If there is one thing that has annoyed me with Equity Bank was her seeming inability to simplify her process of getting Equitel customers easily renew their lost Equitel SIM cards. I wrote my annoyance, not once or twice but three times, with the last time being the article EQUITY BANK MUST BE DERIVING PLEASURE FROM PUNISHING EQUITEL CUSTOMERS. Then this morning I tried to give Equity Bank one last try after they assured me that a new simplified process for renewing lost Equitel SIM cards is in place. I was pleasantly surprised.
Before, to renew lost Equitel SIM cards, the process was daunting. In addition to being required to queue in at least three different places, Equity Bank was unable to automatically deduct the renewal fee of shs 100 directly from a customer’s bank account. That is, in the case a customer did not have the required shs 100 in cash that he/she could deposit in the Equitel Account number, then the customer would be forced to join the snake winding withdrawal queue, waste significant amount of time in that queue, withdraw the shs 100, then join a deposit queue in order to deposit the shs 100 in the Equitel Account number. By experience, that process took well over 2 hours.
This morning I however spent only 15 minutes inside Equity Bank, Gatehouse branch, Nakuru, to have my Equitel SIM card renewed. To make it harder for them to have my SIM card renewed, I ensured that I did not have any cash on me as I wanted to see if they’ll ask me to go withdraw the said amount from my bank account before they’d be able to complete the renewal process.
This is how the new process works:
- As a customer who has lost his/her Equitel SIM card, you will walk inside Equity Bank branch. Before proceeding to the Equitel booth, ensure that you have enquired that the Equitel renewal process is actually working in that branch. This is because a few days ago I walked into Equity Bank Kenyatta Avenue branch, Nakuru, spent one hour at the queue for renewal, only to be told that the renewal process was not working in that branch on that day. You don’t want to feel wasted the same way.
- At the Equitel booth, you will be given a form to fill. This shouldn’t take you a minute. Ensure that you carry a pen with you as possibly all the available customer pens at the branch will be busy.
- After filling the form you will be directed to the Operations Manager’s office. Pray hard that you will be the only one waiting to see the Operations Manager. At certain branches, depending on the need of a customer being served by the Operations Manager, you may end up waiting for more than half an hour only for one customer to be served.
- Inside the Operations Manager office you will be required to pay shs 100, either in cash or to sign an approval form that will allow the Operations Manager to deduct the shs 100 from your bank account. Either way, ensure that you have the shs 100 accessible.
- The Operations Manager will then renew your line and hand over to you a new SIM card. It should take an average of 10 minutes from the time of walking inside the Operations Manager’s office until you new line is active.
The 15 minutes I spent this morning inside Equity Bank is still 3 times more than the number of minutes I would spend to have my Safaricom line renewed, but the reduction of time from two hours to 15 minutes is a huge step towards the right direction.
Although simplifying the process of renewing lost Equitel SIM cards took like forever, as the first time I raised this issue was in November 6, 2015, the fact that Equity Bank finally took note and simplified the process proves that Equity Bank is still a listening caring partner.