I went bank hopping this morning to facilitate refunds for our event that will not push through. Good thing that most of the banks that I need have branches outside the village so it's just a matter of walking from bank to bank.
Doing this exercise made me test the customer service and facilities of the different banks. I therefore conclude that BDO has the best and BPI and Metrobank has the worst.
My first stop was BDO at the Richville Center branch. My bank of choice is actually BDO and I maintain accounts with them at my branch at One McKinley at Taguig. I'm glad to see that their customer service is uniform across all branches. I had multiple transactions and they were very patient with me. They even scolded me when I lined up as being pregnant, I should have gone straight to the new accounts area where there are seats. When I had to use the cash machine, an employee was waiting in the wings just to assist me.
I also went to another branch in Molito and it was the same experience. Even though I'm grumbling about their fees which they will charge soon for online transfers, their service makes up for it.
Summary: Great customer service, boo for the charges for deposit to provincial account as well as for send money transactions. But the cash machines is a work around for that.
Next one was BPI which was at the next building at Unioil. I also had multiple transactions so I meticulously entered them in their machine. After which, I scanned the room and saw that there were no available seats as the branch was fully packed. I waited for someone to offer me a chair but the customers were all impatiently waiting for their number to be called. I pointedly looked at the guard manning the door and he just looked right back at me. So I just stood there for several minutes until finally, a seat was vacated. The numbers were still in the 30's while the numbers I were holding were in the 70s. I was prepared for another long wait when one of the tellers called me. Apparently, I can jump the queue since I was pregnant. I was pleased but it did not diminish my disappointment about their lack of concern for pregnant women and PWDs.
Summary: I haven't had a good experience with ANY BPI branch. Their cash machines are not that user friendly if you intend to deposit to another account (you need the card number of their ATM instead of the account number). However, their "any branch is your home branch" facility rocks. No charges for deposits to provincial accounts and you can book an appointment if you do not want to line up. However, you can only do this for up to 5 transactions only.
My next stop was Metrobank, which was at the Alabang Business Tower--also next door. My transactions were deposits to a provincial account so I was looking for a cash machine so I can save on the service charge. When I entered the branch, I asked the guard about it and he just looked at me and abruptly said that they don't have one. I asked where is the nearest one and he said it's just at Ayala across Honda. So I walked down Acacia looking for the branch but I didn't find it. I just took a jeep (yes, I hauled my pregnant self into a jeepney!) to Molito where I know there's another Metrobank branch with a cash machine.
When I got to Molito, I searched for the cash machine. It's not located inside the branch but inside a hot stuffy room with the ATM with its own entrance. But I couldn't stay long inside that room because the machine was not user friendly and it kept on spitting out my bills. In fact, it tore the P500 bill which I inserted which the teller fortunately replaced. The heat did not help and there was no ventilation inside the small room. I went back and forth from the branch and the machine but in the end, I gave up and just did an over the counter transaction and paid for the P50 each charge for two non-NCR accounts. I asked the teller why the machine was not accepting my bills and he said that the machine does not accept P200 denomination. *facepalm*
Summary: Metrobank branches are hit and misses. There are times that you have to line up for an hour just for your number to be called. And my first time to use their cash machine is quite a disappointment. The grumpy security guard was also a turn off. One thing I learned about branches is that the security guard is the first point of human contact of the customer so it should count. Apparently, manong guard didn't get the memo.
For a bank with a few branches, I was glad to see that they had one here at Alabang. However, I wasn't able to push through with my transactions as I was told that the service charge for deposit to a provincial account was P100. And I was only depositing P750. At least the security guard was friendly and answered my questions for me. I don't know though if what he gave was correct but the point that there's a charge was a disappointment.
Summary: Pogi points for the helpful security guard but boo for the charges.
I was supposed to have one transaction with this bank but backed off when I found out that there's also a charge for deposit to a provincial account. Again, it's also at P100 and I'm only depositing P750. I did not even make it inside the branch!
Summary: Come to think of it, I didn't see a security guard at the door. Once I entered the branch, I was immediately greeted by their new accounts teller who answered my question.
I've always had good experiences with Unionbank in whatever branch I go to. The one that I visited was at Alabang Town Center and I was the only one there. Great thing was there was no service charge for an over the counter transaction. Too bad it was only one account though.
Summary: the branch in ATC is a small one but everyone was so helpful.