04 November, 2008

BPI Customer Service Sucks!

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.


  1. Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no
    Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no
    Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no
    Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no

    I EXPLAIN TO you more and more every time,
    When you leave I'm begging you not to go,
    Call your name two or three times in a row,
    Such a funny thing for me to try to explain,
    How I'm feeling and my pride is the one to blame.
    'Cuz I know I don't understand,
    Just how your REP you're doing no one else can.

    Got me looking so crazy right now, this REP's
    Got me looking so crazy right now (THIS REP'S)
    Got me looking so crazy right now, (THIS GIRL)
    Got me looking so crazy right now (your VOICE)
    Got me hoping you'll page me right now, your BOSS
    Got me hoping you'll save me right now
    Looking so crazy in CALL's,
    Got me looking, got me looking so crazy in CALLS.

    wehehehehe. good luck! lapitan mo na si JAZA pag wala pa rin.

  2. oh my goodness. i'm glad somebody finally said something. i'm working on a similar post. BPI took my damn money and each time I call in with my reference number, they always ask me what my problem is. duh, right? what's the use of the frigging reference number? I'm glad your issue got resolved. I hope mine gets resolved soon and with as little high blood moments possible.

  3. same for all i guess ... csr always keeps us waiting. terrible esp if you are calling from abroad and they keep playing those recorded announcements. i was in the phils the last 2 weeks and the transactions i had with banks were all disappointing. being here in bangkok has somehow spoiled me as bank service here is so quick and fun to do!

  4. I've been a depositor of other banks for quite sometime. I thought of opening an atm account for my sister to facilitate easy transfer of money for her tuition fee and allowance. I never thought of opening an atm account to other banks because I'm really satisfied with the customer service that China Bank and PNB bank give me. I wanted my sister to come to cebu city then for the opening of her atm account and thought that BPI could facilitate one-day released of atm cards. Sadly, she didn't have any idea how to make bank transactions, so I gave her a few instructions. I was just so confident that the bank would assist her warm-heartedly and would orient her with the procedures. Unfortunately, my sister didn't really know what to do and the associate that assisted her didn't also guide. Moreover, she even gave her feelings of insecurity. The associate facial expressions made her felt so dumb and shameful.What a crappy customer service!!!!.I could really witness the situation when I arrived at BPI Osmeña Branch due to my sister's resentment. Both the teller and the one assigned to the new accounts were both so sarcastic and not accomodating to her and even to me.. I would really say to everybody that BPI Bank Osmeña Branch won't be a good bank for all new depositors especially to those who are still novice about bank transactions..Their behaviors came as a complete shock to me and made my sister thought not to do transactions with the same bank again.It really created a phobia to her.. I hope you will consider each customer with utmost respect and warm welcome whenever they come to your offices no matter how big or small their transactions are. I suggest you orient your tellers and CSR's good customer relationships so they'll handle everybody gently and to completely change this unethical conduct to promote good customer relationships.

  5. hay naku, just lost 1k ds morning...pano kaya nito! bad trip...malamang ganyan din kauwian ko!

  6. Oh my, judging from the comments and emails that I have been receiving about BPI, their customer service still seems to be crappy.

    @ Anonymous 1
    I feel sorry for you and your sister. But I feel sorrier for BPI...

    @ Anonymous 2
    1K is still worth something. Appeal to BPI and be patient in making follow-ups so they can process your chargeback. Good luck!

  7. Hey guys!

    How about a Class Suit Against BPI?

    They took 50k from me without any consent.

  8. i too have had a lot of frustrations with BPI customer service. here is my latest experience: http://frrfernando.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!EB1172B1D868F5BB!1470.entry

  9. During the 1800s (spanish times) BPI was created and it served as the "Central" bank that printed and issued money. This group then acquired vast real estate properties and started monopolistic business by buying with more printed money.

    After World War II, there were newer banks that became better and bigger over the years. BPI then the leading bank, felt threatened, so it acquired competitor banks like Peoples Bank and Trust and the Commercial Bank and Trust in the 70s/

    Starting in the late 70s, rumors of bank runs started. And scared and panicky depositors transferred their deposits to BPI.

    By the 90s, the popular Banco Filipino is no longer the strong competitor in the private/retail banking sector. Yet BPI felt threatened by other Unibanks. So BPI started to pacmanized the Family Savings Bank, the Far East Bank and Trust in 2000, Citytrust, and in 2008 the Prudential Bank and Trust. Today it is the fifth largest bank.

    With the high service fees and penalties, high minimum amount to open and maintain an account, low interest rate of .375% per annum( inflation rate 6.7 % last year), faulty ATM machines withdrawals and in dealing with the arrogant staff, many smart depositors chose to close their account. Or transfer to other commercial banks for a higher interest rate and friendlier staff.
    To improve the cash on hand situation, BPI launched in October, the appliance and other "giveaways" for a locked in deposit for 3 months for as low as 75,000 pesos. The closed Orient Bank offered this years ago. Since October, my grandfather is still waiting for his Lazy Boy chair and he expects to be offered a substitute appliance if the chair is not available.

    To further maintain a strong cash position, withdrawals of more than 100.000 pesos are being harassed with questions like" What are you going to use the money for? " or "Would you like to invest in our other deposit products for a higher interest rate?" BPI has no right to ask at all. Clearly it is rude.

    To withdraw large amount in cash, one day advance notice is required. I suspect the vault contains less than 1.5 million pesos only. And when you withdraw the next day, you could be set upped for a robbery.

    And if you withdraw big amount by manager's check without advanced notice, you will wait for hours because they will appear busy attending to other business and processing is being delayed.

  10. BPI ATMs are located in places I have easy access to and that's the reason I choose them.

    When I opened an account in the province, that too was my decision on chosing BPI.

    I know there is a minimum maintaining balance of P3000 for saving accounts. Whenever my provincial account went below the minimum amount due to my wife withdrawing money for groceries, I didn't hesitate on transferring more than sufficient funds from my Manila account to the provincial account.

    whenever my manila account went below the P3000 minimum, I was never charged the P200 "service code" but on the provincial account it's there every month even though the daily maintaining balance is, on average, more than the P3000 minimum. once I get the chance to go back to the province, I'll close that account right away. so far they made P1000 from me this year (yes, I am one of those clients who are very understanding and patient) and I have only made P20 worth of interest from them.

    For me, it all depends on the branch. Some branches have employees that are plain jerks.

    BPI AYALA ALABANG = highly recommended.
    (I have a small account but they know me by name)

    BPI PUTATAN MUNTINLUPA = highly recommended.
    (I have also a small account here and they are accomodating. I always trade my old bills for new ones at that branch).

    BPI ALBAY (Albay province) = VERY POOR
    (When I came in with P500,000 to deposit, the bank manager casually talked to me but I know that was a way of screening me. They don't have the right to do that but I told her what she wanted to hear. the half million didn't stay there for too long (less than 2 months). I took it out and moved it to a non-BPI as the non-BPI is "friendlier").

    MY TIP: open an account on a certain branch then observe if they charge any service fees if it goes below the minimum maintaining balance. if they charge you a service fee, pull out all of your money and go elsewhere. that's puts less fund for that branch to invest on.

    I don't like to disparage certain branches but there are some employes who LACK COMMON SENSE. never underestimate the purchasing power of a customer. abuse and maltreat a customer and that's 1 x 10 customers less that will be REPEAT BUSINESS. repeat business is what keeps business alive.

  11. The moment they know the person in account name has died, the money will be held and locked in and the bank will be forever the new owner of the money. No amount of legal measures will compel BPI to release your money as the heir. ex-Sen Jamby Madrigal is a victim

    Deposit with BPI and you will be sorry!

  12. To BPI Service!!!

    you are suck...you know why? it takes me 30min.. to 40min just to wait for your staff or so called customer banker to answer my question regarding the late payments...in which you are the one who is late for your billing statement and if you gonna verify by phone eh abutin ka talaga ng konsumisyon sa pag hihintay considering by phone only ....guys wake up to your sevices next time sa TV na kayo ma announce and it will be sure it is not good for your name WAKE UP....


  14. To BPI Service!!!

    Why i can't widraw my money,i have 2000 in my BPI account,the problem is,i can't widraw. How to solve this.
    Thank yOU!!!

  15. @Victoria
    Better call their hotline. It might be too that your account has to have a maintaining balance.

  16. so disappointing and im afraid if the BPI will credited my money to my account yesterday while withdrawing my money at BPI Zabarte branch the machine went down while it was being processed so no money was dispense and the receipt so i asked one of the staff to assist me on this coz im afraid that i cant get my money so i waited for about 15 minutes until the machine went on .and guess what they blamed the PLDT and i checked my account balance and im surprised that its already debited to my account. so i did fill up the form report and it will takes 5 workin days as they said they need investigation plus im not a BPI holder . but the same day i called the hotline twice to report this and they gave me a ref .no. and this time of the day i called them to follow up the progress of the investigation after i gave the ref ,no. they asked my full name and my complain .fuck what is the use of the ref. no. and its not yet processed. si i told them that im expecting that by monday they will credited my money to my account . if nothing happen i will ask the media to help me bout this case . the public must know bout this .they fooling us. i will write to tulfo regarding on this . hope they cud resolve this issue.

  17. I called their hotline number a while ago regarding the money that was eaten by THEIR machine a WEEK ago in Market Market, Taguig and the phone banker told me that a successful withdrawal has been made that day and that pissed the hell out of me! I didn't get the money! The money went halfway out until their machine took it back. (I know that if in like 10 seconds the money was not taken, the machine will eat it up for saafety, BUT MINE WAS DIFFERENT! IT WAS HALFWAY OUT UNTIL THE MACHINE SWALLOWED IT!)I stayed there and checked my balance and the money was debited! I went inside the bank to file a report and the teller told me that I'LL GET THEY MONEY IN JUST 3 WORKING DAYS BECAUSE THAT IS HOW THEY DO IT IN BPI (really!?)then I asked them if they would call me if the money is back and guess what the teller just told me "hindi maam kayo na bahala mag check nun". I called the branch i filed the report thrice this week and now their telling me it was PROBABLY STUCK IN THEIR MACHINE AND WAS DISPENSED EVENTUALLY.(Are they kidding me!? the hell it is not my problem anymore! I need my money back!)I told them that it is not possible because I waited for it and I actually stayed there for a minute for a miracle to happen and of course they told me that they are going to call me back after they verify it. Do they expect me to talk to everyone withdrawing if a thousand pesos was dispensed to them? They would not even update me on what's happening unless I am the one to call them!