Bank on be­ing fleeced

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - COLLEEN HOL­LETT

I UN­DER­STAND that since the per­cent­age of bank clients in South Africa is par­tic­u­larly low, our bank charges are high com­pared to the rest of the world. I do, how­ever, have a prob­lem pay­ing charges for poor ser­vice.

Stan­dard Bank clients would have re­ceived a let­ter to­wards the end of last year re­mind­ing them that it’s that time of year where you can re-think how you should be charged.

I’ve been pay­ing the fixed R110 a month, only to re­alise that I spend most of the year out of the coun­try. In essence wast­ing R1 320 a year to cre­ate a credit rat­ing, since an ex­cel­lent track record on a credit card in SA is not suf­fi­cient for a home-loan ap­pli­ca­tion.

I con­tacted Stan­dard Bank at the be­gin­ning of De­cem­ber to change the struc­ture to “Pay as you trans­act”. Fair enough, it has to be changed on the first day of the month, so would only ap­ply as from 1 Jan­uary 2007.

I re­ceived the first of many calls dur­ing the sec­ond week of Jan­uary in­form­ing me that due to an er­ror on the bank’s part, the change was not ef­fected and would only ap­ply from Fe­bru­ary. “Do you mind?”

My think­ing is, how many peo­ple in South Africa “didn’t mind”, mak­ing a nice in­come for the bank due to an er­ror? I made an er­ror on my credit card and got charged, how does their er­ror re­sult in mak­ing money?

In the past year I’ve re­quested that my ad­dress as well as my fee be changed, nei­ther of which has been done. But I’ve been phoned for a garage card and all kinds of in­sur­ance-re­lated prod­ucts to pro­tect my fam­ily if I’m in­jured or killed. Per­haps my R1 320 is sub­si­dis­ing their tele­phone ac­count.

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