02 February 2007

Singapore's Cockiest Bank Officer? (2)

I got a queue number for Priority Banking (PB) customers. A Relationship Manager (RM) in his 20s looked unengaged so I asked him if he could serve me or would I have to wait for my number to be called. He replied curtly and without smiling, "Ya, your number will appear on the display. We have other things to do." Okay fine, I waited. Meanwhile, I noticed that the normal queue was moving faster than the PB queue - What priority? What irony!

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. Didn't say who his father was. Didn't introduce himself or hand me a name card. As the silence was getting awkward, I had no choice but to start the conversation:

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?

Me: xxxx134B

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 scorned poorly served.) The RM came back after a while.

Wife: Can we see your supervisor or manager?

RM (looking cocky): Today, I am the one the way and the truth.

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 to avoid incurring the wrath of a woman.

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 and looks are excellent. But most important of all, she knows how to smile. (JY, if this word sounds foreign to you, its definition in my dictionary is 'a curve that can set a lot of things straight'.) You will understand why I still prefer to go to YW whenever I have dealings with CB. It's just that I happened to be in Tampines that day. Damn it! And it turned out to be a wrong decision.

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.


Anonymous said...

I feel you should just send in a complaint. Make it a strong message while you are at it. Even if you send him a email, I don't think he would give 2 hoots abt it given his current attitude.

If its just a 1 off day for him...i dun think he will be penelised at all..given its just 1 complain
but if he's a regular at lousy service, your complain will help to remove such undesirable elements.

Chris Sim said...

Walau eh.. priority banking customer kena treated like dirt. Hyperlink this post to the bank customer serive hot line lah...

You were quite cool already, living up to your name's sake. If it were me, hehehehe, it would have been another A** incident leow

My take is, if he's not taught a lesson, he's gonna do more harm to the name of the bank. Pls do us (and the bank) a service (with a smile). Lodge a tokong complaint against him lah! Shoot the letter to the HQ.

Anonymous said...

GD: go ahead and complain!! If you didnt, he will treat other people like this too..

btw, Is it SCB or CB? my sis works in CB... If you are talking about CB, you can look for my sis, she is the Assistant RM there.

CB soudns so crude... hahaha.

P.S. dont slap me GD, im a good girl T_T

Victor said...

CJ Tay - Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. From your initials and what you have commented, do you happen to be a Chief Justice, hee? Okay, your views have been noted. I may hyperlink this post to the bank just as I did to NEA about the rubbish bin incident, together with a short explanatory note. I think this post is stinging enough already, based on the facts alone.

Chris - Thanks for the compliment. In fact, I do not have a habit of using the acronyms S***, WTF and CB in my post or even in my thoughts. But this incident really got me fuming. Remember what MGC said? "If he has a gun, he would have shot him down cold-bloodedly just like what Tony Kia did to Guni Ter, haha."

I will wait 3 days and tally the 'for and against' comments before acting. Thank you very much for all your comments. Please do keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

Logde a complaint! I need to count how many "cockiest" service staff I have encountered! Or maybe I am not a "red hair monkey"...tt'y I'm treated like that :(

Anonymous said...

If you want to complain then don't do it half-heartedly. I doubt the RM fellow cares very much about his job in the first place. So I think you should complain 'loud-loud' and get the bank RM's boss to answer for what is ultimately his shortcoming.

If "scared this, scared that" then just get it off your chest by griping about it on your blog; and then go and watch Borat.

I ever complained against HDB officer and Spring officers who process/approve our subsidies/claims. I want them to know that just becos we are receiving money from them doesn't mean they can treat us like dirt. It is the public's money; not theirs.

Victor said...

Elaine, Tigerfish, Chun See - Thank you very much for your views. The tally now stands at 5 'yes' votes and 0 'no' vote. The votes indicate that we are all overwhelmingly against poor service in the service industry.

A warm welcome to Tigerfish for commenting on my blog for the first time. Hope to see more of your comments here. Your food blog looks very interesting but too bad that I can't go to California to try out the restaurant fare and your food. Are you working/studying in California?

eastcoastlife said...

不要学我哦, 阿姨有练过!

If it's me,
1) at that moment, I f*** him oredi arh!!! Still let him continue treat me like that.

2) I blog. Share the story & spread it to as far as possible.

3) I complain.

He still young, can take the hit wan. More hits and he will be a ichiban manager.

Victor said...

Jayne - I gentleman mah, haha.

Anyway, with such encouraging response from all of you, I decided not to give JY the 3-day grace. I've just submitted a short feedback with links to my 2 self-explanatory posts via the CB website. Now let's wait for the CB reply. Will be updating all of you once I get a CB response.

Anonymous said...

My impression is that this fellow is not happy in his job, maybe he got another one and just waiting..

I think I would have scolded him on the spot.

Ya, complain.

eastcoastlife said...

thanks for agreeing with me.
E-wave effect. hahaha.....

tigerfish said...

Sometimes complain complain maybe can get free gifts (money?) ...ahahahha...from the bank leh? LOL!
Maybe this time of the yr, you may receive more FREE ang pow zua, with CB logo, PRIORITY imprinted on it! Buahahaha....
I ever complained(told the manager it was "feedback") for some bad professsionalism and got 20% discount for what I was orginally supposed to pay!
Working? OH Domestic Director loh!:O

Victor said...

Tigerfish - Good one, muahahaha.

Unknown said...

maybe you should submit this to tomorrow.sg and let them know what CB really means. I think its absolutely fine that you let them know that you are going public with this. After all, there is nothing that you did which is untrue or seditious, and you are one aggrieved customer that deserves it.

I would even say call The New Paper hotline if you want to bring it further. I am sure that thereafter, all the other banks will come after you with irresistible offers!

eastcoastlife said...

Waahhh! Cool insider,
you very the tok (poisonous) huh!

Silent d__'s bite is the deadliest.

Victor said...

Thanks Walter for the suggestion. But did I hear you bark... er, I mean say that I deserved it (the treatment) somewhere in there? Haha.

I think I have given this incident enough publicity. (Never underestimate the far-reaching power of blogging.) In this case, that CB officer was more at fault then the bank, I feel. In any case, because of this episode, I have decided to fully redeem my loan on 16 Jan 2008 when my 2-year lock-in period expires and I don't have to pay any penalty.