A horrid experience at the Republic Bank car park on Robb St

Dear Editor,

I recently had a very unfortunate incident at a Republic Bank branch car park which has left me very dissatisfied with the service and I sincerely hope that management reviews its principle of operation of these parks.

I went to the branch located at Camp and Robb Sts during lunch hour to undertake a banking transaction. I accessed the bank via Robb Street. Everyone who knows downtown Georgetown at midday will know the chaos and confusion around where this bank is located.

As I drove through the crowded and congested street I strained my eye to look for a parking spot in proximity to the bank. Luckily, I spotted the bank’s car park with some vacant lots so i made a spli- second decision to swerve from the traffic into the park’s driveway. Little did I know that when I made that decision that I was going to be verbally abused by a security guard who mans the park and eventually threatened with ‘we mark yuh face’ because I did not adhere to some tedious bank rule which stipulated that I get someone from in the bank to sign the parking ticket which I was given upon entry to the park. My refusal to adhere to this rule had nothing to do with my being difficult but simply because I was not clearly told what was required of me when I went into the bank and, after exiting the bank after over an hour in the line with a crying and tired kid in tow, I was simply not in the mood to return just to have a ticket signed.

As soon as I turned from the busy Robb Street into the driveway to the parking lot, I was accosted by an irate security guard who rudely enquired if I did not see the sign which stated that the park was full. Indeed there was a very small sign which stated ‘park full’ hooked onto the gate. But it would have been virtually impossible to read this minuscule sign, while trying to navigate the busy street and simultaneously trying to make a decision whether to turn  into the parking lot or proceeding along the road. Further, it seemed to have completely missed this guard that, while there was a sign which stated ‘park full’ attached to the gate, there was obviously many vacant lots available in the park. Eventually, after much lecturing from the guard and my indicating to him that lots were vacant, I was allowed to enter the park. The guard continued his tirade, probably because I insisted that I had to enter the park. As I left the park I was issued with a parking ticket.

Somewhere in between all of his mutterings the guard must have probably told me what I had to do with the ticket when I entered the bank. But I honestly did not hear anything (nor did I expect that anything further needed to be done with the ticket except to return it when i was ready to leave the park).

I then spent over an hour in the bank before completing my transaction. By this time my three- year kid had gotten very fretful and impatient so I was in a hurry to leave the bank.

When I re-entered the car park, I gave the ticket to the guard and proceeded to enter my car. I was suddenly shouted upon by the guard because, apparently, I had to get someone from in the bank to sign the ticket. Already fed up with the excessively slow process of transactions in the bank which took over an hour and also because I had a fretful three-year old in tow, I flatly refused to re-enter the bank just to get someone to sign a parking ticket. I told the guard as such and stated that if he had given me clear instructions form the inception rather than arguing with me then I would have been in a better position to comply with the rules. At this point a female security guard entered the dispute and proceeded to threaten me by stating “we mark yuh face. U gon see wha gon happen next time”. I assume that she was referring to refusing me entry to the park if I ever returned.

I eventually departed, but the whole incident left a very sour taste in my mouth and left me wondering whether the management of this branch is in touch with reality when they make certain very basic rules pertaining to the comfort and satisfaction of their customers; whose money they depend upon to be a profitable business.

For starters, the car park was designed to benefit the customers. It should be as such and not have guards putting up ‘full’ signs when it obviously isn’t. Also, the bank must be aware that it is sited in an extremely busy location and everything has to be done as split-second decisions. So whatever signs they put up to aid their customers should be easily legible and customer friendly. Finally, and most importantly, the customer is already overwhelmed by the inordinately long time that it takes in the bank for very simple transactions to be completed. There is no need to further complicate this process by implementing long, tedious rules regarding a very simple process as parking. Certainly the bank has enough brilliant minds to come up with simple rules regarding using the parking lots rather than the present long drawn out system.  As for the attitude of those security guards, well, the management knows best about how to deal with that.

It is sincerely hoped that the management of Republic Bank on Camp & Robb streets revisits the entire process of using the car park so as to make it more customer friendly and easy to access.

Yours faithfully,

M. Abraham

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