The Banks, SIA & M1 counter staff are trained to show sympathy when a walk in family member came in with request to pay bills, close account & cancel ticket due to their client’s demise. Their 1st word were “I’m sorry for your loss” & do everything to make the process smooth. On the other hand, the Statutory board, CPF & HDB, service staff responded with an indifferent face & no words of sympathy.

The worst was Singtel.

First I was met with rapid questioning just to get a queue number. At their question if the person who is transferring account to me was here. I was so irritated that I replied caustically “He’s dead!”. Her response? She continued her work as if I said “he is parking & coming up soon”. The irritation continued when the service staff told me they cannot transfer the account unless I settled the outstanding bill. And I had to walk out to the SAM machine to pay. Mind you, I was at their HQ at Exeter & I can’t even settle bill at the counter. The staff gave me the wrong account number & I had to walk back to feedback . Was there a sorry? No! Instead she informed me I had a bill in 2005 that also need to be settled, otherwise she cannot transfer the account. I said I have no idea what was that & asked if I can get more information before I settle the bill. She said only billing dept has the details & insisted that I have to settle it for her to proceed with the transfer. Here I am trying to do a transfer so I’m able to pay singtel & they red tape me! In my frustration, I asked for termination & walked out to settle the bill. Upon my return, they said I cannot terminate unless I come back again to return the box!

I blew my top & shouted “Precisely because of this, we need competition!” And tell them they can’t do anything to me because I’m not coming back. If they want the box, they can collect it outside my door!
I don’t even want to talk about the helpline or the confusing customer service hall.

My best customer experience was at M1. The staff helped to waive late charges; attended to all my “demanding” request & helped to suggest a cheap line to maintain my husband’s number. And they were apologetic that the process took so long (30 mins).

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