I had (well still have), three bank accounts. One with Lloyds TSB, one with HSBC and one with Nationwide. They sent me a cheque book like every year, and my debit cards were valid for 4 years. A month or so close to the expiry I would be sent a new card through the post. My mobile phone providers were T-Mobile, and I don’t think I ever had a real problem with them.
Today, I have an ecobank card, and well apparently, when your card expires, then that’s it. Unless, you go to the branch, your branch and complete a renewal form. With all this so-called technology in Ghana, mobile money, e-switch, and whatever, there is no way to tell when the card will expire and automatically issue a new one. What annoys me all the more is that I will have to travel all the way to the Head Office branch which is in Ridge. This means I have to time it just right, so as not to get stuck in traffic on the way there or on the way back. Added to that, my mother has the car during the day. Furthermore in the branch (my cousin works in back-office so I will try not to dis her colleagues to much), well I swear they have one brain cell which they share between the whole floor. Even one brain cell is too much, I would say half. I remember when I ordered my visa debit card. I spent an hour explaining to the girl that it was not a credit card I wanted but a debit card, stupid girl didn’t know what a debit card was and too ignorant to listen to me explain. Then there was the idiot who asked me to write a letter explaining why I wanted to buy $200, the list goes on but I will get annoyed.
To Vodafone Ghana. A world known brand unfortunately it is run by local staff, I say no more.
My dad had taken away my Vodafone sim when he left for London last time. “People know this number and will probably call you on it and I don’t want it to disturb you”, alright mate, bought the sim for myself but if you say so. I had been meaning to top it up every few months but well with the break-in and the baby mama drama and the weed smoking drama (I have been through some drama), it kept slipping my mind and then I just couldn’t be bothered any more. As my sister was coming over, my dad gave her the sim but when she put it in her phone, we realized it had been deactivated. Being the good sister I am (ha) I said I would sort it out today. I call Vodafone. I get this automated service. Press 1 for English, I press 1, and there it starts. I get another 4 options, and another 4 options again, all I wanted was to speak to an operator, but I was given every option EXCEPT that option.
Eventually, I listened to some information about how to top up a voucher in the hopes that when it was over I could speak to an operator, and Eureka, I was through. I told the lady my problem. Nice lady “Welcome to Vodafone, this is Gertrude, how can I help you today”. I tell her the problem, she tells me to hold. I guess she was looking at her quick reference guide and when she didn’t find it, I got “please go to our nearest Vodafone store, one of our advisors will need to reactivate your card”. Just what I didn’t want. Couldn’t she just flip a switch, the people at the ECG do it all the time.
So what I was avoided became the inevitable. I took my stroll to the mall. I had my comfortable shoes on so I didn’t mind the walk, although it is with God that you manage to get across the road in one piece (Ghanaian’s haven’t got the concept of a Zebra crossing yet), and not forgetting the little Malian kids who are out to pick your pockets.
I get to the Vodafone store, there are people seated, although it looked like it was a long queue, it really wasn’t some were just random strays I guess with nothing better to do than hang out at the store (maybe they were waiting for something in particular but they just looked aimless).
I sit down, I give my request. The guy asks for my sim. He asks my number, types something into the computer and says “you haven’t used it for a while”, well that’s what I just said. I say “yes”, he types some more then makes some faces at the screen. “Oh, you haven’t used it for a long time, like how many years”. I say “since March” by this time a bit less patient. Then he says “what has happened is that it has been deactivated because you haven’t used it for a long time (you think?), so if you want it reactivated I will have to activate a new sim, so what do you want to do”. Did the fact that I was sitting in the store asking for it to be re-activated ring anything in that empty head. So I tell him to go on, and that’s when he tells me it will be at a cost of 1GHS (bloody thieves). I sigh and say very well, by this time my brain had totally drained talking to this guy and I just wanted to get out. He did everything and tells me to wait an hour. He obviously wanted to get me out just as quick, as there wasn’t even a goodbye before he started to tend to another person. Charming, at least Gertrude asked me if there was anything else she could help with and that I should have a nice day.
Well the main thing is that it is done now, I’m back in the office just willing 6pm to arrive (got to the office a bit late today so have to make up the hours). Well at least my sister has her line now, she can Whatsapp and facebook to her hearts content.