Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sadist? I'm still staying!


Kenya Power, my favourite power utility monopoly, has a remarkable capacity to surprise. There was a weekend when it managed to inform me, twice too, that there would be a power interruption in my neighbourhood and true to its word, there were power interruptions. Through the text messages Kenya Power sent me, it apologised for the inconvenience and promised to resolve the "issues" soon. Kenya Power has quite a lot to do before it will gain my adulation or adoration, but it is on the right path.

KCB, on the other hand, is a whole other ball of yarn. My relationship with my bank is a sadistic one; it seems to take a perverse pleasure in making my life as complex as possible. Take what happened the last two days, for example. One of its ATMs captured my ATM card and wouldn't let go. Not after I punched buttons on the console in frenzied worry it wouldn't spit it out. The rather helpful message that arrived on my phone alluding to "format errors" was less than helpful, to say the least. Frankly, it was a bit insulting.

The process of retrieving the card is now down to an art form: find the woman that deals with customer whatchmacallit, give her your ID, sign a book, get your card back. Takes 10 minutes, on a slow day. This time, they made me sit and wait and wait and wait and thirty minutes later, without so much as a "Sorry for the time" shoved me out of their door. No biggie, I thought; at least I have it back.

Then I attempted to use it again. This time, it wasn't swallowed up in the innards of the machine; it just wouldn't spit out some money. So I went to see the manager. Again. Turns out, they had a few "issues" with their "systems" that day. Which they didn't tell me about. Not when they sent me that insulting text. Not when they made me sit in their damn banking hall for a half hour. NOt when they handed back my card. They waited for me to try it out, like the fool I am, and then went, "O, sorry! We have a problem with our systems today. Perhaps you could do an over-the-counter withdrawal." So that's what I did, Or tried.

That teller was some kind of mad that day. First she wouldn't do whatever it is tellers do on their computer consoles, because she was mad that I was doing an OTC withdrawal of such a piddling sum. "Mbona hukuenda kwa ATM?" What should have been another five-minute transaction, took the better part of fifteen as she bitched to whoever sat next to her about "these people" who waste her time with such small withdrawals.

Of course you're gonna ask, Why do you stay? The obvious. Equity seems like too-good-to-be-true and the CEO is an arrogant shit anyway. NBK? Are fucking nuts? Barclays? Even the Africa holding company doesn't think that its a good bet any more. Stanchart? No branch within walking distance of my loo. I am not Tier-II-ing so NIC, DTB, Family, CBA and Transnational are all out. Co-op? No way, no how! KCB, sadistic predilections or not, is the last sound bank around. I wonder how long that will last. The rude staff, the shitty communication style and the spectacularly opaque operating style are only annoying today; one day they may be annoying enough to warrant a change of banks. Even to the shady Equity.

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