It used to have as its tagline, “We Serve You Better.” Perhaps, realizing that it was not living up to the demands of this tagline, the nation’s premier bank re-branded and begot a new tagline: “Your Bank For Life.”
One would have thought that a change from the rather ironical tagline to a new one, and from Ghana Commercial Bank to GCB Bank, would have led to a corresponding improvement in service delivery. But the bank is still on a cheating spree, short-changing customers day in and out.
I am not talking about the incessant network cuts, neither am I referring to the indiscriminate malfunctioning of the bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM’s). It is an undeniable fact that if someone went to deposit a billion dollars any day, that amount would be accepted without first summoning the said customer to appear before the bank manager for anything, but I am not even making a case with the innumerable number of times that customers are told to see the bank manager for further verification before being allowed to withdraw cash of certain amounts. After all, Ghanaians have come to accept such injustices as part of the normal operations of the bank.
What has engaged my attention, however, has been the situation where customers are made to pay for the mistakes committed by the bank and loses made as a result of the bank’s own negligence. I am disappointed the way customers are punished for a mistake as bad as the incessant malfunctioning of ATM’s.
It is very important to recognize that the only medium of cash withdrawal for some people is the ATM technology, aside which their cash will remain imprisoned for ever. When the machines cease, therefore, one would expect that the bank would figure out a way of paying such customers without having to put further financial burdens on them.
But in what seems like a clear case of punishing customers for a mistake they know nothing about, such customers are made to make additional financial commitment (purchase of counter check) before being allowed to withdraw cash; what a cheat by the mother of all Ghanaian banks? I see this as unfortunate, and the earlier the management of the bank changed its modus operandi, the better.
Also, as a way of encouraging customers to use the ATM more often than using the banking hall, an amount of money is charged when customers abandon the teller machine and come to the hall to make withdrawals. Customers find it difficult to come to terms with why such charges are still made even though they have not intentionally chosen to withdraw money from the banking hall but for the defective nature of the ATM.
Recently, customers received notification from the bank to the effect that the ATM was going to be shut down for a period of time owing to some technical challenges. As we speak, we are told that the machines have resumed full operations. The resumption of operations, in itself, leaves much to be desired as most of them still turn white elephants at the time when their services are most needed. Again, this resumption of operations came with another unfavorable news: all holders of visa cards (one of the cards used to withdraw cash from the ATM) can no more use them.
Maybe, this move is to ensure customers’ cash is better protected. But what is unfathomable is the fact that holders of this card, some of which even secured the card only about a month or two ago, and already paid for them, are also made to put in request for new cards at a different cost. This is really a cheat. The double punishment to those who have put in such requests is that until these new cards are delivered to them, these customers would have to purchase counter checks before they do any cash withdrawal; it is not as if these customers are going to go off the hook with respect to the penalty charged for making withdrawals at the banking hall; another move to short-change customers by the most widely spread bank in the country.
I hereby humbly call on all the people who matter in this respect to ensure that the management of this bank is called to order. The status quo must change for a better narrative to be written about the bank; it is our bank, and some of us cannot abandon it for any other. We have to stay and get situations corrected.
Felix Nyarko Acheampong reports for vexaplusnews.com