The calling card given to me by the female teller. I tried to text one of the numbers but received no reply from them.
I asked my brother to send me cash via courier. He was to send me some via the usual one, but he wasn’t able to do so, before office hours ended. Hence, he opted to use another local courier, ML Lhuillier Kwarta Padala.
So, he informed me of the change via text. At the same time, I received a message on my phone, from ML Kwarta Padala, informing me of the specific tracking number and also that I may collect the money from any of its branches nationwide.
The next day–earlier today, actually–armed with my remaining cash for tricycle fare, back-and-forth, my daughter and I went to the ML Lhuillier Branch here in Bauang, La Union, Philippines. With my Passport ID and PhilHealth ID, I was counting on receiving the said amount, without any hassle.
In truth, my Philippine Passport has expired a few days ago. Hence, I had my PhilHealth ID and other identification cards to support my identity, in case they’d question that.
When I approached the teller, a woman, I gave her the payout slip containing my details, as well as my IDs. She took them without any complaint. Then, she informed me that I needed to have my PhilHealth ID laminated as it needed to be photocopied straight to their system.
Trusting that I would be receiving the cash after this anyway, my daughter and I went to the Bauang Public Market to have it laminated, using the remaining money that I was saving for fare, going home. Note that Bauang is situated in the lowlands, and it is sickeningly hot during the day.
Tired and sweaty already, we went back to the ML Lhuillier Bauang Branch, anticipating no problem as I handed the teller the newly laminated PhilHealth ID, my Philippine Passport, and the ML Payout Slip containing my details.
Imagine my disappointment and surprise when the female teller informed me that my name on my IDs, didn’t match the one my brother indicated on their system!
My name, like many Filipino names, isn’t only a first name. As it happens, I also have second and third names. However, everything on my different IDs matched. Other couriers wouldn’t have had any issues condoning that petty predicament, because aside from these IDs, the communication thread between my brother and I, as well as the ML Kwarta Padala text I received, would have been sufficient enough to prove that I am the real beneficiary of the said cash payout.
I begged the said teller to allow me some consideration since the cash was for emergency. It was needed for my daughter’s medication. It was the reason why I asked my brother to send me that cash, in the first place. I even volunteered to make a promissory note–or a certification letter–signifying that I am the sole and rightful recipient, indicated by my brother, so as to give further evidence to the said transaction; yet, the woman teller didn’t want to relent.
She insisted that it was their “policy” to only accept those with the same IDs that corresponded to the exact name stated on their system. She told me to call my brother and ask him to change the name he placed, at the branch in Baguio or La Trinidad, Benguet–whichever branch he went to, to send me the said amount.
I explained that my brother wasn’t available at the said moment and the money was evidently needed by me as I already spent my remaining money for ID lamination–of which she demanded for, earlier. Hence, my daughter and I didn’t have anymore cash to use for tricycle fare. Her male companion also supported her, saying it was their “policy” and it cannot be altered or bent.
Worried, stressed, and tired, I asked to speak to their manager so I could explain the issue. She rudely pointed to the Customer Service Hotline and told me to contact them. Then, she gave me their calling card and told me to call the said number written there. I texted one of the mobile numbers there, asking for help even when, I knew, I wouldn’t be receiving any.
My daughter and I went out of the shop–passing by the ML Luillhier guard who, from the moment we entered the shop, was still loudly talking to someone on his phone, not paying attention to securing the place–and started walking home. In the end, my mom directed me and my daughter, via text message, to simply ride a tricycle home. She would be waiting at the gate, at home, so we could just pay the tricycle driver when we reached there.
My point is that these courier services, all over the Philippines, have been a huge help to a lot of Filipinos who needed to send cash to loved ones–especially during emergencies. They’ve become popular routes for immediate money transfer sans the need to go to banks that close at three o’clock in the afternoon.
However, ML Lhuillier, in particular–especially that said Bauang, La Union Branch–has really disappointed me and put me in a condition wherein I was not only humiliated but also placed in a position where I couldn’t even do anything. I was even with my nine-year-old child who wasn’t feeling well. I was begging them for a bit of compassion and empathy; yet, they obstinately demanded me to go through the procedures they wanted–because it was “policy”.
ML Lhuillier Kwarta Padala, you are doing customer service. Your main aim should be to help. If several of your employees have done that to me; then, you’ve probably condoned such behavior towards other customers, as well. Not everyone has the capacity to defend themselves and speak against such impolite inconsideration. I, however, have this website that allows me to voice out my experience.
May this be a shout-out to your company. Isn’t it one of your aims to do public service and to actually make monetary transactions easier, especially for the Filipino masses? Your treatment of me, via your Bauang, La Union Branch, is significantly unprofessional, insensitive, uncompassionate, and inhumane. Rest assured that I will never do transactions via your courier service again.