Bill Payment Stupidity: “Sorry Sir, That’s Our Policy”

If you’ve spent any amount of time here in the Philippines, you will encounter the need to pay a bill. Well, it’s not like the rest of the modern world where you can just go online and “boom”, bill paid! Almost all bills are paid in person at either the office of the vendor or at a bayad center like SM, Cebuana, LBC, etc.

If you’ve had to do this arduous task, you may have encountered a situation where the due date has passed on the bill (even by one day). In that case, the idiot employee will say “sorry sir, I can’t accept your payment because it is past the due date”. Of course, logic would question why the hell that would matter. If I’m a company and I want a customer to pay (ESPECIALLY if late), I want that money! So, really it is just monopolies that can afford to turn away money. All regular companies want you to pay and as easily and painlessly as possible.

So, here is a funny as all hell thing that just happened to me. I tried to pay the water bill, which was like P220 (maybe about $5 USD). The due date was the day before but I hadn’t looked at the bill before I left that day. The chick at the SM payment desk says I can’t pay it there and I have to go to their main office to pay it. I’m super irritated and I ask her why that is? I get the standard “Sorry sir that is our policy”. I said, “well that’s not a reason. I am asking WHY that is the policy”. Blank confused stare.

I say “fuck this” and leave and I don’t pay the bill. I am not going to waste gas running all over town so I can pay a $5 water bill! If they come to the house, I will just give the guy P400 pesos and call it good. What a stupid ass waste of time, right?

So, here is the SUPER funny part. Nobody ever shows up about the bill, the service, or anything. Water continues to flow as normal. The next bill arrived about 5 days ago and of course I can see that the balance includes the previous month’s past due amount. So, my bill is now about P450. The due date however is May 29, 2015. So, I’m thinking “I bet these dip fucks are so stupid that I can just go down there with this new bill and pay both the past due and current amount.” And you know what? I WAS RIGHT!!! Haha. I went up there, handed her the bill, and gave her P500. She smiled, entered the bill, and gave me my receipt and change. It all took about 1 minute! Now was that so fucking hard?????

I drove home just laughing my ass off at the absolute stupidity in play here every single day. Anyway, problem solved! Just don’t pay the damn bill and pay it later when it has a new due date. They got their money even later, and I didn’t waste half my day and gas trying to comply with their stupid dumb fuck policy.

Published in Filipino Customer Service


  1. Profile gravatar of 30-30

    Meralco is very strict..You would get service until the bill is paid and you could not get 2 months of service b4 the line is cut…

  2. Profile gravatar of Whiskey
    Whiskey Post author

    I can see them being strict because there are so many deadbeats here. But they don’t want my money when I want to pay???? If I have a business and someone wants to pay their bill (ESPECIALLY if it was past due), by God I want the money and I will take it.

  3. Profile gravatar of Phil Doh
    Phil Doh

    I hate that phrase – “Sorry Sir, That’s Our Policy”, because you know that 99 times out of a 100 when you question why it’s policy, when it makes no fucking sense whatsoever, the idiot who has is telling you so has no idea why it is so. The sorry thing is that they’ve never bothered to question it themselves, they just blindly follow the rules.

    I’m sure if you created a policy where they all have to walk off a cliff they’d follow like lemmings.

    1. Profile gravatar of kalbo

      It just means they probably don’t know and don’t care.

      It’s far easier for them to blame something external to themselves to rather than take responsibility for themselves.

    2. Profile gravatar of Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III
      Fr. Bong Bong Jolog Jun III

      None of them know why it’s their policy. Let me assure you that they can’t find a procedures manual to show you what the “official” policy is for any given thing either. I’ve been through that particular (completely pointless) exercise with the brain-dead-zombie-drones at PLDT. It was not a rewarding experience.

      One time, I confronted a BDO bank manager about the reasons for a particular policy, when attempting to open a company account. I stepped through the requisite procedures with him, getting him to confirm the accuracy of each point. I then reverse engineered it for him, and pointed out that both he and I would need to commit an actual crime in order to open the account. His response – “…it’s for the auditor, Siiiiiir”. I then asked, “So we both need to commit a crime, in order for your auditors to confirm that a crime has been committed, in order to open an account”. His idiot response – “Yes Siiiir”.

      I no longer question anything here, no matter how idiotic the requests are. I’m resigned to simply looking for a way to either comply quickly, or circumvent (with bribery if necessary) the very worst aspects of the unadulterated stupidity that we are all forced to contend with. All I want is to remove myself from the presence of these festering piles of brain-dead human excrement, just as quickly as I can.

  4. Profile gravatar of kalbo

    Last xmas, I was staying on an island in the south. I went to a restaurant at an upmarket resort for dinner.

    I was greeted by a beaming head waiter, full of pride.

    “Sir! Welcome! If you don’t like any of our food tonight, as it’s a special occasion, then you don’t have to pay for it!”.


    I thought to myself, don’t worry asshole, I wouldn’t have paid anyway if the food was shit!

    What utter utter morons! What a complete fuck up of a sales strategy!

  5. Profile gravatar of Bastos

    I love how these policies that no one can find written down anywhere are more immutable than any law that is actually on the books.

    I actually have a friend who is pretty high up in Meralco and I asked him why I have to go to the office to pay if it’s past the due date (my bill often arrives after the due date) and here is what he said the logic is: “It’s to encourage people to pay on time”. He is new there and so he had no part in this “policy” but has apparently embraced it wholeheartedly. I also asked him why there is a different account number every month that prevents me from just hooking it up to my online banking ONCE. He said they are working on that one…

  6. Profile gravatar of Mike

    I have seen the lines outside Meralco to pay the bill. Chaos to say the least. Not even allowed inside until your number is called and just as crowded in there. I asked why they don’t put the bill and payment in an envelope and deposit it in the box. The reply is typical filipino:

    Well I don’t have the exact amount and Meralco owes me 2 pesos change. If I don’t pay and get my change then I lose 2 pesos.

    Me: So have them put the 2 pesos toward next months bill.

    Fil: Who ever open the envelope might steal the 2 pesos.

    Me: So you will spend 3,4,5 hours waiting in line just to make sure you get your 2 pesos change?

    Fil: Yes.

    No shit it was a real conversation. What fucking morons.

    1. Profile gravatar of Hey Joe
      Hey Joe

      Seems to boil down to… A 100% dysfunctional postal system. Why is that?? A dysfunctional/corrupt gov.
      My bills all show up at my gate by private delivery. Everyone KNOWS phil-post is broken. Yet no one will do anything. Typical pinoy.

      The good news is , i am seeing more and more Co. accepting payment online. But in typical pinoy form.. not all banks accept payments for all Co. I can pay my smart/credit card/electric at one bank ,, but not water. Water is only at a bank I don’t have a account with. So fall in line for p400. Cost me more in fuel to drive down there.

      1. Profile gravatar of Mike

        Hey Joe,

        You know atm cards in the states expire every three or four years right? Well I keep my pension in the states and access it through a U.S. bank account atm card. The last time it expired I had to fight with the bank to send it here via Fedex, which worked until the filipinos got involved( kept pushing back delivery date).

        Well I had some Americans and filipinos telling me just have the bank send it regular mail, you’ll get it because they cleaned up the post office. Do I look stupid enough to believe that but they kept insisting. So here’s what I did. Had the bank send the card via Fedex and tell me the pin over the phone, after answering several security questions. Then told them to send the letter with the pin regular mail to my address in the philippines.

        I got the card via Fedex but the pin never arrived in the philippine mail. I figure it this way.

        Some filipino stole the letter with the pin, opened it and realized it was a pin to an atm card which accesses a U.S. bank account and kept it. I like to think that same filipino is going through the mail to this day looking for the envelope that has the atm card in it. Probably stealing every atm card they find in the mail and trying that pin on them. Now the assholes who told me I could trust the philippine mail to deliver my atm card are very, very quiet when the mail comes up in talk.