I have been emotionally harassed in the thought that I might go for my much-awaited vacation leave outside Philippines without money at hand.
I’m not well-off but I can say I earn enough to sustain myself and a few luxuries (such as traveling and vacation) if my budget permits. Tomorrow is my flight for Bangkok and by now, I should be relaxing somehow but I feel strained with the thought that my vacation money has to be cleared in 7-days.
Yes, you read it. 7-days. WTF?!
I earned that money from an extra job from a friend (let’s call her Friend A). Since she’s in Laguna and I’m in Quezon City, bank to bank transaction came to mind as the fastest and easiest way for me to get the money.
I don’t have my own dollar account. To preserve the money’s value, I had to ask a favor from a friend-colleague of mine (let’s call her Friend B) if I can deposit my money to her dollar account as a way for me to get my payment. She’s kind enough and gave the details. So, Friend A deposited the money in BDO Los Baños to my Friend B’s BDO Dollar account (BDO Sta. Lucia Branch) yesterday (July 1) before lunchtime. Since we were busy yesterday for meetings and internet was down in the afternoon due to heavy rains I guess, my Friend B checked her account online last night.
No sign of the US $500 deposited.
I contacted Friend A who deposited the money today if she can helped me to trace the “missing” US $500. It was strange for all of us that the transaction didn’t reflect immediately. As far as we’ve experienced in Bank f the Philippine Islands (BPI) any transaction is reflected real-time and we’re always advised if any transaction would be encountering any problems (ex. can’t me immediately withdrawn or will be charged of so and so). But this BDO experience of mine recently is quite, how can I say it… odd and stressful.
A few minutes later, Friend A called me up to inform me that my money will be cleared after 7-days. She was not advised of such “procedure” earlier yesterday when in fact she mentioned it to the teller that she doesn’t have any account in BDO. Today, she asked the someone (I wasn’t able to catch the name) in that same branch (Los Baños) what action can be done since the money is being expected. We were advised to go to the main branch of Friend B which is BDO Sta. Lucia and give out the details of the transaction yesterday in BDO Los Baños and ask for the money to be “cleared” by paying a SWAP FEE of around PHP36.00 (0.0015% of the amount deposited). If further problems will be encountered we have to notify Friend A so she can call BDO Los Baños.
Can you imagine the hassle and how time consuming this is for me and other people? I feel somehow ashamed that I even hassled and bother other people for this “new” banking system of BDO. I didn’t that such “clearance” will happen. If I had known, I would have risked of depositing it to my peso account in BPI instead, withdrawn my money and bought dollars. It’s a lot of steps but at least I didn’t hassled other people.
I have a BDO savings account myself. I got that because I was persuaded and advised by my boss to have an account there so that my salary will be transferred there electronically. Now, I’m really thinking if I still have to continue that or just close it and asked my boss to hand my salary instead or be it deposited in my BPI Saving Account instead.
I was disappointed on the events happening. I was thinking that BDO made a difference in the banking system of this country. Since they went beyond the usual banking system we all knew like extended banking hours, banks located inside malls and even selected branches open during weekends. All these were advertised and I even heard of it from some other people. But now, I am really, REALLY disappointed.
And sad to say, aside from this bad experience of mine, I’ve been hearing of “money missing” in their peso savings account from other BDO depositors. Another friend of mine lost Php1,000.00 from her ATM savings account. They just told her that there was an event of a certain time that she withdrew but didn’t tell which branch and time it was. And another incident was another friend’s father lost Php 8,000.00 in their account. No efforts was given to them to retrace the missing money as well. Both sum of money went down the drain.
Hard-earned and saved money disappeared with no valid explanation? What kind of banking “service” is that?
Now, where can the BDO tagline “We find ways” being applied too?
Prior to me posting this, Friend B and I went to her BDO branch. They did release my money but we have to pay the SWAP FEE. When I asked them why they have such process. The teller said because it’s not our currency and it’s being done in toehr banks. Told her, BPI doesn’t and it’s realtime to the latter. No reaction. Then they let us wait for roughly 15-30 minutes then I got my money.
Tonight I can rest well because I’m “armed” now and thinking that my vacation is just a sleep away.