Bank takes eight months to make things happen

Jessica Meiring of Rondebosch lost all hope of recovering e1 249.93 (R16 000 at the time) from Nedbank which took its time to “Make Things Happen”.

This after the bank failed to stop a transfer to visa agents Beneficio Crew in spite of an instruction to halt the payment.

Ms Meiring battled for nearly eight months to get her money back. Ms Meiring said she went to Nedbank at Kenilworth Centre to transfer the Euros into a Dutch bank account for a visa, but after an appointment at VFS, the visa centre, her application was rejected.

“When I got home, I phoned the Nedbank call centre to stop the payment to Beneficio Crew, but they told me the foreign exchange department did not work weekends, and it was closed. And the person I spoke to suggested I phone back on Monday, which I did as I assumed this would be the most direct way of stopping the transfer as the money still reflected on my online account,” Ms Meiring told me.

The agent she spoke to said he would request a cancellation of the transfer.

A few minutes later, he called back and told Ms Meiring to put her request in writing, which she did immediately by fax.

She kept a check on her account, and by noon that day she noticed the transfer had been processed.

“I wondered why the transfer went through when I stopped it at 8am that day. I got an email from Desiree Daniels with a copy of the cancellation request. Ms Daniels then received a reply from Nedbank’s Dutch correspondent bank (Amro) which said it would investigate. “So, to cut a long story short,” Ms Meiring said, “after much correspondence with Ms Daniels, Amro confirmed they had recalled the funds and would credit my Nedbank account.

“But nothing happened, and later Ms Daniels said Amro told her the funds were being recalled and the money would be transferred, which was a puzzle, as they had already said the money had been recovered,” Ms Meiring said.

When nothing happened, Ms Meiring and her father, Peter, asked me to help.

“We have a face-off between David (consumer) and Goliath (Nedbank),” Mr Meiring said.

“In correspondence that was copied to Jessica in error, Nedbank admitted they had erred but said she must get the money back from Beneficio Crew, which has gone bust,” Mr Meiring said.

In the correspondence, which I have seen, Nedbank said their exceptions team had followed the correct procedure in requesting the recall of funds.

“But the beneficiary (Beneficio Crew) had to provide authorisation for the funds to be debited, and we couldn’t get it because the account had been closed,” Nedbank said.

So how did they expect Ms Meiring to get it when they have all the resources? Anyway, they didn’t follow instructions.

And the straw that broke the camel’s back?

“You will have to explore the avenues of recourse available to you with the beneficiary of the funds directly,” Nedbank told Ms Meiring.

So what did Nedbank say to Off My Trolley? “We can confirm that a request to stop an outward telegraphic transfer (OTT) was received from Miss Meiring but the OTT was inadvertently released. We regret any inconvenience that this has caused and will ensure that the funds are returned to Ms Meiring within seven working days.”

Well, that was short and sweet. Perhaps Nedbank “does make things happen” when they get a prod from the media. Otherwise you’re on your own. “Makes you sink”, doesn’t it

“Thank you very much for your assistance. Nedbank accepted responsibility for releasing the funds after they received instruction not to do so.

“Jessica first, however, had to sign a waiver form accepting the reimbursement as full settlement. The funds were paid into her account. Huge celebration,” the Meirings said.