JOHANNESBURG – A prominent financial firm is under fire from clients accusing it over duping them through its money transfer service.
Bidvest Bank’s Balfour Park MoneyGram Bureau de Change branch is at the centre of the controversy.
Clients alleged the financial firm would collect or swipe money from them, but it would not reach the intended recipient.
It emerged the Bureau de Change would claim the funds will be reversed in 24 hours.
However, clients claimed this was not the case as the operator would give them unsatisfactory reasons.
Clients said their relatives and friends overseas were left stranded after the alleged disservice.
One victim, renowned journalist, Savious Kwinika, narrated his ordeal.
He wanted to send money to China to a cousin studying in the Asian country.
“What surprised me, they (Bidvest MoneyGram Balfour Park swiped my FNB bank card first, and withdrew my cash. After swiping cash from my card, they latter changed the tune telling me were unable to process the payment to China as initially agreed claiming I was using a company account,” said Kwinika.
“When I requested my money back so that I got to send using other means, preferably Western Union Money Transfer, Bidvest told me to wait for 24 hours. As after 24 hours, they changed the tune again to 28 days,” said an angry Kwinika.
He said Bidvest MoneyGram swiped his FNB card on October 21, but had not been refunded by Friday, 28th October.
“They have been reneging from the promise they made,” he added.
“I pay monthly school fees for my cousin in China on the 21st of each month of which failure to do so, my cousin is deported from China. But what disturbs most, Bidvest found it necessary to be wicked to an extended of becoming a catalyst to have my cousin deported from a foreign country due to non-reversal of my hard earned cash.”
Nigerian national, Ogenyi Iheanacho, said he also fell victim to Bidvest MoneyGram at Balfour Park.
“They don’t check clients’ papers first, all they do is to rush to swipe bank cards to get cash. After getting the money they need most, it is then that they start claiming the client’s money to destined destination would not processed before telling me to wait for 24 hours,” alleged Iheanacho.
He added, “When 24 hours lapse, they change goalposts again saying the money would only be reversed into my bank account after 28 days……..what nonsense is this? This is day light robbery!”
Another aggrieved client, Malawian national, Limbikani Kamwendo, said his wife was also duped by Bidvest MoneyGram Balfour Park.
“They rushed to swipe my wife’s money, only to tell her that they were no longer unable to send her money to China. Instead, they told her the money they swiped would be reversed into her bank account within 24 hours.
“When the 24 hours lapsed, the bank changed the tune saying the swiped money would be reversed after a month. Honestly, where do they think I will get another money to send to my desperate relative?” asked Kamwendo
His sister has since been deported from China after she failed to pay her university fees.
“Unfortunately, she had to look for $700 air transport from well-wishers to fly back to Malawi. All these problems are caused by Bidvest Balfour Park Branch’s wicked actions.”
Several other clients, who chose to remain anonymous, lamented Bidvest Balfour Park for allegedly ripping them.
A legal expert, who spoke to CAJ News Africa, said he was taking the legal route against the bank.
“Honestly, how would you expect the client to get another transaction to send abroad when had exhausted the little amount on swiping on the hope the bank was sending to the intended recipients. This is criminal and unacceptable,” he said.
A comment from Bidvest Head office supervisor, only identified as Tebogo, said she would call Balfour Park Branch to investigate before updating the disgruntled clients.
However, there has been no progress.
– CAJ News