Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Best Bank?

In this electronic day and age, and in these tough economic times most would expect good service, especially from the banking sector, in order to keep their clients. Well, that was not what I experienced. And this was from a bank that was supposed to be the "best" bank for customer service in Singapore!!

Let me explain -

I tried to make a TT transfer to London last week. When the deal was booked thru their treasury department,I was told that, as long as I faxed the details across before 12 noon, it could be done the same day. So, I did. At 9.37am to be precise.

At 10.45am they called to say that they couldnt see the last line of my fax! As I mentioned to the girl that I needed it to be valued the same day (ie payment made to London the same day), and I was at that moment out, and did not have the fax with me, could she call me back at 11am to confirm the information.

Her instant reply was that it couldnt be done the same day (value), which was contrary to what their treasury department had told me, and I was to refax the document to her. I tried to reason with her, and told her that her Manager had assured me that it could be done. Anyway, at 11am, I re-faxed the documents to her, and tried to call her. Unfortunately she had used a "hunting line" on the company's phone system, and her number went straight to the switchbox - ie telephone operator. I could not get her, as they couldnt trace a person by the name she gave me. Her manager was in a meeting and couldnt take my call.

After numerous SMSes and calls, she finally called me back at 12noon to confirm the information, and said that since it was past 12, the TT couldnt be valued the same day. I WAS FURIOUS! (com'on, wouldnt you be?)

I requested for her manager to call me back, which he did not. Instead he chose to sms me. (I guess he knew I was really angry and was not ready to get a earful from me!! But what kind of customer service is this if they dont talk to you??!) I reasoned with him that the service lapse was on their part, and not mine. I did all that I had to do, and it was his staff and him that prevented me from meeting their internally imposed 12noon deadline. Anyway I told him that forex markets and banks around the world are never closed (~ well almost, except from 5pm NY time on a friday evening until 8am NZ time on a monday, and this was meet week!) ~ so what was this crap about meeting a 12 noon deadline coz the GBP market closes after that! In addition with London, being 8 hours behind Singapore, that would give them that extra time to make sure the transfer goes thru!

Again, he insisted that it couldnt be done, but he would try ~ no promises. I was fuming by then!

At the end of the day, one would expect him to at least call or sms to notify me if they finally managed to do it. Instead I received an sms with no message from him. I let it be, assuming that it was a blank sms sent by mistake. I wasnt going to let him SPOIL my day over this.

The next day when I called to enquire if the TT had gone thru, he didnt know!! He returned my call an hour later and told me that it was all done the previous day!!

So, what does this tell us?
* It can be done if they want.
* Good Customer Service isnt what we know it to be
* Being Awarded the Best Bank award doesnt mean a thing.

Two weeks ago, I received a call from a bank to enquire if I had forgotten to make my payment for my credit card bill. I checked and I told that the clerk that called that I did, but the cheque must have been lost in th mail, since it was some 2 weeks since I posted the cheque. Without hesitation, she offered to waive all late payment charges if I were to make payment immediately. The next day, I made payment for that outstanding bill, via the banks quick cheque deposit box. However, I quoted the wrong credit card number on the back of the cheque. I had quoted my old credit card number (they had replaced my card with a new one about a year ago). On thursday last week, they called to tell me that they had yet to receive my payment since their last call. When I told them that I had made payment immediately after their call via their quick deposit box, they immediately investigated. They got back to tell me that I had quoted the wrong credit card number, and the matter was now resolved. That is what I call good customer service. They could have jsut kept quiet about the whole thing, and just make more money out of late payment charges. Instead they called me twice just to resolve the matter.

So in my opinion, this bank should get the Award for the Best Bank for Customer Service in Singapore. And this bank is OCBC.

As for the other bank that really does not deserve the award, let's just call it "Shitty Bank".


doc said...

thanks for the tip. but we already know that when you're the biggest, or best, or whatever, you tend to be complacent. i thought it's a malaysian problem but looks like it's more widespread.

TripleJin said...

The people behind the banks give the bank a baaaad name.

I guess it all boils down to their attitude and pro-activeness. It's a worldwide problem.

I'd be boiling too, for the first case. But the 2nd case, wud've made my day! ;)

NomadicMom said...

Guessed we know which bank that is!!!

JoMel said...

dealing with banks and its many procedures has never been my likes.