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  • I Got My Credit Card Refund Six Days After I Filed A Complaint With BSP 'Bob'

    It was a smooth, easy, and stress-free transaction.
    by Kitty Elicay .
I Got My Credit Card Refund Six Days After I Filed A Complaint With BSP 'Bob'
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/minicase
  • The COVID-19 pandemic halted many of our plans in 2020, including any chances of local and international travel. Before the enhanced community quarantine happened, I was able to secure airline tickets to Japan for my family via promo fare — unfortunately, I had to apply for a refund since all flights to other countries were cancelled (and who would want to fly during that time, anyway?).

    I knew that I had to wait a long time before the credit card refund was reflected to my account, since the airline industry was one of the industries badly affected by the pandemic. From time to time, I would get updates on the status via email. Finally, after 7 months, I got confirmation that my refund request had been forwarded to the bank.

    The airline wrote that it would typically be credited within the next billing cycle. But after more than a month and two calls to the bank’s hotline where the customer service representative told me there was no record of the refund, I grew frustrated.

    I knew I had to be patient but then again, the amount I was waiting for was significant enough and could greatly help us in paying our bills and buying essentials. In this pandemic, every bit helps.

    A friend suggested that I email a complaint to the Financial Consumer Protection Department of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). While doing my research, I came across BSP’s official Facebook page and was introduced to ‘BOB’ or BSP Online Buddy, an automated chatbot that can “help with your financial consumer concerns and questions.”

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    I had nothing to lose, so I immediately interacted with the ‘bot to file my complaint. I was able to get my credit card refund in six days. Here’s how I did it.

    How to use BSP’s ‘BOB’

    1. Go to the official Facebook page of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and click the message button.

    Click ‘Get Started.’ You’ll get a message with an overview of what BOB is for, plus a reminder to never provide sensitive account information in the conversation. You can reply to BOB in English, Tagalog, or Taglish.

    2. Choose New Complaint.

     

    You can talk to 'BOB' in English, Tagalog, or Taglish.
    PHOTO BY Screenshot by Kitty Elicay
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    You may also get an update on your complaint or read the FAQ. Afterward, BOB will inform you that it will ask you for some personal information such as your name, address or phone number so it can assist you with your issue. Reply with YES if you agree.

    3. State the nature of your complaint.

    You will be asked to describe your complaint in one or two sentences. Be as specific as you can and use keywords like “refund,” “credit card” and the name of the bank or financial institution you are dealing with.

     

    Be as specific as you can and use keywords the bot is likely to recognize.
    PHOTO BY Screenshot by Kitty Elicay

     

    In my case, I wrote that I have been waiting for a refund from a transaction that I made using my credit card (I stated the bank). I also included the date when I applied for the refund.

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    BOB will then verify the nature of your complaint and will ask you if you would like to file a complaint with the financial institution that you previously mentioned.

    4. Send proof of transaction.

    This part is optional, but I felt that it would give a clearer picture of my complaint, so I sent a screenshot of the airline’s email where it said that it had already forwarded my refund request to the bank.

     

    Avoid sending sensitive account information.
    PHOTO BY Screenshot by Kitty Elicay

     

    Like the BSP said, avoid sending sensitive account information. In my case, the screenshot only had the booking reference number, the amount that was to be refunded, and the date when it was filed.

    5. State whether you’ve attempted to contact the financial institution and through which medium.

    In my case, I answered ‘Yes,’ and said I did it through phone call since I had already called the bank’s hotline twice.

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    6. Share your contact details.

     BOB will ask whether you are the complainant or a representative of the complainant. You’ll then need to share some contact information including your full name, region where you live, contact number, email address, and your gender.

    7. Take note of your complaint number.

     After supplying all the details, BOB will automatically create a complaint for you. It will be forwarded to the financial institution “with a request for them to directly communicate with you within seven days from receipt of our referral.”

    How I got my credit card refund

     I “talked” to BOB on January 28, 2021, at around 5 p.m. On February 2, I received an email from my bank, where they asked for further information that can help them investigate my concern. They also emailed me a transaction dispute form and asked for a copy of the “credit memo or cancellation letter duly acknowledged by the merchant.”

    I filled out the form and re-stated the nature of my complaint. I gave more details and also attached additional screenshots of my cancelled booking where it was stated that the refund would be credited back to my account.

    On February 3, 2021, the bank replied to confirm that they’ve received my email. Later that day, the amount was reflected back to my account.

    It was a smooth, quick, easy and stress-free transaction. I received another email the next day explaining the details of my refund. All’s well that ends well!

    While we try to avoid issues with our banks, it is sometimes inevitable. Previously, consumers with questions or complaints need to course it to BSP through email, postal mail, phone calls, or even physical visits to the BSP office. Thanks to the introduction of ‘BOB’, we can now lodge our complaints and inquiries against BSP-supervised financial institutions in real-time without having to leave our homes.

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    BSP’s BOB may also be accessed through BSP Webchat at www.bsp.gov.ph and via text messaging (21582277) for Globe subscribers. Standard text messaging service and Internet data charges may apply.

    Looking for banks where you can open a kiddie account for your child? Check out our mom-recommended list here.

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