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DBS customers recount harrowing tales

Posted on 23 February 2012

Forced cancellation of ATM cards by DBS causes havoc in people’s lives.

By Gong Jiao Wei

Photo credit: Yahoo!

The recent unprecedented mass cancellation of ATM cards by DBS has wreaked havoc on some people’s lives to the extent they are ruined.

The desperate measure of forcing an upgrade of ATM cards on existing cardholders was made without warning and after a series of unauthorised withdrawals the previous month threw the security of ATM transactions into the spotlight.

However, some DBS ATM cardholders are bearing the brunt of the bank’s badly planned and poorly executed security measure.

Lin Lao Peh, a 40-year-old unemployed semi-professional gambler, said he wanted to return loan sharks the remainder of his outstanding debt but was shocked to receive the SMS sent by DBS informing him that he could not use his ATM card on Feb 20.

Speaking in Hokkien and sobbing, Lin said: “As a result, I was unable to withdraw money to settle my outstanding debt and the 11 a.m. deadline passed. So I’m in arrears again. And as the Ah Long interest rate is 400 percent per day, now I am back to being $100,000 in debt again.

“And rolling in the deep. Deep shit, that is.”

Another unfortunate man, who refused to be identified, explained how he almost lost his job due to his ATM card cancellation.

“I was suffering from food poisoning, but nonetheless, took a cab to work to attend a morning meeting before wanting to call it a day. But while on the cab, the SMS came in saying I couldn’t use my ATM card.

“So, I had to beg the taxi driver to give me a few minutes to run to the office, even when I’m having loose stools, to borrow some cash from my colleagues but none of them were around.”

Explaining that he had to act on impulse, control his bowels and endure the driver’s menacing looks, he met with one unfortunate incident after another.

As all his colleagues were away from their desk at the meeting already, he decided to take some money from one colleague who sits besides him but who he offends on a daily basis.

The intention was to take her money to pay for the cab fare first and return it later hoping she wouldn’t notice.

However, halfway through doing that, his colleague came back from the washroom and assumed he was stealing from her as he was rummaging through her handbag.

“We had a massive bust-up where she beat me into a pulp. The beating was quite bad and my diarrhoea came out, unwittingly.”

His boss returned to the office at that moment and assumed he was playing a fool as he was lying on the floor and smelling foul with mysterious stains on his pants.

“I almost got fired from a job I held for 25 years. Imagine that,” he said, speaking from his hospital bed while his face twitched from bruises sustained during the office melee.

Another lady suffered the worst: Banishment from a high-class shop at one of the branded fashion outlets at the high-end part of Orchard Road.

This faux tai tai, Monica Chng, said: “I really took my own sweet time to buy the purse I wanted because I’ve never shopped in this kind of high-class place before.

“But I was really confident I could afford to pay because I had my DBS ATM card with me.”

At the point of purchase, though, her ATM card ceased functioning.

And her blood ran cold.

Having spent 45 minutes before that ordering the sales staff around and acting like she was the queen, the high-end retail shop staff turned the tables on her when they realised she couldn’t carry through with the transaction.

They gave her dirty looks, sneered at her as if she was broke and stared her out of the shop.

“I ran out crying,” Chng said.

Until today, none of those interviewed have received their replacement ATM cards yet.

Lin, said in Hokkien, bitterly: “Thanks to DBS, I’m leaving Singapore for good so the loan sharks will never find me.”

He added: “I mean, why couldn’t DBS send me a replacement card first before cutting off the old one? If they did that, I wouldn’t have to flee from my place of birth and the only country I ever knew, where I served National Service and where everything is clean and efficient and smart and well-organised except when it comes time to cancel ATM cards en masse.

“Broken vagina, you understand?”

This post was written by:

- who has written 2685 posts on New Nation.

Wang Pei can be considered a new citizen of Singapore. She has been here all her life, just that her environment's changed beyond recognition.

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  • vinyarb

    I thought DBS had emailed replacement atm cards to users?

  • Ryan

    Is this satrical? Either way its funny but unfortunate. hahahah

  • anon

    “Another lady suffered the worst: Banishment from a high-class shop at
    one of the branded fashion outlets at the high-end part of Orchard Road.”

    This whole article’s been written from a terrible perspective. How is banishment from a shop “the worst” compared to being forced to leave your country or nearly losing a job you had for 25 years? And honestly the first guy shouldn’t even be dabbling with loan sharks.