Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Customer first, but what was DBS' priority before this?

Any rational person reading The Straits Times' headline in the Money page today (April 20), "DBS chief's top priority: Customer first", would have scratched his head and asked: "What have they been doing all along?"

However, long-suffering DBS customers like myself do not find it surprising as we have encountered pathetic service from the bank. If the bank were to check my responses to its telephone surveys that I had participated in, it would have known what I thought of its services.

Here are a couple of examples of the kind of service that I encountered...

* In recent months, I must have had at least three or four letters from the bank telling me that there has been a change in the relationship manager (RM)assigned to me. Each time it says the new manager would be in touch soon. Well, I am still waiting for that call!

* I made an appointment with my RM at Ngee Ann Building to clear up some matters. When I arrived at the appointed time, I was told to wait.
After a while, another RM appeared. She said my RM was busy and that she would take care of me. She was apparently new in her job and did not have a clue as to what I was saying!!!

If you are wondering why I am still banking with DBS after so much frustrations, the answer is GIRO. Almost all the bills that I pay each month are giro-ed. For me to cancel them and move over to another bank is a task that I dread.

Maybe I will wait a little longer for the new DBS chief's promise of better services to kick in before I make my to-move-or-not-to-move decision. I hope his is not a case of new-broom-sweeps-clean.

There are, however, questions that beg to be answered. For example, why is the bank doing all this only now, when it knew for some time that its customer services have not been up to par?

Could it be that its new chairman Peter Seah has been giving his feedback and doing the prodding?

Or, did the loss of a potential 40,000 new accounts when it failed in its attempt to retain the Children Development Accounts in 2008 has something to do with it?

Those of you with long memory would recall DBS being given all the POSB accounts on a platter in 1998 as the government wanted to make it a regional financial powerhouse.

Ten years hence, that dream remains a dream...


  1. Well - I closed my 23-year-old DBS account after being charged $2 monthly service charge when I feel not much service has been offered besides the long queue at the branches, ATM and constant RM changes. What is surprising is that they don't care or want to know why a long-time customer want to close the account. So no regrets and I made all my GIRO changes (electronically) with my new bank!

  2. With internet banking, it's not too hard to move all your GIRO to another bank. Take the plunge.

    And I am still convinced that their priority is still their pocket, not customers. Look at the number of branches that they closed down when they took over POSB.

    I have slowly moved out most of my major transactions to other banks. I can't stand the long queues at their ATM, ESPECIALLY when it's right next to 3 or 4 other ATMs from other banks, that is just empty!