Finweek English Edition - - Openers - BENE­DICT KELLY

YOU’D THINK THAT when a com­pany is alerted to a prob­lem it would be smart enough to do some­thing about it. But ap­par­ently Stan­dard Bank Home­loans’ credit di­vi­sion doesn’t fol­low that route.

A col­league re­ceived an SMS from Stan­dard Bank Home­loans ask­ing him to call a num­ber about a query on his ac­count and he even called the main Home­loans di­vi­sion to con­firm the num­ber be­cause the SMS looked some­what sus­pect.

When call­ing the num­ber by SMS the voice sys­tem doesn’t iden­tify the com­pany. All it does is present two op­tions: the first leads to a dead line and the sec­ond in­forms you that they’re very busy and of­fers the op­tion of leav­ing a mes­sage.

Googling the num­ber found a very sim­i­lar com­plaint on SA web­site hel­ from Au­gust last year. The bank re­sponded thus: “This mat­ter will be for­warded to the rel­e­vant busi­ness unit and we will re­vert to you as soon as pos­si­ble.” That means the bank has been aware of the prob­lem for seven months and has done noth­ing about it.

The fact that the bank con­tin­ues to di­rect cus­tomers to a num­ber that’s clearly not been tested is even worse.

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