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
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!