The World's Local Bank - If it can locate where Kilanas is.

The other day, my wife's card was swallowed by the World's Local Bank ATM machine, no reasons given. We called up and was assured that a new card will be on the way and we were asked where do you want the new card to be picked up. We said since its branch was at Seri Complex, Jalan Tutong, we want to pick it up there. And so we waited.

A few days ago, came the reminder note. Please pick it up at Tutong Town Branch. We had a good laugh, we were sure someone screwed up. The name was wrong and the branch was wrong.

And so we called, why Tutong Town? Because your address was at Jalan Tutong. And we asked where in Jalan Tutong do you think we lived? And she answered I am not sure, I am not local. She said she looked at the map. (I loved to see that map because it must be the worst map of Brunei provided by the wealthy World's Local Bank). We see. And because of your ignorance of location in Brunei and having the worst map in the world, you want us to go miles out of our way to pick up our card?! Besides, why is the World's local bank putting up staff who have no idea where anyone is?! She said don't worry, she will arrange for the card to be returned and picked up at the right place. She promised to call me back.

We waited and no call. We called up again. We got a he this time. My wife is getting fed up of all the verifications, we have it well written down and rehearsed by now. The proceedings were faster. Again the same promise, he will arrange for the card to be returned and picked up at the right place. He promised to call too.

Again we waited and no call. Now we are REALLY FED UP. I promised to myself I will never rant about anything in this blog of mine. But I think as a human being I am entitled to blow my top every now and then. This is that now and then.

Had we been dealing with anyone else other than the great World's Local Bank and gotten empty promises, probably my tolerance level is probably a lot higher. But I do expect something much better than the World's Local Bank who can't even identify where Kampung Kilanas and where Tutong Town Branch is located.


baz said…
well said... my brother had the same problem but he had his collected in brunei when he is just a poor student in warwick!
Arif HR said…
this is the one of the reasons why we should 'upgrade' our banks. with our financial liquidity, it shouldn't be hard. in terms of service, we are left behind compared to other asean's local banks.

i have a maybank a/c.. ohh.. i know the differences compared to my taib.
Unknown said…
I am really sorry to hear about your frustrations, and apologise for what has happened.

Can you email me your contact details on

We have a very well run customer complaints handling unit that helps us learn from these mistakes and prevent them from happening again in the future.

I look forward to hearing from you, and my apologies again.

Best regards,

CEO, HSBC Brunei
Thank you Mr. Muhmood. I have actually asked my sister who is one of the managers to help us. Her final call yesterday was that the bank had to recall in that new card and replaced that new card as well as it was the wrong card and not to mention it also has the wrong name. She will pick the card up for us now.

You know (I am smiling like a cheshire cat now), the bank can't even get the card right to begin with.... Your back office (somewhere in our neighbouring country by the look of things) really need a bit of a look into.
Unknown said…
Thanks, and I am really glad you have raised this.

To help us improve, I really want to look at this. Specific cases such as this, allow us to find if there is a fault in our process or procedures, or even human error.

I would really appreciate if you email me contact details ( This will only help us improve.

Thanks again.

Best wishes, Tareq
I have emailed you the details. Thanks.
Unknown said…
Thanks a million. I really appreciate you raising this. Have a great weekend, and we will be in touch.

Best regards, Tareq
Anonymous said…
Great transparency on both sides all round! At least, I gotta hand it to our good brother CEO Tareq Muhmood ain't as 'brashly upfront and thick-skinned' as BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward, eh? But Tareq, bro, I dare say you're not at all open about the fact that the world's local bank in Brunei is not using a local Bruneian customer 'Call-Centric' marketing firm... wrong? I bet it's a 'Call Centre' somewhere in India, no? ;)
Unknown said…
Thanks Anonymous!

We have 3 call centers. One in Brunei for outbound calling programmes, one in Cyberjaya (Malaysia) that we share with Singapore, Australia and a few other markets (they handle many of the normal day to day queries). One in Singapore that is fraud prevention related.

The way these centers are set up are to make sure we can offer 24/7 support, and benefit from the latest call center technology. We measure service levels very closely, and Brunei scores high compared to other countries. Though - mistakes do happen, and we have to learn from them!

Hope this helps, and thanks for writing in.

Best wishes,

anakbrunei said…
Overseas call centres can be a double edged sword. On the one hand there's the efficiencies and cost-savings to be had, but on the other, there's the lack of local knowledge and that "personal" touch which particularly in a small country like Brunei, is ever so important.

Recently, someone close to me got the run-around when she tried to get in touch with an officer in one of the branches.

I could literally see her go from calm to hopping mad as the call progressed. The person on the other side was interrogating her on her purpose for wanting to speak to said officer instead of just giving her a direct number to said officer.

Needless to say, she was thoroughly unimpressed when I told her she had just spoken to someone in KL with no knowledge of the local organization :)
Anonymous said…
Happen all the time, the staff promise to call, but you can wait forever...

then again you also receive too many calls when you don't need them, like asking to upgrade your credit card...
Unknown said…
Thanks for the feedback on the call centers. It is something that has been debated in the industry for years now. My view of whether call centers (local or overseas) are successful or not is measured on research and data. I measure how fast calls are answered and handled, how fast issues are resolved, number of compliments / or complaints etc.

To be honest the indicators were not as good as I wanted last year. But in 2010, the call center's performance has significantly improved.

I do recognise that mistakes happen. This can happen in a branch, in the call center, or in any part of our operation (where-ever it is). The key thing is to learn from it and keep improving.

If any of you have any specific complaint on any experience you have had, I am realy keen to know about them.

Please do email me directly on

I will then look into the issue and get back to you.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts I really appreciate it.


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