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FNB Customer Service sucks – Going from best bank in SA to worst bank in SA in less than a decade

I absolutely hate doing this, since complaining on social media is in my eyes, the absolute epitome of boredom. But I can’t take it with FNB anymore. I’m literally on the verge of moving all my banking personal accounts, business accounts, home loans and credit card to any other bank.

In February of this year, I signed an offer to purchase a house. As anyone who has gone through a home loan application can tell you it is an absolute mountain of paperwork and hoops to jump through, that you pay for. With South African service delivery being what it is, I made the choice to increase the value of my new house by also adding solar, removing the need for Eskom completely. Shouldn’t be too hard, right? FNB advertises everywhere how easy it will be for me to sommer slap the loan for solar onto my home loan account. Again, at my expense. This was less than a month after my home loan was approved and the house registered in my name.

But guess what? There is no “lekker maklik” for FNB because getting the extra funds on a brand new home loan would require me to go through the same paperwork schlep that I had to go through to get my home loan in the first place. After many unanswered phone calls, (or calls where I get passed around to different individuals in different departments like a bad STD) emails, and pointless chats via the FNB app, I can say with full confidence that paying R250 each month for an FNB Premier account “because you will have access to a Personal Banker” is not just a farce, but a downright scam. There is no such thing as a personal banker. It’s just another low-wage employee who is only there because they have to eat.

Eventually, I gave up on getting funding for solar from FNB. The trouble I would have to go through to prove that I can repay the money I will borrow was just not worth it in the end. Especially since they already have access to all of this financial info and more, not only because I just went through the whole schlep to get my home loan, but also because I’ve been banking with them for close to 15 years. They know my financial situation better than anyone.

So, after basically emptying my life savings into my new home loan to get myself off to a really good start (credit score and cutting down on those interest fees and all that) I then withdrew all of that again to pay for the solar system that is now on my house.

During this whole process, I have also asked and explained to FNB what account my debit order for my home loan should be taken from. This has all fallen on deaf ears, and to this day FNB takes my home loan payments from the wrong account. This means that I have to transfer money between accounts each month to make sure the debit order can go off. After a hell of a fight on the phone today, I might get the forms to fill out to change the debit order details today. We’ll see, I’m not getting my hopes up. But again, the stupidity of bureaucracy radiates from FNB. How hard can it be to change the debit order from one of my accounts to the other? Why the need to fill in forms, fight and shout? You have me on the phone asking for the debit order to move to a different account, still my account, not the account of some other person. Yet, let’s make it as hard as possible.

Through all of this frustration, I bit my tongue. Blood in my mouth is better than blood on the ground, right? Well, today I got the call that made me open my mouth and complain like a bored Karen.

After 15 years, of not missing a single payment to FNB, today my home loan debit order couldn’t go off because I haven’t transferred the money (also, note the date is the 27th today, not the 25th when the debit order is supposed to go off), and low-and-behold my phone rings. It’s FNB and they want to know how I dare miss a payment on my home loan. The gall.

Liefste FNB, if your customer service was even 1% as good as you chasing money “that you are owed” then I would have been a very happy customer. But your customer service is on par with that of Eskom or the SABC. I’m constantly getting pushed to do everything via your app, so that you can gather and scrape data from every transaction and interaction, but the app works less than your chat service employees. Your bureaucracy is constantly being used as a way to defend your utter indifference to your customer’s frustration. And then you have the balls to make me feel like a child who did something wrong, because you refuse to take money from my correct bank account without me doing 16 backflips and 18 summersaults.

I’ve been an exceptional customer for 15 years. I implore you to try and be an exceptional bank. Because over the last decade, you have gone from most innovative and forward-thinking, to the most useless bank in SA. Also, we need human bankers. Not empty shopfronts filled with computers and AI. Get your head out of your ass.

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