MY immune system is immensely depressed. It seems the recession is prompting our banks to act with impunity and to treat its clients as if they are criminals.
You and I have often heard people complain about the unscrupulous bulldozing and oppressive nature of how our banks conduct their business.
I have become yet another victim of irresponsible, insensitive and autocratic misconduct that the bank, through its unreasonable employees meted out to me.
First and foremost, I have been a client of this bank for many years. I had two of their speedpoint machines at both my pubs, one at Emndeni in Soweto and another at Katlehong in Ekurhuleni.
Recently suspicions arose that some transactions that were processed at my outlets were fraudulent. Consequently, I received several calls from the bank's representatives.
Initially the interactions were mutually respectful. I was very cooperative and everything seemed to be professional.
Actually, the manager at one of my outlets went out of his way to deliver all the receipts they wanted. He even drove to their offices to return the speedpoint gadget after they demanded it - much to my obvious shock and dismay. It was at this point that I sensed that I was actually dealing with hungry lions disguised in sheeps' skins. Then the tone of one of their administrators changed completely. She became vindictive and treated me as if I am a criminal.
"Why are you taking the speedpoint away as a result of some criminal activity that was done via credit cards when the majority of my customers use debit cards?" I asked with increasing frustration, helplessness and great embarrassment. "Do you believe that I am involved in these criminal acts? Why are you treating me like a thief, a criminal when I am running a legitimate business?" I yelled in desperation.
Well, I had not bargained for what happened next. Without any reasonable warning, communication or any other form of courtesy, R13000 was debited from my account.
Even during the tough times, when racial discrimination was at its worst, I was never insulted in this manner.
I never expected to be treated with such unprovoked disgust and disrespect by a bank I had been a client of for so many years.
I feel vilified and worthless. I am aggrieved. I am disgusted and very angry. However, I will not take this matter lying down.
I am going to fight to the bitter end to seek justice and to clear my name that is being dragged through the mud. Even as a person living with HIV, I have never been humiliated in this way.