My number finally flashed on the display and I was to be served by the same officer. "S***, just my luck", I thought. He gave me a cold look as I sat down. No smile, no shaking of hands, no "Good morning, Sir", "Hello" or "May I help you" from him either.
Me: I am here to find out if it is worthwhile to partially redeem my housing loan with my CPF money since it is paying me only 2.5% interest and your bank is charging me 4.55% for the loan.
RM (as if interrogating a suspect): What is your IC number?
He typed something on his PC and looked at the display for a few minutes, without saying a word. (A customer-oriented officer could say something like, "Please wait a moment while I retrieve your records. It won't take very long.")
I cocked my head to peer at the display. He realised what I was doing and immediately swivelled the PC a little away from me. I got the message and looked elsewhere. Such hostility was unjustified - wasn't I only looking at my own records?
What seemed like an eternity passed.
I finally broke the silence: Actually, if the bank didn't introduce the new way of calculating interest recently, I wouldn't have wanted to redeem the loan.
RM (looking bewildered): But the bank is losing money.
Me: How can the bank be losing money? So would the bank rather lose a customer?
RM (dropping the bombshell nonchalantly): I think so.
WTF! Frankly, I was stunned by that uncalled-for retort. Now I know why the bank's name has the letters 'CB' in it. At this time, my wife came and sat beside me. While the RM was away getting some forms, I told her what happened. My wife was furious. (Hell hath no wrath like a woman
Wife: Can we see your supervisor or manager?
RM (looking cocky): Today, I am the one
Wife: Okay, then can you give us the necessary forms and the contact number as we would like to reconsider our options more carefully.
He wisely did as told
I don't know why I bothered to thank him but when I did, he just nodded. The much awaited "You're welcome", his last chance at a saving grace, never came. Before leaving, I took one of his name cards from his table. No, not to write him a letter of commendation, of course but to know the identity of what could be 'Singapore's cockiest bank officer'. Ah, so his initials were JY.
So JY, if you are reading this post, I have this to say - I think you are in the wrong line. You are doing a disservice to your bank.
Make no mistake, my banking experience with CB has been positive until recently when they started to squeeze so much money out of me. And lest any of you think that I am a difficult customer, well I am actually not. I have previously encountered a few RMs of the same bank who provided impeccable customer service. A few years ago, I even gave feedback via the bank's website, commending another RM in its Marine Parade Branch. By the way, her initials are YW and her customer service, attitude
Still on the topic of customer service, today I had lunch at Maxwell Food Centre. It was not exactly a place where I expected to get a very contrasting customer experience. But I did.
I went to order a cup of tea from stall no. 01-90 (金成号饮品冰室). The middle-aged stall lady greeted me with a smile and a "Good afternoon". When I paid for the tea that she served personally to my table, she said gratefully, "Thank you very much." I was so impressed by her service that I spoke to her, commended her good service, shook her hand and even got her name (Helen) because she did not print name cards. When I told her that I wanted to blog about my good customer experience with her, she thanked me some more and asked me to bring my friends to her stall. So go on and try her, I mean her coffee and tea. Give her an impromptu test and let me know whether she treated you differently.
JY, looks like you could learn something from Helen, the coffee lady. She only sold me a cup of tea that cost a mere 60 cents and yet she took pride in providing good service. On the other hand, you know that my dealings with your bank run into several hundred thousand dollars and are worth several thousand dollars in annual earnings to your bank, part of which pays your salary. So did I really deserve the service that I got last Saturday?
I would like to consult my dear readers on what further action I should take, if any, besides blogging about this experience? If I lodge a complaint via the bank's website, JY could be in serious danger of losing his job or his next promotion (for I am quite sure that he's not the Bank President's son). I don't want that to happen because this may be his first job and he may really need it. Should I send a personal email to him highlighting this post so that he may improve? (I got his name card, remember?) Or should I wait till he or his colleagues find out about this post (and I am sure they will, in time). Please give me your views as I am still in a state of shock and cannot think properly. Oh, I nearly forgot, thank you very much for reading this post and giving your views. Hope to see you again and have a nice day.