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Bheki Dlamini
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Are we really that cheap?

27 May 2014, 08:16
After seeing a commercial from one of the country’s fastest growing banks I couldn’t help notice just how stingy we had become. On the commercial, the bank asked whether bank clients knew what their banks were charging them as bank fees and the majority of the answers were, “I don’t know but I know it’s too much.” How do you know that?

Are we that misinformed? You sign a contact with an institution to handle your finances and yet you don’t even know how much that institution is charging you? Are we that naïve? What happened to reading the fine print?

Ok, great. It has ben established that they pay too much. Why not switch then?I conducted my own informal investigation to establish why people would not change banks. My apologies to my dear friends that answered those questions unsuspectingly. 

Firstly, the fact that a bank claims to be cheap – most people I spoke to don’t want to be associated with a cheap brand. 
Secondly, limited services – This makes sense, but then why would anyone complain about what the other banks, which are offering better services, charge? You pay more for a better service.
Thirdly, people are just not informed when it comes to bank charges. We are quick to sign on the dotted line at the nearest bank without having conducted a proper research.

There were more questions asked and you can even add your own questions to the list, but I discovered that we are ignorant consumers, myself included.

I have never taken banking fees into consideration when opening any of my accounts; it has always been about the service that a bank is prepared to offer me, even though banks are generally terrible at offering services. I mean they are open when everyone is at work and by the time you knockoff they would have been closed for more than an hour. You actually have to take a day off to visit a branch.

Another exception, the bank that raised these questions is open after hours, with some branches opening even on Sundays. Like that was not great enough, the bank actually sent its representatives to my site when 60 or so of my employees needed bank accounts last year.

 Great service right there!

I realised later on though that the outcome of my research was not conclusive. Some respondents were already banking with the so-called “cheaper bank” but still complained about expensive bank fees. Hence my question, “are we really that cheap?”
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