Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A big dinosaur destines to be extinct

Is big good? I used to be big in size but I cannot actually lift heavy weights or things. I am not that stiff but I am not very agile also. Does big corporation denote Good Corporation? Does a long established corporation denote Good Corporation? I used to open fixed deposit with one local finance company but it has merged some of its operation with its banking arm. The bank and finance belong to the same group and they have almost the same name except for the “bank” and “finance” word. The branch that I always go to has been closed down and all my accounts have been transferred to a branch that belongs to the banking arm. Luckily it is still within the vicinity of my house.

The bank is one of the biggest local banks and its ATM is found in almost every streets corner. It is one of the longest established corporations in Malaysia. I was at the branch near my house last week to put in some deposits and also update my fixed deposit accounts. I reached the branch at around 2 pm. It’s quite difficult to find a place to park as it’s situated at rows of shop lot. I parked at the back of the branch in one of those parking lots that requires coins feed to a parking meter. I put in enough coins to last for an hour which will be approximately 3 pm. So my wife and I leisurely walk towards the bank like a pair of young lovers out for an evening walk. We stop by at the 7/11 and bought a bottle of mineral water.

When I reach the branch, I was surprised as the interior was brightly lighted and on the right hand side which was partially enclosed contains around 6 ATMs’ and deposit machine. It has a number of customer queues at that point which is quite surprising. Right at the back of the reception contains a few tables and chairs which I guess looks like customer service and marketing department. “Apa nak, satu or lebih transaksi” a voice coming at the back of the reception, which means “What do you want, one or more transactions?”. To my surprise the voice belong to a woman who looks like a cleaner more than a bank staff. She wore a worn out head scarf and her sleeves is roll up to her arms. Anyway to me who cares, as long I got the queue number, so I told her one type of transactions and got a number that looks like the next number to be served.

As the branch operation is located upstairs, we quickly headed towards the staircase which is on the right. When we reach the first floor, our number has already been call, it is counter number 2. We headed straight to the counter. We hand over the FD slips for the update and we start to fill up the withdrawal form which is for our “New” FD. The teller while flipping the FD slips said that updating FD should be done at below and the number is different. So he is not going to perform the update transaction for us. So we told him the person below took the number for us and ask us to come up. So he went downstairs for almost 5 minutes and then he still repeat the same thing, “You got to go down and get a new number from button D”. So we ask why he could not perform the transaction as first reason is the number was given by the bank staff (cleaner or not cleaner, she was there) and second there is nobody at the back of us waiting. At that point I guess my blood pressure or whatever liquid starts to boil inside of me. My voice was crackling up and it was raised to a few extra decibels, in the end we give in and we went down and get a new number again.

There are a few things that were going through my mind at that point. How could a big and well established bank, has such a bad services towards its customer? How do they survive in such a customer oriented world? I was disappointed in Malaysia, a country moving forward as a third world country to a developed country still has such bad services and process in a big bank.

We went down and get a new number and we went straight to the back of the reception which we initially thought that it was some sort of customer service and marketing department. They do not look like a teller, after we went from counter to counter (or tables which is empty) for around a minutes, a lady wave us to goes upstairs. Well at this point in time, it looks like I am transferring from a mild manner human to a green beast. I walk up the stairs like a gun slinger ready to fire at anyone that blocks my way. Once I reached the upstairs, I bang the mineral bottle that I was holding into the table that was in the waiting area. The contact created a loud “Thud” sounds and the first word that comes out of my mouth was “Stupid Bank”. My wife starts to calm me down and after a few more “Stupid” from me, well its back to mild manner gentlemen.

When it’s our turn, the teller at counter 5 seems to say the same thing “This should be done at below”. My shirt start to feel tighter, my finger starts to roll together to become a fist, I guess the green beast is going to burst out from my body. My wife intervenes and after some exchange between the teller and its supervisor, the teller starts to perform the update transactions. That also he divides the FD slip to the teller beside him. As we also request to withdrawal some money to open up a new FD, we were also asked to fill up a form and put our thumb print as it is a inter branch transaction. I used to do the same process in the finance (my account is with the bank which is cross institution) but all I need to do is just fill up a withdrawal form and just pass an existing FD as an example and viola it was done less than 10 minutes. We spend more than an hour doing the same thing as I need to feed additional coins to the parking meter.

I think most of us will have guessed it correctly, the bank is Maybank. They are one of the banks who wanted to start charging a certain amount of fees for usage of their internet banking facilities, which caused a lot of dissatisfaction (even petition) among its customer and finally caused the central bank to issue a statement on the type of valid charges and fees that should incur to a customer. I suggest to them, that they should put the generation of number in the same floor as the operation to avoid causing any inconvenience to the customer. They do not even have any banking slips on the same floor; the slip is at the ground floor. As the current trend is putting emphasis on customer service and comfort, I hope Maybank will change its way and do not act like a dinosaur destines to be extinct.

3 comments:

leecs said...

HaHa, i encountered the similar thing 2 weeks ago at Beijing. I was going down to the branch (top 4 banks in china) down at my apartment to pay my office phone bill.
It was on Saturday afternoon (yeah they open on SAT for whole day) that whole banking hall only 3 customers including myself and I am the 2nd customer to be served. (Anyway only one counter open at that moment) while waiting for the 1st doing the transaction, 3 more customers came in and got the waiting no. After 10 min, here comes my turn and proceed to the counter to make the payment. At this moment, this teller was telling me that the no. I got is meant for corporate transaction where i should get a consumer transaction no. for my phone bill payment. I asked him that is it the same as now he is the only counter available but he insist that i get another no. for that!!! ok, i got another no. and back to the queue again. now, i got to wait for 3 more customers before my turn!!! and one of them got problem with the remittance which accidentally transfer to this branch and he need to open a new account for the transaction!!! Walow....instead of a 1 min transaction took me 45 min!!! Geram Betul....

leecs said...

HaHa, i encountered the similar thing 2 weeks ago at Beijing. I was going down to the branch (top 4 banks in china) down at my apartment to pay my office phone bill.
It was on Saturday afternoon (yeah they open on SAT for whole day) that whole banking hall only 3 customers including myself and I am the 2nd customer to be served. (Anyway only one counter open at that moment) while waiting for the 1st doing the transaction, 3 more customers came in and got the waiting no. After 10 min, here comes my turn and proceed to the counter to make the payment. At this moment, this teller was telling me that the no. I got is meant for corporate transaction where i should get a consumer transaction no. for my phone bill payment. I asked him that is it the same as now he is the only counter available but he insist that i get another no. for that!!! ok, i got another no. and back to the queue again. now, i got to wait for 3 more customers before my turn!!! and one of them got problem with the remittance which accidentally transfer to this branch and he need to open a new account for the transaction!!! Walow....instead of a 1 min transaction took me 45 min!!! Geram Betul....

SooHK said...

I read your block already. I guess this things happen everywhere in the world

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