Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Great Absa Credit Card Lotto

Dear Maria Ramos, Chief Executive of Absa Bank,
          Having once worked on the railways perhaps you can get your bank back on track over this one. If my experience is anything to go by every Absa credit card holder who pays his account by debit order has a period of three or four days (It’s as vague as that) in each month when his card is useless.      
 My debit order for everything I owe goes through on the 10th of the month. The money disappears from my account but it is only reflected on my credit card a few days later.
           So while your bank is happily using my money my card is put on hold and it doesn’t matter if my credit limit is way above the amount I have just paid.
          It’s a scandal which your bank has so far done nothing  to remedy. It’s made worse by the fact that clients only find out about this after having their card declined at a shop. They are never told beforehand. 
          But for those who don't like to gamble that's not the only problem with these cards.
          I’ve had my chip. Ever since you sent me a new card with this super chip in it buying stuff with it is a nightmare. Previously my old card, which was issued in the ox-wagon age, gave me no trouble.
          They put it in the machine, I signed the slip sometimes and on other occasions nobody bothered about this formality. That’s what happens when you’ve got an honest face and good diction.
          The really important aspect was that it worked. I could pay for anything anywhere, provided of course my credit was in good standing which it always was.
           Now that the crooks have once again got a jump ahead you have forced these chips on us. This new wonder of technology not only prevents the bogy men from using my card, but it also keeps me from recklessly running up debt as well. Was that part of the master plan?
           Will it feel like working or is it having one of those days? I am constantly asking myself.
          I travel miles to buy something particular and what happens? My card goes into the machine and out pops a slip saying Please call auth centre at the top and at the bottom in capital letters it issues this warning DO NOT GIVE THE GOODS!   Will the updated ones perhaps say, Do not give the goods to this crook? On another occasion the message at the bottom was, Declined.
          Of course there is no way of telling which permutation has caused the problem when a shop keeper eyes me suspiciously. So with wonder card I still have to carry enough cash for all eventualities just in case I lose in this Absa lotto of yours. 
          Your staff told me that ignorant merchants are to blame for not processing the cards properly. If you want a really ridiculous explanation try, as I did, calling the help line at your card division.
          Having just had my card rejected for R84 at Pennypinchers I stomped into the bank and they got one of those cards at card division on the line. She explained that Pennypinchers needed to increase its authorization limit.
           But when I went back to this hardware store I was told this was the biggest load of bull they had ever heard. If their limit meant they had to get authorization for purchases as low as R84 they would be phoning card division every five minutes.
          So you badly need to issue a more plausible story for the call centre staff to use when all the other Jons come on the line. And how about getting all the merchants up to speed on how to process the thing properly? I would gladly try and teach them but I am now persona non grata everywhere.
          My impeccable reputation for being a fine upstanding citizen of considerable means has been shot to pieces.
          When I had to go into shops I pulled my mask over my face because I fully expect to see posters up around town with my mug on them saying, WANTED FOR CARD FRAUD He’s had his chips.
       Scared I’m now in hiding, heavily sedated and oh! I nearly forgot my wife left me because she says she only married me for my card.
How much money do you think a High Court judge would put on the loss of a reputation as valuable as mine????? 
          Deplorably yours,
PS. This could be in the running for the worst of my Bad Service Awards of the month.

*   *   *
  Hallo Bic? Shouldn’t you rather stick to what you know best and that’s pens. Can you tell me the thinking behind your Big Easy razor? The pack contains a razor with a dummy plastic “blade” in it together with two razor holders with space for eight blades but two of these are empty.
             Then you tell us on the back of the pack that this first, all in one shaver is such a marvelous first that if you want more blades you have to buy another entire pack with a handle you don’t need.
            So if sales go as well as you are no doubt hoping we can expect our planet to be littered with thousands of unwanted plastic handles.
I suppose if they are the right colour you can claim to be Greening the World.

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