02/27/2014 10:13PM UPDATE: I received an email from Cebuana Lhuillier Cares. Please see the screen shot at the bottom of the post.
I've been hearing a LOT about the Cebuana Lhuillier Pera Padala through my helpers. They tell me that this mode of money transfer is very convenient for them. All they need to do is to go to a Cebuana Center fill out a form and send the money. Their relatives are able to claim the money sent through any branch provided that they give the control number and present a valid ID to which the pera padala was named for. It was convenient because all you needed to do is give them the control number and voila, money can be claimed.
Yesterday, for the first time - I tried it. And it was a weird and different experience. I am so used to transacting in banks that I find the procedure quite tedious and unnecessary. Here's what happened I experienced:
When I entered the Cebuana Lhuillier branch, I asked the man behind the counter (with a LOT of grills and glass) what I needed to do. Since it was my first time, I was clueless here:
Didi: Hello! Mag keclaim ako ng padala (I know, I sounded weird - but I didn't know how to properly phrase it! If I were in a bank, I would just say - that I would be withdrawing)
Man Behind the Counter (MBTC): Guard! Bigyan mo si Ma'am ng form. Fill up-an niyo lang
Didi: (Looking at the form) Ang alam ko lang is yung Control Number at Pangalan ko. Apat kasi ang nagpadala, tig-isang form ba kada control number?
MBTC: Oho, isang form isang control number
Didi: Mejo madami ata
MBTC: Ganyan talaga ang procedure namin
I proceed to fill up, since I was told by my helpers that a mere giving of the control number would suffice, I just put my name and control number. There in bold handwriting asked for the birthday, and cellphone number. I honestly wondered why they needed the birthday and cell number, for what purpose! But I still filled them up. After filling out four (4) forms, I had it to the MBTC.
MBTC: Ma'am kailangan niyo po isulat ang pangalan na nagpadala sa inyo! At tsaka Ma'am kung magkano ang pinadala sa inyo
Didi: Eh, hindi ko na maalala kung kani-kanino yung mga control number at magkano ang ipinadala. Hindi ba pwedeng name ko nalang? Tutal sure naman ako na sa akin ipinangalan plus may Control number naman diba?
MBTC: Para ho sigurado kami na tama po na sa inyo talaga yung padala. Procedure lang po.
It was a good thing that I wrote down the names of the sender by chance (or was it my instinct kicking in?)
I hand it to the MBTC and I sit. I waited for a good 10 minutes. And then one of the men behind the counter exclaimed 'Ma'am! Wala po kayong record dito, pa fill out po ng form. Guard! Bigyan mo si Ma'am!
I was thinking to myself - great, another form to be filled. Was it this hard to claim your pera padala? After filling it up, I hand it to the MBTC. I again waited for another 10 minutes to be called and claim the money.
Another issue was that one of my control numbers was rejected. It was rejected because of a misspell on my last name. According to the sender, she wrote down my correct last name. So, who is responsible for this?
Here are a few questions:
1) Does one really need to fill out ALL the details?
2) Why is the birthday and mobile number needed when its not in the printed form?
3) Does one really need to have a record in order to claim the pera padala? Why? False Identities?
4) Does one really need to be aware of the EXACT amount of money being sent? I'm sure that whatever amount that is on the computer will be given to the receiver AS IS. Even if we give a bogus amount of money - whatever it is on the computer will still be followed, right?
5) I feel that the people behind the counter are a bit nosy. There was a guy who as ahead of me and he was being berated by the two Men Behind The Counter (MBTC) they were pressuring him to get the loyalty card, and when he declined (thrice at that..) he was asked 'Kalahating Instik ka? Bakit wala kang negosyo? Lahat ng Instik may negosyo!' How inappropriate right? This is at the Cebuana Lhuillier Del Monte Roosevelt Branch. A CCTV footage of that particular date and time can be retrieved and I can vouch for that..
This is my issue: Pera padala is money given to Cebuana Lhuillier, and in turn Cebuana Lhuillier will give the said money to the receiver. I just find it really odd that a middleman is so strict in enforcing the padala and pay out. They're even more strict compared to a bank! It seems like sending and receiving goes through a lot of red tape. Won't it be more convenient to shorten the process? Because like me, I just claimed P400.00 and it took me almost 30 minutes to claim. If you ask me, its not worth it, especially if the MBTC are moving oh so slowly.
Maybe that's the reason why my helpers now have opted to use SmartPadala compared to Cebuana Lhuillier and LBC.
But I guess the fact that you don't need to maintain an account with them and also that they have so many branches nationwide is why it is very attractive and practical to those sending money often.
Sigh.. LBC - Hari ng Padala is another story..
Here is the screen shot of Cebuana Lhuillier's reply to my post: