I wonder why it takes longer to bank at BPI than any of the major banking institutions in the Philippines. Is it because there are usually only one or two of the 3 or 4 teller booths operating? Is it because BPI staff conduct their business more slowly and therefore less efficiently? I also bank at various branches of BDO, Metrobank, China Bank, PS Bank, and RCBC – and I’ve realized that BPI branches are generally unpleasant and too time-consuming to go to.

Compared to BDO, customer service at BPI sucks. BDO branches have more tellers, and if 4 or 5 aren’t enough, even their new accounts/customer service counters officers and staff pitch in (if there is a long queue already).

In fact, BDO prides itself in its fast, efficient service that its branches don’t have seats and customers stand in line. BPI, on the other hand, may be trying to project the same image by having “backrest-less” seats that prove to be very uncomfortable when you’re on it for a long time (which is becoming a new normal).

Also, I get the impression that BDO must be having their staff trained by experts of SM Malls because every time I walked into a BDO branch, I feel like I’m walking into an SM Store – generally warm, friendly and accommodating faces greet everyone, “suki” or not. BPI staff should apprentice with them.

Although in fairness to BPI, they did pioneer (and remains the only one with) the in-branch POS system wherein the customer didn’t have to write on transaction slip(s) for each account or transaction but needed only to push a few buttons on the POS machines – this certainly was quicker than the manual type (when you get the hang of it). However, they wasted this advantage over other banks by slowing down on the rest of the process.

To BPI President and CEO Cezar P. Consing: Even if you’re one of the oldest and well-known banks in the country, you shouldn’t be too arrogant about it by neglecting the “small details” in customer service. You should have more tellers and staff to cope with your overgrown clientele base.

To BDO’s officers and staff: Kudos on your persistence to improve and maintain the standard of customer satisfaction that you have on your branches –  in spite of the growing demands of a continually increasing customer base.