Voy­ager on the road to nowhere

Finweek English Edition - - Letters - JOHN GAL­LIAS

IN OC­TO­BER 2006 Stan­dard Bank an­nounced that it was end­ing its Voy­ager par­tic­i­pa­tion – de­spite hav­ing deb­ited cus­tomers for a whole year. One would think the bank would do this on expiry of the year.

How­ever, Stan­dard would “re­fund pro rata on the Jan­uary/Fe­bru­ary state­ment”. Well, Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary state­ments have come and gone but no re­fund. Per­haps there was hope that many would for­get and mil­lions would be made. To ag­gra­vate mat­ters, I phoned the bank’s head of­fice to check why there was no re­fund. The “Cus­tomer Ser­vices (sic)” per­son didn’t even know about the scheme can­cel­la­tion but would find out and call me back.

This was at about 09:00 on Tues­day. At 15:30 on the Wed­nes­day I called to find out why my call was not re­turned, de­cid­ing to go to higher author­ity. Of course the CEO was not avail­able, his PA was out, the man­ager (a Len Stander) del­e­gated to han­dling com­plaints was not avail­able.

And his sec­re­tary said they were still wait­ing for a re­sponse from the de­part­ment con­cerned (what an ef­fec­tive head of­fice). She then just put me back to the ser­vice de­part­ment with­out a word. They promised to call back that same day (af­ter all my calls) and did even­tu­ally, to say I would be cred­ited the next day.

Of course, if a cus­tomer didn’t pay on time, he would be charged in­ter­est, hounded and prob­a­bly black­listed. The ad­vice – not a good choice of bank – and check you got your re­fund!

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