More bank news…

[IMHO ate the post again… 🙁 Must find another tool to create my blog entries in…]
After this morning’s issues with ABSA, I have some more sad banking news… Well its sad for me even if it isn’t sad for anyone else.  Today my bank (not the “My Bank is My Bank” bank but rather *my* bank/the one I use) is no longer my bank… I was with 20Twenty and I’ve loved dealing with them every time… (well, except that once when I called at about 11pm to find out about a forex thing and the person I spoke to wasn’t very clued up.  But that’s one bad experience in about 3 years, and anyway at least I had someone I could call with 20Twenty… no other bank would be open at 11pm)  Ok so back to the story…

20Twenty was bought by Standard Chartered Bank after the whole Saambou fiasco.  And no, that’s not Standard Bank or SCMB… Standard Chartered Bank is the huge international bank with a large international presence… I’ve even seen one of their branches in Botswana of all places.  But now Standard Chartered have decided that 20Twenty’s banking clients are not their core focus so they’re basically transferring their clients to Pick ‘n Pay Go Banking (A division of Nedbank).   I’m still a bit confused as to why Standard Chartered made that decision, but that’s another whole story.

So far Pick ‘n Pay have been really nice, their call center staff have been helpful and friendly.  Its just a pitty that the people at the Nedbank branches aren’t of a similar mindsets.  One example I have found is that Pick ‘n Pay Go Banking sent us an e-mail to say that when we pick up our cards we can present (amongst other things) a bank statement from another bank that contains our physical address.  Unfortunately the employees at the Nedbank Branches don’t seem to think that this is an acceptable proof of residence, so I know of a few people who have turned away frustrated.

But fortunately for me, the Nedbank Branch employee who gave me my card didn’t bother to read the instruction she was given that told her to verify my residential address so she never did. I’d brought a copy of my rental agreement and, as I found out afterwards, it was 3 days over 12 months old and Nedbank don’t accept copies of rental agreements.  They insist on the original which any tenant can tell you is never going to happen.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a landlord who has given me the original lease, while they sit with a photocopy.

On another note, my petrol card has always been at Nedbank (20Twenty didn’t offer a petrol card when they started) and when I had to get my address verified for our “FICA” requirement they gave me quite a runaround.  I don’t have mail sent to my home address, its just not a very reliable place to get my mail delivered (I’ve had quite a few things go missing).  So eventually I was debating taking out insurance just so that I’d have something that was related to my physical address printed out on a statement.  So I had a faxed quote with me when I went into Nedbank to ask if perhaps a letter from my landlord would do.  The answer was no, and the lady behind the counter was not willing to give me any other information that might help me… but then she spotted the quote in amongst the papers I had and she said “give me that, it will do”. 

I think she was either high, or wasn’t able to read properly because she clearly failed to read the bold words at the top that said “Insurance QUOTE”… So I could have called any insurance agent, asked them for a quote for insurance on any residential address and used that to “prove” where I live.  Very silly, but hey… it worked and I was able to carry on using my garage card.

So.. back to the main title… Today my 20Twenty account was settled and closed.  And I must say good bye to my favourite bank, the one that cared  (or at least seemed to) about me, the one with the fun colours, attitude and vibe.  It is a sad day indeed.

General Internet/Links


I got to my PC this morning to find an e-mail in my
mailbox from ABSA entitled “ABSA Internet Access ADSL”.  Its basically an
e-mail about a new ADSL service you can get from them.  Now while I don’t
mind people sending me information about new products if I ask them to and in
some cases if the only reason I got the e-mail was because I was an existing

But in this case I’m not an ABSA client, in fact I think the last account I
had at ABSA was closed around 6 years ago, and I only got my current e-mail
address about 3 years ago.   So basically ABSA have bought my e-mail
address from somewhere and have spammed me.  To make matters worse there is
no way for me to remove myself from the list, so I have no way to request to be
unsubscribed from their spam mailings in the future.

So all that I can do is to e-mail them, their customer support, their ISP,
and anyone else who I think might be listening and ask them to sort it
out.  Fortunately there is a great for letter you can get over here that is
aimed at South African spammers, and has actually helped me out a few

In one case I was subscribed to a mailing list and any unsubscribe
requests were just not processed. I even called the people concerned and
they promised to unsubscribe me.  To make things worse their e-mails were
between 2 and 9mb each week (they were sending word documents with embedded
images).  I had gone for about 3 months requesting via phone calls and
e-mails and finally after e-mailing that form letter to the abuse contacts
at their ISP it was sorted out within a few hours.  Its amazing how quickly
people respond when you tell people that they may already have transgressed the
law and be opening themselves up to legal problems.

Anyway if you needed an excuse to dislike ABSA here it is. 
Unfortuantely I don’t think that any bank is without problems, but at least “my
bank” is not a spammer.  (Which brings up a whole other topic… I
really dislike the “My Bank is My Bank” adverts, but I loved the Cell C ripoff
that went something like “My phone is a small red squirrel called nigel” )