Just had a horrible experience at Smart Center at SM City Sta. Mesa
To those who don’t know what a Smart money card is – it’s like an ATM/ electronic cash/ credit card product that can be used to send/receive money, make payments, etc..
My Smart money card is about to expire on Sept. 2014 (it’s only valid for 2 yrs) so last August, I called the Smart money hotline to have it renewed. They told me that it would be automatic and to just wait for the card. So I waited. Earlier this week, I called again asking about the status of the renewal (since the month is about to end and my card expire). They told me it was renewed and that based on their records, it was already received by someone, let’s call her A.M, on Sept. 11. But there’s no A.M. in our household, I told the Smart money rep. Who is A.M.? The Smart money rep just kept telling me that it was already received and as a last resort, to check with the Smart branch where I originally got my card to have them help track down where the card is now.
Ok, so I asked for the number of the Smart center to ask if my card was there. Lord knows where it is or if it had already been taken by someone else. Nobody knew who AM was – not me, not the Smart phone rep. But the rep couldn’t give me the phone of the Smart center. The best they could give me was the Smart trunkline, 811-0211, which I could call to have the operator connect me to the branch.
So I tried this. For the past week, I had been calling 811-0211 and asking to be transferred to the Smart SM Sta. Mesa branch. Every time, they transferred my call and it would just ring and ring at the Smart Sta. Mesa branch, no one answered, not once. This was on weekdays, early afternoon.
Finally, tonight, Sept. 28, Sunday, I went out of my way to go to SM Sta. Mesa on the off chance that my Smart money card was there. I wasn’t even mad. It started out very ordinary. I just wanted to get my Smart money card and be done with it.
Guard kept asking for my ID
I went to the Smart center at the Cyberzone and asked if there was an A.M. who worked there (I gave them A.M.’s full name). So the guard approached me and started asking me why I was looking for A.M. I explained that I wanted to ask about my Smart Money card. The guard then asked me to give him my ID.
I don’t mean to disrespect guards but I didn’t want to give the guard my ID because he wasn’t the one I was supposed to transact with. Also, I felt that giving him my ID was somehow a breach of security/ protocol. Working on this particular transaction is not his job as far as I know, and I really was not comfortable giving him my ID. Is this really standard procedure at Smart centers?
The guard kept insisting that I give him my ID, and the more uncomfortable I got with handing out my ID. Your ID is just not something you hand out to anybody. I’m not paranoid. It’s just that he is not the one I should be dealing with for this transaction. I just wanted to deal with the actual Smart staff whose job it is to work on this. Not wanting to insult him, I just asked him where I could stand in line to wait for someone to talk to.
But the guard still kept insisting and told me that the they needed my ID to claim my Smart money card. I’m fine with showing my ID to the Smart staff but I was still very uncomfortable handing it over to the guard. Why can’t they just call someone out from the back office and I hand them my ID instead?
But the guard was getting irritated. I was not being difficult, but he just kept insisting that I hand my ID over to him, and I wasn’t comfortable doing so. He said that I didn’t need to get in line. I just had to hand him my ID. To get it over with, I finally handed him my ID. He asked one of the promo girls to take the ID inside. I stood by the door to the back office waiting because this was all highly uncomfortable.
After a few minutes, a girl came out and handed me the envelope with my Smart money card, my ID, and had me sign a logbook. I asked her if she knew who A.M. was and she said it was her. I noticed that the Smart money envelope had SM Sta. Mesa Smart center as my address and asked her if I could have this changed so that next time, the Smart money card could be delivered directly to our house. She referred me to her manager. At this time I was still calm and not angry.
WORSE CUSTOMER SERVICE MANAGER EVER
The manager came over and asked me what the problem was. I calmly told her that I just wanted to change the address so that next time, the Smart money card could be delivered to our house. She kept saying that I should call the Smart money hotline, and that I didn’t call the Smart money hotline to change the address and that’s why it got sent to the Smart center. I told her, I called the hotline way back in August and they just told me that it would be automatic, and that there’s no need to call back.
Then she says they don’t want to send the card to the house because the courier might not find the house. I told her, I’ve been getting my Smart bills for years. I’m sure the courier, mailman or whoever, can find our house.
Then she said, “So, ano ang gusto mong mangyari ngayon? Do you want to file a complaint?” What? I just want to have the address changed so that I won’t have to go through this shit again in 2 years! And what she said is one of the worse things you can say to a customer. At this point, I was starting to get mad. I told her, what I wanted was to have been informed that my card was available for pick up at the Smart center. This would have saved me a whole lot of time and effort trying to track down who A.M. was. And I told her, I tried calling the Smart center in Sta. Mesa, but no one was answering the phone. Then she tells me that they don’t have any phones in their Smart center. So, I said, where was 811-0211 transferring me to all those times I tried to call? She keeps telling me they don’t have any phone in their branch.
Again, she tells me, call the Smart money hotline. I told her, my issue now is why no one from Smart center SM Sta. Mesa called, texted or emailed me to let me know that my card was ready for pick up? All that time I was waiting for it to be delivered to our house. The Smart money hotline reps were no help, either. It would have been nice to have been able to call the Smart center to confirm that my card was there before actually making the trip to SM.
But the manager just kept asking me, “So, ano na ang gusto mo mangyari ngayon?” Then she hands me a piece of bond paper and tells me I can write down my complaint. Her attitude was just so poor. I knew nothing was going to come of it, but I just wanted an explanation of why they didn’t even bother to let me know that my card was there and ready for pick up, since Sept. 11. If they only had a phone at the branch, I could have called them as soon as the phone rep told me someone had already received my card, and this could have been resolved so quickly!
The way that she was brushing this off and just handing me a piece of paper to write my complaint was so infuriating. She wasn’t even taking ownership of anything that happened. She was either blaming me for not calling the hotline, telling me to call the hotline to complain, or blaming the smart money hotline people for the fuck up. But her branch fucked up too by not informing me that they had my card. And she kept badgering me with “E ano na nga ang gusto mong mangyari ngayon?” How about just acknowledging your part in this fuck up?
I finally left, infuriated and disgusted. How did something that started out seemingly so simple end up so badly? The manager’s attitude escalated this.
When I first got my Smart postpaid accounts there 2 years ago, the people there were so easy to deal with. I even referred friends and family there. What happened? Now, they’re like the branch from hell.
For representing a company called Smart Communications, they all really suck at communicating!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!