Confusion on the SIM Student Services Hotline.

the background
the brother unit is enrolling into UOL soon. the bridging courses start in mid-May and according to the contract, payment has to be made by 2nd May.

the 1st phonecall
since the brother will be travelling and I have to pay on his behalf, I called up SIM about 2 weeks ago and asked what documents do I have to bring for me to do that.

the lady on the line told me that first, I have to wait for my brother to receive an invoice in his student account and I can just proceed to make payment for the courses with the invoices.

nice. easy. simple.

the 2nd phonecall
It’s almost less than a week to 2nd May and the brother has yet to received any invoice in his student account. At the same time, he received another message that says that payment is now due on the 17th of May.

Just to be on the safe side, I called up SIM again. My question was simple, “When will the invoice be generated? When is the actual due date – 2nd or 17th of May?”

But the answer I got was gibberish.

When is the actual due date?

The person said that the due date remains as 2nd of May.

In that case, when will the invoice be generated?

The person called the programme office and told me that the invoice will be generated and once the invoice is received by my brother, I can make payment via various methods etc etc. Totally not answering my questions. So I repeated my question again.

The person said the programme office has no idea as well and it all depends on the Finance department. So I asked her, “If that’s the case, shouldn’t you be calling up the Finance department to check instead of the Programme Office?”  Ok.

Put on hold for about 5-10minutes

The person told me that the Finance Office said they are generating the invoices in batches. So thinking that my brother might be in the last batch, I asked, “Oh. In that case, when will the last batch be generated?”

The person replied, “Oh. They are not sure. But the first batch of invoices will be generated in the first week of May.”

I’m like…HUH?! I said, “But…first week of May means 1st of May? And payment due date is on the 2nd of May? Even banks give us 2 weeks notice for payments. Are you sure?”

The person realised the flawed in the logic and I was put on hold again.

Put on hold for another 5-10minutes

The person got back to me and said that the payment due date of 2nd May is actually a guideline and that once the invoices has been generated, there will be a new due date and that’s the one I should follow.

Okay, can.

Like FINALLY! That was the answer I wanted all along!

Having lost confidence in the person, I asked for the person’s name and her supervisor’s name. I’m sorry to be mean but I really have to be on the safe side.

Thank you though.

She was however very pro-active in that…she helped to check that my brother was enrolled in the proper courses and that he can attend the bridging course.

So thank you, Shimin (Tan) for your patience and helping to check with the various departments despite the confusion at the start.

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