loyalty and absentmindedness

My purse lives in my car’s cubby-hole. I don’t carry a handbag around, as after years and years of lugging around crap that I honestly never needed, about 5 years ago I ditched the bag, and never looked back. Car keys, purse and cellphone = sorted.

Yesterday I went out to the shops, as I needed to buy some veggies to make baby food. I had left things to the last minute (nothing unusual in my life, but I’m normally quite good with the baby food), and so had to cart all 3 kids along with me as the husband was working. Really helpful, when the twins were due for their nap, and Morgan-Lee was feeling awful and just wanted to sleep. I promised her that it would be a quick in-and-out visit, as I literally only needed veggies.

I took a relaxed drive into Hillcrest, parked at the shops, opened my cubby and… No purse. In fact, as I reached over to open the cubby, I knew that my purse wasn’t in my car. Why? Because I had left it in our lounge, right next to my laptop bag, as I spent Saturday morning sending dispute papers and scans of till slips through to my bank, FNB, as they had once again done a double transaction on my account, leaving me with no money, and actually owing them money. I even remember telling myself as I was hopping out of the shower yesterday morning that I must remember to grab my purse before leaving the house. I could blame this on being exhausted (as I have been for the past 2 years) or the fact that I had a terrible 2 nights with Morgan-Lee being so under the weather, but the truth of it, is that I’m absentminded. If I remember to do something, unless I do it right then and there, 9/10 I will forget about it. Case in point, driving 20km odd to the shops without my driver’s licence as it was in my purse, with my bank cards, on the couch. At home. Unable to do my shopping. (The husband will be able to give quite a few more examples, but that’s another 10 posts all on its own…)

The only reason I was able to do any shopping, was due to the fact that I had a little cash in my purse, which didn’t help me as it was sitting in my purse at home. I couldn’t use my bank cards, as my bank had decided that my money was their money, and as quickly as they helped themselves to it, I now have to wait 5 business days for the dispute to be finalised. 5 working days. I had enough money in my account to see me through this week for petrol and baby food, until payday this Friday. Now I’m living off of money loaned to me, again.

My loyalty to FNB has been severely tested of late. In January, the exact same thing happened; they processed a duplicate transaction on my account and when I contacted the petrol station to query it from their side, the first thing I was asked was:

Do you bank with FNB?

Top picture shows the sms that I received when I did my shopping on the 17th; I woke up to the bottom sms on Saturday morning. The difference is that the top sms clearly states 'reserved' whilst the bottom sms states 'paid from' almost like when a debit order goes off my account.
Top picture shows the sms that I received when I did my shopping on the 17th; I woke up to the bottom sms on Saturday morning. The difference is that the top sms clearly states ‘reserved’ whilst the bottom sms states ‘paid from’ almost like when a debit order goes off my account.

Apparently this petrol station has had numerous complaints of duplicate transactions go off on customers’ FNB accounts, and it allegedly has nothing to do with them. Luckily, FNB reversed the duplicate transaction in 24 hours, and all was fine. Now on Saturday I woke up to find that the exact same thing has happened, this time at a shop, and I was once again in overdraft, even though I don’t have an overdraft facility, and had no money to do what I needed to do, i.e.: BUY FOOD FOR MY BABIES!

I have been with FNB for just over 25 years; my mom opened my bank account for me on the 27th of November 1990. I applied for car finance; declined. I applied for a credit card; declined. I applied for a personal loan; declined. I applied for an overdraft; declined. All because some bright spark in some department, didn’t update my risk score, after my debt review finished last September. The bank that I have been with for 25 years was not interested in helping me better my life, yet another bank was. Nedbank. They approved my car finance application as well as my credit card application. And the details they have are the exact same details that FNB have. So why exactly am I with FNB?

I’m a relatively chilled person; I live each day as it comes and try not to take life too seriously. But when you start messing with my money, MY money, yeah, I’m not going to be so chilled. And when I raised this duplicate transaction with the FNB twitter guy on Saturday, he asked me if I hadn’t done a second shop at the same place for the same amount. I swear, I’ve even got the tweet to prove it.

The fact that I had to borrow money AGAIN so that I could buy food for my children and put petrol in my car, all because my bank decided to help themselves to what wasn’t theirs, has annoyed me to such an extent, that I am seriously considering closing my account with them. No, it won’t do much to their profitability; I’m not even a ripple in the ocean to them. But if they see no problem in duplicating transactions on my little account, R500 here or there, I’d hate to know what they could possibly be doing to other, more ‘affluent’ accounts, accounts where people won’t notice that odd R500 disappearing every now and then. I keep a VERY beady eye on my bank account; I live month to month and most of the time day to day. I know exactly how much is in my bank account, to the very last cent.

So whilst I am absentminded about most things in life, FNB, I am not absentminded about my bank account.

Let’s see how long you take to give me back my money.

Day 2 and counting.

G

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