Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SM Ayala: At Your Service???!

At around 6PM today, December 19, 2012 I went to SM Makati to buy toiletries. I paid my groceries/toiletries to the cashier worth Php166.25. Since I have no change, I gave my Php1000 bill to her in payment. She checked the bill to see its authenticity. Having used to that kind of attitude to all of SM cashiers, I let her do her routine and even smirked at it. After all she is just doing the right thing.
She checked it about three times before finally deciding to sensor it via the counterfit detector machine. I saw it through my eyes that the serial number was found in the bill. However, the cashier was left unsatisified and re-checked it three times. In my irritation, I asked her (in polite way): "Wala bang serial number?" She answered politely and said: "Meron naman po." She re-checked it one more time (or I guess three more times). I am getting irritated already but of course I kept my calm because it is her job to protect your business.
I thought this ended her doubt. But to my surprise, she opened the cashiers' box and compared the bill to the other Php1000 bill inside the drawer. Still not enough, she raised the money on air checking to see if the bill is a counterfeit. To validate her findings, she caught her nearby cashier's attention and voiced out her doubt on the authenticity of the bill. The nearby cashier even asked very loudly: "Bakit, hindi ba ano?" That's when I started freaking out because the other customers were staring at me as if checking if I was a fraud. I then told her she is insulting me and directed her to get a supervisor to check my bill. Upon arrival, the supervisor advised it was authentic and directed her to close the counterfeit detector machine and that resolved the issue on my Php1000 bill.
However resolved, I still felt that the insult to my pride was greatly damaged. Just imagine the humiliation I felt at that time when people were staring at me simply because that cashier doubted a Php1000 bill. I wonder if this is the kind of training SM produces and provides with their employees. Working in the same customer service field, I learned that you don't humiliate a customer simply because you are doubting something. Instead, you do your investigation quietly and if still in doubt, you immediately seek your superior's expert opinion. However, the cashier was fearless to humiliate me and maliciously treat my money as a counterfeit. I wonder if it was because I wasn't wearing fancy clothes that she doubted whether I have the capacity to pay with a Php1000 bill. Last I check, people shouldn't be judged the way they look.
Let me just clarify however that I wasn't complaining because she did her routine in inspecting my money. After all, I understand that fraud is present anywhere. Plus I wasn't too scared about it as I know my money isn't a counterfeit. What I cannot accept is that she had to be so loud catching other people's attention and thereby compromising my reputation.
Allow me to remind SM supermarket that as they instruct their employees to protect their business, they also have to remind them that they also have the duty to protect us -- customers. After all, we are also part of their business. It is okay to perform your job but please don't overdo it. I certainly hope this will not happen to other customers like me.
To be honest with you, I highly doubt I will ever consider SM again as my one stop shopping place. The neighboring stores may be able to protect my interests more. They may be offering more expensive products but I think it is worth their customer service.