Sometime ago, I wrote about my travails with the Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) in an article titled GTB, your customer service is on the fast lane from Hero to Zero. As of this writing, I can conveniently say that GTB's services have arrived at Zero level and is on the fast-lane into the negative. In my previous article, I had mentioned "how to make millions of Naira in Nigeria, one hundred Naira at a time" - a novel idea; the result of charging customers 100-Naira for "flimsy reasons." Read it. and let me know what you think.
Last wednesday, 16th-February I received 2-text messages: the first: Transaction Notification NGN7,625.00 DR(Sundry entries No COT)-Initial Trsf to Card...(my account number followed); and the second: Transaction Notification USD50.00 CR (Sundry Entries NO COT Initial TRSF to Card (an account number followed). Pls note: "an account number" - which wasn't mine, and I wasn't familiar with. I was nearby one of their branches, and so decided to walk in and make enquiries. The guy at the reception told me that I had requested for a Visa Master Card (Dollar) - and that the messages I received was because of the new "service I requested". He told me the account was created last week.
I informed the GTB attendant that I didn't make a request for any VISA card-dollar service; that I didn't authorize anyone, not even the GTB itself to make any deductions from my account on my behalf; and that their action was awfully embarrassing and wrong and equivalent to fraud. I left my phone-number with the GTB attendant. He promised to do an investigation and call me back.
I received his phone call this morning. He told me that I would have to write a hand-written letter stating that I do not want the VISA Card-dollar. So I had to ask him why on earth should I have to write a letter to the GTB stating that I did not want a service which I didn't request for in the first place.
Like play, like play. About an hour later, I called GTConnect, GTB's customer service line to state my complain. The lady that attended to me informed me that the Visa Card-dollar was an upgrade to the Master-Card dollar; and that since I had their Master-Card dollar, I was upgraded.
Now it gets more interesting: I had to ask the woman on the phone if/if not customers have the right to be "at least" informed about their(GTB's) new services before GTB decides to debit accounts and "upgrade customers", for services their customers don't even need in the first place. I told her the "long-story" of my Master Card: which I requested for last January 2010; which was issued to me a month after I made the request; which I started complaining about a week after receiving the card; and which up till this writing - the issue hasn't be resolved. 1-whole year of disservice. I have complained about the Card by email and several phone calls to GTBs customer service. As far as I'm concerned, the issue "is being looked into", in fact I haven't used the card once. With over 50-emails to GTBank's "complaints, info, corpaffairs", I received the first reply on October 01, 2010. I remember smiling and thinking that these guys were giving me an independence day celebration email reply. Since then, and up till now, there has been no word about my Master-Card. I have even sent them notice by email that they should stop the service if there was no way forward.
So I informed the Customer-care lady that while I have ceased to consider myself a Master-card customer, the GTB and its management see it right to even upgrade me and debit my account without my consent for another service I did not request for, while the one I requested for hasn't been provided to me.
She has promised to get back to me, and I'm still waiting. All I can say is wow, the Guarantee Trust Bank is fast becoming a Guarantee Distrust Bank (GDB), and the new marketing strategy they have employed is seriously distasteful and unappreciated. I want to imagine how many customers the GDB has, how many of these customers have numerous thousands of Naira and millions in their account; and how many of them would have been issued Visa Card-dollars, without them even knowing when, why and how. How many customers won't even notice the deduction in their credit?
Could we do some mathematics: NGN7,625 x 1000 customers = NGN7, 625,000: meaning, the GDB just has to force its VISA Card-dollar on a thousand customers to make 7-million Naira, taxless in one single day. One of the examples I gave the lady at customer care today was when, during the previous year, I made a transfer from my account into someone else's. What GTB did was to debit the other account and credit mine. I had to go back to the bank and make a complaint - asking them why on earth is it possible for such to happen, considering I am not the owner of the other account. The person I spoke to said it was a computer mistake. I informed her of several other deductions I noticed on my account balances for reasons I am not aware / made aware of. I am wondering how many computer mistakes? and intentional sharp practices that go on on a daily basis in banks across Nigeria without anyone taking notice / complaining. No wonder Nigerian banks are opening up branches in every street corner, meanwhile their services are not improving.
Kindly, just in case you are reading this, please tell the people at the GTB that their services have so deteriorated that I have christened them as the GDB (Guaranteed Distrust Bank). I am fast looking for alternatives.