14 May 2008

My (Wonder)ful Bank

I moved to Barclays Bank a few months ago, only because it sounded more international than 'The Bank Around the Corner'. OK, there is no such a bank but there will be if the current trend of naming bank in Kenya continues.

Barclays managed to convince me to get a credit card after years for refusing one. One salesman from my former bank did take me for dinner once to bribe me to get one. He tried to pay for dinner with his credit card, which was declined. Good going Sir!

After my LA trip, i was over my limit by thousands of shillings. Barclay Visa Card representatives kept calling me day and night- I'm serious to tell me that i was over limit on my card. One day they call me at 8.00 pm on a saturday and my patience- which i don't have much of to begin with- hit the roof. I calmly listened as he told me that my credit card was over the limit blah blah. I cut the guy short. (i would love to do that literally too). Like to about 2 feet, would make it easier to trample on him. I asked him if Barclays Bank was now a 24 hour bank. He said no. I asked him what time the bank closes on Saturdays. He said noon. I asked him what time it was. He said 8.15pm. I asked him if he calling me from Kenya. He said he was. I wanted to get clear on some things before i attacked him. And if he was a clever bloke, which he did not seem to be, he should have known where this line of questioning was leading to.

I told him that since I cannot do any banking at 8pm, whether on a weekday and definitely not on a weekend, I had no idea why he was calling me at that time to talk tell me what i already knew. I also made him understand that i had received about 6 calls that day only to tell me the same thing. He told me he could not see any rep who had logged in a call to me, which is why he called me. I told him i all the previous reps who had called me used the same line, and he should ask his superiors to change the 'How to lie to customers who are pissed off because you called them about the credit card limit at 8 pm on a Saturday evening' Manual and also I asked him if it was a matter of life and death. He said no. I asked him what I was supposed to do now that my credit was over the limit. He said i needed to put in money so that i could balance it. I asked him if it was possible to do it at that time. He said no. I asked him what was the Banks earliest convenience. He said Monday from 8.30 am. I asked him why he was calling me on Saturday at 8.15pm to tell me to balance my credit on Monday. He said he was sorry. I said that was not the answer to my question. I asked him if i went into the bank at 3.15 pm they would let me in. He said possibly. I asked him which one (most banks, including mine close at 3 pm in Kenya). He said any Barclays Branch. I asked for his full name and employee number so that if they refused to let me in, I could quote him, and also for his cellphone number, to call him if the security guards got rough with me for refusing to leave. He said he was sorry.

I let it go. On Monday morning, I called the Credit Card section and asked to talk to the Head of Credit blah blah. I had a very long conversation with him. Agreement - unless Barclays Bank is being robbed and they are calling me to tell me that my money is in danger, or it's on fire and they need me to help put out the fire to save my savings, no calls to me before 8.30 am and after 3.00pm. I got a deal. Not that I have lots of money in the bank. I wondered why, but then i thought, wouldn't any bank worth it's cents try to please a customer who always goes over her credit card limit?

I have a habit of keeping all receipts, including withdraw and deposit slips in my bag. I was clearing my bag and came across a withdraw slip. I never paid attention to what it says at the back as I'm always concerned on how much it says i have left in my account. I could not help but smile --

Free indeed!

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