Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Banking in the Philippines.

Working in the call center can help you appreciate good customer service. You will know when a person is going the extra mile to serve you better. Spending years on a thankless job like mine can make you value excellent customer service and criticize those that fell short of your service standard.

About two weeks ago, I went to three different commercial banks in Metro Manila for a couple of banking transactions. I needed to open a checking account from PNB (Philippine National Bank) for my housing loan. I also applied for a replacement ATM card from BDO (Banco De Oro). Not so long ago I posted here that my ATM card was stolen with Donna’s wallet and cellphone inside a bank. I also lost my EON card from Unionbank a couple of days after that incident so I also applied for a replacement card. Whew, these streaks of unfortunate events made me realize how lucky I have become, lol.

The trips to these three banks made me compare the services of these institutions. I first went to BDO, I was instantly assisted by a smiling staff, she made me fill out forms and she asked for two valid identification cards. I was told that I needed to secure an affidavit of loss but since I don’t have that piece of document, she immediately offered to take care of it. I was told that I can just sign an affidavit and for a minimal fee, they can just have it notarized. It was a win-win deal for me so I obliged. Everything has been done in just a matter of minutes, about 10 minutes. I didn’t even need to go to the teller to make an over-the-counter withdrawal. I only needed to deal with one of their staff who was very accommodating. It was a great service!

On the other hand, I just had a different experience when I went to PNB. The facilities at PNB pale in comparison to what I saw in BDO. The computer monitors that the staffs are using were bulky just like mine at home, hehehe. And the staff's demeanor doesn’t help brighten the gloomy aura of the bank. Are these people underpaid? I don’t know, but that was my impression. They don’t seem to enjoy what they are doing. It took me over an hour to wait for the checks. It’s really disappointing, to think that they were attending to only two other customers. I also needed to go out of the bank premises to have my ID’s photocopied.

My visit to Unionbank was not that good either. I’ve waited for a couple of minutes waiting for somebody to attend to my concern. And when I finally got to speak with a staff, I was told that I needed to call the EON customer service to have the EON card blocked. The lady was nice, though. But I cannot see the logic of having to call a customer service hotline to have my card blocked and replaced when I was already on the branch where I applied and opened the account.

Anyway, these experiences are limited to the branches that I visited. These may not hold true to other branches of these commercial banks. I just hope that they can focus more on providing excellent service to their customers.


Guest said...

i had very frustrating experience with 2 of our banks before ( Metrobank and UCPB). My bank was Metro, however, I withdrew money thru a UCPB ATM which did not dispense me the money yet subtracted the amount to me already. The money was never paid back to me, UCPB told me they also had informed the Metro of the error, yet Metro kept on referring me this and that....I don't know which bank was at fault, but it was really very disappointing.

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janicephil said...

whew!!!well, I believed that BDO has a better employees because they were being trained thoroughly I have a friends working there at the BDO main Branch at Ortigas and somehow she shared with us how they were trained and oriented with regards to costumer services and they have emphasize that they need to attained costumers satisfaction and that is their main objection accordingly, however PNB i think is a classic they've been in the banking industry longer enough that maybe they had not been focus more on the satisfaction but coz they got clients that are loyal to them no matter what but the main branch in manila they have a great and awesome facilities as well...

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Laura said...

I work in customer service and that is one thing that I am picky about. I expect good service. Even though I am underpaid and don't really like my job, I still try to do everything I can for the customer. Oh and be pleasant about it too.

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Badong said...

hi! you have a nomination from me!

Recent blog post: 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2009

femmepower said...

when u mentioned unionbank,i already knew what you'd say about the service coz i've had enough of them myself!they can't even answer my queries about eon in relation to paypal.and just like PNB,they don't have a copying machine too so u have to go help yourself outside.BDO has the best customer service in this country,i think.add to it the convenience in locations and banking BDO,i don't need to line up for deposit when i'm paying my bills because the bills in-charge accommodates my deposit i only get to deal with one person and i'm done in a jiffy.BPI is nice too.i haven't been to PNB for a long time so i don't know if they've improved in customer service.(seems like they didn't)

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Juliana said...

it's unfortunate that there are people like that working for customer oriented institutions.

when I was still living there, I found BPI the best. but then again, it could be because I only dealt with the 6750 branch in Ayala Ave. and most of the bank personnel there knew of my association with Procter & Gamble (one of their corporate clients).

I had a very unpleasant experience with BDO(SM Makati branch) more than 10 years ago. At that time, I was still a frequent traveler. I wanted to withdraw from my dollar account and imagine my reaction when I was told that they didn't have enough dollars available at that time. I was told to go back to the bank the following day to get the full amount that I wanted to withdraw. And I was there in the morning when the bank just opened.

Vlad said...

Most of BDO employees were good in terms of customer service since I usually pay my bills thru this bank. One thing that I hate on BDO is their ATM machines is always out of service specially during paydays!

Having transaction with PNB is like your dealing in a government agency. Long lines on the cashier a normal scenario.

I had no problem with UBP when I applied my EON Card. I got mine on time and their staff is nice and accommodating as well.

Btw, just want to say thank you for the frequent EC drops on my blog. You made it on my Top 10 EC Dropper last month.

More power to your blog :D

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Leomar said...

That is really disappointing. I once had a similar experience with the now defunct Far East Bank. The ATM machine did not dispense the money but it was debited on my account. It's a good thing that i was using another Far East Bank ATM so i was able to get the money back after about a week.

Leomar said...

I think it boils down to how the company trains and treats its employees. If the employees are overworked, underpaid and without proper training, it will reflect on how the employees perform or serve their customers.

Leomar said...

Yeah, I agree. Even if we don't really like our jobs, we can still provide good customer service. Anyway, it's not our customer's fault that we don't like our jobs, lol.

Leomar said...

Hi Badong, thanks for the visit and for the nomination! 10 Emerging Influencial blogs? that must be something. Thank you very much!

Leomar said...

comparing the 3 banks, i agree that BDO has the best customer service. i also heard that BPI has good service too.

Leomar said...

Yeah, that sucks! Thank you for sharing that experience. We really have our own share of bad experiences with these banks.

Leomar said...

Hi Vlad, thanks for the visit. I agree with your observation on BDO's ATM machines. We have one at the office and i haven't seen it working for quite some time.

melissa said...

Here where we live, it is a small community, so customer service is excellent. They like to keep their local customers. They do have some strange, and strict rules, which were totally unusual for us compared to upstate NY where we previously are from. Customer service is so important, too bad all companies do not think so,

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Eddie Garcia said...

Hey Leo,
We have to remember wherever there is people there is going to be disappointments. Be thankful, which I'm sure you are, that you found one out of three that was willing to help and meet your needs. We all have similar experiences in life and I for one am very thankful that they are far and few between. Thanks for the share!

Friends 4 Life!

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Juliana said...

Hi! Back here again. I just sent you a message thru EC. I have an inquiry, hope you won't mind.

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crisiboy said...

nice banking with the biggest banks in the philippines, im a banker thats why i know what you mean..hehehe

thanks for visiting my blog..

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