I went home to Manila to spend my birthday with family. Was looking forward to also meeting up with some friends but unfortunately because of work, health and multitude of other reasons not one meet up materialized. But not to create unnecessary stress for both parties, I just think of meeting up with them on my next trip.
But what truly was disappointing during my trip are the following:
1. Heavy Traffic Jam, especially 21st and 25th
I could understand the 21st Feb because it was a Friday but the 25th Feb was an issue created by the non-declaration of public holiday and closing of EDSA to commemorate the EDSA Revolution Anniversary. This created unnecessary traffic jam and a lot unhappy netizens which were hyped up in Facebook and other social networking sites. I really pity the commuters who walked long distances and waited so long for the public transport due to the closing of EDSA.
2. Our outdated banking system.
Enrollment of a new payee or linking of other people’s account to your account cannot be done online. Instead, you need to go to the bank and fill up a form and wait for a few days before the accounts area available via internet banking. Being based in Singapore for 8 years, I am pampered with the fast and advanced technology when linking accounts or applying for new payees using online banking. It is easy, fast and you don’t need to go physically to the bank.
3. Hair Cut Service at Fix Salon Podium & Customer Service at Fix Salon SM City.
Last 20th Feb we had a girls’ night out after opening COL accounts in Tektite for my nieces and nephews. 3 of us had a haircut with 3 different hair dressers and all of us ended with our hair not properly cut. Only my niece was able to have it fixed because she finished early and my sis-in-law immediately spotted the issue but 2 of us didn’t notice it until a few days after.
I didn’t have time to go back to Podium and on my last night in Manila I went to the SM City branch hoping to have it fixed and getting a Relax Treatment for my hair which I never tried before. To my disappointment, the Customer Service really sucks in SM City and I felt I was being blamed for not catching the issue on the day itself and why I didn’t go back to the Podium branch. I told the receptionist that this is their fault and it’s actually a waste of my time to do this retouch and I shouldn’t be begging for it to be retouched. I left unhappy and dissatisfied. And here I thought that I found a cheaper alternative to David’s salon but now my loyalty is back to David’s salon.
Anyway, end up my hair is still not properly cut, I opted not to try their Relax Treatment for my hair at Fix and just vented my unhappiness with a very nice dinner at Café Mary Grace. I will never go back to Fix Salon ever again.
4. PAL’s check-in spaghetti system where 5 flights are in one queue.
Because of the incident with Fix Salon, I was lazy to do internet check in and find an Internet shop to print the boarding pass. Oh boy, it was the worst decision I made. After 2 months (coz I went home in Dec 2014), PAL changed their check in system that one queue is not dedicated to a specific destination but to multiple destinations and in my case it was 5 destinations.
I tried to patiently queue up, which is a challenge for me given that I am not a very patient person, and after almost one hour I gave up and just did internet check-in via my phone and the Wi-Fi router I rented from Changi Airport. Thank God for the Wi-Fi router I rented. So afterwards, I moved to the counter dedicated for the internet check-in and even without boarding pass I was allowed to go in. I suggested to the lady that they should have internet check-in terminals. I didn’t even have time to eat because when I cleared Immigration we were already boarding.
Seriously, in order for our country to progress we should benchmark versus other countries to further improve our banking and airlines systems. Banks should be interconnected to each other to ease transactions for customers especially they are very busy with work and this will help minimize the long queue in our banks. As for the PAL Check-in system, they should really re-think this move as it causes unnecessary wasted time for the customers. Travelling is already tiring as it is and they should find ways to have better service to their customers. As for the 25th Feb heavy traffic jam, what can I say? Enough has been said about it.
What about you fellow OFW? What are your disappointing experiences when you go for your home leave?