I had a loan with YYK that I began paying each payday since February 2011.
I surrendered my BDO ATM Card (payroll with [my employer]) to them, and I was given an EastWest ATM Card. Every payday since February to December 2011, they took the money from my BDO ATM Card, deducted 1242 pesos (my loan payment), and credited the rest to the EastWest Card, which I then withdrew from the EastWest ATM Card I was given.
In December 29, 2011, they did the usual; put my pay on EastWest ATM Card. I was not sure of the amount until I checked later that day, and 8704 pesos showed in my EastWest ATM Card. It turned out that I had 104 left in it when they added 8600. I took 4000, leaving 4704 pesos in the ATM for future use.
Four days later, on January 2, 2012, I withdrew another 2000 pesos; leaving 2704 in the account.
Two days later, on January 4, 2012, I attempted to withdraw an amount less than 2000 (fully aware of the 2704 left in the account), but was surprised when the machine came back with "insufficient funds." I then had the idea that YYK closed the account, as I may have fully paid up my loan (I lost track of time, did not know that my loan payments ended on December 15, 2011). When I checked the balance in the EastWest ATM, the account balance was: PhP 0.00.
Location: YYK office in Marina Mall, Mactan
I went to YYK and that's when I learned that my loan was last paid on December 15, 2011. I asked about the 2704 pesos that I had left in the EastWest ATM, if I could just withdraw it over-the-counter, and the desk officer named "Alvin" said:
Alvin: "Sir, you already took your 2704 pesos."
Me: "No, I couldn't. I was going to, but when I tried awhile ago, the account came back completely zeroed out. So I thought you guys closed it."
Alvin: "No! We just let you keep the EastWest ATM account when your loan is fully paid, we don't cancel it.
Me: "Well where did the 2704 pesos go?"
Alvin: "Uhm does anybody else have access to your ATM card?"
Me: "No, but if anybody did, how could that person withdraw exactly 2704 pesos from the ATM?"
Me: "And over-the-counter withdrawal at EastWest Bank would have been impossible, since this account is named under YYK and not me."
Alvin agreed, and could not understand himself how the 2704 depleted. At that point I started getting suspicious. I did not get a call or e-mail or letter about the conclusion of my loan contract. I started recording the conversation, stood back over to the counter and recapped the situation with Alvin's statements. For over an hour, he was checking with 'another officer,' who was in charge with these specific bank concerns, via IM/Instant Messaging/online chat. He could not tell how the 2704 was 'withdrawn,' the best he can tell me is: "What they say here Sir is that you withdrew the rest of the money."
After reaching an impasse for the day, he asked me to give him 3 days to investigate on this and promised me a call to keep me updated. I agreed, although now very doubtful.
Me: "But what about my BDO ATM Card?"
Alvin: "You may claim it directly from our main office, or have it delivered here in two days."
I decided to go directly to their main office, at Maguikay, Mandaue.
Location: YYK 'main office' in Maguikay, Mandaue.
Now recording the whole conversation.
I approached the desk officer named "Mark" and inquired about my current loan contract and asked for my card, and Mark confirmed I was cleared. He handed me the BDO ATM card contained in an envelope, and politely asked me to sign the receipt of the card. I signed it. He gave me another leaflet stating that "I was free of any claim with YYK"--this, I hesitated to sign. I then told him about my issue, about the 2704 that inexplicably cleared my EastWest ATM card. This time, he had direct communication with that 'officer-in- charge' who turned out to be a higher officer named "Sheryl" regarding the bank transactions.
Although they were in the same office, Mark and Sheryl communicated via IM/Instant Messaging/Online Chat. While I was waiting for them to fully understand the situation, I had a chat with Mark who disclosed that they just switched to Chinatrust after experiencing financial discrepancies with EastWest in disturbing gravity and frequency, which led to the frustration of many of their customers/clients. They now bank with Chinatrust, not with EastWest anymore.
Along the conversation they printed me a screenshot showing the exact figures:
104+8600=8704-4000=4704-2000=2704=end (Document #1)
(True and accurate log records of my EastWest ATM Card's debit and credit transactions)
After over half an hour of trying to figure it out, a completely different story was given. Mark says all the information he can give me is whatever "Sheryl" tells him via chat, and here's how it went:
Mark: "So I am told, Sir Ryan, that you withdrew 4000 on 12/29/11, leaving 4704 in your account."
Me: "Sounds right."
Mark: "And then between 12/30/11 and 1/1/12, the EastWest system went down again. Because of that, the transactions made during these dates were not recorded, and you withdrew another 3000 pesos during these dates."
At this point, Mark is seen shaking his head in disbelief, but continues to explain to me what he appears to be reading in their chat transcript.
Mark: "And the system came back online on 1/2/12, when you withdrew another 2000 pesos."
I am still listening in disbelief, knowing for a fact I never withdrew 3000 pesos and knowing that I left 2704 pesos intentionally after my 1/2/12 withdrawal of 2000 pesos.
Mark: "... so with a balance of 4704 pesos from 12/30/11, since the day the EastWest system went down, you withdrew a total of 5000 pesos--which means you actually owe EastWest bank 296 pesos."
I was so confused with what to feel, whether to get nervous or to find it funny. It was ridiculously unbelievable, and even Mark shows that with his facial expressions.
Me: "Seriously? Do you believe that? So the bank 'failed to record' some of the transactions, and still continues to be a bank?"
Me: "How in the world did they come up with the 3000-peso figure? Where did they get that, if the bank doesn't have it in their records?" I remained thoroughly calm, in the entire conversation, slowly starting to be convinced that EastWest is at fault here.
Mark: (Smiling in disbelief) "I don't know, seriously that's what they say here." (looking at the chat transcript)
At this point I became completely unconfident and suspicious with both YYK and EastWest. It appeared that they expected me to just acknowledge their statements and walk away.
Me: "So just like that? What about my money?"
Mark asked me to sit back down, all I heard were click-clacks of the keyboard and a few minutes later, their higher officer "Sheryl" came out and called my attention.
Sheryl: "We have requested a certification from the bank Sir, a document proving your withdrawal on December 30, 2011, of 3000 pesos. We will print it out shortly, please wait."
Although I knew there would be no such 'certification proving my 3000-peso withdrawal,' I continued to wait.
A few minutes later, Sheryl came out and showed me this paper showing time stamps and transaction records of my withdrawal of 3000 pesos on 12/30/11. It was at that point that I concluded, this is an organized BS. This is completely false, but they managed to print a document stating it (Document #2). And it was no certification, it was just simply a bunch of text printed in a bond paper. Even I can type all of that in 15 minutes.
Me: "But how does this prove anything? This is just paper, not even a single signature!"
Sheryl: "It shows that you withdrew 3000 pesos in 12/30/2011, Sir."
Me: *speechless in disbelief*
I could not believe what was going on. Then I started to believe somebody knew what was going on, and somebody got my money. The time stamps appeared to be accurate, but it had the 3000-peso figure printed out. I suspected it was the 4000-peso transaction log that they got, and altered the details to show 3000 pesos. (Now I'm starting to doubt whether I withdrew the 4000 pesos on the 29th or the 30th, as I could not exactly remember)
I even forgot to ask them how did they get this document if the system was down, and if it failed to record my 3000-peso withdrawal.
Me: "If you have this document showing the 3000-peso withdrawal, may I see the 4000-peso and the 2000-peso withdrawal?"
Sheryl: "That is the only amount in question Sir, the 3000 pesos. Now you have it in your hand, it is there clearly printed."
Me: *still unable to believe I am hearing all this*
Me: "Okay this is what I'm thinking. Whoever is behind this, intentionally altered some information in this paper because I NEVER withdrew 3000 pesos after the 12/29/11 payday."
At this point, Sheryl's behavior displayed hostility towards me. I tried to disregard it and continued to be calm, although sometimes sarcastic in my questions.
Sheryl: "That is not possible, Sir."
Me: "But how? But how will you prove to me that I withdrew 3000 pesos, when I know I did not!"
Sheryl: "We can request a CCTV recording of the day when you withdrew the 3000 pesos, but it will take a couple of days."
At that point I immediately thought it is not impossible for them to come up with such video clip, knowing that the video can be digitally altered to show the wrong date; they can show me making a withdrawal of any other day, and just simply hard-code the 'date stamp' into a corner in the video.
Me: "Okay, let's see. If you can show me a CCTV video of me withdrawing 3000 pesos, I would also want the CCTV video for when I withdrew 4000 pesos and 2000 pesos."
Sheryl: "We will only update you, as I've said it may take a couple of days. Please leave your number and we will give you a call."
Me: *still shaking my head in disbelief* "Okay, should I expect a call from this guy Mark? Or who?"
Sheryl: "WE will call you Sir."
Me: "Okay, thanks. I'll expect the call."
And Mark and I had a quick little chat about how ridiculous the story was.
The day after, I received a text message saying they're still looking into it. That's all.
Now, what do you think can I do about this situation? I am completely convinced that there is somebody responsible for this from the inside, especially having been told by Mark himself (and I have it recorded) that they've experienced such issues with EastWest bank plenty of times--where funds inexplicably deplete the client/customer's EastWest ATM Card.
Today is Saturday, that means I won't be able to do anything until Monday. I am thinking of walking up to YYK again and asking to be accompanied by one of their representatives go directly to EastWest bank to straighten this out, and to find out who's who. I am confident that I am correct, that there is 'something going on' from their inside, but I am bothered by the fact that they have gone as far as intentionally altering Document #1 as mentioned above--it is not unlikely that they may do the same with the CCTV video, or whatever document is needed to make me wrong.
All I want is my 2704 pesos. How can I get it? At this point I am slowly realizing how much of a giant I really am up against, but what can I do? I believe there will be legal basis for suing either EastWest or YYK but I don't even want any of that, just my money.
I am badly in need of advise. My plan as of now, is to walk over to YYK on Monday and demanding to check with EastWest directly. If they reject my demand, there won't be anything I can do.