The issue with my ATM card being retained last year happened thrice. After the first time, which I blogged about here, I collected the card on Monday-21st December. I wanted to try it immediately, but the queue outside the bank was quite long, very early in the morning.
On Monday-22nd, I tried checking my balance at the same ATM machine, and I got the same message: card retained, reported lost or stolen..….blah blah blah. I went inside the same branch and was told to wait. After 30minutes a lady came downstairs to retrieve all retained cards, after which mine was handed over to me. The front desk officer told me I could use the card the next morning, 23rd, as the issue would be fixed that same day-22nd.
The next morning(23rd), the machine again retained my card and by the time the same front desk officer saw me, he knew I was seriously pissed. He then told me that he found out the real problem, that my card was due for expiration in December 2008, and that this was why the card gets retained if inserted into their ATMs. I told him I wasn’t interested in his marketing talk and that if he didn’t know what he was doing, the issue could be escalated to someone more knowledgeable. I had the same hunch myself, but anyway I asked for the next step, and he told me to come back first thing Monday(29th) morning to get a new card.
Monday morning, December 29th, I was at the bank and within 10minutes, he fished out my card, amongst many others from a brown envelope. The front desk officer told me I could use the same PIN number I have been using all along, with the old ATM card. I decided to wait until the new year before re-using the card just in case things go wrong all over.
Yesterday, Jan4th, I went to withdraw some cash, with the thought that if things didn’t work, at least this morning Monday(5th) would be the starting point of a new series of problems. Yes it is, and its in a new dimension.
Yes, I was able to withdraw the cash I wanted from my own account, but in the process, after entering in my PIN number, and after the screen where the type of account(current / savings) is to be selected, I selected ‘savings'(my account is savings)’, the next thing I saw was that the machine prompted me to choose from my accounts, with three account numbers in the form:
1) account number(xxxxxxxx)
2) account number(xxxxxxxx)
3) account number(xxxxxxxx)
I have two accounts with GTB, but only one is associated with my card as far as the information the ATM machine gave me is concerned. My own correct account number was listed first. Wherever the two other accounts come from is what I don’t understand. They are not my account numbers. And why on earth should 1(one)-ATM card be associated with three accounts belonging to three-different people, I suppose. For one minute, I wondered if my other account was associated to someone else’s ATM card. Anyway I withdrew five-thousand Naira from my own account and left the ATM. I didn’t bother checking the account balance of the other two numbers. Later, I got a debit alert on my phone confirming the deduction.
I couldn’t make it to the branch this morning as I was hooked up with something else. Anyway, I have been trying to place calls to their branches to report this issue all to no avail. Using their online directory, the lady that picked the phone at the first branch(on the island) I got through to didn’t understand whatever I was saying. After like 5-minutes of my explanation, all she could say was ‘ehen‘. I had to ask if I was speaking to the security guard or to an accounts officer. She said she was not in the ATM department, and that she would transfer me to someone in their ATM department. Duh!, the phone cut off in the process.
In the next branch I got through to, the male voice who picked the phone said ‘hello’ amidst whatever he was chewing. I explained myself all over, and all he could say was that I should call back tomorrow morning. Note: the time I called was just 3:30pm.
A honest mistake from GTB? One technical mistake that could cost the bank a lot of money. I discussed this experience with someone this morning and he said, if it was him, he would have cleared his own account and the others – skin dry. I laughed and told him I wasn’t interested in those kinds of blessings. Besides, why start the new year with dishonesty.
What if it was the other way around?
But hey, if he had done it, by now, GTB would have known something has gone wrong. And I have been wasting my time and phone credit, calling their offices/officers who do not know what their job description is. I’m going to mail one of their staff this URL and lets see what happens.
- Has this happened to you before? give us the gist.
- if it does, what would you do?