When photocopy machines go out for lunch

Just when I was thinking that I need to tell the World how BANCOBU is the best bank for Western Union services, this had to happen…

It was between 12 and 1PM, Bujumbura time i.e. siesta time. A few years ago it would have been impossible to get anything done between these hours, but thank God mentalities are starting to change and businesses now consider it valuable to accommodate people like me who enjoy transacting during “odd” hours of the day… Meaning it’s now possible to go to the bank and send money via Western Union, amongst other things…

So, as you may have guessed I needed to send money via Western Union. BCB being THE BANK with (many) branches strategically located around town (it’s just my impression really), I naturally found myself in a BCB branch first. However (more like, this often happens) I couldn’t get served due to “connectivity problems”. The teller advised me to go to the head office, but if the connection wasn’t working at the branch, what guarantee did I have that things would be better at the main office? Some guy in the queue said I should try INTERBANK, but I remembered that (apart from the connectivity issues that they too often seem to have) they require me to come with a photocopy of my ID. I didn’t have one (BCB never asks me for one), and I didn’t feel like getting one so I decided to head to the only bank which hasn’t caused me any trouble so far, as long as Western Union Transfers are concerned: BANCOBU.

I got there, completed all the paperwork only to be told that I needed to provide a copy of my ID. I was like, (in Kirundi) woman it’s not my first time sending money through you guys. All the other times I gave your people my ID and they made the copy. I have my ID with me here. Take it and make the copy. You can’t ask me to go out just to make a copy when you can do it in less than a minute. She proceeded to explain to me how she has been with the bank for 13 years and all that time people have been expected to come with copies of their IDs. And anyway, she continued, at this time of the day its “minimum services”; people have gone for lunch so nobody can make the copy for you. I asked her if the photocopy machines had gone out for lunch as well (yes, I was pretty pissed) to which she replied something that I don’t remember, completed with an anyway, the bank has no obligation to make copies for you! At this point I didn’t really know what to say. I tried to explain that nobody was obliging them to do anything, but that in the name of good customer care (and Une Tradition de bien faire, their motto), it wouldn’t be a bad idea to facilitate customers by making the copies for them (INTERBANK, take note!) – They are the ones who need them anyway! And really, considering the amount of money they make from Western Union transactions, I doubt photocopies would be that much of a cost to them!

Une tradition de bien faire? Pas cette fois!

Une tradition de bien faire? Pas cette fois!

Anyway, I went out to get the oh-so-precious copy, had to wait a minute for the change *SMH* (which reminds me that one of the reasons why I love the Fée du Logis mini-marts is that they NEVER run out of change, unlike MANY other businesses in town); only to get back and – this is the icing on the cake – be re-baptised! She noted my name as Nsabimana, instead of Nsabiyumva! LIKE WHAT’S THE PURPOSE OF ASKING FOR A COPY OF MY ID IF YOU CAN’T USE IT TO CHECK MY NAME?! REALLY?! At this point I was too pissed and tired to say anything. The only thing I could do to express my unhappiness was to walk away without saying thank you (don’t laugh; I really take my Thank Yous seriously!)

I thought of putting something in their suggestion box but there was no paper. I wasn’t going to ask Ms Unhelpful for anything else, and I didn’t have the energy to walk to my car and back just for that… then I remembered that I have a blog. I really hope somebody from BANCOBU reads this and acts upon it – am I asking for too much? And if you think this whole experience is rare and unusual, and I’m exaggerating, maybe I am… I’m quite used to a lot of weird sh*t happening to me; maybe this is just one of those things.

5 thoughts on “When photocopy machines go out for lunch

  1. Hahahahaha!! Try FINBANK SA next time. But seriously, Customers need to be take care of. It is your right to be given good services. And remember you are also paying that b*** salary.
    No offense

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