Checkers SA. If only your stores were run and/or trained as well as your call centre personnel, and divisional managers.
The day that I posted my complaint, it was retweeted on twitter, and within an hour or so, their social media team had made contact with me, apologising for what had happened, and asked me for my contact number so that they could contact me in the morning. I happily gave it to them, as I don’t like to complain and then run away when the responsible persons are trying to right the situation.
I was contacted the following morning by one of their call centre personnel (a lady, and I’ve totally forgotten her name) who was polite, attentive, and who too was very apologetic. We were on the phone for about 10-15 minutes, where she made notes on all of my issues, the main one being the card machine issue. She promised feedback, and we ended the call. The same lady contacted me on Monday this week, asking if the Checkers Banking Divisional Manager had called me, to which I replied no. There was a bit of miscommunication as I was apparently called, but as it turns out, there was another customer who complained of the EXACT SAME ISSUED, in the EXACT SAME STORE, and the manager had called her before me.
Yolanda Watson, the Checkers SA Banking Divisional Manager contacted me on Monday evening, and we had a wonderful conversation. She too apologised for the inconvenience, and we spent about 15 minutes on the phone. She informed me that she had called out their card machine people, and that they were reinstalling the software onto all of the card machines, and that it should be completed during the course of this week. I absolutely understand that they couldn’t do all of the machines all at once, because if something failed, it would have been catastrophic for the store. She also apologised for not calling me last week as she had gotten her wires crossed, and had contacted the other customer with the same complaint, thinking it was me. She told me that she valued my feedback, as without their customers informing them of issues, they are unable to sort them out, to which I totally agree. Yolanda also explained to me, that when a card machine rejects (for any number of reasons) a chip card (debit or credit) and the card is then swiped, a pin is never requested; that is how the various banking institutions have set it up. So it’s not just FNB, who I bank with, but Standard Bank, ABSA Bank, Nedback, Capitec etc. That to me is so dangerous, and something that the banks should look at. What is the point of having a chip & pin enabled debit/credit card, if someone can just pick it up and swipe it, no pin code required?
Yolanda did admit that she didn’t know why the card machines in the Hillcrest store didn’t even ask for my card to be inserted, but rather swiped from the get-go. Their card machines should only ask for a card to be swiped if the cashier has first attempted to insert the card. I told her nope; all three times that I’ve had this issue, the card machine has always asked for my card to be swiped, never inserted. But then I’ll go to the cigarette counter and that card machine will ask for my card to be inserted. Weird and to Yolanda, inexplicable. I told Yolanda that the second time that this issue occured, I asked the cashier to restart her card machine, and when it came back online, it asked for my card to be inserted instead of swiped. That too, she couldn’t understand or explain. She also said that she would recommend training for all cashiers, especially around communication, because if a customer presents a chip card and the said card does not dip or there is an error, the cashier should bring this to the customer’s attention, before deciding to swipe the card. At the end of the day, it’s MY money that is being swiped away; I have a right to say NO.
Overall, I am very pleased with the feedback that I have received from Checkers Head Office and who knows; I might just venture into their Hillcrest store again. The fact that they have treated my complaint in a serious light shows me that they do value their customers and their feedback, and hopefully, from my 3 bad experiences, something positive will come of it.
So Checkers, better and better? Yeah, I think so 🙂