On February 10, 2021, I filed a formal complaint to Bank of Ghana (BoG) at firstname.lastname@example.org on behalf of six customers of MEDI Ghana Microfinance. They promised to get back to me in 21 working days, but till date I have not heard from them. I guess the people at BoG have lost their ability to count, so they can’t tell the number of working days between mid February and early May.
Take note that MEDI Ghana Microfinance is listed by BoG as one of the microfinance companies in “good standing”. It is number 79 on the list of 137.
The six customers were just a few of many who have been chasing MEDI for their moneys for years, but the CEO, Esther Eshun, and her team have deliberately been dodging them. In fact, she has failed on many occasions, to honor her own written terms of payment to customers. She proved many times over that she has no regard for any promise she makes, written or verbal.
Here is what happened:
1. The customers contacted me after reading some of my #SQUEAKS on Facebook. After narrating their ordeal with MEDI, with documented evidence, they gave me the MD’s phone number and I was able to reach her and let her know we were going to run the story so I needed her side of the story.
2. She immediately came all the way to my office with two of her cohorts, and pleaded with me like a saint. She then succeeded in turning me into an UNPAID mediator to speak with the customers to give her up to the last quarter of 2020 and she will sort all six of them out. She actually wrote a promissory note for at least four of them. Find a copy below.
3. When the time came and I reminded her, she gave me the most gangster response – referring to her own customers as my people, as if I was the one who took their money. She made it sufficiently clear that she was not ready to honor her promise, and she just trapped me into her web of lies and conning. She actually put my reputation on the line, because it looked like I had been paid by her to keep her customers at bay.
4. This went on till February and I filed a complaint to BoG on February 10, 2021. I got a first response from BoG on February 15, 2021, with their Comms Executive, Esi Hammond on copy.
5. The response clearly stated that they will investigate and get back to me in 21 WORKING DAYS. Find a copy below:
6. On February 17, 2021, they wrote another letter to confirm that they will investigate and get back to me.
7. From February 15 till today May 6, 2021, there are at least 55 working days (barring public holidays), but BoG has not even coughed to me about the matter. Maybe they have lost the ability to count. What an irony?!
8. I have sent at least one reminder, on April 25, 2021, but they do not seem to care a hoot. Obviously, the earlier responses were just procedural, to make it look like they are on top of the issue. But clearly, they don’t care. If indeed they have any iota of respect for their own customer service processes, 21 days could not have metamorphosed into 50 plus days of no feedback.
9. Indeed, the six who complained to me, made it clear to me that the matter had gone to BoG before, but there seem to be people at BoG who protect the woman against her suffering customers. I pointed this out in my complaint with the expectation that this time round, BoG would live up to its duty and get some redress for the customers.
This is very disappointing indeed. When BoG has to fine industry players and keep the money for itself, it is quick with it, but dealing with customer complaints like this one is not a priority for them.
And they are not ashamed to boldly include MEDI among the Microfinance companies in good standing. What is BoG’s definition of “good standing”? Maybe “good standing” means something different to them, from what the regular person understands it to mean. I won’t contest that.
But BoG, you told us you cleaned up the financial sector to restore public confidence in it. How does your definition of “good standing”, in reference to MEDI Ghana Microfinance, restore public confidence in the sector? Your misleading description of companies like MEDI as a company in good standing is one of the reasons people put their money there. Now the customers are in distress and need your intervention and you have gone into a self-imposed coma.
BoG, please the clients of MEDI are look up to you as the tough and caring regulator you portray yourself to be, to intervene and save them from the deliberately deceptive managers of the company. Just do your job. No long things.