If You Want Loyalty, Get A Dog. Absa Sure As Hell Couldn’t Care Less.

Loyalty clearly means nothing to most big businesses in this country. Absa is a prime example. They make so much money off their clients that complaints (whilst they may be answered thanks to social media and companies wanting to maintain negative attention) are fobbed off as unimportant.

Or you are told to go to your nearest branch. Excuse me!??! Have you ever been in one of your branches!?

Yes my account is a little one and I’m not worth millions, but I deserve better.

I have had an account with Absa for more than 22 years.
When I opened my account the bank was called United and my account was called “Help U Go”. My ATM card had a denim pattern printed on it. I know it was just me- but it was more than a little embarrassing to be buying baby supplies with said card, but because I was under 18 I couldn’t have a different account.
As my age and employment situation changed the account changed with me, and there were some perks attached to said changes, but I always felt like I was being punished when I looked at my statements. What grates me no end is how I am being penalised for sticking with this institution, for not carrying cash, and for maintaining my account.

Where do I start?

I pay a monthly “management fee” of R189. And this is after I went there and spoke to them to arrange for as low a fee as possible. I thought I was getting the better end of the deal, but they make DAMN sure they get the rest of the money they want in other ways. I don’t know what this management fee is supposed to cover but it sure as shit doesn’t do much.

Debit orders cost me R30 each! You read it right – THIRTY RAND EACH! So when I pay Vodacom or Old Mutual with a debit order- thereby ensuring I don’t miss a payment or short pay them- I am penalised by my bank.

Then there’s something called “INT DEBIT ORDER TO CREDIT LIFE ASS.” that costs me R13 a month. I don’t even know what that is and I am pretty sure I get charged for that transaction too!

Every time I swipe my card in a shop it costs me R3.85. I don’t carry cash because if I have it on me I spend it and I’d rather not take the chance of being robbed. So lets say I pop out to the shops once a day for groceries or baking supplies, this will cost me an additional R100 per month, more or less.

Every time I move money- using internet banking- between my OWN accounts, it costs me R3.85! Are you forking kidding me!?! When I transfer money to my savings account from my cheque account using internet banking you charge me. When I pay my petrol card with my cheque account using internet banking you charge me.

Internet banking costs me R38.30 every month.

And a couple of times a year they take money from me because once long ago I made the mistake of going to them to ask them to manage my assets if I die.

When I needed a new ATM card because the magnetic strip on mine didn’t work too well anymore, I was charged R45 for it and I had to spend more than 45 minutes IN THE BANK signing some twenty different sheets of paper! What the hell!?

When my account became a cheque account a hundred years ago, I was given a black leather wallet that could hold my cheque book and my cards and so on. When it fell apart a few years later, I asked if I could have another one when I popped round to collect a new cheque book (I don’t use cheques anymore). I was told a new one would cost me R300! I told the guy behind the counter that I was paying plenty every month and they could stick the wallet where the son didn’t shine.

Phoning them is guaranteed to get you nowhere. They will do nothing over the phone except confirm your details and then tell you to get to a branch.

So tell me Absa, why should I stay with you?

13 thoughts on “If You Want Loyalty, Get A Dog. Absa Sure As Hell Couldn’t Care Less.

  1. I’m with Capitec and FNB. I do most of my business with Capitec and I LOVE them. Dirt cheap with their bank charges – only problem I have is that they don’t have ATM’s on every corner which means that in order to NOT pay the earth, I need to find a pnp if I want to make a cash withdrawal.
    Julia recently posted…To disclose or not to discloseMy Profile

  2. Sorry to hear that you are unhappy with your service at ABSA. I use Bidvest Bank. The great thing about them, is that you can communicate with them via email, fax or telephonically because they don’t have that much branches in SA yet. They are International. Fees are not that high. Our banking costs per month on a Savings Account is R120. Due to them being International, purchases internationally is very easy with their Savings card for online purposes.
    Good luck
    blackhuff recently posted…Children and movementMy Profile

  3. Pingback: I Just Might Be Able To Say “Thank You @Absa”… - Being Angel

  4. I’m with ABSA too…but I’m also checking out other banks at the moment. I opened an account for N with Capitec. They’re great if you have money but their interest rates are steep if you have debt.
    Louisa recently posted…Ramble 5 of 5My Profile

  5. Hey @exmi – i’ve been with capitec for a few years now (not entirely by choice at the time), and now i wouldn’t move away from them unless fnb gave me a *huge* incentive to move.
    @angel : nedbank and absa i won’t even consider any more. yuk. I’ve experienced their nasty sides first hand.

  6. Wow here in the US most banks only charge overdraft fees that’s it so as long as you don’t spend more than you have your good. Merchants pay the credit companies and banks will useyour money for investments ect. But I have never heard of having to pay the fees you do. Do you have credit unions? Those are usually even better as they are member owned.

    • Sadly, that is the nature of banking in South Africa, Katy, and you have to take it or leave it. Their income is essentially double! I pay a fee to swipe my card when I buy groceries and the shop I purchase from pays a fee to the bank to be able to let me swipe my card!
      We have several banking institutions, but they all charge for everything to varying degrees.

  7. That is ridiculous!! I recently left another bank for the same reason.
    My advise : Go to Standard Bank. They give you an all inclusive fee, with extra costs only added for things like e-mail or sms notification to payee on EFT’s. Everything else is included with limits (x number of cash withdrawels, x number of debit orders, etc. – there will be a package to suit you.)
    There are different packages for different incomes. I have a personal banker whom I just email for any queries or things I need. I have, literally, been to the bank one time to input my pin for my Debit Card. One time, ever.

    ps. I do not work for Standard Bank, I have just moved to them and couldn’t be happier.

  8. We are with FNB and their service is just as crap BUT I must say I don’t pay nearly as much as you do.

    My business acc fees are higher than I would like them but our cheque cards are reasonable – I think we each pay R110 per month in total! No debit order fees or transfer fees!

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