12 Oct2006

This is a major rant about a Shittybank. But before I go to the most recent ridiculous incident, I should disclose that I have had a colorful history of service complaints against this bank before. And in case you’re wondering where I am coming from, I spent almost my entire professional career in management consulting working with many of the Top 20 banks around the world, tackling the most strategic of Board level issues all the way down to how to make a bank teller more productive. I also worked as a commercial banker for a couple of years prior to that; so let’s just say I am pretty sure I know exactly what I am talking about, banking wise; this isn’t a random jab at a hapless corporate giant. But first let me give you a rundown of the first two incidents with this bank:

Strike 1 : Many years ago, I was using a Shittybank credit card at a local store and they denied a charge I was trying to make. When I called in to ask why, they denied that I had been denied and so on and so forth until what should have been a mole hill turned into Mount Everest. There were no apologies extended and instead there was a patently condescending, somewhat insulting and certainly pedantic tone to their communications with me. In the end, I fired off a highly pointed and probably spot on letter not only to the Indian head of Credit Cards in Manila, but also to the Head of Retail Banking globally at their Head Office. I also furnished a copy of the letter to an old friend (a previous boss), who just so happened to be one of the few executives privileged enough to sit a few short meters from that bank’s CEO’s office in a wonderful American city. I then cut up my Shittybank credit cards and moved my charge business to a rival bank. Not once did they apologize and admit any fault; the letter they wrote eventually was wholly inadequate, in my opinion.

Strike 2: A few years after the card incident (we still maintained a checking account with the bank), the same bank suddenly deposited an obscene, nearly EIGHT figure sum into our checking account one day. I called to tell them they had made a mistake but they insisted that it was our money. I faxed them and called them again, and again they confirmed it was a valid transaction, and several days later they still hadn’t corrected their mistake. I knew they had screwed up, but I wanted to make a very clear and embarrassing point, so I personally went to the bank, walked up to the counter and withdrew the entire amount in cash and deposited it at another bank. I even waved at the security cameras knowing all hell was about to break loose. A few days later, the bank realized they had made a HUGE error by crediting my account and suddenly put a whole phalanx of lawyers to basically threaten/intimidate us to give the money back. You should know that a similar case had occurred two decades before where a foreign bank added several zeros to a deposit of a local client. The client took the money. The bank sued the client. The client won and the bank moved out of the country, down several zeros and legal fees. So I knew that I had a pretty interesting legal footing, especially since I had called the bank twice and faxed them as well to tell them they had made a mistake but they insisted it was not a mistake and that it was my money. Let’s just say that I figuratively had them by the short hairs; to see so many attorneys and account officers alternately being so sugary sweet (first sending food and wine baskets that I refused) and then nasty corporate flunkies afraid their jobs were on the line for this incredible lapse of judgment/systems/controls, etc. was something I should have filmed for a documentary or at least youtube…

Meantime, some friends had told me that this Shittybank was so concerned about liability, litigation, etc. and that all of their officers were basically told never to admit a mistake or guilt or say “sorry” as it could result in a negative legal position. I am not sure if that is true, but it was certainly true that in my previous dealings with them, not a single “sorry” was every offered. So to settle this issue, I asked them to detail how such a massive error could have occurred, lambasted their teller manager for allowing such a huge withdrawal without asking me if anything was amiss, and insisted that their letter of apology include at least several sorry’s in BLACK INK before I would return the money. A bigger bunch of twerps squirming in their own caca I have never experienced before; it was fun, in a warped kind of way. I understand that they fired at least one person over the incident, unfortunately a lower down victim instead of the bosses who were ultimately responsible. I hope I have saved that letter of contrition, apology and multiple sorry’s just in case I finally decide to write a book on how to complain when you get bad service.

Fast Forward to the Present…

A couple of years ago, I needed to get some credit cards for some of my employees, and I agreed to finally, after many, many years, to get another Shittybank Mastercard as they would accommodate several supplementary cards with specified spending limits. So Employee A and B were given a modest limit and in two years they have managed their use brilliantly and safely. A few months ago, one card maxed out and it was rightfully rejected. I was thrilled the limits set in place actually worked. Then yesterday, as I was reviewing last month’s spending, I noticed that employee A had surpassed his credit limit by almost 100% and while the charges were all real, I was surprised Shittybank allowed the limits to be breached by so much.

My first call to them took over 20 minutes in dialing to even get through. Then after explaining to the officer what had happened and asking him to clarify how the limit had been breached, I was put on hold for roughly 15-20 more minutes. Finally, the phone officer, “Ralph” told me that I had never placed lower limits on the card and that Employees A and B were authorized to sign up to 400% or 4x my originally stated limits!!! I countered that I had documentary proof of the lower limits and they better straighten out their story or I would make a stink, and after a few more minutes, they admitted that I had indeed set lower limits and they NOW COULD NOT EXPLAIN how this had happened. Can you imagine if their cards were stolen and a thief charged them up? I would now have a liability that I NEVER authorized to begin with! I told them to call me back within the hour with an explanation.

Within the hour, a more senior credit card officer, called and basically admitted they were at fault, describing it as it was our LAPSE, Sir, we don’t know how this could have happened. When I asked if this could have happened to lots of other unsuspecting card holders, they didn’t know, but if I were you guys, I would check your limits now. At any rate, they admitted that their “maintenance unit” was going to have to explain how this fairly innocuous seeming, but in reality damning glitch, could have occurred. Given their lack of understanding, I insisted that I be patched through to more senior mangers instead of dealing with the folks at the front line. Now, if anything really fires my rear, it is a stupid refusal to give me the contact numbers of the person in charge. I asked for the fax number of the expat manager of the credit cards division and they refused; I eventually got it from a different source and wrote a complaint letter.

Meanwhile, several calls started coming my way, first from “Carl”, a supervisor, apologizing, admitting the mistake (all of this on recorded tape of Shittybank) and then the first attempt to mollify me and put an end to this situation — an offer to waive my annual fees worth PHP2,400 next year. I told them considering that the card was now several times over that amount above the approved limit they would have to get more inventive about their solutions. I didn’t take the PHP2,400 offer and instead I am writing this post, why? Because if I can help even just 100 of my readers to avoid a potentially dangerous and costly situation due to the carelessness, stupidity or LAPSES of this Shittybank then I know my personal good karma account will increase by at least a lot more than that measly amount.

Shittybank has promised me a written apology which has not yet arrived; presumably under the auspices of “Dona”, the customer service head. It has promised me a written explanation of how this glitch occurred. Trust me, I know how some bank operations work and they are ALL sweating bricks now coming up with a credible story of how a specific credit limit could have mysteriously quadrupled without the client’s approval. Could this be another situation like that where the same bank apparently invested high net worth customer money in corporate bonds that WERE NOT approved by the clients that then went bankrupt a few years ago? And that Shittybank lost a related court case???

Moral of the story. Set low limits to your credit cards because if they get stolen, the banks hold YOU liable (see previous post). But then, when you set low limits, remain vigilant that the bank hasn’t WILLY NILLY increased your limits by 400% so that the original limits are useless and if your cards are stolen then you will be liable for more than 4x what you had already bargained for! This is crap. Total crap. If I were Supreme Dictator, I would come up with several appropriate punishments for this outlandish and unacceptable corporate behavior. Frankly, I would start by frying a few folks in gurgling lard. As for being so honest and returning the nearly EIGHT FIGURE AMOUNT several years ago, maybe I should have hung onto it for twenty years while a court case progressed (and I could have possibly won it!) if only to give this Shittybank a fraction of the irritation they are currently causing Marketman!

P.S. If you happen to work for Shittybank Manila, kindly forward this post to the head of Credit Cards, as no one seems able to give me his email address… Thanks.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Luke says:

    Good one!

    I used to work at this bank some 20 years back (if you are talking abt xxxxbank), but since I left Manila a year later, I have no idea how things happen there.

    I must say things are much better here in HK than what happened to you. I’ll try to forward to my friends…

    BTW, there are too many fine prints in today’s application forms…

    Oct 12, 2006 | 3:21 pm

     
  2. Mon C says:

    Wow, what a story! Really awful experience. Aarrgh.. Yeah, you could’ve just hung on to the eight figure amount! Thanks for this MM. I’ll forward it to some people I know who work there.

    Oct 12, 2006 | 3:33 pm

     
  3. miclimptrp says:

    Credit Card problems are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the financial institutions. I’m sure a lot of people agree that our banking laws should be overhauled from top to bottom. Don’t they realize that what they have right now is because of the millions of depositors who work and sweat it out 24/7? AND YET, they’re arrogant enough to charge people just to make ATM balance inquiries, withdrawals and other essential transactions. Hmmm, what do you think would happen if suddenly a lot of people decide to take their hard earned money out of the banks greedy fingers?

    And folks, these are just the banks we’re talking about. There are still the “loan” institutions like ShittyFinancial (which really leads the pack in Sh**tiness)

    MM, I think you should go ahead and write that book and expose a lot of their shenanigans. And when you do, I’ll make sure to buy 20 copies or more so I can distribute it to my friends :)

    Oct 12, 2006 | 3:41 pm

     
  4. Arvie says:

    mxxxxxx@shittybank.com

    cxxxxxr@shittybank.com

    Forwarding the email addresses of Mxxxxxx Txxxxxxx, Shitty Bank Credit Cards Country Officer, and Cx Fxxxx, Shittybank Credit Cards Marketing Head.

    Hard to blame the banks entirely though, despite all their safe guards, credit card fraud is constantly improving and innovating, with almost 30% of all transactions being fradulent, the banks’ vigilance can often hit the innocent card holder and translate into bad service. What gets highlighted in the end are the bad judgement calls/ poor service, but the bank never makes public the fraudulent attempts it receives constantly and how it handles these.

    Credit card companies in the Philippines, shittybank included, strictly adhere to policies meant to protect the bank first and foremost. They capitalize on the common customer’s lack of knowledge about the intricacies of the credit card business. Though I agree with their credit policies, it is their customer service that fails to properly educate the consumers precisely because a more educated consumer will further increase complaints, lower fees, and reduce profits.

    My advice, always document complaints and continue to circulate it among customer service until you receive fair action on it. A well-documented complaint that can be traced, investigated and verified by the bank will reveal the truth and errors caused, leaving the bank with no recourse but to deal with it fairly. If that still doesn’t work, hold payment on your credit card until the complaint is addressed and resolved.

    Funny how banks pay so much attention to customers when it’s collection time. Money indeed talks… Or in this case, makes them listen…

    Oct 12, 2006 | 3:50 pm

     
  5. ana says:

    That’s why I do not entertain calls from %$#@bank. They’re such a bother calling me early in the morning or on a Sunday or even late at night. They don’t get it that I am not interested.

    Oct 12, 2006 | 4:24 pm

     
  6. Marketman says:

    Arvie, thank you so much for those email addresses, I have forwarded the post to both of the ladies and will see what the response is. I agree with you on many of the issues raised; however, I think banks would have less fraud if they weren’t so aggressive and loose in the manner they wantonly give out credit cards, in many cases to less than creditworthy customers. With an annual effective interest rate of 51%, they are actually chasing charge and rollover volume and hoping that the fraud, that approximates 25-30% based on reader comments, doesn’t eat up all their profits. But I have seen the numbers and the top banks here are making a mint on their credit card businesses. It is the laws that I think stink. If the laws changed and card holders were no longer liable for losses on stolen cards, then card companies would be much more circumspect in the acquisition of new and potentially dubious or credit poor customers. Then we would all be better served. After all, why should the laws here be so different from the laws in other countries where the same product exists? Worse, in the case I narrate above, it is the bank that is INCREASING risk without customer approval, a situation that is despicable given the FRAUDULENT environment we live in. Even more reason to be concerned about shittybank’s actions in this case. Again, thanks for the contact numbers, lets see what response I get. As for other readers, aren’t we all so lucky…now we can directly email the folks who can do something about your credit card issues!

    Oct 12, 2006 | 4:38 pm

     
  7. bijin says:

    wow, what a shitty service!
    hmmmm…..you should have kept the $8 grand and let them sweat it out. Next time it happens, invite us all to a big goumet dinner! LOL!
    Here in Japan I use CitiBank and if your signature is a little bit different- I don’t know- maybe you neglected to dot your i or cross your t, they would ask for a picture ID besides your bankcard.

    Oct 12, 2006 | 4:47 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    bijin, what eight grand?!? It was nearly eight FIGURES or almost PHP10,000,000 (TEN MILLION PESOS) at today’s exchange rates!!! It was closer to PHP5 million at the then exchange rates, because the errant deposit was a six figure US Dollar sum.

    Oct 12, 2006 | 4:54 pm

     
  9. juls says:

    YOU RETURNED THE MONEY!!!!??? you should have asked the head of one of their top employees on a silver platter…

    Oct 12, 2006 | 5:10 pm

     
  10. fabian says:

    what a satisfying read…

    “INCREASING RISK without customer approval” that takes the cake

    Oct 12, 2006 | 5:23 pm

     
  11. Cindy says:

    Thanks so much for this blog entry. :) I’ll show this to my dad so he can boycott ShittyBank and its lousy service. Serves them right for not putting their customers first, and instead sacrificing their customers just for their reputation. Pffft.

    Anyway, thanks a lot! Good luck to you as well. I love your food blog, by the way. :)

    Oct 12, 2006 | 5:35 pm

     
  12. gonzo says:

    i told you they’re nothing more than well-dressed criminals engaged in a form of legitimised robbery. They ruthlessly exploit customer ignorance. If Jesus Christ were alive today i’m pretty sure he’d be raising some sort of hell at Shittybank headquarters.

    You should’ve kept the millions and let them sweat it out in court. That’s called, in the immortal words of Jack Black, ‘sticking it to the Man.’

    Oct 12, 2006 | 5:36 pm

     
  13. bettina says:

    Yes, xxxbank can really be a pain. Imagine when my husband’s credit card came and his family name was spelled differently. He asked for a replacement card and it took them several months to replace it! And this is after my husband called them so many times, wasting time on the phone coz they couldnt fix this super simple error!!!

    He finally got his replacement card, but not after some loony called him for a free insurance – a pesky sales person calling him by the family name originally was in the card – which means these pesky insurance callers have access to citibank credit cards holders’ files!! We’re actually thinking of cutting this card and keeping BPI instead…

    Oct 12, 2006 | 5:47 pm

     
  14. Marketman says:

    Arvie, HELP!! I emailed both triwardhany and fonacier at the addresses above but they were returned. Any ideas? Did I have the wrong addresses? Please forward if you have any more information. Many thanks!

    Oct 12, 2006 | 6:01 pm

     
  15. RM says:

    It seems this shittybank isn’t really concerned about fradulent transactions. One of my cashiers once tried reporting a suspected fake card and was given the run around by the call center agent she talked to on the phone! She was asked to call back three times and they seemed to be at a loss as to what to do about it. The agent even compromised her safety by asking her “how do you know the card is fake?”. As per THEIR OWN guidelines, the agent should be asking questions answerable by yes or no only to avoid alarming the cardholder while they authenticate the transaction. In the end, nothing happened. The guest got so impatient with the long wait that she made a scene by throwing money at the cashier, to which the call center agent lamely advised the cashier to just accept the cash! Shitty isn’t it? If they knew what they were doing, they could have advised our cashier in a few seconds whether the transaction is good or not. If they said that the card is fake, then we would have declined transacting with it and possibly called for help from the police station just a few meters away. If they said it was good, then we would have honored it. But they didn’t want to commit a straightforward answer. They didn’t want the liability.

    Oct 12, 2006 | 7:21 pm

     
  16. wil-b cariaga says:

    hmmmm. . . this is why I love reading rants from MM, before he writes one he really studies the situation and always is correct. this is true not only to his rants but also to his passion. . . food, he really studies it and tries really really hard to make it pure and authentic as possible. :)

    Oct 12, 2006 | 7:28 pm

     
  17. carol says:

    Oct 12, 2006 | 9:25 pm

     
  18. Marketman says:

    Thanks Carol! Will try again!

    Oct 12, 2006 | 9:39 pm

     
  19. Lorraine says:

    Hello, I’ve been an avid reader.

    ****bank has the worst customer service ever. I had my points converted to airmiles and it took them 6 months to do so. They kept denying that there was a problem. hmph!

    Also, my professor was a victim of this bank too! He just got an LV invite and found it strange because he never bought anything there. When he checked, some guy was assuming his identity. The weird thing was, my professor still had his card!

    Oct 12, 2006 | 9:41 pm

     
  20. perkycinderella says:

    You’re a modern Robin Hood! Thanks for this awakening!

    Oct 12, 2006 | 9:43 pm

     
  21. MRJP says:

    Yes, I heard a lot of horror stories about this shitty bank. I was never been a client but a lot of my friends were. One friend of mine forgot to pay her dues on time, a customer service representative from this bank contacted her at her home phone and in a very threatening and nasty way, told her to pay her dues immediately or else… my friend didnt comply at once because she was angered by the nasty gesture of the bank’s rep. Two days later, another bank’s rep called her office number and threatened her all the more. I dont know what have happened later as I forgot to ask. That is so rude for what should be a customer oriented company, right?

    In the US, we are maintaining an account in that shitty bank, but havent encountered a service problem yet so far, aside from their higher interest rates on credit cards. One thing though, when a friend of mine went to visit the PI, he was told by his local shitty bank that he can withdraw money over the counter at makati city. But when he went to makati branch, the only words he heard from the teller was “No, sir, you can’t!” There was no further explanation aside from “that’s the bank policy”. Even if my friend told them, “But your branch in US told me that I can!” All they said was “Their policy is different from ours.” (“What did you say???”) What my friend was so furious about is that he didnt bring enough dollars (for whatever purpose, I dont know) and he can only withdraw money from their ATM which converts what he is withdrawing into pesos and gives him pesos already.

    Yes, it is very annoying to deal with these bad service, annoying and stupid mistakes, which not only the shitty bank in PI often commits, but also the cellular companies! (Grrrr!)

    This is may be off topic but is really happening. One major cellular company in the Philippines suddenly increased my credit limit to 4x my current credit limit, without me asking for the increase, nor with them telling me that they’re going to increase it. I called them at once and asked to revert what they did. The customer service rep told me that NO, they can’t do it unless I fax a letter of request, stating that I don’t want to increase my credit limit (isn’t that stupid or what?) At this point in time, I had enough of their lousy service, their charges mistakes, and other stupidities on their end, I told her in a very angry voice “NOW, YOU’RE ASKING ME TO REQUEST THE COMPANY TO REVERT IT WHEN I DIDNT EVEN ASK THEM TO INCREASE IT?? THEY HAD THE RIGHT TO MANIPULATE MY ACCOUNT IN THE WAY THEY WANT WITHOUT ASKING MY PERMISSION, IS THAT IT?? YOU KNOW WHAT, I AM SO TIRED OF ALL YOUR MISTAKES AND STUPID POLICIES, GIVE THE PHONE TO YOUR SUPERVISOR OR MANAGER OR WHOEVER I CAN TALK TO WHO HAS AN AUTHORITY!” I was smoking in anger. I worked for 2 telephone companies before, and yes, I know that these stupid errors, stupid guidelines are being implemented, and I am so against it that I often get myself into trouble with the higher management for not supporting their stupidity, or exposing the stupid system flaws to the management itself, which probably they dont want to admit (instead of correcting it) because it could give the company a bad reputation. Luckily, I had several colleagues and bosses who rallied with the same cause… ending? We are all resigned now. Going back to this cellphone company… probably the customer service rep told their supervisor about my rantings and all, and the supervisor wanted to avoid a confrontational client, maybe she had enough for a day because a lot of customers have called because of their lousy service. The customer service rep got back to me and said “alright, ma’am, my supervisor said it is ok to revert your credit limit without the letter” DUH!!! I called the customer service hotline again a day after to see if they really did revert my CL to what it was. You cant blame me for checking, sometimes they say something and do something else or do nothing at all! I got myself another cellular service from the other major cellphone company to compare the service, and oh boy, they both suck. But well, what choice I was left of? During that time, there were only 2 cellular companies which had nationwide coverage.

    Oct 12, 2006 | 10:31 pm

     
  22. MRJP says:

    oh, sorry about the rants :)

    Oct 12, 2006 | 10:31 pm

     
  23. MRJP says:

    “I was never a client” I should have said, sorry for the mistake, my baby is climbing all over me while writing this. :)

    Oct 12, 2006 | 10:32 pm

     
  24. maddie says:

    Bettina, you are right on the dot that shittybank gives our contact information to other companies such as insurance, etc. I would get calls from pesky sales agents selling the same insurance for years now and inspite of telling them never to call me again, they still do. I ask them where they got my contact number since I had just moved to my new place and I knew that only shittybank knew then. I had just called them to change my billing address. The first few times they denied knowing where the contact nos. came from but finally one succumbed after I said I would report her to her supervisor, And of course she said “We have a tie up with shittybank, Mam.” Isn’t the information you put on your application supposed to be confidential?

    Marketman, can you include this itty bitty issue in case you do get to write that book?

    Oct 13, 2006 | 2:02 am

     
  25. Essa says:

    This post struck fear right through the heart of me! Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve been with this bank forever even as I am now living abroad. This makes me want to grab the phone and call them stat!

    Thanks Marketman!

    PS My sister and I just adoooore this site! It’s such a comfort to those of us away from the Philippines. :-)

    Oct 13, 2006 | 4:12 am

     
  26. asunta says:

    i used to work for the same bank and had a stint in retail ops. which branch did this occur and is it in xxxxxor the branch itself? has there been any update to this? will forward your blog.

    Oct 13, 2006 | 4:28 am

     
  27. Marketman says:

    asunta, this latest problem was with the credit cards department actually. In fact, xxxxx is how I found out the fax number of the head honcho of credit cards… thanks for forwarding the post – if you have trouble forwarding the actual post (I seem to be having technical glitches as well…) then forwarding the site’s address might work instead. Thanks! Maddie, I intentionally change features of my address for different banks so that I know which ones have shared or sold their lists… (e.g. 40-5 Wide Street or 40 5 Wyde St or 4/05 Widee St…it works EVERY TIME). MRJP…let loose, doesn’t it feel better afterwards???

    Oct 13, 2006 | 5:43 am

     
  28. erleen says:

    I remember shittybank collectors agents calling our home phone at ungodly hours – either very early in the morning and very late at night. The worse thing is their very threatening behavior. I received a call once for my tita who was not around. You know what the agent said “pagsabihan mo yang tita mo ah, pamilya kayo ng magnanakaw! ayaw nyo magbayad.” Panu ka magba-bayad kung ganun ang kakausap sayo.

    Not long after that, an investigative show came up with an episode on rude credit card collection agents (I know its from shittybank). Maybe they were getting multiple complaints!

    I have a friend who used to work for the billings and collections of shittybank. He said that if your credit is less than P50000, they usually do not bother with litigation as the fees would cost more than the money to be collected.

    Oct 13, 2006 | 7:50 am

     
  29. kaye says:

    everything sooo true.. happens to all credit card companies.. it really depends on how they train their reps.. goodluck to shittybank!! hehehe!!

    Oct 13, 2006 | 9:18 am

     
  30. Jean says:

    Sh!tty….?! Not so kosher of a word to use, esp. of your calibre.

    Oct 13, 2006 | 10:38 am

     
  31. Marketman says:

    Jean, on the contrary, when something stinks, I usually point it out rather bluntly… :)

    Oct 13, 2006 | 11:02 am

     
  32. asunta says:

    marketman i just spoke to one of the officers of the bank today and she will be forwarding this blog to the group responsible for cards.

    Oct 13, 2006 | 11:23 am

     
  33. mardie says:

    wow! it really pays to be pro-active. which is how all of us should be. beware of the wrath of MM. way to go.

    Oct 13, 2006 | 11:34 am

     
  34. Toping says:

    Spot on, MM. There really ought to be a law against this fraud perpetrated on Filipino consumers. Shittybank must have one shitty corporate culture. It’s not so bad with Metrobank; at least they call when our account shows some activity to confirm the charges. HSBC, on the other hand, seems to have a problem with their billing statements; the last we got was in June, and just last week we got a letter saying we had some overdue payments. A call to their customer rep took care of it quickly enough though.

    As for telemarketers, Congress should fashion a law after that in the US where you can opt-out of their exasperating calls. Or better yet, prohibit credit card companies/banks from sharing/selling any private info you give them with their subsidiaries/partners.

    Do write that book, MM…

    Oct 13, 2006 | 11:48 am

     
  35. Marketman says:

    Asunta, thanks for all the effort to get this post to the right people…after all, we all want service at any bank to get better…

    Oct 13, 2006 | 11:54 am

     
  36. sowkz says:

    That’s really nice, Asunta. But if I were marketman, I wouldn’t expect any enlightened response from these people. If we could, we wouldn’t be ranting in the first place. And that’s speaking from experience. Btw, reading Marketman’s post finally got me convinced to rid my wallet of my shittybank card (with a credit limit they kept on upping, I could actually buy a high-end car!). What a relief!

    Oct 13, 2006 | 2:24 pm

     
  37. Marketman says:

    IMPORTANT POST UPDATE:

    Just minutes ago, in the mail, I received my HSBC Credit card bill. It seems they have increased my credit limit without first seeking my approval by 250% from PHP200,000 to PHP500,000!!! They did the same for my wife. So if we were held up this afternoon and bound and tied while the thieves used our cards, they could in theory buy up to PHP1 million in goods and services. At least they sent us a letter, but dated September 30, received October 13, telling us the limit was raised on September 1!!! I am so bloody furious!!! I called the bank and at least it only took me two minutes to get to a human who then said my request to lower the limit to PHP100,000 would be endorsed to a credit committee. Well excuse me, I never asked for it to be increased in the first place!!! So I insisted that the limit be dropped within the hour and they have promised to call me back within 10 minutes. I am livid. This can’t be a coincidence. The dark side of me says the banks are so desperate to build up their portfolio of creditworthy customers that they are increasing limits blindly even if customers have no intention of using them. I think this is utterly despicable!!! They will make more money if we actually are the victims of FRAUD than not! All readers should check your limits soon or risk massive losses in the event of theft. I know some of my regular readers work for HSBC and I have many friends there…but this is UTTERLY PATHETIC!

    P.S. Our account officer called within five minutes and confirmed that our limits have been reduced effective immediately. They also confirm that the bank is automatically increasing limits for all prime customers and in the same breath confirm the liability is the customer’s if the card is lost. At least this took just 10 minutes to fix with HSBC. It is now day 2 and I haven’t heard from Shittybank yet. Gosh, how I wish I were the benevolent Supreme Dictator right now.

    Oct 13, 2006 | 2:39 pm

     
  38. asunta says:

    MM, dont worry i got word that they discussed your case after i gave them a heads up. you should receive a call or correspondence soon.

    Oct 13, 2006 | 3:08 pm

     
  39. anabanana says:

    One of the underlying problems is that the Filipino consumer is always viewed as a potential criminal. Instead of the mindset that “the customer is always right” [as they have it in the U.S.], it’s “the establishment is always right”. Or maybe it’s “the establishment is always right to milk the consumer for whatever it can”. haha. Go Marketman!

    Oct 13, 2006 | 3:25 pm

     
  40. Katrina says:

    I’m so glad I never thought to deal with that bank. A friend of mine had the same experience you did (Story #2), though not as huge an amount — it was about P20,000. After she withdrew the money, the bank started harassing her by sending people to the office to demand their money back or they would sue her. She consulted a lawyer, who told her she could sue them back for harassment. But in the end, she just decided to return the money to avoid any more hassle.

    My mom and I were just discussing recently how inadvisable it is to get a credit card from Shittybank (How perfect is that pun?! As if karma had a hand in their name! ;-)). After the nth agent called from that bank offering her a card, my mom cut her short by saying that she wasn’t interested. When the agent asked, “Bakit, ma’am, meron na ba kayong Citibank card?” My mom haughtily replied, “Hindi. ‘Yan lang ang wala ako.” HA!!! ;-)

    Oct 13, 2006 | 3:38 pm

     
  41. Marketman says:

    asunta, many thanks. I got a call from the bank a couple of hours ago and it seems they have acknowledged their error and have made it up to me. I asked for the same information in writing and I expect a letter by Monday. Will post on the outcome which is good and underscores the need for consumers to speak up when they are at the receiving end of poor service. Again, many thanks.

    Oct 13, 2006 | 8:48 pm

     
  42. Guia says:

    On a slightly different but same note… regarding banks holding on to your dollar deposit for 3 months (!) before you can withdraw your money. How come?

    When the transaction is complete when your US check (or any another foreign bank) has been cashed and deposited to your bank account in the Phils, it is technically and legally your money. Your bank account in the US does not have that money anymore but has been transfered to your account in the Philippines. Why can’t someone withdraw that (which is their) money in the Phils. then?

    Any lawyers out there who can probably check this out and come up with a class action suit or something?

    Thanks for the venue, MM.

    Oct 14, 2006 | 1:40 am

     
  43. cathy b says:

    I am so over with that bank. They had robbed me out of my mile points time and again. They are still bugging with their freaking Citifinancial blah blah even if I don’t have any business with them. Can I sue them for disturbing me – especially if they are doing SMS or calls when I am outside the country? Arg.

    Oct 14, 2006 | 7:42 am

     
  44. asunta says:

    mm, good to know that they have contacted you.

    Oct 14, 2006 | 9:58 am

     
  45. manilastreetwalker says:

    Its not only with credit cards that this shittybank has problems. Even with check processings, they once had a check issued by our comapny bounced claiming that it was drawn against insufficient funds when it was clear that our account had the necessary funds to have that check cleared. A major disaster with our company’s supplier so the company took their asses to court.

    Oct 14, 2006 | 9:04 pm

     
  46. Dodi says:

    Sabi ko na nga ba eh, xxxxx is Shittybank! They have been blocking the use of MY credit card because problems with MY brother’s credit card. Since when did credit cards assume a family relationship?

    Oct 16, 2006 | 5:33 pm

     
  47. ginnie manalo says:

    Thanks for the enlighten on this subject. I was planning to retire in the Philippines and will be using shittybnk as my bank in Manila. Based on your blog, this is not a bank that should be recommended.]

    Ginnie

    Oct 20, 2006 | 5:05 am

     
  48. Erlie says:

    MM, i just have to say that although i understand your sentiments….you seem like the typical habitual COMPLAINER. Someone who will always find “something” in everything. like this comment i made, i’m sure either you will say that i work for the bank or that i am a valued client. In one posting, you mentioned that the competitor raised your limit and that upset you. Instead of looking at the bright side that they are giving you an increase because of a good history. You flare up and say why didnt they ask you or what if fraud happens. You dont seem to be knowledgeable in the credit cards business as you keep saying. You should know that there are certain kinds of fraud which international banks acknowledge as “in no way can client be held liable” but if it entails you being responsible in not giving your card number away or using fraudulent sites. then you take responsibility. you seem to think that the system should be perfect and you are aghast by imperfection. you said you had employees yourself..so i am assuming that you give them nothing less than perfection. I’m sad that there’s no winning you..you are blinded by ego…and this is what this blog is all about…you have actually made me comment..when i dont normally do such, i normally ignore rantings such as these.it’s just that the same bank that you have been hitting is the same bank which i only left because i have migrated abroad. the same bank who have always always given me value for my money.

    Oct 25, 2006 | 7:59 am

     
  49. Marketman says:

    Erlie, thanks for your comment. However, I do stick to the facts. In the Philippines, if your card is stolen, and you do not report it in time, your liability is not limited to say $50 as it is in the states, but in the Philippines you are fully liable until the extent of your credit limit; and if it is PHP500,000 then the cardholder pays. Therefor, it is a problem when a bank increases your credit limit without approval. That is a FACT and Shittybank and my other bank clearly state that as the FACT. So much so a fact, that Shittybank immediately agreed to refund me PHP21,000 after I wrote this rant, and trust me, banks don’t refund money unless they see merit. As for only ranting, you obviously haven’t read too many of the nearly 800 posts I have written, of which less than TEN (slightly over 1%) posts are a rant of this sort. You write that you were an employee of this bank at the end of the post, so why even raise the spectre earlier in the comment? In fact, many of my readers CURRENTLY work for the bank and many forwarded this post to the right people…so just because you work for an organization doesn’t mean you can’t be critical of it when it is justified. I am glad you have always liked the bank, as I am sure the vast majority of its customers feel, but that that’s your opinion and I have mine… I say understand the FACTS and their IMPLICATIONS before you get to your EMOTIONS. As far as I know in the Philippines, only American Express limits liability, not VISA or MASTERCARD and not SHITTYBANK or HSBC. Attacking one’s person by suggesting they are perfectionists or egoists does not make your argument more weighty, it simply seems less convincing… And as usual, first time commenters such as yourself that only read a specific post without knowing the site are prone to outbursts that they then run away from and disappear into the illogical fog that perhaps surrounds them…

    Oct 25, 2006 | 8:24 am

     
  50. newreader says:

    So many people have their own horror stories about xxxx. My mum’s card was stolen and she was held liable for charges that were made BEYOND her credit limit. Last I heard she made numerous attempts to get the mess straightened out, with no luck. Another acquaintance who maintained a xxxx account in the US could get no help from xxxxx Manila after he had been victimized by obvious credit card theft and lost an amount equivalent to several million pesos. C. Manila’s response: “Our policies are different from that of xxxxxk US” — incredible. He had to fly to the US just to get it taken care of, and even then the service was poor. Thank you for the post. I hope it makes a dent on the institution, finally.

    Oct 25, 2006 | 6:38 pm

     
  51. Marketman says:

    newreader, that is OUTRAGEOUS making your mom liable beyond her limit. She should really raise a stink. I got a full refund for any excess over the limit on one of my supplementary cards. If your mom emails me or you do so on her behalf, I will forward the name of the person who handled my refund… I THINK THE CASE AS YOU DESCRIBE IT IS DESPICABLE.

    Oct 25, 2006 | 7:57 pm

     
  52. HD says:

    Sir Erlie,

    Good for you this shitty bank served you well. But just because you’ve had good service from them, we who did not, should just shut up. If you have been reading everything, you will notice that there are lots of readers here who are glad to know that their horror stories are not just an isolated case. And we are not talking about a small amount of money here, ako nga 100 lang masama na sa loob ko, because I don’t have that much money to lose hehe.

    Oct 27, 2006 | 11:07 am

     
  53. bst says:

    Hi Marketman,

    May I know the name of the Officer of xxxxxx? I want to write them a complain regarding my payment that was made in Malaysia and was not posted to them.. I went to the branch in KL and saw that my original payment slip has the machine validation. but when I mailed them using the xxxxxxx website’s email system the officer cant find my transaction.

    Jun 16, 2007 | 3:24 pm

     
  54. bubbles doria says:

    hi guys any of you have heard of atm fraud in the philippines? a certain amount was debited from my account and the bank says it was a valid withdrawal and the actual atm card was used..although i know and im sure that neither from my family will do it. kindlyt advise what i can do thanks!

    Sep 7, 2007 | 3:46 pm

     
  55. Marketman says:

    Hi bubbles, if I were you, I would take the following steps if you are sure no one you know used your card:

    1. Send a letter to the bank and indicate the transaction which you are challenging. Ask them for the date, time and location and tell them in the meantime, for safety reasons, you are requesting that you change your ATM card to a new number and code.

    2. Ask them to see if they have a camera at the ATM machine that you were supposedly using and if they can produce the tape of the transaction. Almost all ATM machines CAN have a camera and tape transactions.

    3. If they do not cooperate, and you keep a substantial amount with the bank, tell them you will move your business elsewhere unless you clarify the transaction in question.

    That’s about all you can do, I would think…

    Sep 7, 2007 | 3:58 pm

     
  56. Angelo says:

    Dear Marketman

    My goldcard was stolen this afternoon (Dec 30 2007).
    I only found out in the evening upon returning home when a security officer of the card company called my home to ask if my card was with me. Finding it lost, I immediately asked that it be reported stolen which the officer did.

    Charges were already made to the tune of 57K in various high-end boutiques.

    I immediately called up a friend who is a junior officer in the bank – he said I would have no liability as I had not signed any charge slips. He said this is quite common – though the process might take some time.

    I maintain a deposit with the bank and I opened a time-deposit to ‘guarantee’ the credit limit behind the card. I have a classic card with the bank – they told me that the fastest way to secure higher credit limit is through this process. I did this then because I urgently needed a high credit limit for foreign travel.

    Is there any law that protects consumer liability for stolen credit cards in our country? I surfed and found out that in the US the liabilty is at most $50. More importantly, can the bank touch the time deposit which I placed to back-up the gold card. Apart from this I also have another account in the bank.

    I have no intention of letting the bad guys win this time (the thieves, the negligent merchants) and I hope that with teh support of crusaders like you I will be better informed and better armed for the fight.

    Please let me know your thoughts.
    Happy new year to you sir and more power.

    Dec 31, 2007 | 12:36 am

     
  57. Trainspotting says:

    Hi MM

    I also have a similar complaint with xxxx involving unauthorized cash advances amounting to P20,000 charged against my supplementary credit card. This happened Nov 07 and up to now (march 08), they still have not resolved my case.

    They keep on arguing that we reported the loss of the card after the unauthorized transactions were made. But my point is that that would not have happened if they have sent the notice of pin mailer with receipt. I have requested a screen capture of the atm where the unauthorize transactions were made but they told me the banks (BDO and Metrobank) does not have atm cameras where the transactions were drawn.

    I agree, their corporate culture is that of superiority complex being a big, international bank. But the fact is, i think they provide very bad service to their customers here in the Philippines. And whats with all the silly names for officers like Dudes, Dada and Nana? I can assure you in my three months of disputing the unauthorized transactions, I have contacted three people with such nicknames and they are like Senior Manager/VP level positions at Citibank. I think the silly nicknames reflect the the kind of service that you should expect from xxxxxx

    I am conferring with my lawyer friends if I can sue xxxxxx for potential violations of the “The Service Code for Consumer Banking in the Philippines.” I have patiently dealt with them for three months and I have had enough. I am considering filing a lawsuit with actual, compensatory and moral damages for causing mental anguish. I am on an all out information campaign against credit card fraud here in Manila particularly with xxxxxx. I am convincing my friends who are using xxxxxx to either decrease their credit limit or cancel their credit cards altogether.

    You have a great site MM. Good thing I found this wite. At least, we have a venue for airing our complaints against xxxxxx. Thanks

    Mar 4, 2008 | 6:09 pm

     
  58. Marketman says:

    Trainspotting, I have several posts on this bank, just look in the archives, or google shittybank marketmanila or credit cards marketmanila. Good luck with your cash advance issues.

    Mar 4, 2008 | 7:56 pm

     
  59. Chris says:

    Good read, I had a rapid refund check given to me by our tax preparer. Cashed it, all was well. Until the feds sent me my whole check rather than sending it to my tax preparer… I thought it was all mine and cashed it. A few months later I was trying to buy a new car and my credit report showed an unpaid loan with a bank. I contacted the bank and it turned out to be from my rapid refund check! I paid them the whole amount back, as it was indeed supposed to go to them. This one simple mistake on behalf of our tax preparer haunted my credit report for almost ten years. Everytime we tried to do something they asked about this “bank write-off” and I had to correct them as it was paid in full, then show copies of the payoff letter and explain the mistake.

    Lessons learned…
    Best thing to do for taxes, go with the big guys. The larger companies are much faster at learning new things and they also take more responsibility if something goes wrong.

    Best thing to do for banks, go with a smaller town bank. You’ll get honest answers and much better customer service than the big guys.

    -Chris

    Apr 29, 2009 | 11:01 pm

     
 

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