Saturday, December 08, 2007

car trouble

today was a very frustrating day for us. because once again the ineptitude of the philippine system has reared its ugly head. if it happens way up there, it trickles down to every level of business and society. let's backtrack a bit, shall we? we've been in the market for a new car for a while now, and last thursday we made the decision to finally get one. nothing fancy, mind you, hindi pa kami pang benz o bmw, 'no? so we scout around and finally got a good deal on a suzuki swift at wheels, inc, manila bay branch. with a few phone calls within the day, we get the approval for the car loan from BDO. friday, we skip half a day's work just to go to the bank and withdraw cash for the downpayment, xerox all sorts of requirements (two forms of ID, cedula, income tax returns etc etc etc), sign all sorts of papers, and finally seal the deal. our agent says the car will be ready for pick-up by the next day saturday and he will call us when it's there. this morning, we get a call that there's a problem. apparently, our "comaker," which is our spouse, which we didn't realize is automatically signed up as such, had a different name on the application form and a different name on his driver's license and passport. OK, by different, that means the name on the driver's license and passport is his complete and FULL name, the name only his mother calls him when she's upset with him, know what we mean? the name on the application form is the name he uses on everything, including his bank accounts, ATM cards, credit cards, checkbooks, etc. so we faxed them all sorts of documentation to support this. by 2pm, the car was in the lot and we were asked to come over. yun pala hindi pa tapos yung "problema" tungkol sa pangalan ng comaker namin. there were lots of back and forth phone calls and since it was a weekend, the big bosses were out playing golf or whatever. to make a long, painful, STUPID story short, we waited there for THREE fucking hours only to be told in the end that they can't release the car until it can be proven that the two "different" names of our "comaker" were one and the same person! and the most ridiculous part of this all? he wasn't even the one who applied for the car loan! it was us! and it was approved! GGGGRRRRRR!!! they can only clear everything up by monday pa daw. we said that's unacceptable. it's either you give us the car now or we're canceling this sale. and this idiot said OK! what kind of service is this?? this goes all the way to the top, you know. not just the top of the company but the top of the country. for years, we have been trained not to trust anybody, so we have to assume that people are always going to screw us over. so they did not trust us, simple as that. kaka-insulto, 'di ba? even if we made a huge cash downpayment and forked over 12 post-dated checks. even if a VP from the bank immediately approved our loan. so we said give us our money back, the complete amount, and in CASH, not a check. so where was he going to get that kinda cash on a late saturday afternoon. (It was so late that the sun was already setting over the manila bay.) so he has to bother his boss who's probably playing golf or getting a massage or having merienda, who knows. in other words, he doesn't want to be bothered! it's a goddamn weekend! so you know what the boss says? just give them the car. hello!!! this could have been solved three hours earlier!!! so we are now the new, not proud, but tired, frustrated, upset, insulted, super-inis owners of a cute suzuki swift. it better be worth the trouble.


Anonymous said...

oh my gaaaad!!! that is annoying. i would have been screaming after the first hour.

congrats on your new cute car


Marj said...

Welcome to the Philippines - a third world country that pretends to be world-class. I signed up for online banking with BDO. It took them 60 days to process the paper works because of back and forth brouhaha similar to your experience. I told them that for Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America, it takes only 10 minutes to complete the same process. Tell me, have they heard about benchmarking at all?

Anonymous said...

My mom had the same problem gettign her license in australia. She had a US license w/c meant she didn't have to go through the tests and all that, BUT the name on her license and the name on her birth certificate were different daw (the latter had a MARIA before her first name) She tried to explain that in the Philippines every other womans first name is Maria but they gave her a really hard time and she had to get a letter form the consul stating that the person on her license and her BC were the same. hassle!

supercow said...

omg! that's my dream car next to the mini!


They say it's way better than honda jazz!

I saw a swift in royal blue with white roof(?) and it was just gorgeous!

Love your new car! Congrats again!

Ganda. Kaloka.

conci said...


the fash pack said...

thanks, everyone, for sharing your stories!

ps: conci, is that you? e-mail us naman!

Anonymous said...

i can relate to this kind of horror story in many, many, many different variations. parang it's easier to expect something stupid is going happen to us here in the philippines than to expect good, smooth, seamless service. i agree with marj--we are surrounded by companies that are pa world-class...super third-world mentality naman! ugh!

Mrs. Jackie T. (thebaghag wannabe) said...

welcome to the cesspits of the third world baby. Where no one trusts anyone anymore. It's really pathetic but the "system" doesn't even trust its own governing body, so there ya go.

Nixie said...


We are on the look out for another car, and we are seriously considering the Swift. How do you like your Swift? How is the aftersales service? Maintenance? Spare Parts?

Would you recommend this car to us??? We love the way it looks, and the performance ratings. But Suzuki is just not as popular here in the Philippines.

Thanks in Advance. You can email me at


Anika said...

The Swift is very impressive. I got one to replace an aging Honda CIvic and I have not regretted the decision one bit. It's a joy to drive. It came with an extended service plan (free until 20,000 km, I think).

So far, I've had one service for the 5,000km check up. The service facility in Suzuki Pasong Tamo is a bit crude, but there is some value that can be appreciated from a mom-and-pop type facility. You get to be more involved with the car's service processes. In addition, there are only a few other customers jockeying for position.

I asked other Suzuki owners if parts availability is an issue. The consensus is that almost every part is available, and if not, does not take long to order.

One of the reasons I went for the Swift is precisely because it's not popular. There are not that many on the road, so you feel a bit more special. Ownership is a bit cult-like. Other oncoming Swifts have flashed their lights at me, presumably to express delight.

I think you'll love the Swift too. It's got so much character, I'm glad I didn't go for a Yaris, Vios or Jazz. Little things like a leather clad steering wheel, a solid sporty suspension, responsive engine, silky smooth automatic transmission... I can go on and on.

Oh, and it's actually great value for its price.