Review of Philipine Banks' Customer Service and Car Loan Rates Part 2

This is part 2 of a 3-part series. If you haven't read part 1 yet, please do so.

First Let's review the criteria again:
  • Waiting Time: Honestly, it's not a big factor, but since all my visits were around lunch time - a high-traffic period for banks - it might be a good omen for how efficient the bank is. So I'm including it here, even though it will have no impact in my final review.
  • Equipped with basic knowledge: The bank representative must be able to answer my questions. After all, if they can't then why are they there?
  • Equipped with necessary tools: No person can realistically be expected to know the answer to every question. But bank representatives must have the necessary tools to respond to inquiries. They must have access to financial calculators and templates, the latest rates, and anything else that can help a customer.
  • Customer-oriented: must be professional, friendly, attentive to needs, helpful, etc.
  • Readiness: Are they able to capitalize on inquiries by handing out leaflets/pamphlets, print outs, or any other helpful materials to encourage the customer to avail of their products.

And now, back to our review.

BPI Family
(Dela Rosa cor. Paseo de Roxas branch)
  • Waiting Time: Slight - a few minutes
  • Equipped with Basic Knowledge: Yes. She was able to answer my questions without dialing the phone or getting assisted by another bank rep. She also volunteered the info that they have a promo - 1 year car insurance is free for a 5-year car loan.
  • Equipped with necessary tools: Qualified yes. Got me the rate, and monthly payment, but not the chattel mortgage. Again, I had to go through the approval process first.
  • Customer-oriented: Yes. She was friendly and attentive.
  • Readiness: None. I had to write the info she was giving me on the notebook I brought. No print out, quote, leaflet or anything. But she did get me to fill out the application form (Which I decided to do because of my previous disappointment with BPI; I might as well get something this time).
Final Verdict: Ok service. I got some decent info (monthly payment and interest rate), but the process is really bureaucratic. But fast; I got approved by end of day and could have gotten the info (by phone) if I had picked up the phone (I didn't so they left a text message).

PS Bank
(Ayala branch)
  • Waiting Time: Long (but to be fair, it looked like the lone customer ahead of me - who was there before I even entered - looked like he was opening a dozen accounts at the same time. I'm not implying he was given VIP treatment, just that it naturally took a while. The guard was kind enough to ask my purpose and maybe redirect me to free bank rep, but sadly no one else would have been able to address my concern so I had to wait.)
  • Equipped with Basic Knowledge: Yes, he was able to answer all my questions without dialing the phone or getting another bank personnel's help.
  • Equipped with necessary tools: Yes. He got me the rate and all info I needed using his computer.
  • Customer-oriented: Yes, he was helpful and attentive.
  • Readiness: He was able to give me a print out of the quote I was asking about. And he gave me an application form as well.
Final Verdict: Very Good service from PS Bank.

Security Bank
(Ayala Branch)
  • Waiting Time: None
  • Equipped with Basic Knowledge: No. She couldn't answer anything. When I asked about car loan rates she immediately started dialing the phone to get the info. Unlike with BPI or RCBC, there was nothing she could answer off the bat.
  • Equipped with necessary tools: No. She had a phone and that was it. She had a computer but apparently it wasn't of any use in this case (at least BPI was able to give me a rate).
  • Customer-oriented: No. She looked bored when I got there. She looked bored when I inquired about the loan. She looked bored dialing the phone (btw, no one was picking up). But she sort of perked up when I said not to bother and I'll come back later.
  • Readiness: Absolutely None. Didn't get any kind of info, much less print outs or leaflets.

Final Verdict: WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER. It didn't even look like she was giving it an effort. I'm coming in to make them money, and she was unable or unwilling to at least get the ball rolling forward. Pretty much the polar opposite of the excellent service I got from East West. I have never had an account with Security Bank, and this hasn't made me regret that. I feel like I never want to enter another Security Bank branch again.

*Anecdote: I've passed by this branch several times. It's all glass, so you can see everything inside. 5 or more years ago I remember walking by and seeing a somber looking woman behind the counter. If it's her maybe she's just that way. If not, maybe Security Bank just has a depressing culture. Either way, I'm still staying away.

(Ayala Branch)
  • Waiting Time: None
  • Equipped with Basic Knowledge: Not really. She seemed competent enough, but had to phone for details and it seemed like this was the first time she handled a customer walking in and asking about car loans. I'm not taking it too much against her though. She might be new, or they just don't get walk-in customers.
  • Equipped with necessary tools: No. Had to phone for the info. But, at least in this case, it didn't interfere with my inquiry.
  • Customer-oriented: Yes, She was courteous and professional. 
  • Readiness: She didn't hand me materials to promote their business or hook me in. I had to ask for scratch paper to write down the info she was giving me (I didn't have my notebook).
Final Verdict: Lackluster, but possibly ok or good on other inquires.

China Bank Savings
(Ayala Branch)
  • Waiting Time: None
  • Equipped with Basic Knowledge: Big Yes. She was able to answer all my questions without phoning or asking anyone for help. She even volunteered info that the rates can be negotiated and that the dealer can give discounts.
  • Equipped with necessary tools: Yes. She had the necessary tools in her computer to give me the rate, monthly payment, and chattel mortgage.
  • Customer-oriented: Big Yes. She was friendly, and very helpful.
  • Readiness: Was able to give me print outs of my quote
Final Verdict: Very Good Service from China Bank Savings.

Watch out for part 3, where you can see who has the lowest car loan rate.

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  1. I'm beginning to think you are BSP's auditor or "mystery shopper", bro. Hehe. Great review!

  2. Great article, A+ for the effort. However, results from observational studies are hardly generalizable.