Why I Hate the Big, Bad Bank

Thursday, September 20, 2012 Stef dela Cruz 14 Comments

Once upon a time, I had to open a new account in another bank. I have always been a loyal patron of the Bank of the Philippine Islands – or BPI – but I thought opening an account with another big bank was a good idea. (Darn, I should have stuck with BPI.)

Bank Money

It’s a problem if you don’t have money. It’s also a problem if you have money – and you choose to entrust it to the “big, bad bank”.

I will not mention the name of the big, bad bank. But if it’s your bank, you can relate immediately. This bank in question doesn’t really care much about customer service; all they care about is their inconvenient protocol.

The Big, Bad Bank’s Mobile Banking Process

I wanted to enroll for mobile banking at my new bank – let’s call it BBB (short for big, bad bank, of course.) I told the teller my intentions. The teller informed me that I had to go online, print out the form, fill it out, and come back to submit the form.

I scratched my head. I was already inside the bank. Didn’t they have a form right there? I didn’t see the point in having to go home just to print out a form which I have to submit by going all the way back to BBB. It just sounded like it was a waste of time for a client like me.

I asked the teller if it was possible for them to kindly print out the form for me so that I didn’t have to come back. However, she said I really had to use my own internet connection. SIGH. Fine, fine. I decided to go home and come back later.

In the meantime, since I was already inside BBB, I thought of having my statement of account printed out. I was having a hard time reconciling my bank account with my deposits and withdrawals, so a printed copy would have done me a lot of good.

Thus starts my second dose of hellish customer service.

The Big, Bad Bank’s Printout Fees

At my original bank (BPI), I could request for a printout of my statement anytime – for free. It was supposed to be a bank courtesy: in the era of ATM cards, we no longer have bank passbooks that we can consult for the most recent transactions. (BPI also sends me a statement of account by mail every month without my telling them to do so – it’s part of their customer service. I love how they have initiative.)

But I digress. Going back to BBB, I asked a teller to please print out a list of my latest transactions. I was a little shocked when they told me it would cost me PhP150 (that’s almost $4).

Was their paper made of gold? Sheesh. I then asked why it cost that much to have a statement of account, which I was entitled to as a customer who had an account with their bank in the first place. I then looked at the paper – it was ordinary printer paper, and it used something like dot matrix to print out the information. Nothing special there.

It looked like the big, bad bank just wanted to squeeze out more money from me than necessary!

The Big, Bad Bank’s Online Forms

I was very disappointed – and a little ticked off – by the customer service of the big, bad bank. But what choice did I have? I went back home and got online to print out the form for mobile banking. Remember, it’s the form I had to print out at home despite my actual presence inside the bank, and I had to go back to the bank just to submit the form.

Imagine my frustration when I found out that their online forms were currently unavailable!

Wow, that was the end of the line for me. It seems like that bank really cared very little about the comfort of their customers. There was no effort to make it easier for customers to sign up for mobile banking inside the bank itself. And even online, there was no way I could access the form. God knows when the forms will be available again!

I told my family never to transact with that bank. And I was grateful that most of my money now is with the bank that has served me well for the past ten years: Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Disclaimer: This is NOT a paid blog post. I was in no way approached by BPI to share this. I am just one of the many disgruntled customers of the big, bad bank. How about you, have you been a victim of really bad customer service from the big, bad bank? Or maybe you have complaints about my good ol’ bank (BPI) instead? This is blog post is open to both sides – do share your stories. And do visit my Facebook page – maybe the big bad bank won’t appreciate your efforts, but I will!

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.


  1. Nakaka relate ako. Hahaha! I tried doing that before, sa sobrang hassle ng enrollment online sa BBB na to. Kinalimutan ko nalang xa. Ng bago na sila ng proc, pwd na mg enroll online pro dpt humanap ka ng atm nla in 24 hours kundi tapos ang effort mo. What's more? I heard recently that they'l be charging for every withrawal you make kahit sa kanila yung ATM machine terminal. Sucks much!

  2. They've been like that for a few years now. I've been their customer way back and their service was splendid but shooting years ahead it went from splendid to worse bank ever as well. Shifted to a different bank once I started experiencing horrible service.

    I made my switch though a few years back as well when things got messy in their customer service perspective.

  3. No kidding?!? They are going to charge for ATM transactions - even if it's their OWN atm machine? Seriously???

    Talk about being greedy. Tsk. You're right, it sucks. :)

  4. LOL...I bank with BPI too and the only annoyance I experienced from them is when their ATM only dispenses thousand peso bills! This post give me an idea on a topic ;)

  5. I can totally relate to your experience. The payroll of the former company I worked for is linked to the "big, bad bank". Since my payroll account is still active even after I left the company, I decided to use it for some transactions with other clients. I opted for an online account to easily track the transactions. When I checked it with the branch nearest to our place, I was advised the same thing -- that is, fill out the online form, print it out, and bring it to your branch. It means that I needed to go to Taguig, where our account was opened, just to enroll for an online account. It was waaaay too inconvenient for me! Who would want to travel all the way from Cavite to Taguig just to bring a sheet of paper when you could have done it at the comforts of your home or at your nearest branch. I agree with you. BPI is better than them. When I opened my account with BPI, they even advised me to enroll it online when I get home and explained to me the entire process.

  6. Nendogamer, it's good that you've shifted to a better bank! Apparently, they'll start charging even for ATM transactions from their own ATM machines (but I haven't verified this yet).

    Doc Maritel, BPI is often offline when I use it for cash-free transactions - but I'd rather have that than the BS of the big, bad bank! :)

    Manette, the BBB is obviously not geared towards making things better for their customers... as long as our money is with them. Tsk, tsk.

  7. I'm also loyal to BPI but I have accounts in BBB for convenience purposes because they are open during weekends but I really hate service, very poor customer service. tsk tsk tsk.

  8. And don't forget the BBB's rude employees.

  9. i can relate. Years of dealing with slow tellers, having to wait for hours just for an interbranch withdrawal approval, standing in line (also for hours) at banks because they won't provide couches. Unfortunately, i don't have a choice since my clients mostly have accounts there, plus they admittedly have the most extensive branch network. Sadly, this bank is more concerned with making money than anything else. Much like its other sister companies.

  10. I wonder if they'll ever change. Or if they'll push through with the alleged charging of ATM transactions even via their very own ATM machines. God have mercy.

  11. I hate BPI. Magaling lang silang sa PR sa pagtatago ng baho nila.

  12. Chinabank, I guess?

  13. Anonymous #11, too bad you hate BPI! Everybody else loves them - and it's not just about PR. I hope you find the bank for you. Good luck!