Short cuts #1: good advice

# 1 Standard Wank

Earlier this afternoon I wished I had one of those T-shirts that Justin Nurse made, and which him made so unpopular with Standard Bank. I discovered today that they have been allowing an unknown person/entity (not MWeb, because I checked my account with them, and although they will also be losing my custom in the next 18 months or so, did not appear to be culpable here) to charge a monthly debit order against a credit card account that has been closed for more than two years. According to my statement I paid twice for my 3G/HSDPA contract this month.

I felt deeply injured, furious, in fact, and was determined to be satisfied, preferably in a duel to the death with someone from their customer service department. Weapons? Bare hands. I ranted on the phone, using terms and phrases such as “protection for the consumer inherent in the FICA regulations” and “ABSOLUTELY no proof of ANY such agreement between myself and the third party” and “isn’t there a banking ombud? There should be, because I have a story to tell him”. It was all at least as emotional as it sounds.

It took a perfectly reasonable woman called Venice (not like in Italy, but pronounced like Denise with a V), only a few hours of digging to discovered that MWeb had not been double-charging me. Since I knew that already, this nearly aggravated me even more. “This is absolutely certain,” Venice said, and it was hard not to throw down a glove. Turned out, however, that MWeb HAD been charging the old account and that “someone in the bank has been transferring the cost manually to the new account” but neglected to transfer a credit for the debited amount this month… or something like that.  Nothing is simple in banking. That’s why they drive their customers crazy. She sounded a little like that SABC journalist reporting from KZN during the ’94 elections who said, “somewhere, votes are being counted” after a couple of boxes went astray. Anyway. Venice also said she was going to credit my account, but will I phone MWeb and change the banking details? Which I did. All sorted out. So I had no beef with SB in the end, but I did get very worked up, which was exhausting.

# 2 Black dog

So after the extremely tiring event of sorting out my credit card statement, the black dog came, mainly because I actually had to look at said statement and realised that I was in quite a bit deeper than I thought. I must have suspected this all along, which would explain why I have been igorning it in the first place.  It was not only that, probably. I worked hard on my essay, I finished at 5.30 on Thursday morning, slept, woke up at one and proof-read it before I dropped it off. All good, one could argue. But it has been such a protracted and intensive event that I should have expected the Big Dip. I am going to make a new page and call it “Academe” and put that stuff there. Just so that you don’t think I am making all this shit up.

# 3 Europe’s funniest commercial

Unfortunately for the black dog Mandy sent me this… which cheered me up enough to pour myself a gin.

 # 4 Good advice to self

1. Check credit card statement every month. It is empowering and can save money.

2. Cancel party dates when it is cold and preferable to stay on the couch and watch the e-tv Friday night action flick.

3. Remebember never to have children. Be especially wary around folks who have very cute and well-behaved kids.  They can easily dupe you into thinking that all children are like that.


2 thoughts on “Short cuts #1: good advice

  1. hardspear 13 June 2009 / 15:27

    Throwing down the gauntlet? By that time, had it been me, I would have started foaming at the mouth. They’re all the same though, ABSA, FNB Sandard Bank. By the way, with a name like Venice, she can only come from 3 places in SA. Vereeniging, Benoni or the Cape Flats!

    • Betty Noire 14 June 2009 / 09:17

      You are funny. (I was hoping that all banks were not the same. Shit.)

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