Friday, November 15, 2019

Downsizing at the cost of your clients

I have been an account holder with Standard Chartered Bank since the mid- 1970s and service has steadily been deteriorating over the years. Especially, the last ten to fifteen years. I am very disappointed and for the first time, am thinking of moving.

When you start making changes to your banking system, do you ever think about how you will inconvenience many of your older clients?

I have noticed that you are closing branches all over to the extent that places like Malindi do not have a single branch there, all in the name of trying to get your account holders to use your online banking services, which are not just limited, but highly insensitive to clients who are seniors and not very much into this online system which you are trying to promote by hook or by crook.

There are a whole lot of people who do not have access to online banking, are not very cyber friendly, prefer dealing with humans (like me), rather that machines and I have found this online thing has its limitations.

There is also the very real danger of doing online banking. Anyway, as mentioned above, it has its limitations, i.e. we cannot access cash nor bank cheques this way.

This brings me to another complaint, not only don't you have enough branches, but also the ATMs are not enough and the few that are available do not work efficiently. For example, the nearest one to where I live is the Nyali Plaza one and yesterday from the time that I reported it at just after 2.00 pm, it was not working till after 6.00 pm! The only other ATM you have available in Nyali is kilometers away at Nyali Centre and which is in a very disabled unfriendly location. This particular ATM is supposed to accept cash money, but not checks. Why?

To come back to the Nyali Plaza ATM, this is not the first time that it has inconvenienced your account holders by misbehaving. It frequently runs out of money, especially during public holidays, and packs up without any reason sometimes swallowing our cards. This is not just inconvenient, but quite a disaster if it happens during a holiday when ALL  your branches would be closed and we, in need of urgent access to money and cannot even pay for anything using the debit card since it was swallowed by the horrible ATM.

In such a scenario, how does one get back the card? And why are you compelling us to take a trip all the way into town to retrieve the card? You are DEFINITELY NOT being customer friendly. In fact, you are only being friendly towards yourselves!!!

My request - please think from the point of view of your account holders and stop compelling us to use your online banking system. It's highly frustrating and most senior citizens, like me, prefer dealing with humans made of flesh and blood and can interact with, as before. Give us a choice without it costing us an arm and a leg to do so.

Hoping this will result in some serious thinking on your part...

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