Hell started last October 26, 2008. I just got back from Singapore and since it’s the deadline for my condo fee, I hurried to a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Automated Teller Machine (ATM) to withdraw some money. I withdrew Php7,000 and the money was promptly dispensed by the machine but I was too busy sorting the contents of my wallet (since I just got from Singapore, my wallet was a mess, with my Peso currency mixing with Singaporean Dollar and US Dollar currencies, as well as receipts) that the machine ate up my money. I stayed for 10 more minutes thinking the machine will dispose it but it did not. I checked my balance but it had already deducted Php7,000 from my account. To be sure that no money would be dispensed when I left, I withdrew Php5,000 from the same account.
When I got home, I immediately called 89-100 which is BPI’s Customer Service Number. It took me nearly 30 minutes to be attended to as their voice over said they are doing a system upgrade and they will only entertain lost card reports. Huh? My case is not a lost card but this is urgent. This is money lost! After what seemed like eternity, SC (I am not posting any names here) answered my call. She verified my account and told me that as a safety precaution, if the money was not gotten in like 10 seconds, the machine will eat it up but it can be credited back to my account in 3 working days. That was a Sunday so I was supposed to get it back on Wednesday. She also advised me to check it on a Monday night as maybe it will be credited back by then. Before I hung up, she gave me a reference number.
Monday night came. I still did not have the amount credited to my account. Fine. It’s too early to check. But I called their office to make a follow up, just in case they forgot about it. I was assured they didn’t.
Wednesday night came. I checked my account. It still wasn’t there. So on Thursday, I called BPI’s Customer Service again and on my first call, I encountered the rudest CSR I ever encountered in my life. She was unhelpful and a complete (feeling) smart ass. The gist of our conversation was:
Me: Hi, can you please check this Reference Number for me?
DS: (after verifying my account). Is this money that has not been dispensed?
Me: No. (then I reiterated what happened).
DS: Can you call back? This is the lost card extension.
Me: I know. But there’s no extension for my case. Besides, I called the same extension twice and the Customer Service Reps (CSRs) whom I spoke with were able to help me.
DS: (sounding like a complete a**hole) Please call back then dial 000.
Me: Why can’t you help me? It always takes a long time before I get connected to a CSR and now you want me to call back?
DS: Because this is the lost card extension. I can’t access your file as we have separate systems.
Me: How come others who took my previous calls on this extension were able to help me? Are you just making excuses so you will not be able to assist me?
DS: (she rattled again that the extension is for lost card and she can’t access the system for my case, blah blah blah blah blah)
Me: (knowing it was all futile and she was just wasting my valuable time) You know what, I will indeed just call back but not before getting your name. I really am going to complain about you. Please give me your complete name.
DS: (giving it to me grudgingly).
Ha! Such an ass!
So I called back and spoke to S. She was nice. Again, she got my account details and I recapped my case. After hearing it, she told me she had escalated my case to an officer for faster processing and she will just give me a feedback. She got my mobile number too.
Monday, the 3rd of November came. I checked the ATM before I went home. The money had not been credited back to my account yet. Damn. So I called again. This time, I spoke with L after trying to contact them for like 30 minutes.
Me: Hi. Can you please check this reference number?
L: (after verifying my account details). May I know what your complaint is about?
Upon hearing that, I flared up.
Me: What?! Why is it that every time I talk to you BPI CSRs, I am asked the same question. You are maybe the 5th person I spoke with regarding this one. Previous CSRs who took my calls should have logged it in your system so I won’t repeat myself each time I call. Maybe that’s the reason why I still don’t have the chargeback. For how can you act on a complaint when you don’t even know what that complaint is? And one more thing, you have a very rude CSR there. And another one who had the gall to tell me that she escalated it to an officer and that she will just give me a feedback but completely forgot about my case the moment our call ended.
L: I am sorry, Ma’am. Blah Blah Blah…
So I had no choice but to again recap my case. He then again asked for my account details. God! I felt like a recorder. A broken one at that that kept on repeating itself.
Me: (after giving my account details) You know what, I was actually really nice on my first phone calls but you’re really stretching my patience. Please don’t promise anything if you will not be able to act on it because it is frustrating to be told that it will be fixed in 3 working days but when I checked, it still isn’t there. In fact, a couple of days more and my case will run on its 9th working day already. Clean up your act, will you?
L: (sounding very apologetic) I know you have heard this already but I will do something different for you (then he kept me on hold for like 30 intermittent minutes which made me think: Aren’t you supposed to go back to the person you are talking to on the phone in 3 – 5 minutes just so s/he will know that you’re still there? I was on hold for like 10 minutes with only dead air for company) .
When he got back, he gave me a new reference number which is supposed to speed things up.
And so we bid adieu, with him promising to give me a feedback. Again, he got my mobile number. This time too, he got my office number.
Tuesday came. No phone call, not even a single SMS. Before I headed home, I checked my account. Tough luck. It still wasn’t credited to my account. By that time, I was already royally pissed. Damn.
So for the nth time, I called their Customer Service Number.
What’s worse than having a complaint? Not having someone to complain it to of course as I called BPI at 06:00 PM but had to give up at past 07:00 PM as I kept on getting the “all our phone bankers are busy at the moment and we will attend to you shortly” message. The anime that I was watching had already ended and shows had changed from ABS-CBN’s Deal or No Deal to TV Patrol World and GMA’s Family Feud to 24 Oras but I still wasn’t able to get hold of any BPI CSRs. I was even able to finish 2 computer scrabble games and my dinner in that span of time!
BPI, please define shortly for me.
I was so pissed I couldn’t help but poke fun at their voice over.
“Welcome to BPI Express World of Convenience.”
What world of convenience? Oh, you mean INconvenience? And did you say express? You must be deluded!
“Please have your account number ready.”
Yep. It’s been ready since an hour ago. And the Reference Number too. How about you? When will you be ready to take my call?
“To maintain the quality of our service, your conversation with our phone banker will be recorded.”
Errr… what quality of service? There is none to maintain as you don’t have that.
And since I wasn’t able to talk to a CSR even when I waited for an hour, I thus just opted to leave a message.
Me: Hi. I’ve been trying to call your office for an hour now but all phone bankers must be busy. Can you please check this reference number for me? It’s X-XXXXXXXXX. My contact details are there. Hopefully you can get back to me ASAP. Your failure to do so will gain you another trophy – another testament of how your Customer Service sucks. Thank you.
No kidding. I did leave that voice mail. Because their Customer Service does suck. BIG time.
Now I only have to wait to see if they’ll get that trophy.