UOB Bad Customer Service Experience
With all the holiday shopping for Christmas and CNY, just be aware when you are making purchases that disputing a charge may be more difficult than anticipated with your United Overseas Bank (UOB) credit card. I just wanted to let my readers know about my “lack of” customer service experience – I hope reading this helps some of you avoid the same situation in the future.

Why I needed UOB Customer Service’s Help: Recently I used my UOB debit card Visa to  purchase takeaway lunch at a restaurant near my office. The cashier accidentally overcharged me and then issued me a refund of the $71.90 (the amount she accidentally keyed in). When I received my statement (about 1 month later) the void/ refund was no where to be found. Only the $71.90 charge.

1st Phone Call to UOB:  I called up UOB and explained the situation regarding the missing “void” transaction. I also informed them that I had both the purchase and void slips. After being on hold for over 7 plus minutes, while the UOB representative spoke to her manager, informed me that she would be emailing me a form that I would fill out and then they I could dispute the charge. No problem, they would handle it. The UOB customer service representative on the phone asked and confirmed my email address.  I was happy with the service and that this matter was being dealt with.

2nd Phone Call to UOB: One week later, I still was waiting for the email, so I called again. After punching in the 100 numbers in my phone I finally got connected to an agent started talking and then they hung up on me. No call back from UOB, so then I called again.

3rd phone call to UOB:  Again punched the 100 numbers into the phone. When I finally got a live person to speak to, I told them please just email me the form so I could get this matter resolved. This should have been a 2 minute conversation. Imagine my surprise when the person told me – they were never suppose to email me a form!

Let me paraphrase my conversation:

Me: Um ok. So now what do you want me to do.

UOB: Go to the merchant and show him your credit card statement, the void slips and tell him to void it out.

Me: But that was over a month ago? You want me to show him my credit card statement? How is this the merchant’s problem – I have my void slip.

UOB: Yes go to the merchant first.

Me: Why didn’t you tell me that last week when I called? What about the form you were supposed to email?

UOB: We were not supposed to send a form. The person who told you was wrong.

Me: So why did she ask and confirm my email address to send the form?

UOB: I don’t know why, we can review the tapes for you.

Me: YES – review the tapes!!!

Me: You expect me to drive/taxi/mrt to this place and make the employee remember what happened 1 month ago? Now this may make sense in Singapore, but what if things were far away? What then?  Not practical. Is this what UOB expects from customers?

UOB: Yes, you need to go to the merchant. Then you can call us from the restaurant if there is a problem.

Me: Let me get this straight – go to the merchant, show him my personal credit card statement,  and then cause a scene with the merchant and call UOB again. This will be both embarrassing and time consuming – it is such a small amount.

Me: I have the void slip that I can easily just scan/fax/mail UOB for proof. The void slip clearly states the transaction number, date and time. All you need to do is key it into your  system to find out why it wasn’t credited to my account.

After about 5 minutes of UOB arguing with me on the phone (yes the guy was arguing with me – and trust me I am a lawyer so I had no intention of not holding my ground), I finally told the person to give me the email address to customer service so I can lodge a complaint. We ended the call.

4th phone call (UOB calling me back): UOB called me back 5 minutes later. I guess they do have my phone number (surprise, surprise) – wonder why they couldn’t call me back after the 2nd phone call? The same representative (I guess now worried that I was going to email a complaint) told me to call him from the restaurant and ask for him directly if there were any problems with the merchant. My response, thank you for your time, you told me to handle the matter myself and I will deal with it or not deal with it. Oh and I will still be writing a complaint!

Let us recap what UOB expects customers to do: Visit the merchant first and show them your private credit card statement and how my statement had a mistake  (is this the merchant’s fault, or UOB’s fault?).  If the merchant refuses to issue another “void” then call UOB back for the 4th time – (5th if you count the time they called me).  SuperMommy’s Opinion: Sure UOB I will fix the problem myself. Thanks for NOT HELPING at all, except wasting well over 30 minutes of my time on the phone, another 10 minutes telling my husband and  another 1 hour writing this blog post!! This is not the customer service I expect from a bank or a credit card company. Especially a big bank like UOB – frankly I am very disappointed.

Note to the Supermommy readers: I usually try not to complain or write really negative things in my posts, but I just find it so odd that a bank would make me share my personal account statements with merchants and fight my own battles that I just had to share this and warn all of you out there. Next time I will just use cash – the reward points are not worth it!!!

Wishing everyone a very Happy Holidays!!