The Straits Times
Published on Dec 17, 2012

Timelier response needed for credit-card loss hotlines


MY WALLET was stolen last month when I boarded a train from Stockholm to Copenhagen. I immediately called DBS, UOB and OCBC banks to report the loss and to block my credit and ATM cards.

The numbers listed on their websites were labelled as emergency hotlines, but calls from overseas were not toll-free. My calls to all three banks were routed to their normal contact centres where I was put through the loop before I could reach the option to report my loss.

My calls to OCBC, UOB and DBS took 15 minutes, 14 minutes and five minutes respectively. In all, the international call charges to report the loss of my cards came up to $124.85.

In an emergency situation, why must the customer be made to wait before reaching a customer service officer who can deal with the matter quickly?

Every minute that the customer holds on to the line incurs a high international call charge.

In the case of UOB, my first call was routed to a customer service officer who informed me that she would direct my case to another department and that someone from the department would call me back.

After waiting for more than an hour, I had to call UOB again and was put on hold before I could receive attention to block my card.

Foo Kim Leng (Ms)