thank every cashier or shop assistant and I even walk around wet floors as to prevent further work on the persons part. I worked in retail for 9 years so I know what it is like to deal with difficult customers and I know how much difference a great customer or client can make to your day so I try to always be friendly if I need to go past someone I say excuse me mam or sir no matter their age that is the way I was raised.

I am also a mom of 3; 2 of which need to attend a special needs school who has to budget to the last cent literally every month, my kids do not have fancy clothes but are always fed and have what they need even if I cannot do the same for myself so you can understand my frustration when the very institution that is meant to protect the little that I have takes advantage of the power that they have and takes something that does not belong to them.

Through this you have seen a side of me that I hate to display I don't enjoy shouting and threatening I don't enjoy having to email and call people over and over I do not enjoy calling people out on social media but when you are told over and over again that you as a client mean something to said institution after 15 years of using said institution/company and when promises are made by various people over and over again and still no answers well other than generic you are important to us and our team is investigating etc etc what do you expect.

I originally wrote in Inquiry (04/05) of over 400 worth of charges which were taken off my account after no response I contacted your customer care on Facebook who assured me something would be done and I then received an email reply on my original complaint which advised that a branch rep would be in touch.

The branch rep when she eventually replied advised that I was charged R150 per defaulted debit order which puzzled me because A; your fee booklet says fifty (I had to download from your site as I have never received a copy or even seen a copy and was advised by my colleges that 150 was incorrect) and that aside I didn't default, the money went off my account within not even a full day and there is date tracking on said debit orders, your institution waited mere hours before counting it as a defaulted debit when I have been assured by the company which said debit orders are for that as long as the money goes off between the 25 and month end I will not incur penalties or charges, they do this because they do not allow you to choose a debit order date, the debit order is set out from the 25th but many people do not get paid on the 25th being aware of this they have confirmed as above that they have tracking on the debit order.

I also questioned a ledger fee on my account not knowing what it was this was ignored or over sighted I am not sure which by said branch representative, eventually I was given a case number and your customer care advised (05/05) that I would have answers within 48 hours they also advised that the ledger fee was for an overdraft facility; which I do not have so yay I was charged for a product I do not have (I have since been told this is actually for your account going into overdraft when they try to deduct the debit order, why was I told otherwise by someone who actually works for you?) and on more than one occasion I might add, if I go back a few months (I am to scared honestly to go back further) I was also charged 150 on debit orders that should not have been counted as defaulted debits on more than one occasion added all together we are talking nearly a grand of fees taken from me that should not have, I emailed proof of the companies acknowledgment that there is tracking on the debit order, I have called mailed even tweeted (whereby I was told that because I had already complained on Facebook I need to refer there and wait for them to respond) in desperation of feedback, the branch rep contacted me after 4 days saying she was out of office hence why she took so long to respond.

If I did that at my firm (neglected a customer simply because I was out of office) I would be held accountable, I called your action line (08/05) and the case manager told me she had forwarded my case onto another department but had not received a response but not to worry she said she would call me that day once she had followed up, I am still waiting, I called again yesterday (09/05) but she was supposedly in a meeting, I was told I would be called yet again, I am still waiting, it is now 10/05 so it has been 6 days with no solution?

Please explain how you would react were this to happen to you?

This is money that I have earned and entrusted into what I believed were safe hands, I am aware that your fees are the highest of the banks as it but believed that it was worth it for the amount of time I have been with you.  My sons account is also listed with you by the way I have left it with you (even though the firm I work for works with another very prominent bank that can offer me more interest) which means if I move my account I will move his as well.

My husband was a client of yours but switched to another bank last year I wont say which one but it starts with an F... he asked me to as well but I refused thinking that I was better off staying put I now sit with regret and have started looking at switching over because a company that treats their clients in this regard does not deserve to have them.

I am not only disappointed but disgusted that you would feel a generic response and lies are what your clients deserve when as I have said over and over again I just want an answer just tell me; yes we were in the wrong we are going to correct this it may take a week to credit your account but we know we messed up and will fix it we apologize for the mess up and it will not happen again In the future.

How difficult is that, you have access to all the information. I have sent you dates from my statements even though you have access to all that information and emails of proof and yet after nearly a week you can still not give me a solution or apology without making it out to be my problem or mistake or neglect because I must set my debit orders up correctly but I have you can see by the emails of which I sent one of I believe 3 that I have through, showing that I made sure all was correct from my side it is a mistake made on your part.

So again I ask why must I call and email and threaten why must one resort to such measures and what would you do if this happened to you and you were left without  money you so carefully budgeted for and which you now have to take out of food money for your family, while your case is investigated for days on end with no follow up or feedback, please explain why you feel I should continue to remain an Absa client.

As I said to a respondent earlier on today I would hold my breathe for a response but I will come out on the losing end.

Thank you Absa for providing the worst customer service I have seen in a very long time.

Regards a client who will soon move banks but who will not rest until her money is returned.

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