16 Jan2007

tshirt1

This post is unbelievable. Unbelievable. Lightning has struck twice and seared a path right through Marketman’s head, again! The t-shirt in the photo above was a gift from a friend, who wrote in her accompanying note that “we saw this t-shirt at a shop and knew it belonged in your closet” – and it should be my daily uniform. I don’t look for these service situations, they find me. I refuse to be indifferent; it’s a sign that you are numb, have given up hope, that you accept the worst rather than clamor for the best. I have so far, remained utterly vigilant, albeit often frustrated, when ridiculous service situations strike me when I least expect it.

If you have been following this blog for several months, you will recall the time I ranted about how carrying most Philippine credit cards can and is more risky than carrying cash. Incredulous, but utterly true. Then if you went further along, you would have read about my incident with a Shittybank, where they exceeded approved credit limits on supplementary cards I have given my employees, in that particular case, allowing an employee to sign for nearly 100% more than his stated credit limit. The final chapter in that saga was the post on the conclusion, or so we thought, to the issue when the Shittybank refunded me over PHP20,000 due to their errors and system lapses. They even sent me a letter which stated in black and white “We are pleased to inform you that we have re-adjusted the credit limit on card XXX to YYY on October 11, 2006″. Rest assured that this was an isolated case and that a reminder has been issued to all concerned to prevent a repeat of the incident.”

So what happens today? My assistant, now extra vigilant with all our Shittybank dealings, tells me it seems his records indicate that one of my supplementary employee cards is now again above the stated limits. Worse, it is the exact same employee to whom this happened before. This time, his charges are now 50%+ over the credit limit YYY that is in black and white in a letter from Shittybank. Oh my gulay!!! What are the chances of that being ANOTHER bloody isolated incident? I can’t win a Mercedes when I have several tickets out of 10,000 in a tambiolo, but I get screwed by Shittybank for the same reason and the same card twice in 3 months out of over 1,000,000 of their cardholders??? Is that luck or what? Have I just created a natural magnet against stupid service situations? Will there be no end to this rampage on moronic service slip-ups??? I immediately called the bank and was told they would look into it. I called the AVP who handled my case the last time and left a message. They have not responded in the past 5 hours; must be a really complicated situation if they can’t answer a simple set of questions after 300 minutes of investigation and rumination! Let’s just say they will have a hard time weaseling their way out of this one. And since I never got around to my newspaper advertisement on Shittybank before the holidays, this is a good reason to get that back on track. Let’s see what they say…

 

COMMENTS:

  1. atwe says:

    MM, just reading this is making my blood pressure rise. Crass stupidity does that. My first-ever credit card [years and years ago] was a Shittybank one, but after paying it off have never again had dealings with them.

    Jan 16, 2007 | 4:22 pm

     
  2. Gigi says:

    MM! Isn’t it uncanny too that I just asked a couple of days back whatever happened to that Sh*ttybank ad you were plotting to do? It’s time….

    Jan 16, 2007 | 4:54 pm

     
  3. bettina says:

    Unbelievable! The horror doesn’t stop. Reminds me of my frustration over my cellphone provider, cutting my line because of 65 CENTS I failed to pay from my last bill. GRRR!

    Jan 16, 2007 | 6:10 pm

     
  4. Jean says:

    MM, reading this post makes my blood boil. I know how you feel right now. Kainis!

    Jan 16, 2007 | 6:21 pm

     
  5. mikel says:

    ok MM, this really IS frustrating. no excuse for gross incompetence. first time, nakakainis, for it to happen again… inexcusable. while it’s easier to bring your business elsewhere, i salut you, in this case, for your militancy and for utilizing your voice via this popular website, to expose negligence.

    still a fan!

    Jan 16, 2007 | 7:39 pm

     
  6. Maricel says:

    MM, I had my credit limit reduced after I read your first post. Guess what, I have just been informed that they have increased my credit limit again.

    Jan 16, 2007 | 7:40 pm

     
  7. Marketman says:

    POST UPDATE. JUST SPOKE TO A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE BANK WHO IS NOW INSISTING ON REFERRING TO THE FINE PRINT. THIS IS GREAT, BECAUSE THE FINE PRINT, IN MY OPINION, NAILS THE EXECUTIVE MORE THAN IT DOES THE CARDHOLDER. LET’S JUST SAY I AM GOING TO PURSUE THIS TO THE FULL EXTENT POSSIBLE. BE VIGILANT WITH YOUR CARDS… IF THERE ARE ANY LAWYERS OUT THERE WHO ARE WILLING TO PROVIDE LEGAL SERVICES, I AM SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING LEGAL ACTION IF I HAVE A CASE. THIS ISN’T ABOUT DAMAGES, IT IS ABOUT CONSUMER’S RIGHTS. IT IS ABOUT COMPANIES AND EXECUTIVES TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ERRORS, WHICH THEY HAVE COMMITTED IN BLACK AND WHITE ON COMPANY LETTERHEAD. IT IS ABOUT COMMON SENSE AND DECENCY IN BUSINESS. I AM FURIOUS. I AM HEADING OUT OF TOWN FOR A FEW DAYS BUT I WILL PICK UP THIS ISSUE FULL FORCE WHEN I RETURN. In the meantime, enjoy the food posts I have left for you guys in the days ahead.

    Jan 16, 2007 | 8:40 pm

     
  8. Marketman says:

    OH MY GOSH, CAN IT GET ANY WORSE??? I JUST AUDITED ALL OF MY SHITTYBANK CREDIT CARD STATEMENTS LAST YEAR AND FOUND THAT THE BANK EXCEEDED THE CREDIT AND/OR SPENDING LIMIT ON A SUPPLEMENTARY CARD IN THREE OTHER MONTHS BEFORE I FOUND OUT LAST OCTOBER AND SEPTEMBER. THAT MEANS THE BANK MAY HAVE TO ANSWER FOR ANOTHER PHP17,000+ IN EXCESS CHARGES! THAT WOULD BRING IT TO A TOTAL IN THE PHP40,000++ RANGE, NEARLY ENOUGH FOR A 1/4 PAGE AD IN THE INQUIRER. DUH, IF THEY JUST HANDLED THIS NICELY, I WOULD NEVER HAVE EVEN FOUND THE ADDITIONAL ERRORS ON THEIR PART. MS. AVP BANK PERSON, I HOPE YOU READ THIS AND HAVE A BAD DAY… I SHALL RETURN… If any readers know the name of the top Compliance Officer of Shittybank Philippines, I would appreciate it if you forwarded the name and fax or address so that I can copy them on my upcoming report, thanks!

    Jan 16, 2007 | 10:35 pm

     
  9. abby says:

    we should have more laws protecting the consumers!! they have business because of the consumers, shouldn’t the rights of their consumers be their top priority? apparently not..
    two months ago, our former househelp informed us that they got a mail that was ours. it was a pre-approved credit card in my mom’s name from a local bank, funny(or is it frustating) thing is my mom isn’t here in the philippines. i just do not know where they got my mom’s details, i called the bank informing them that we are not interested in the credit card but they told me my mom has to be the one to inform them. Are they going to be responsible for the call charges? i think not, it’s just a hassle and an inconvenience on our part as my mom didn’t even apply for such a thing.grrr! (o.O)

    Jan 16, 2007 | 10:51 pm

     
  10. Erlinda says:

    I’m new to this site, and to understand this post about “Shittybank”, I read everything that has gone before, and can now understand your frustration and anger. The negative ad you are planning is good, but I am not sure whether you have legal cause (I am not a lawyer, but have taken some legal courses): you are not out of money, and as of the date of the posting, it appears that the increase in A’s limit has not resulted in any actual additional payment on your part; i.e., you have not suffered a financial loss (do correct me if my assumption is wrong). I know that you have spent a lot of time talking and discussing with the bank (time which you normally would spend in your business), and you have felt aggravated and “stressed-out”. But I doubt if you’d be willing to go to Court just to be compensated for los business time and stress and frustration. The initial legal consultation fee alone would be much greater than any potential financial recovery. Further, even if one wins the case, the damages would most likely be just minimal. Of course, if you can get free legal advice, that would really help.

    IMO, FWIW, since a number of Filipinos appear to be unaware of their potential liability in case of a lost card, an ad or a news item telling your story with the aim of educating the public will really be useful and a public-spirited step. So, if you are really inclined to take this “ad” thing seriously, I say, MM, full steam ahead and good luck. This one is a good cause!

    Jan 17, 2007 | 12:05 am

     
  11. Maria Clara says:

    Your resources are the one involved here. Do what you need to do to avoid future incidents. You have done your facts finding homework pointing the bank and its agents/employees made an error to harm you. Do not waste your energy without seeking a legal advice from a lawyer. Banks have their own battery of lawyers. I trust this issue with your bank will be resolved amicably.

    Jan 17, 2007 | 1:33 am

     
  12. kaye says:

    Oh my, MM is really furious now.. poor bank.. I have read everything MM posted about the bank and I would be waiting for the final judgment..

    Jan 17, 2007 | 2:33 am

     
  13. Marketman says:

    Erlinda, you are correct on the out of pocket losses, as I mention earlier, the financial damages are less of the point. If there is no legal case due to damages, then again you are right that the battle is one of education for the consumers. The smarter they get, the more likely the credit card company is held in check. However, having credit limits and NOT sticking to them as the bank did on FIVE or SIX months now, plus other issues is really unacceptable. Yup, the advertisement (not negative at all, simply to make sure that thousands of folks hear about these credit card issues) and a campaign to educate is sounding good… a well thought out presentation, sent to a bunch of business press, tv programs, congressmen and senators… that seems to make the most sense… Instead of the legal fees a well spent PHP50,000 to 100,000 will be seen by hopefully tens of thousands of consumers and credit card customers. Also, consumers such as the readers of this blog can also help to let others know about the perils of wantonly increased credit limits, the fact that if your card is stolen in the Philippines and you are unaware, then it is your ass on the line, that this bank HAS refunded some excesses over credit/spending limits which in my case occurred at least 6 times and amounted to over PHP40,000 in the past year…

    Jan 17, 2007 | 5:15 am

     
  14. Ted says:

    Is there such a thing as a “Class action suit” in PI? Maybe this is what is needed to open the eyes of the legislature.

    Jan 17, 2007 | 5:36 am

     
  15. chris says:

    I’ve read in newspapers that some media people have filed a “class action suit” against someone for harassing them with a string of libel suits, so there must be such a thing in these parts…

    Jan 17, 2007 | 10:04 am

     
  16. asunta says:

    MM, too bad to be in the same boat again. pls private email me so i can give you contact details of the person you should be speaking to.

    Jan 17, 2007 | 10:48 am

     
  17. TOPING says:

    Despite Shittybank’s standard excuse that incidents such as these are “isolated”, I suspect they’re more of SOP, a dirty trick to encourage cardholders to spend more than they have to. But bringing this matter to court, in this country, may not be the best move to highlight this kind of shitty service. I vote for extensive media coverage, although I doubt the issue is not lurid or sensational enough for the media outlets/personalities to “champion”. How about finding a consumer-friendly senator/congressperson to rally ’round the cause? We could start a petition thru this site and forward it to his/her office. Mar Roxas used to be with the DTI; let’s see if “Mr. Palengke” has balls enough to take on the big fish…

    Jan 17, 2007 | 11:24 am

     
  18. Lei says:

    MM wish you all the luck in this endeavor!

    Jan 17, 2007 | 12:27 pm

     
  19. jules winnfield says:

    ‘The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides with the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon those with great vengeance and with furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know that my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee.’
    –Samuel Jackson (Pulp Fiction, 1994)

    MM, pardon the comic relief, but these words DO precisely describe your selfless efforts to not only correct a wrongdoing, but to educate the wrongdoers, not entirely for your own sake, but for others.

    And of course, I hope that the Pulp Fiction scene that ensues after the reciting of the Ezekiel passage DOES NOT precisely describe your rage …. for Shittybank’s sake, that is…..

    Jan 17, 2007 | 1:17 pm

     
  20. Marketman says:

    asunta, I am out of town at the moment and borrowing computer time… will contact you in a few days… thanks!

    Jan 17, 2007 | 4:34 pm

     
  21. bodacious says:

    i used to work in xxxxxbank for several years but left because i couldn’t stomach the fact that we were selling unregistered securities (among other dubious and risky things) to unsuspecting clients. the fact that we were “trained” to downplay the very real risk that people could actually lose their life savings in citibank investments (not all, mind you, just the ones our unit was selling) did not go well with my conscience. so i left. and boy, was i glad that i wasn’t there when the bank landed in one of the national dailies’ headlines for a suit filed by a client claiming that she had been duped by her account officer to sign papers that she had bought or sold shares of stock in a company that eventually went kaput. anyway, my point is, a multinational bank such as “shittybank” is not necessarily the epitome of integrity and competence. citi’s credit card division, all the more so. hats off to you, MM, for not taking shit and for actually trying to get the bank’s attention to improve their service.

    Jan 17, 2007 | 11:31 pm

     
  22. HD says:

    It’s such a bad timing for shittybank to mess with you again. It’s election time! Politicians are finding ways to “help” lots of people, and this could be their big break.

    Jan 18, 2007 | 12:07 am

     
  23. Bubut says:

    i think its time for you to change credit cards. please keep us posted on what happen.

    Jan 18, 2007 | 6:06 am

     
  24. Marketman says:

    Hi Bubut, actually, these cards are of my staff members and it isn’t that easy to shift them elsewhere but yes, dropping this credit card company altogether is the next step, but then I would remove myself as a thorn in their side and they might just continue bizarre practices unchecked! HD, you are right, I really got to get cracking and get this out there. I worked once for a very senior politician on a pro-bono basis when I was more idealistic and maybe now I can get his help. bodacious, if I am not mistaken, in the case you refer to, the client eventually won though I suspect the bank will appeal. I too, once was placed in securities that were not approved by me…thank goodness I caught it before they tanked or all hell would break loose. Asunta, keep that number for me, I will be back in Manila soon… jules winnfield, you are too funny. Ah, a sense of humor is so necessary, don’t you think?

    Jan 18, 2007 | 9:34 am

     
  25. ragamuffin girl says:

    I have 2 friends working in xxxbank MM. I don’t know how high up they are and if they can help, but I will tell them to read this post and try to make sure the issue reaches the appropriate people. Thank goodness the banks here in HK are more compliant of regulations and have excellent customer service (so far)– yes, even xxxbank HK. :)

    Jan 19, 2007 | 11:45 am

     
  26. Marketman says:

    ragamuffin girl, I did work for nearly a year at the HKMA (Hong Kong Monetary Authority – their Central Bank equivalent) and yes, I agree, things in HK sure run a lot smoother…I can’t understand how local banks in the Philippines seem to be so sloppy and service so illogical…

    Jan 19, 2007 | 3:58 pm

     
  27. angelwings says:

    Your vigilance is very admirable. Reading all of the previous posts, I kinda agree with what Erlinda said. The intention to go public with this is good since you’d provide the step further toward breaking the consumer apathy present nowadays. However, as Erlinda said, you might not have a legal case granted that the increase in limit does not burden you unless you use it. Besides, I’m not sure if I read it correctly, but didn’t that Shittybank refund some amount of money in your favor because of that error? What I mean is, though the battle is far from over after they’ve done this, I agree with you that the far more important point here is the poor service you have received as compared to the monetary matters. I understand the frustration and anger welling up inside you when this arises. I guess you just have to make sure that you tell them that this kind of service situation does not happen to you–or anyone else for that matter–again. Btw, as a comment on one of the other comments, my dad also got a pre-approved card and was asked to invest in some securities. To which, he declined. There were no problems after that. In any consumer market, it may be quite easy to trick or take advantage of uneducated consumers… and blogs and causes such as yours would be the thing that are needed to wake them up from being susceptible to potential abuse. Again, the best of luck in all your efforts. My personal take on it is to do the following: (1) think hard before filing a legal case (as Erlinda pointed out), (2) take what is rightfully yours (from the errors/porr service that you got), (3) continue to be an advocate of proper consumer education and market awareness, and (4) try switching credit card companies. God bless and have a safe trip home! (assuming you are still out of town) =D

    Jan 20, 2007 | 1:17 pm

     
  28. chinkee says:

    Way to go MM! Your first post on shittybank has been discussed and deplored many, many times over in my circle of family, friends and acquaintances and has doubtless rippled out to their respective circles as well. It has made a lot of people more aware and vigilant of their consumer rights and the pitfalls of dealing with these institutions. Would you believe some thought having a pre-approved but unsolicited credit card, or an unrequested raise in their credit limits was a good thing! Just a thought though, shouldn’t this employee of yours who exceeded his limits the first time have been more circumspect in his purchases? :)

    Jan 21, 2007 | 9:38 am

     
  29. Marketman says:

    chinkee, my employee has had his card bounce before when he reached his “limit,” so after that experience, I told them it was fine to charge until it bounced as I had arranged with Shittybank to place a limit on the card. Also, since October, we have been monitoring charges more closely and he did not exceed what the card company is now calling a “spending limit” not a “credit limit” until last month, when the limit was exceeded on the last day of the billing period. In fact, the credit card company admits their systems made a mistake in APPROVING that last charge…they seem to be claiming that they happened to be UPGRADING their systems at the exact time my employee was charging on the card…convenient explanation, don’t you think?

    Jan 21, 2007 | 9:00 pm

     
  30. Anonymouse says:

    Just leaving my 2 cents (which can also cause huge finance and late charges).

    Shittybank operating in the Philippines is really just another bank in the Philippines. If you didn’t know about the 1970’s Shittybank story in South Vietnam (closed and hasn’t paid pre-unification depositors ever since), or the Shittybank Taiwan story (bilked by one of their executives of millions of USD), you’d think that Shittybanks in all countries were connected like one body. But that’s not the case; they’re all just cousins many times removed. So when you send moolah from one Shittybank account to another, let’s say between Manila and Timbuktu, you will be charged the sending fee here, and the receiving fee there. Might as well send via Banco de Oro, better USD buying rates pa.

    HSBC operates better — your Premier account in one country carries over to another country, so if you have a rich uncle who provides you a joint Premier account in the UK (you have to be physically present to sign the opening documents there though), you can also have Premier status here.

    Anyway, I recently called up Shittybank customer service to ask about my brother’s outstanding credit card charges. He’s already left the Philippines permanently, and already had his cards cancelled and all bills paid. But his statements keep on coming, and some reflect added finance charges because of annual fees that were eventually reversed.

    The CSR wanted me to have my brother email them about it (because I am not my brother, I cannot make a request for him by phone daw, recorded daw kasi and they will only base the instruction on the recording), but I told the CSR that it is only natural for them to fix the problem without needing a call or an email from my brother or me because the finance charges were caused by annual fees that were reversed. They should be doing the reversal for the abandoned account, not for my brother or me. Wala sya masabi, pinatapos na lang yung tawag. Wala rin ako masabi except sobrang bobo talaga ng CSR nila.

    The credit card industry uses the term “deadbeat” to define cardholders who pay their cards in full before due date and avoid any penalties and interests. The term “revolver” is for people who “revolve” credit by paying only a portion of the bill, usually the minimum amount due. It’s hard to be a deadbeat when the cards automatically charge you annual fee, whether you use the card or not. In the US, many cards are already free, but here the card companies make money even if you don’t use the card … or rather, SPECIALLY if you don’t use the card.

    Apr 30, 2007 | 11:34 am

     
  31. audey says:

    hi MM! i am a newbie in blogging and yours and wysgal’s are my favorites. glad i chanced on the archives and read this post. uhum, the fellows have spoken on this bank. was hired as one of its compliance officers some time ago but i opted to join another firm instead due to a lot of reasons :p

    i would rather not say anything much about this bank. but kindly give me an email if you still need the contact details of their compliance offices (they have set-up several compliance offices per service classification). nevertheless, i would mention this to its group head (compliance officer for the customer-related issues). i would provide this link also.

    have a great day!

    Jul 15, 2007 | 6:06 pm

     
  32. Marketman says:

    audey, actually, this issue was settled, the bank refunded an incredible amount of money but refused to admit any fault and I have just not written the final conclusion up. However, credit card laws in the Philippines are definitely not consumer friendly… many thanks for the offer of help, however… and enjoy the rest of the archives that have almost 1,200 posts by now…

    Jul 15, 2007 | 6:49 pm

     
  33. audey says:

    glad it’s long been settled now. i bet it wouldn’t be a recurring issue in the compliance office’s monitoring lists.

    i have been catching up with your achives. i loved this site! i just can’t get enough of your posts along with wysgal’s. broaden my horizons :p

    btw, pardon me i erred on inputting my URL last time, well, a newbie thing :p

    audey

    ( ^____^ ) grins

    Jul 16, 2007 | 7:52 pm

     
  34. Peejay says:

    Hi MM,

    Is it okay if I cut and paste the 3 “shittybank” posts you wrote and email them to my friends for their info? It’s a good way to inform them about credit card situations.

    I ended my 10 year relationship with xxxxxbank when I closed out my Shell-xxxxxbank Mastercard. They even gave me a credit limit of 150K before I cancelled it. I used to have 4 credit cards.

    Now I kept my AIG Visa card and always turned down their offer to increase my limit. I kept them so that my Philam Pension Plan can be direct billed to my card. And I get medical and dental ‘freebies’. I used my free medical examination coupon last August. Turned out my cholesterol level is still high but my sugar and uric are normal.

    Thanks in advance.

    a fellow foodie

    Oct 2, 2007 | 1:09 pm

     
  35. Marketman says:

    Peejay, sure, go ahead… as long as it helps the general public, I hope the posts will be useful…

    Oct 2, 2007 | 1:29 pm

     
  36. fit gourmand says:

    What to do? Refer to the xxxbank call center agent all your enemies.. Either way you get even, ha ha…. Me I keep track of start date of my credit catds and prepare to cancel before they even charge the annual fee for the second year. With xxxbank, I’ve always gotten away with not paying annual fee, except they have to charge first, then refund it.. Ha ha, they can’t make money out of me….

    Enough with all these credit card companies.. Yes I take whatever I can get, but only for 1 year. This year I have AIG, HSBC, and believe it or not, American Express Peso Platinum!!!! Whoever will waive their annual fee next year will I retain..

    Dec 14, 2007 | 2:42 pm

     
  37. hentz says:

    hello im new to this post,

    to fit gourmand di na man lahat, they are just doing thier job or what is required of them, kund di nila susundin wala sila trabaho.

    well in my case i ” WAS” a customer representative of SHITTY BANK, i understand the customers frustrations,pero wala ako magawa, i was so stress sa work kasi di ko na ma stomach yung practices nila. and when i offer customers a better option para di sila ma penalized in the future or para ma lessen fee nila, di ko daw trabaho yun, customers should read the print, but the problem its in FINE PRINT, and NOT IN LAYMAN’S terms.

    SHITTY BANK earns from revolvers – yung taong nagbabayad lang ng minimum due and yung nagbababyad lang ng partial payment. example php 1000 utang ko. I paid 999.99 partial payment parin yan. So subject to interest of 500 pesos or 3.5%, whichever is higher. Di pa dyan nagtatapos yung 3.5% di pa dapat based lang sa 1000 pesos,pero iba yung nang yayari. due ko nga is 1000 pesos ,pero mern akong purchases na hindi na sama sa billing pero para next month, example 1000 thousand pesos, so dahil nag mininum yung bayad mo and mern ka malaking transaction na due pa next month which amounts to 20,000 pesos , then it is (1000 + 20000) * 3.5% . SHITTY BANK talaga. PLS PAY FULL PAYMENT EVERY DUE DATE para di kayo maisahan ng bangko, PAYING THE MINIMUM DOESNT reduce your utang, it keeps bigger and bigger until mahirap na magbayad. clarification pa sa partial payment sa 1000 pesos na utang mo, you paid 999.99, computation the same (1000 + 20000)*3.5%, HINDI ganito [(1000 – 999.99) +20000] * 3.5%.
    SHITTY BANK, i suggested changes pero the remark, thats why malaki sahod mo.

    Jun 22, 2009 | 8:01 pm

     
  38. hentz says:

    Hello again , i want to share some articles for additional info, pang US to pero pwede din ma apply here in the philippines,
    this is the link http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/rip-offs/10-things-your-bank-wont-tell-you-23457/

    Jun 22, 2009 | 8:12 pm

     
  39. hentz says:

    Jun 22, 2009 | 10:51 pm

     
 

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