By Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA-Most Access Bank customers have expressed dissatisfication with the recent development from the bank, where a customer loses N20 at every attempt to use the *901# short code.
The short code has been functional and as well, an easy way to transfer money until somewhere around December 2018 when the issue started. With this issue, every time a customer attempts to use the short code, he or she automatically loses N20 whether the transaction succeeds or not.
When this reporter first noticed the problem, in December 2018, she assumed it to be a minor network issue, with the hopes that the money will revert and so, she tried couple of times more and faced the same challenge without getting any headway with her transaction.
However, she was not alone in this issue as some other Nigerians who are customers of the bank, have been experiencing similar issues and narrated their ordeal to our reporter who requested to know how they handled the situation.
According to a customer, Mrs Okoilu Abimbola Shulammite, who has been using the bank since the days of Global Bank, before it was acquired by Intercontinental Bank and later changed to Access Bank,she has been experiencing the same issue since June 2018.
When asked if she reported the case to the bank’s management, she said, “No I did not, because I thought it was kind of network error. But it got so worse on the 4th of this month(January 2019), when I had 15 deductions in one day. And I am out of the country so I can’t afford to call them and when I chatted with the customer care online, they told me it was computer glitch”.
Mrs. Okoilu, who emphasized that losing N20 at every attempt to use the short code is unfair to her as a customer and to other customers, noted that if it continues, she might end up closing her accounts.
She further called on Access bank to really get their act together, otherwise, they will lose customers.
In Mrs Okoilu’s narrative, she had 15 deductions. A simple mathematics puts all the 15 deductions of N20 per deduction, at N300. It is actually very unfair to customers to lose such amount and still not get quality service.
Another customer who gave his first name as Samuel, lamented that Access Bank charges are now too high and the charges are not commensurate to the quality of service rendered. He further disclosed that he has already left the bank for another one.
“Looks like Access Bank has lost it, N1,200 for ATM. Charges now very expensive. Then, when I use Access Bank *901#, whether successful or not, they remove N20 from my account.I have left Access going to another bank”, he said.
For more clarification, our reporter visited an Access Bank branch in the Central Business District, Abuja, on Friday to lay her complaints and those of others who have shared their experiences with her, there she also got another shocker.
The Customer care agent who attended to her, disclosed that the bank is not to blame as the N20 does not go to the Bank but to the Telecommunication Service provider MTN Nigeria.
“Every transaction you make through the *901#, MTN charges N20 whether the transaction goes or not”, said the Customer Service Agent who pleaded anonymity. “They are the ones providing the services. If you have mobile Application, you will not face such challenges”.
He further disclosed that customers who have been victims of the issue have visited the bank in their droves to lay complaints. “The Bank has been receiving complaints regarding the same issue. Please they should download the mobile App from App store to avoid the recurrent N20 deduction”.
Meanwhile, when this reporter inquired to know if the bank has disclosed the reasons for the deduction to Customers of the bank who deserve to know, either through its social media handles or other mass media, the answer was not convincing as the agent noted that they have been explaining to customers who have come to the bank to lay complaints.
While the recent development is hurting customers who prefer to use the *901# code, the deductions, regardless of who gets the money, does not augur well for Access Bank as most customers may eventually leave the bank due to frustrations of losing their money and receiving poor services.
Customers are however advised to report when they notice such issues with their banks rather than die in silence.