This morning, we arrived at the Bank Simpanan Nasional HQ around 11.30am. I was trying to locate the queue number dispenser when one of the security guards offered his assistance. When I told him I wanted to withdraw money, he asked if it was personal account or deceased account. For a moment I was pleasantly surprised that he seemed to be able to read my mind. I replied him “deceased account” and he directed us to go to counter 3. Unfortunately, this positive first impression was short lived.
There was no one at Counter 3. The teller at Counter 4 tried to help but unfortunately she seemed a bit lost on what I wanted. When I told her that the security advised me to come to Counter 3, she asked me to wait while she looked for the correct person to attend to me.
A while later a lady came over (I noted her name as S Devi from her ID tag). After explaining my case S Devi gestured to have the necessary documents. She opened up the cover of the BSN passbook, took one look and instructed me to go to Bank Simpanan Nasional branch at BSN Shah Alam to do it. I told her that I have called Kuzi earlier and Kuzi said I had a choice of either Bank Simpanan Nasional HQ or BSN Shah Alam to process the withdrawal. After coming all the way to the Bank Simpanan Nasional HQ, why was I told to go to BSN Shah Alam instead. To our annoyance, S Devi just kept pointing at the word “Selangor” on the passbook as though we were illiterate, and insisting that I must go to Bank Simpanan Nasional Shah Alam as the account was opened in PJ (which is under state of Selangor). I reiterated that in my phone conversation with Kuzi I specifically mentioned that the account was opened with BSN in Section 17, Petaling Jaya and the branch had since closed. And based on that, Kuzi advised that I could either go to Bank Simpanan Nasional HQ or BSN Shah Alam. However, S Devi was totally not interested to hear me out and very bluntly cut me off, saying it didn’t matter what Kuzi advised me earlier. She added that Kuzi was only a customer service rep. In fact, S Devi sounded very unfriendly and utterly unprofessional and seemed in such a hurry to get rid of us. So much so that when I queried her “isn’t this the BSN HQ?” she even had the cheek to reply “this is not the Bank Simpanan Nasional HQ. Shah Alam is”?. I then asked her the BSN Shah Alam address to which she said, Wisma PKNS.
By now I was totally cheesed off by her hostile and incompetent attitude which was totally unbecoming of a frontline staff. If she were a new recruit she could be forgiven for her ignorance in not knowing the HQ of her Bank (even so, it’s most incredulous not to know) otherwise it was apparent that she was intentionally misleading her customer in order to sneak away from her job responsibility. Evidently, she was adamant in not handling my request so I grudging walked away, thinking out loud “so typical of govt agencies”.
As we were about to leave the BSN main entrance, my husband suggested that I called Kuzi to verify before taking Devi’s word for it. Shah Alam was at least an hours drive and the thought of having to arrange another day to hassle our way thru the heavy traffic, the heat and not to mention having to suffer another round of such efficient customer service of govt agencies would be another mental torture. Moreover he sensed that S Devi was giving a cock and bull story, especially the version on which was Bank Simpanan’s Headquarters. He said it simply didn’t make any sense that the high rise building we were at right then called “Wisma BSN” which meant “BSN Building” was not the HQ whereas the BSN Shah Alam located inside a shopping mall called PKNS building was the Bank Simpanan Nasional HQ. He observed how foolish, deceitful and insincere S Devi was behaving and felt it wise that I should double check her facts.
Kuzi was not available so I spoke to one lady called Linda. I related my previous day’s telephone conversation with Kuzi and had done as per Kuzi’s advice. Now that I was at their bank, their Bank Simpanan Nasional staff by the name of S Devi gave a completely different version and just flatly pushed me over to their so called “BSN HQ in Shah Alam”. After hearing me out, she put me on hold for a few minutes. When she came back on the line, she asked me to wait in the lobby. Hopefully there’s going to be some real service forthcoming.
After waiting for about 10 minutes, we noticed a BSN employee gesturing to us from one of the teller counter. At the counter we were received by a staff called Jagjit. I very quickly briefed her the purpose of my visit and our eventful encounter thus far. She explained that without a doubt that was Bank Simpanan Nasional’s headquarters. Customers request such as mine could be processed at the BSN HQ. If an account were opened in Petaling Jaya, Bank Simpanan Nasional HQ would forward all the necessary documents to their BSN branch in Shah Alam for processing and payment. Apparently S Devi was from the Deceased Account section and supposed to handle my request which meant she had no right to evade her responsibility and push me away (most unbecoming). Jagjit was full of apologies over the whole issue and was grateful that we had been so cool and didn’t kick up a fuss despite being pushed around. We assured her that we just wanted to get things done, and accorded the correct and proper services in a fair manner as customers. It was indeed a relief to see there’s still customer-oriented staff in the government service.
Jagjit immediately proceeded with the necessaries, took copies of the Grant of Probate, passbook and my ID, issued me an official receipt and assured me that she would forward my application to Bank Simpanan Nasional Shah Alam asap for processing. Payment would be done by BSN Shah Alam branch and could be paid in the form of a cheque or banked into a BSN account if I had one. Since she wasn’t sure how long Bank Simpanan Nasional Shah Alam would take to process the payment, she wrote the phone number on the receipt and the BSN dept I should call to follow-up. For the contact person she would advise me once she had the name. That’s what we call a dedicated responsible and customer-oriented staff. She sure made our day despite the earlier unpleasant experience and we left Bank Simpanan Nasional on a positive note.
An hour later, Jagjit called to inform that she had communicated with their Bank Simpanan Nasional Shah Alam branch. However, the lady in charge in BSN Shah Alam wanted the original Death Certificate of my mum. I told Jagjit that the Grant of Probate was the key legal document needed so why was the lady in BSN Shah Alam still asking for the Death Certificate. Moreover, the original Death Certificate had been submitted to the High Court to obtain the Grant of Probate. Nevertheless, I would call my lawyer to verify.
Actually, Jagjit told me that as far as Bank Simpanan Nasional HQ was concerned, with the Grant of Probate everything was in order already but it was their BSN Shah Alam branch who insisted on the Death Certificate. And she didn’t want to argue with her colleague in Bank Simpanan Nasional Shah Alam as she was afraid they might delay the release for me. Isn’t it amazing that within the same bank they have different sets of guidelines to work on and really baffles me how the branch can be calling the shot on what’s required. I suspect the branch people don’t even know what is a Grant of Probate that is why she wanted the Death Certificate.
As soon as I’ve checked with my lawyer, I called Jagjit to inform her counterpart in Bank Simpanan Nasional Shah Alam accordingly and get back to me if she encountered further problem. Shortly, Jagjit was on the line again. Apparently, after hearing out about the Grant of Probate, her counterpart just said “Tak apa lah” which meant “We will do without it“. Upon her request to rush, she was promised 3 days. However, if I could open an account with BSN, it would facilitate the process otherwise I had to go to Bank Simpanan Nasional Shah Alam branch to collect the cheque personally when it’s ready. Initially I told myself I don’t want to have anything more to do with BSN as it has always been a nightmare and frustration dealing with most government agencies. But because of Jagjit, I decided to open a BSN account and try out the Bank Simpanan Nasional services. It’s just goes to show the importance of frontline staff and customer service can make or break a sale.
We were truly impressed with Jagjit. She was responsible and willing “to go that extra mile”, had a good attitude towards her job, she clearly took pride in executing her duties and was prompt in her follow through. She deserved to be recognised for her good work.
Follow up to this article:
Bank Simpanan Nasional – Finally
Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN)