So I want to close a bank account. It happens to be the one that I get my VAT refunds paid into. Okay, so I try to do it online - SARS e-filing. Can't be done, only the account I pay them from can be changed online. Fair enough, its a fraud threat I guess, but quite a mission as I have to travel 60 km's to my nearest VAT office with the necessary documents, stand in a queue for 30 minutes, then sit with the person that is meant to help me for another 45 minutes - it seems quite a complicated task for her, maybe she's new at her job.
Now its done, they have all the papers, I wait and see what happens. Low and behold, my VAT refund is again paid into the account I wish to close a month later. (I kept it open knowing the likelyhood of this happening) I phone SARS, they inform me my application was rejected as a documents was missing. I sat with the lady and we double checked all the docs were there, but somehow one got lost!!! All I get is an apology, and told to do the entire process again. I'm 5 years older immediately, the stress of trying to achieve something simple is too much to bear. I'll try again when I go to "big town".
So I think its government incompetence. Next is MTN. I pay the debit order, the phones are in my wifes name. What a nightmare. Same thing, a special form, a letter from me, a certified copy of my ID. Faxed to MTN, requesting change of bank details. Month later, they debit the account I am trying to close. Phone the help desk - we didn't get the docs!!! How, the fax message said OK!! So now I've scanned and emailed them. The unpleasant wait starts again.
And people tell me its not a mission to change banks. Do this lot collude with one another to make it unbearable to change regardless of rubbish service. Try closing the account before all of the above is sorted out, and an even bigger frustration awaits you. No wonder people employ accountants and secretaries to do this sort of thing for them, how I wish I never had my own business sometimes! All these bureaucrats do their best to make life difficult. No wonder people try to do things illegally, its just so much easier.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.