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Letters to the Editor


Letters to the Editor

 


 

 
August, 2009
NigerianNews Letter to the Editor

August 24, 2009

BANK CREDIT CARD GAMES IN NIGERIA.

Dear Editor,

As Nigerian banks are being audited to make them stronger, some banks are trying to cut corners and in the process damage good relationships they have with some of their customers.

A big example is Ecobank Plc which gave me a credit card facility with a credit limit.
My experience is as follows: I have been operating my credit card for over a year now, faithfully as a good customer. I withdraw money whenever I need it and pay back with the interest accrued without delay. Basically I use the card only when I have need for it. Its been 3 months since I last used my credit card and last week I decided to use it to pay for some personal items through a POS and it said "Do not honour". I have never been so embarrassed in my life because, I put in that Ecobank credit card with all honour and dignity knowing I am not owing on the card and I could pay for goods and services with this card, only to get this disgrace which is an insult on my person. I then went to Ecobank Eleganza branch where I got my card from and was told my card had been suspended since July 20th, 2009.

My card has not expired as it is still valid till May, 2010. I was then told to do a letter for re-activation of my card which I did. When I heard nothing from them I placed a call to Ecobank customer care and spoke with a lady called Yemi. Her reply was that, ''all cards have been suspended''. I asked her why I was not informed on this development and, all she could say was, she was sorry. If I knew the card has been suspended I would have dropped it at home and just used my other cards from other bank's.

Nothing can replace the shame and embarrassment I experienced that day as I left the house with just this credit card. In as much as the credit cards are funded by the bank and I know you have defaulters on your cards but, we the customers whom you gave these cards to , most especially those of us who have been good credit worthy customers deserve a right to be notified about the suspension of the cards before the de-activation. The bank has all our details i.e email addresses and phone numbers to enable them do this, especially for those of us whose cards are still valid. Nigerians are very exposed people with dignity who deserve the right to be informed at all times and not people you can play games with. This is almost like fraud if I may say so, and such practices gives the country a bad name. Imagine a foreigner going through what I experienced. No bank abroad can do this to a customer without proper communication, otherwise such a bank can be sued for damages on moral grounds.

I had to write this article to tell Nigerians what humuliations some of us experience. Also to advice all such banks who are in this practice to communicate better with their customers and, not treat customers like slaves whom they can use and dump at any time.


Ecobank Plc don't toy with people's image. There is a saying that "don't start what you can't finish". A word is enough for the wise!


Oby Okolo
Lagos