How to turn away customers?

My son started talking a week ago and my wife reminded me of the promise I have made. I was to take leave for my son for a day. So today is the faithful day. Both my wife and I took leave, sent our little girl to her nursery and took our son for an outing.

While doing so, I took the opportunity to visit my bank HSBC for some funds transactions. I needed to renew the time deposits to ensure that they do not fall a sleep. True enough one was found dormant and I requested for it to be closed and have everything deposit into the other account, thus a long wait of an hour was expected.

While waiting for the whole process, I was witnessed to two incidents:

1 Man making deposit
A Chinese man (I think he is a Singaporean) was trying to deposit some money into his account. I have managed to glimpse at the stack of money he held and the first piece was orange color and total thickness around 8mm. I gather that it is a stack of SGD1,000 amounting to SGD30,000?

When he tried to go through the process with the bank teller, he was asked to answer where he obtained the cash. He questioned the purpose of the question because this is the first time he encountered such thing. He commented that he was simply trying to deposit his money into his own bank account, what was wrong with that? Nevertheless, he told the teller that he withdrew the amount from another account in another bank and decided to place the money in HSBC.

After receiving his response, the teller went to the back office to relay the message to her officer. She was back in around 5 minutes with the seconde question," Could you provide a transcript of your transaction from the other bank?" This seems to be the last straw or the man who replied,"Never mind, I will just put my money into the other bank." and left.

2 Man making deposit
I know, the title is the same because this man is also trying to do the same thing, except a bigger amount.

This Italian was there before me and I only have part of the story while guessing on the rest. He was waiting for a response from the Customer Service officer and was told by the teller that the officer needed more time. Eventually after the officer came out from the back and asked him a few questions on the amount he was trying to deposit. Base on the conversation, there seems to be 2 sets of transactions, a cheque of SGD50,000 and probably a cash deposit of another SGD50,000.

He was asked about the source of the SGD50,000 where he replied that it was a payment to a contract work he has done. In addition, he told the officer that he needed to deposit the money into the bank so that he can make payment to his sub-contractors. The officer continued to grill him on the reason for using his own account.

My father was a sole proprieter and I could understand from my experience that there are times when sole proprieters would use their personal accounts for payments. It make little difference since both accounts belong to them.

It is obvious that the Italian was running out of patience, he just came back from Shanghai the day before and would be flying off soon. He needed to settle all the transaction with his partners before he go.

The officer went to her back office again to consult her higher authority. She came back more than 15 minutes later and asked him to produce the tax invoice of the job. The man grumbled on, kept his documents and left the bank very angrily while the officer did nothing.

Base on these 2 incidents, I can conclude 2 things. Firstly, HSBC is very strict in large cash deposits. They are fear of syndicates trying to launder money through their banks. Secondly, the officer and tellers sucks at quality service, the way they treated their customer like they were crooks. Putting mysel in their shoes, I can empathised with the customers. They are simply trying to deposit their money into their own account and yet they were being suspicious of money laundering?

I can understand that HSBC wants a clean sheet of paper, yet they are offending their customers in doing so. How many people who come into a bank and deposit their money are crooks? How many of them are stupid enough to deposit an obscene sum knowing that the money cannot see day light? I think HSBC is over zealots on this customers activities.

True enough, a teller from another bank confirmed with me that HSBC is VERY STRICT with customer's deposit.

There is one more thing, for the recent 2 times I visited HSBC I noticed that their service standard has dropped. In the latest incident, the officer is simply very cold towards their customers. They are willing to see them walk out of the door without even a blink. As for the manager at the back office, it would probably be good if he or she once in a while walk to the front and take a look at the situation.



An up-date on Hertz saga

The Hertz saga really put a bad after taste in my mouth for my Australia's trip. While going through the ordeal of the dispute, I have done some check up through the internet. It seems like I am not a lone, neither is Hertz.

I have managed to find an Australian Government web-site for Consumer Protection. In it was a link to Department Of Resources, Energy and Tourism. The website has also information about hiring of vechicle in their country. I am very surprise that there are well documented procedure to car rental. It seems like the issue with car rental is not a recent phenomenon but an on-going problem which was not addressed! What the web-site also contained is a link for online complaint on consumer rights violation (or tourists).

Anyway, after I have started my dispute claim with Hertz representative SurePlan. I have received no response from them at all. Since then I have managed to find out a feedback link on Hertz web-site, which I wrote a night time story ( I wrote the whole story at 11:00PM). I managed to receive a response from the local Hertz Customer Service Officer. In her response, she has sent a note to Sure Plan for more speedy processing and also requested me to be patience for 10 days processing allowance.

To be honest, it was a torturing 10 days wait with no further up-dates from neither Hertz nor its representatives. The amount might not be as grand since it falls in the 100s region, rather it is a violation of my trust to this vendor. The most interesting part is that the reaction to me is very cold and mechanical, like it is just another dispute. They must be very used to this.

At the same time of disputing the damages, I have also called up to my bank regarding this disputed payment. It is interesting to know that they have a department handling fraud transaction. I have lodge in a report since then. My bank has been more customer friendly it seems. Now the only question ?I got for myself is where should I go from here?


月光光,照地堂 ...

I was attending a seminar on Henan when the lecturer asked me about a song that I learned when I was young. Somehow among all the songs I learned, this song came up.

It reminded me of my younger years, I lived with my maternal Grand mother most of the time. My parents were both working. Together with my Grandmother were 5 uncles and they liked me most of the time. Some were strict while others were caring.

They taught me this song and sang it when ever there is a moon. Somehow I have never mastered the song even until now.

After the lesson, I have decided to search out the complete song. Turned out there are 2 versions. This first version is the one I am used to:

一个蒲头,一个沉底。 月光光

This one is the one that I get to know from movie, the lyrics is more meaningul:


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