Do you have a credit card? Try shopping at SM MALL of ASIA – Manila

As you all know, I am travelling in Asia at the moment. I had the worst experience sa SM Mall of Asia. THE WORST experience using my credit card. I specifically called my credit card prior to leaving the U.S. in order to make sure that they wouldn’t think that my card is being compromised as I will be travelling in 5 different cities in Asia. This includes Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, and the Philippines. The credit cards that I was going to use have been properly notified and both of them have been very accommodating to say the least. I notified two credit cards I intended to use during my trip to make sure that I can separate my business expense versus my personal expense.

It has worked well in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and China. My purchases were approved with no issues and received great bargains too! Let me tell you the security measures I have taken.  All my credit cards are not signed with my name at the back of the card.  All it states is ‘ASK FOR ID’. I have my driver’s license with me and each time I am asked for a driver’s license to prove my identity – it has not been a problem. This is to make sure that if I ever lose any of my credit cards during this trip, no one ‘SHOULD’ be able to use it without presenting proper identification (with a photograph,
mind you!!)

Well – – here comes SM at MOA. I was with my brother and my brother’s family – – I spent nearly 25,000.00 pesos at the store to purchase school supplies, clothing and everything his family needs for the coming school season. I asked the cashier for a Supervisor to make sure that the purchases go well without a hitch. The supervisor came,led me to a gazillion sales people at a counter doing nothing but chit-chatting, giggling and staring at the purchases I presented. The supervisor left and told me that my purchases will be handled by these so-called ‘sales people’. I said it was fine as long as I get my purchases completed.

Here it comes. They asked me for the credit card and politely, I surrendered my driver’s license and my credit card at the same time. After they rang everything up, they took one look at my signature at the back of the card and told me that they cannot accept my credit card because it is not signed. I argued that I specifically didn’t sign the credit cards because of security measures. They wouldn’t budge and told me if I have another credit card that is signed and I told them I didn’t as I am separating my personal expenses versus my business expenses.  Not only did they make me look crazy while all these sales people are insisting that it is bank policy and so forth, I was annoyed that they insist that I sign my card!!! Which is better – my driver’s license with my picture and signature or the card signature? It doesn’t make sense!!! And where is the supervisor at this point? Gone – cannot be found. Annoyed, I signed the card anyway just to make them happy.

Then, she swipes my card and the machine displayed ‘VOICE CALL’.  When this happens in the U.S., the sales person will call the credit card company and ask
to verify my identity.  You know what they told me?  “Sir, it’s a voice call – so you have to call your credit card to clear the voice call.”  What?????  I have to make the phone call?!  They said, because it’s ‘long distance’!  OMG!!!  I told them that they need to check their policies – because NOWHERE – I mean NOWHERE have I had this kind of experience.  Because I was tired and all the shopping that was done all day will take another day of my  four-day stay here in Manila, I couldn’t do anything but use the credit card I had reserved for business expenses just to let it go through.

I WAS FUMING!!! AS IN LIVID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I called the credit card company when I got to the hotel and they told me that it IS the MERCHANT’s responsibility to call them for verification.  It has never been an issue anywhere in ASIA – – only at the SM MALL OF ASIA!!!  Not only did their customer service suck – – they didn’t deserve all the business that I gave them.  UNBELIEVABLE!!!

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