... straddling the thin line between genius and insanity ...

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Getting out of Fitness First is not easy

Early this year, I had my account frozen as I was paying PHP2,500.00 per month when the last time I remember going to the gym was late last year. So I had my account frozen until July, I asked them to freeze my account indefinitely so that just in case I had more time, I could come back, but they told me that they could only freeze it for 3 months and I had to request them again to freeze it after. I also had to give them 30 days notice for them to freeze my account. A frozen account means that you still have to pay PHP500.00 every month, for what? I don't really know.

Fast forward to a few days ago, I decided to just cut the subscription. When I called up their office to inquire, they claimed that I can't cut it because my account was frozen. I had to make it active again before I can cut the subscription, I was like, WTF!!! Making it active would mean me paying them PHP2,500.00 again.

What kind of business practice is this? You freeze your account, you pay. You cancel your account, you pay dearly again. I just wish someone could setup a similar club with matching or better facilities and programs and does not have such a greedy practice. I can just see all the fitness first clients flocking to this new gym.

Anyway, am off to the forums to sell my fitness first membership. I've been a member for more than 2 years so there's no lock-up period anymore. Also, by buying this from me, the membership fee and administration fee is effectively waived. If you're interested, send me an email at rants.at.henyo.com

BDO - not really finding ways

BDO ( Banco de Oro ) is one of the largest banks operating in the Philippines. Their tagline is simply "We find ways" but if you'll read my story, I doubt that you'll agree.

Last month, I decided to pay my credit card bill at the BDO branch located along J.P. Rizal in Makati. I went in and asked the guard if they accept Citibank Visa card payments and he answered yes. He also told me to fill-up the red form and so I did. I then had to fall in line for processing at their counters. Note that I said counters, they had 5 counters, but only one counter was actually processing stuff for clients. It took me more than an hour to reach the teller only to be told that they could NOT do an over the counter withdrawal and use the amount withdrawn to do a bills payment since I haven't used up the daily limit for ATM withdrawals. They asked me to go outside of the bank premises to withdraw PHP46,000.00 from their ATM in broad daylight. Since it was already my due date for the bill and it was way past the lunch break period, I decided to comply without too much fuss. I simply told the teller that yes, I will do as they say but I'm not going to fall in line again. She agreed and after a few minutes, I was back at the counter with 92 500-peso bills.

Fast forward to a few days ago, my credit card bill was due again which comes up to around PHP52,000.00 and I decided to pay it at the same BDO branch. Being a bit wiser, I first went to the ATM, made several withdrawals to gather PHP50,000.00. I then proceeded to filling out the forms, 2 forms - one for a withdrawal of PHP2,000.00 and the other one for the bills payment. I lined up and after about 45 minutes, I reached the counter. I confidently gave the teller the 2 slips together with the ATM transaction records showing that I already used up the ATM withdrawal daily limit. She then proceeded to tell me that since the account wasn't with the branch, I will be charged PHP100.00 for the withdrawal and also since it was a salary account and I didn't know the account number, it will take long because she still had to find the account number. I was fuming mad, I needed to use my money and they were going to charge me PHP100.00 for it. And how hard is it for a teller to find my account number since she already had my ATM card in her hand with a card number and an account name. What sort of online system do they have there anyway? To get it over with, I told the teller I'm going to use my other cards to get PHP2,000.00 but I'm definitely NOT lining up again.

I guess this is what you can expect from a third world bank in a third world country such as ours. I do hope I am wrong and the other big banks don't make their clients go thru something similarly idiotic.