Public Bank, though very good with their customer service and support at their branches, is absolutely rubbish at telephone helpline. Googled a free phone number for their customer service 1800 22 5555, but no one answers the phone. Phoned another number, a national number, 03-21795000, it is just an automated answering machine that you can only check for bank account information. Tried another number, 03-21799999, a PBe customer support helpline, just to try my luck on my query about QR code for business. Nope the lad thought I should phone up the “customer service”, 03-21766000. Alright, fair enough. But no one bloody answers the phone again. What’s wrong with Public Bank??!
Received an email from P1 about a week ago telling me that they are going to discontinue their WiMAX offering. Essentially the modem that I am using will no longer work by 5th September. And I will need to return the modem and settle all outstanding charges before I can completely terminate the P1 account. I really thought P1 was packing shop, as the email also mentioned they are now in the hands of TM. To initiate the termination process I also need to fill up their online support form.
If you click on the link above, you will see that it is just a generic customer care form. And I will need to fill in quite a bit of information. Can they not create a dedicated form to facilitate the termination process? No, they prefer to make it complicated for their existing customers. Anyway I decided to switch to ADSL service as P1 was getting worse. I have been with them for three years. Lately, I found that when I make a call, for some reasons even if I had already hung up the phone, it remained in an active state. Meaning, I could not make a call out again, not until the state of the call changes. To expedite things, I normally just reboot the modem. And you know what, I have filled up one of these online support forms before, to complain about this problem, and I heard nothing from them. So do you think I can trust it when it comes to terminating my account?
So brought my modem to a branch, thinking that I could just terminate the account there and then. But was told that I need to bring the cordless phone and LAN cable too. Anyway I was required to make a call to P1 regardless, the staff at the branch could not terminate the account even if I brought all the bells and whistles. After initiating the termination process, I will need to wait for an SMS and/or email from P1 telling me my next steps. Should I not receive an SMS or email from them within three days, I can bring the equipment to the branch to complete the termination process. When I asked the rep on the phone what exactly do I need to bring to complete the termination process, he only told me about the modem, and could not mention anything more.
Okay got both the SMS and email the next day. Brought the P1 modem, power adapter, a phone cable, a LAN cable and Motorola cordless phone (together with the base) to the branch, thinking that I should be terminate my account this time. Then the girl at the branch found that there was no rechargeable battery in the cordless phone. Brilliant, I have been with P1 for over 3 years, I have thrown the original rechargeable batteries away, I explained. But regardless it is a requirement. Fxxk why did they not list down all the things, including the rechargeable batteries, that I need to bring back? If I am a new customer, then I might still be able to remember everything that comes in the box. But I have been with them for three fxxking years. Even their customer reps couldn’t tell me top of their head what needs to be returned, yet they expect customers to know exactly what to bring back. You see, another bunch of time wasters.
On more than one occasions now customer reps at Maybank show they don’t know their products and services well enough. It’s basically wasting everybody’s time if they don’t train their staff to be on the same page as what they are trying to offer to customers.
Let’s talk about balance transfer on Maybank credit cards. I saw a good balance transfer deal when I was at a Maybank branch months ago. It is 0% balance transfer for 12 months with only 1% handling fee (usually 3% as it is a promotion). So I enquired whether I can balance transfer money to a third party like my wife’s credit card, as it is okay to do that in the UK. The guy, specialised in credit card balance transfer said no. But he then told me that if my wife is a supplementary cardholder of mine, then she would be able to do that. Okay so I applied a supplementary card for my wife.
A week or two later, my wife suspected that the Maybank branch called to tell her that the credit cards are ready at the branch but she missed the call, she was cooking in the evening. They didn’t bother calling again. They didn’t bother calling the principal card holder, that would be me, too, in case they have got the number wrong. We just waited for another week or two before we just turn up at the branch to see if the cards are ready. I tried calling their national customer helpline before, was put on hold for over half an over on a queue and eventually they just cut me off. Fantastic stuff.
So we just turn up at the branch expecting the cards to be ready anyway. That took us half an hour waiting for the customer rep to service a customer. Majority of them sitting around are financial advisers trying to sell you Maybank products, not really there to serve customers’ interest. This rep who is supposed to be the proper customer rep, however knows very little. We asked if I the principal card holder can view my wife’s transactions, so that I know how much to pay in the next statement. She was not sure, suggesting that my wife might need an online maybank2u account with them to view her transactions. Problem is my wife does not bank with Maybank and does not plan to have another sets of account with Maybank. Life is already complicated enough. We told them that RHB allows transactions from supplementary card holder to be viewed by principal card holder online. So is it possible I add my wife’s card so I can view her transactions? She didn’t know and had to call for help. Fair enough, meanwhile I had to go back to my car to scratch for more parking time. Don’t want to be fined by traffic warden.
We asked for the balance transfer form with promotion but this same rep pulled us an outdated one. She did not seem to know about these promotions. And she did not know who best to ask around her desk either, as it appears that there are people who know more about balance transfer than others.
After confirming that principal card holder cannot see transactions by supplementary card holder until the monthly statement, we decided to cancel my wife’s credit cards on the same day. Another issue is I haven’t received a single statement, by post or by email, from Maybank ever since I started using their credit cards months ago. When I tried hitting the point to this rep, she kept telling me that I can go online to check the e-statement. No, I don’t want to keep checking my online bank account for statements. I want to be notified when the statement is ready! As I don’t want to miss credit card payments! You cannot expect customers to always remember when in the month the statement is ready! So I had to fill up another form to tell Maybank that I want to receive my statements by email (they have my correct email address in the system BTW).
Back to balance transfer. Now that my wife’s credit card was cancelled. I pulled together necessary documents and try to balance transfer money to a credit card where I am a supplementary card holder. The guy, who is a balance transfer specialist, as I was directed to him straightaway without having to queue
the next day, seemed happy to process my application. The credit card statement I provided has my name and credit card number as a supplementary card holder. Then two days later I received an SMS yesterday:
RM0.00 MBB:We regret to inform that we are unable to accede to your Balance Transfer appl. Thank you for your interest shown.
Without any reason, with just an SMS they decline your application. Very helpful. So I had to call their national helpline again to find out why, despite knowing that I might have to wait a long time on the phone and be cut off without warning. Okay managed to speak to a rep this time, he did not however know that my application for balance transfer was declined and I had to read him the above SMS message. Waited a while again and he came back to me that balance transfer must be from principal card holder of Maybank to principal card holder of another credit card provider. Wow, after everything, weeks of running around, applications, face to face and phone communications, frustrations, now only you deliver me this crucial line!
You see, that is Malaysia’s culture. They like wasting everyone’s time. If Maybank have trained their staff properly, with the correct information, they could have avoided all these very early on. But the problem is endemic as you can see. It’s not just this particular case highlighted about balance bank transfer. You might argue that I am a difficult customer in this case, but you see, in the UK, I can balance transfer to any third party credit card. So unless they tell me clearly otherwise I wouldn’t know!
Thought I’ll send my MyVi to this Abi Motors Perodua Service Centre for a service having received a leaflet (below) from them in my letterbox.
Called them up, looking to confirm their location and the price for a service. The rep was okay on the phone, claiming that they are competitive on pricing, but unwilling to tell me further on their prices, saying that they can explain (their packages) better at the shop.
Okay, took the plunge anyway as I wanted to service my car before a trip to KL. It was fairly easy to find, with sign postings after I turned in from Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah Utara towards Bercham. Marketing wise, they seemed to have done alright, distributing leaflets, clear sign postings and okay rep on the phone. But that was about it. When I arrived at the shop, it was a different story. Those who were supposed to serve customer didn’t feel like they wanted to serve customers. I was brought in by a mechanic, to be fair. Initially there was one sitting in the shop, serving customer. Then came a in rep who didn’t bother to ask what I was there for. Another service rep sat down. So there were two idle reps not doing anything, at least not to me anyway. After waiting for a while, I asked what was I waiting for? Did they expect that I was their regular customer? As a new customer, I didn’t know what to expect! Considering that they put out leaflets to try to reach new customers, can their front desk reps at least be prepared that there might be new customers walking in through the door?!! The guy asked if I have made a booking. No, I haven’t. Actually I wanted to check on the price first. But that guy asked me to wait, presumably for my turn. So only one of the three could serve customers. For fxxk sake couldn’t they just hit me with a price list, or at least try to win me over with their service offerings, or anything?!! No, more waiting. They were like bloody bureaucrats.
When it was my turn, the “real” service rep called me over. Oh, he didn’t expect that I wasn’t driving a “new” car. And no, I haven’t got a service history booklet, as I bought the car second hand without one. Now get over it, okay?! Put my number plate into their system, came up with a name. No I’m not called X Y Z. What is the matter, do you expect everyone to come into their service centre first hand owners of Perodua cars? If they want to keep putting off new customers, keep that guy in the job. He’s brilliant at it! Asked for my IC number. No, I’m technically not your customer yet, why would I want to give you my IC number? I just wanted to check on the price first! Quoted RM250 for a basic service. Then my phone rang. Wife already found her way here after picking up my daughter. And I was still stuck checking on the price, which I should have already been given from the phone call.
Anyway with so much anger that I was unwilling to stomach any further, I sent my car to a known garage that is a little out of the way but at least they know how to deal with customers. Why customer services in Ipoh, or in Malaysia in general, so bad? Do they not give out training? And you know what, no one, and I really mean no one, smiled to me during my entire time in the service centre!
It’s almost a year since I got my BMW (F30). Been getting the following error message on the display every now and then.
Normally the blower fan kicks in first, whether the car is locked or not, before the error message appears when I start the car. Asked the Ipoh dealer before but they didnt seem to know anything about it apart from asking me to send the car in for observation. Lately I found out from Internet forum that I am not the only car owner suffering from this problem. Straight away rang the dealer to enquire. But haven’t sent the car over yet due to various commitments. Here is where I found out that others are having the same problem:
Brought a friend from the UK to lunch today. Where to go in Ipoh? Ipoh is rather famous for some local food. Maybe my friend will enjoy some local food. So we decided to bring him to Ipoh old town Tian Chun (天津) for the famous soup based flat noodles with chicken strips and shrimps.
Parked the car, and we walked on the Concubine Lane towards the shop. The Concubine Lane was full of tourists. Has to be, as they were seen snapping photos. We then realised today is school holiday. And Tian Chun was packed. Found ourselves a table that just cleared. Considered ourselves lucky as we didn’t have to wait for a table at all. Ordered our drinks, and then three bowls of the famous noodles.
Initially we felt content. We had much to catch up. And we were not hungry. But half and hour went by, then 45 mins, and there was still no sign of our noodles. Chased the lady, who looks like foreign labour, and she said they have not forgotten about our orders. Another 15 minutes went by, even the table that came later than us had their noodles. Think they bloody messed up our orders. It was hot, and it was very humid inside the shop, as there was a heavy down pour not long ago whilst we were waiting for our food. I felt like I was about to explode if I were required to wait any longer!
So the noodles finally arrived, after just over an hour. It costed us RM17.50 for three bowls of noodles (normal size RM5.50, big bowl RM6.50). When asked what my friend thought of the noodles, “it was ALMOST worth the wait”, not wanting to sound rude! What do you think?
It is interesting now that I’m in business I am more sensitive to how businesses are doing around. Just noticed another restaurant is closed in De Garden. This time it is a Sri Lankan restaurant, fine dining one, called Aliyaa.
We have been there once. Food is great, service is great. But I guess the pricing is on the high side that it can’t sustain in Ipoh. They have one in Damansara which presumably is doing quite well that they open a branch in Ipoh. But again Ipoh is a tough nut to crack. Many franchises have come and gone without much success. Those that stay apparently are not really doing so well. We used to have Burger King, PappaRich. Not sure what else. But they are no more in Ipoh. The Ipoh folks are misers. Spending power not on the same level as those in KL, population in Ipoh much smaller, and less foreign tourists. In general more difficult to do business. Think we are going to see yet more businesses packing up during this economy downturn.
Went to Public Bank to pay company GST for the first time. Was told that I can’t pay over the counter at Public Bank. Can only pay on-line. BUT with their business account, I can only view transactions and all on-line. I can’t do nothing with on-line payment. Pay SOCSO, NO, Pay EPF contributions, NO. Bank transfers, NO. Now GST return, can’t even do it over the counter. Bloody hopeless. If you want to be able to do the above on-line, you need to pay extra. Over RM20 a month to use their on-line service. How bloody thick of them, when they should really be encouraging customers to move on-line. Especially now that they charge RM0.50 to process each cheque, and that hasn’t even included GST! Public Bank is like a dinosaur in the modern world, slow moving, clumsy, outdated, but blood sucking at the same time.
Customer service rep however “kindly” told me that I can pay at Maybank or CIMB nearby. I hope she is ashamed of the bank she’s working for. So I have to drive to Maybank. Maybank, as I have been told before, is the most Internet friendly, even for business customers. I have a Maybank personal account, but which I have not been using for such long time that it has gone inactive, I know their on-line services are pretty good. But at the counter service is so very frustrating. They just take a long time service a customer. Compared to Public Bank they are just so much slower. I really don’t understand how they can be so slow. I waited over half an hour for my turn. During that time only 8 were served, with 6 active counters. And when I wanted to reactivate my account, which I needed to queue separately for customer service, there was only one counter that could deal with my problem. But there just seemed to be so many staff around, and so many counters. I filled up my form already, but there is just only one active customer service counter. Appalling. I gave up. I need to think again whether I want to switch our business account over to Maybank.
Been having a few problems with the little car we bought last year from a second-hand dealer. And frustratingly problems showed up when we were about to go up (or going up!) Cameron Highlands. One time there was a puncture in the T metal connector connecting the pipes for cooling the engine. Temperature on the indicator shot up as we were climbing up the hills. Switched off the engine, waited for the engine to cool down before continuing again, but problem persisted. Eventually we parked our car on the roadside, next to a car who was driven into the drain by a drunkard! Thanks to the people around, who stopped by to help the poor chap, the leaking hole was temporarily “bandaged” using rubber (believed to be from tyre tube) found on the road. We drove the car back to Ipoh, but not without lots of top up with water as water still kept leaking out. Even my daughter now knows that we need to make sure the car is alright before we go on holiday otherwise we will need to stop the car many times to fill the car with water! After much huffing and puffing, we got to a workshop at Simpang Pulai. Apart from having to replace the T connector, the connecting rubber pipes were old and stiff and needed replacing. Rust were flushed out and coolant replaced. Hundreds of Ringgit changed hands.
The second time recently, the air-cond stopped cooling on the night before we wanted to go up Cameron Highlands. The air-cond got noisier the next day when we switched on the air-cond and it stopped cooling altogether too. We eventually swapped car with my mum and went up Cameron Highlands anyway. Turned out that the compressor of the air-cond needed replacing. Same for the condensing unit, as according to the mechanic something went black as a result from the failed compressor. Lots of money changed hand again. That was that. But what was annoying was we got some clancking sound as we drove the car away. Asked the mechanic to test it the next day, the sound was nowhere to be heard. But we still heard it, especially in the morning, and when we released the handbrake. Then days later, smoke came out and the air-cond stopped working, again! Went back to the same shop (called 福利, across the road from the Honda dealer Ban Hoe Seng), furious, and was told that the air-cond fan needed replacing too. Told them about the sound we still heard, one of the mechanics didn’t seem too interested in our problem. And this shop was recommended, highly, by my brother. Not sure why to be honest. Just lots of frustration with service we received in Ipoh.
So the new car seems timely for our trip, well to Penang, not Cameron Highlands this time 🙂 Not sure if we are excited with the arrival of our new car, our first new car! As it costs lots of money. And it can get very expensive with this brand of car if it breaks down! We’ll see how it goes, hope the new car is not going to give us huge problems for many many years to come…*fingers crossed*