Friday, 16 August 2019

Dear Ecobank, I Want A Divorce.


The long unfruitful marriage we have had over the years needs to come to an end. It’s sad that you didn’t deem it fit to pamper me during our time together, even when you knew my first husband, Hallmark died and family transferred me to you. 
 You see, you’ve always frustrated my efforts to love you, not once or twice, severally, I have stormed out of your bank, especially the one at Airport road, Warri with staffs lacking empathy, but here I am again today, feeling the same way I felt, when your security officers insulted and threatened to shoot me and brand me a criminal, here I am again feeling the same way I felt, when your customer care personnel asked me to close my account if I want to, here I am again feeling the same way I felt, when the lady that was supposed to confirm my master card, made me wait for her while she chatted away on the phone, or maybe I should a take a walk down memory lane when your ATM at Udu road, paid me three pieces of fake one thousand naira note, and when I went to complain, it was changed, without complain and it makes me wonder if he was aware or was done intentionally or the time I was at your branch at Enerhen junction by 8:13AM, customers where standing outside, I was surprised while they were still standing outside and they said, “Bank never open”.

Dear Ecobank, I am tired, I cared about you, but I can’t continue to have my heart broken all the time. You see, I care about you sincerely, that’s why I take your shortcomings to heart, maybe because you pride yourself as Pan African bank, but I am disappointed.
Your staffs lacks empathy, they act as if they care so much about the system or structure, but in truth they hide behind a broken system to avoid the job they are supposed to do and that’s treat customers right and well.

I have always tweeted my concern about banks, especially in my city Warri, one time I did tweet about a bank and the way they responded and pampered me afterwards, I felt like cheating on you, well I did cheat on, courtesy of me, that bank, I think got five accounts, two corporate accounts and three savings. How I wish I can get this same treatment from you, my beloved Ecobank, not even when your regional security officer visited me with the head of the airport road branch (I knew yesterday, after he refused to assist a customer in need and the icing on the cake was that he refused with a fixed smile, I will explain in a bit).
You see, I treasure my Ecobank account, maybe because, it was the first account and I like the fact that it’s still operational or because I did my BVN nope, or, well I don’t know.

Warri is not Lagos, and they can’t be in the same league, yet we see comparison between Lagos and Warri and wonder why? We have very few commercial centers in Warri, namely Airport road, Jakpa road, Okumagba Avenue, Enerhen Junction, Deco road, Mcdermot, maybe roundabout because of Delta mall and PTI junction, but Lagos…oh please don’t go there.

Just this morning, I was talking to a lady, friend Sandra Ossai, the best female barber I know and she said, Collins, I have been wasting my time in Warri, but here in Lagos, I am learning and earning more. We charge an upward 2k and customers pay without stress, but back in Warri, only big boys pay an upward of five hundred naira, even the seemingly comfortable with more than two cars, find it difficult to pay three hundred naira for a haircut.

One time, I recommended a lady friend to cut her son hair at Friction Barbing Saloon, Airport road, and she walked out when she was told, the price of one haircut, for crying out loud, I know she can afford it, times two. Now the problem was not the money, it was because it’s Warri, and in she said, Collins, just to cut hair, abeg, I nor dey pay.

Now the point of this distraction is that, Friction is charging that much not because, of the added services, but because, they are on Airport road, only few areas can risk charging that much, Airport road and Delta Mall, except your saloon is extra gadgetarized, like those in Lagos.
Airport road is a key commercial hub in Warri and Ecobank has just one branch on that road, but this branch is the branch you’ll visit and security will turn you back and say, “abeg go awi other branch, our generator bad or no light” I have had this experience atleast twice.

Why this blog post?
Yesterday, I had a meeting at PIND facility Egbokodo, sadly for me I forgot my ATM card at home, on getting to the bank, I walked to the extreme left, where the customer care was seated, and explained my ordeal to the customer care lady and she goes ballistic “Bros, no forgetting matter, na so una wey be customers dey always talk, go and meet my boss” In my mind, Collins, Banks just came back from Sallah, so maybe she’s having a stressfull day. I don’t know why she’s always unfriendly. I can’t remember anytime, I have seen this lady cheerful, sometimes I wonder if it’s husband, children wahala or bank stress, but then I see the other colleague on the other side, she’s not always talking to customers, but she has an inviting face, even the security guy, who sometimes thinks he’s a banker. He does the ATM filling form for customers, always walking around the bank to and fro, in my mind, I say why not just employ him as office assistant?
I walked across the standing customers to where she has directed me, to and on getting there, it was empty, came back to her, and she said my Boss is there, go back. I went again, this time asked one of the tellers and he said, that’s the place, nobody there, went back to her and she said, my colleague is standing in his front, go and meet that colleague. Got there asked the colleague where’s the Boss and she pointed to him who was walking towards us.

He was wearing the same red Ecobank Tshirt he wore when he came with the regional security head to visit. Oh I see, that’s why he refused to enter the picture we took. He has this fixed smiling face, which I have come to learn was is his real face. Not work face, not happy or sad face, his real face. His face does not express his emotion.

Then I started my story, I need a slip, I forgot my ATM card at home, then he said, we can’t help you, we have not gotten teller for two weeks. In my head two weeks, that’s 12 working days or 8 working days if you are factoring the sallah holiday, plus minus. You see the system is supposed to help not deform. If the branch lead without shame say he has not gotten bank teller for two weeks, I wonder what happens to their old customers, those without ATM, those with ATM challenge.
Yes, I understand the whole cashless hullabaloo, but Ecobank Airport road branch is just one laid back and unserious branch of Ecobank.

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