Friday, 21 January 2011

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I took a loan from FNB in September 2009 and in August 2010 I cleared my loan. I was told that I would get a refund for the insurance that I was charged since I paid off the loan before the end of its term.

I was told that it has been sent to the insurer for processing and they would inform me when its ready which can only be in November since there were so many refunds to be processed. In mid November I enquired and was told that my refund was returned back by the insurer as they had used my middle name instead of my first name so they couldn’t get my ID number. I asked why didn’t they contact me since they have all my details and my ID number is on the original loan application forms.

The bank promised they would call me as soon as my refund was ready but they never did. In December I called again but nobody returned my calls. Out of frustration I called their complaints people but they never responded. Finally I was called by a gentleman from FNB who apologized and promised that he would personally follow up on my query but I never heard from him again.

On 22nd December I called again and was told that my refund was ready but they hadn’t been able to contact me to tell me. I can’t believe this as they had my numbers. I asked them to send it to their Francistown branch so I could pick it up there. Instead they suggested they do an electronic payment directly into my account, which I accepted. However that didn’t work either as they needed authorisation of some sort. Despite many phone calls by 6th January I still didn’t have my refund.

I then was told that the payment had been made into the wrong account. I still haven’t had a refund or an explanation of when I’ll receive it. I feel that I have been disrespected as why do they promise to call back when they know they don’t have any intention of doing so. I’m so frustrated and hurt by the treatment I have received.

Please do assist me to get better service from this bank I don’t owe them, all I want is my refund and to be treated with some decency.

I’m sorry that you’ve been treated this way. It’s unbelievably frustrating when an organisation makes promises and then lets you down repeatedly.

We contacted FNB on your behalf and they promised to look into the situation. Unfortunately while they were very apologetic that claimed it was your fault for not giving them the correct account details. I know that you disagree with this and feel that it was their failure to take your details correctly that was to blame. The good news is that FNB say the money has finally been refunded.

The other bit of good news is that you refused to give up, despite the frustration and disappointment you felt by the way you had been treated. Yes, of course problems like this shouldn’t happen in the first place but inevitably mistakes are made. Smart, grown up organisations do their best to fix them and not throw the blame back at the customer to whom they owe money. I also think that as someone who was smart enough to pay off a loan early you deserve a little bit of extra care and attention from the bank. You’re the sort of customer they want to keep, not offend.

Perhaps certain banks should also learn that it’s how a decent, honest and reliable customer feels that should be uppermost in their mind.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I was travelling on a bus from Botswana to Joburg on the 28 December connecting with the Greyhound bus to Cape Town. When we were on the bus to Cape Town at the station we realized we forgot the bag in the first bus on the top luggage storage. Unfortunately the bus was leaving. I decided I will call when we arrive because we didn’t have the contacts. I made numerous calls but was not assisted properly. Apparently they couldn’t find it though I don’t think it could be stolen as we were very few in the bus less than 10 people and up to now they have not called back though they promised to call me.

We’ll get in touch with the bus company to see if they can help sort this out but you should prepare yourself for bad news. Of course it’s possible that someone has handed in your bag and it’s being safely stored somewhere but it’s equally possible that the bag has been stolen.

I also imagine that the bus company will say that this is not their responsibility and I suspect they might be right.

However we’ll get in touch and let you know.

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