Why My POS Machine Is Driving Me Crazy!

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So about 6 months ago I got a POS from Diamond Bank.

Why did I get the POS?

Well, although I worked a 9 to 5 and also pushed okadabooks.com, I also did some motivational speaking on the side. And thus sold books and other items at the end of my talks which is mostly at schools and believe it or not churches (forgive me lord).

And on several occasions people will come up to me wanting to pay with their bank card because they had no cash, but I will be unable to process those payments and thus end up losing the sale. So because I like money, I went to my bank and literally begged them for a POS!

After weeks of begging, I was finally given one because of my “special” customer status (as my personal banker assured me). But that’s when my POS wahala started.

Wahala #1: No “off” Button

I found out that the POS for whatever design reason did not have an “off” button. You basically had to keep the POS on 24/7, you could not turn it “off” to “conserve” battery. Now, I don’t know if this is a Diamond Bank thing or CBN thing, but I sha know that it did not make any electrical sense to me. So I had to have the POS plugged in my room even when I was not using it.

And at night the POS will do some funky random receipt printing thing accompanied with full light effects to remind me that it was alive … nightmare. I eventually moved it to one corner of the room and under several pillows to block the light.

Wahala #2: POS Retrieval Threats

There is always POS scarcity!

For whatever reason, having a POS is a special thing in Nigeria because it is in such high demand! And if you don’t use your POS regularly, you will get calls from your bank saying that they want to “retrieve” your POS. The word “retrieve” is funny because it is as if they are rescuing the POS from abuse…go figure.

So I would get these random calls, telling me to use my POS, or make sure I swipe my card weekly. As if CBN was monitoring us to ensure we were feeding our POS regularly so that it did not starve to death!

It was like I had a child that kept me up at night and needed to be fed every now-and-then by swipes form my card (I love children future wife, sorry for the analogy)

Wahala #3: The POS is not working Part 1

So after feeding my POS and catering to all its electrical needs weekly. I finally dusted it up for one of my big big events.

I mean they were going to be like 100+ people there with money. I got to the venue and turned on the POS and gbam, it was acting up. It was not working “something about operator switch error.”

Luckily the event organization had a working POS and allowed me to utilize it.

But that was not the last time, because time and again my POS falls sick, one day the network is tripping, another day the ink has run out or maybe its the paper. Its like a full time job catering for the POS, only for it to disappoint you. I want to use another child analogy but I really don’t want to piss off future wife.

Wahala #4: The POS is not working Part 2

There was a time I had eaten at a nice restaurant, walked up with my card, swiped the POS and got that dreaded message “issuer switch inoperative” or ‘was it the network issue one?’ All I know is that the POS was not working.

So they told one of their staff to follow me to the ATM to withdraw money, as if I was one common criminal that wanted to run away with the friend plantain in my stomach!

Then there was another time at a store, where “cashless me” had loaded an entire cart full of groceries only to be told at the checkout point that their POS was not working I was like WTF! Why did you not tell me that when I walked in!

The Final Straw Swipe

So am at an event and the POS true to its disappointing self is “tripping,” the ink has run out, so I cannot print receipts for people, I mean I can technically but it would look like white paper. Fortunately, most of them are fine with this.

The first person credits N6,000 into my account, it works great! But that does not last long, the 2nd, 3rd and 4th try it and it fails as in “issuer error operator switch inactive” the usual POS gibberish language. This is basically N20,000+ money just sitting in people’s credits cards that I cannot touch.

I am thinking and thinking, and out of desperation I am like, why don’t you just transfer the money to my account!

Like literally, the smile on their faces was palpable, it was like “why didn’t we think of this 30 minutes ago?” or in my case, 365 days ago!

They send their money with their mobile device bank apps, I verify the receipt on the spot. They even show it to me on their phone. And N20,000+ later, I am smiling to bank.

As I left the event that day, I realized that my days babysitting POS were over. I had found a make shift system that was more dependable than POS.

It’s not a perfect system, but I can sleep knowing that nobody will be printing mysterious paper receipts in the middle of the night! So that’s why I abandoned and returned my POS.

What do you think and what are some of your crazy, most embarrassing POS experiences?



Words by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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One comment on “Why My POS Machine Is Driving Me Crazy!

  1. GeraldBond on said:

    Wow oh wow.. .
    I have been going to war against my boss (literally) to get a POS machine and reading this post has got me scratching my head like what have I talked myself into (my boss agreed to get the machine after my many harassments).. .
    I pray many of these faults will be corrected before he acquired one.. .
    Chai.. .
    Still Gerald Bond

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