Are GT Bank Scammers?

Scam:[skam] (slang) noun (plural scams)

trick somebody: to obtain money or other goods from somebody by dishonest means

(Microsoft® Encarta® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.)

So, according to the above source, to scam means to trick somebody.

I have had my fair bit of disappointing experience with GT Bank of late. Did I say fair bit? Pardon my modesty. I rephrase: I have had a terribly disappointing experience with GT Bank recently. And since every reasonable attempt to remedy the situation has fallen on deaf ears, I decided to make the complaint public via my blog. Maybe this would get them to sit up. May be it won’t.

It’s high time coporate institutions started taking their clients/customers seriously. If public servants should treat citizens of the country with disregard, I dont think huge corporations should follow suit.

GT Bank is one of the banks I have an account with.

I operate a savings account with GT Bank, but decided to open a current account with them about a month ago. Till this moment, GT Bank have done nothing in this regard. Yep. You read that right. One month after applying to open an account with them, they’re yet to do same. This is not the real issue. Of course they can afford not to assent to such request. It is their bank afterall.

My disappointment stems from the manner with which the issue was handled, the stress I was put through, the accident I had while visiting their bank on Wednesday for the umpteenth time to correct the anomaly, the inefficiency of their various customer service media (bank staffers, complaint web page, GT Connect line, non-functional customer care email) etc

After a month of not addressing my persistent request to open a current account, I discovered that my debit card was also non-functional. Their staffers gave a less than satisfactory reason why my card stopped working. Here’s  a tweet I tweeted at GT Bank:

gt7And no, they did not respond to the tweet. I figured out I wasn’t the only one complaining of their services on social media. Here are some mentions:

gt1

gt2gt3gt4

gt5 I tried mailing them this morning and that was the message I got. They have a complaint form on their website at www.gtbank.com/complaints  , but guess what again? That too is not working. I tried sending my complaint via that means but the complaint wouldnt “submit”.

gt6

By not responding to customers complaints via tweets, sending customers fake customer care email, and having a non-functional complaint web page, GT Bank is making a bold statement that they dont care about their customers’ pain. Their customer service simply sucks! This is a sharp contrast from what they claim in their “About GT Bank” page on their website at www.gtbank.com/about-gtbank :

gt8I had to highlight that “strong service culture”.

What was Microsoft Encarta’s definition of “scam” again? They trick customers into depositing funds with them, claiming they have a strong service culture.

Now, they have a “facebook bank” service. I pity anyone who chooses to use that service.

Let me sum up this post with my protest letter which  I finally sent to another email of theirs complaints@gtbank.com . I had to dig up that email address on my own from their website.

This is my letter of protest to them:

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LETTER OF PROTEST

I have been a customer of yours for about five years now, and in that time I have had cause to boast about some of your products and services until recently. You claim to be the best innovative bank in Nigeria with the numerous “banking products” you have churned out, the latest being the Facebook banking, but despite all these brilliant ideas of yours, the execution of your ideas is fast becoming terrible. Your product may look good on paper, but the delivery process is becoming pathetic.

These are some of the reasons why the customers are beginning to HATE you:

  1. Crowded and poorly ventilated banking halls

If there is one thing any customer of GT Bank anywhere can attest to, it is how small and crowded your halls are. The architectural layout of your buildings judging from the outside is quite impressive, but deceptive as well: beautiful outside walls, but huge eyesores inside. Why aren’t your banking halls spacious? And well ventilated too? Apart from the edifice at your headquarter in Victoria Island, almost every other branch of yours I have been to is nothing to write home about. Small halls. Poor ventilation.

2. Opening an account with you is a herculean task

When I opened a savings account with you, some of the things you requested for were quite disturbing for a bank in the 21st century. The ones I found most disturbing include: Receipts of bills (Nepa bill, water bill etc), National ID Card/International Passport/Driver’s Licence and Two Referees.

For a bank in the 21st century, these requirements are laughable. You need them as security checks? There are easier ways to take security measures when opening a customer’s account than the methods you have adopted.

For one, not everyone keeps record of these utility bills. Those who do keep records, lose them at some point. When I was opening my savings account with you some five years ago, I couldn’t find my recent utility bills, so I brought a two-month old NEPA bill. Of course it was rejected. I can’t remember how that was resolved. But it was done after putting me through a lot of stress.

Secondly, not everyone would have a National ID card/International Passport or a driver’s licence.

And finally, the requirement for TWO referees (both of whom MUST operate a GT account!) is extremely ridiculous too, and I’ll tell you why later on in this protest letter.

3. Your customer service suck

I will tell you why later too.

Despite these terrible observations, I will give it to you people for still having quite a sizeable number of customers. But if you must know, the generally perceived intent of most of your customers is to dump you for another bank. And I just might be that next customer to do this.

MY CURRENT DISAPPOINTING EXPERIENCE WITH YOU

About a month ago, I decided to open a current account at your Magodo branch, Lagos State. I already have a savings account with you as you can surmise from the foregoing. For someone who already has an account with you, I was shocked when I was required to bring some bills again, supply my international passport and supply two referees. I obliged and provided all I could. I was told to come back in three days’ time for my new account number. For someone who walked into your bank to open an account to be told to return in three days for his account number, I wonder how long those who open a “Facebook account” with you would have to wait for theirs.

On returning for my account number, I was told to fill out another form to link my savings and current accounts so that I could operate both with one ATM card. This, I did and was told to come back in another two days’ time to confirm if the current account was functional.

I returned in three days’ time instead, but was told the account wasn’t functional yet because they could not “clear my referees.” They asked that I return in another two days’ time. I came back in three days, but was surprised to hear the same excuse. They started asking frivolous questions like “are my referees customers of GT Bank” “are the numbers they provided in the referees forms still functional” etc. I answered in the affirmative. I even told them the referees are my colleagues in the office and I speak with them every day both at work, and via calls. They still insisted that they could not “clear the referees”. I was told to call your GT Connect line. This I did and explained the problem. The receiver on the other end informed me they would send a mail to the branch I opened the savings account with (which was Uyo), and that the “problem” would be rectified.

I returned some few days later and was told they hadn’t rectified it yet. Everyone I met at the customer care desk kept asking me the same questions: “are my referees customers of GT Bank” “are the numbers they provided in the referees forms still functional” “Are the numbers they provided in the referees form the same numbers they used in opening their GT accounts?” “have you called the GT Connect line” “can you bring your referees to the bank” etc.

For over a month now they keep asking me the same questions and I keep giving them the same answers.

THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CARMEL’S BACK

On Wednesday the 11th of September, I tried withdrawing from my savings account for a very important transaction but was told my pin was incorrect, twice. There was no GT Bank close-by from which I could have used a withdrawal slip to withdraw. So I had to pay my way to the GT Bank in Magodo again (where I had tried opening the current account). They gave me a pin re-issue form and asked me to return at a later date.

Mind you, this would be the second time I would be requesting for a re-issue of pin due to no fault of mine. Your staffers told me nonchalantly that the pin sometimes RESET ITSELF!

I remember I have had an experience like this before. The last time the pin “reset itself” I was trying to pay for a flight ticket using an ATM, but could not. I was told my pin which I CAREFULLY inserted was incorrect and the machine ceased my card. I lost that flight reservation and had to travel at a later date. This time around, I needed to urgently pay for a transaction, but could not because the pin RESET ITSELF!

As for the current account update (which I had already given up on), I was still told they had not been able to still clear my referees, ONE MONTH AFTER! They kept asking if I was sure the numbers my referees supplied in the referees forms were the same ones they used in opening their GT accounts. Now, why would GT Bank request for the referees phone numbers (in the Referees forms) but instead, turn around to call the numbers they used in opening their GT accounts several years ago. Granted, but not conceding the fact that my referees could have different numbers now from the ones they used in opening their accounts (which they don’t as they still use same numbers), isn’t this approach by your bank foolhardy? I was told I might have to bring my referees ALL THE WAY to your bank to confirm whatever. ALL THIS STRESS JUST BECAUSE I WANT TO OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH YOU?

This raises the question of how effective your “Facebook banking” claim is. If someone who already has an account with you is going through hell to open yet another account, I wonder what a first timer who is persuaded by your deceptive “facebook banking” would go through.

My take on this is that somebody somewhere within your bank set up is not doing his or her job efficiently. Or GT Bank is just a bunch of trumpet blowers with little substance.

So right now I “have” a current account which is not functional and an ATM card which is useless.

It may interest you to know that on my way to your branch on Wednesday the 11th of September (at the risk of my job), I had a minor vehicular accident and hurt my leg. I am grateful to God it wasn’t serious. My ankle still hurts. I have had to limp around since Wednesday.

MY DEMAND

In the light of the foregoing, I have just one demand.

  1. An apology letter addressed to me within two days of receipt of this mail for stress I have been put through in the last one month and injury sustained on Wednesday the 11th of September 2013 on my way to your bank.

Whether you clear my referees for the current account is of no importance to me anymore. I have suffered enough trying to open an account with you.

Also, if you don’t re-issue a new pin for my card within two days as mentioned by your staffers at the customer care desk, I am less bothered.

GT Bank has a lot of customer service re-engineering to undertake if it must indispensably position itself as the customers’ favourite.

Regards,

Harold

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