UBB Bulgaria, an NBG Group member

Have you ever tried the services of UBB-Bulgaria, a member of NBG Group?

Have you ever entered one of their offices in Bulgaria?

Have you even seen the grumpy faces of the employees there?

I had. I wish I could say “I had enough”, but I still have to stay a client to that bank, because of some personal reasons. However, staying a client does not mean that I have to stand their ridiculous behavior. And that’s why I write this article, which is addressed to you – **the NBG Management guys**, who have the force and the will not to allow to your employees to make your clients feel bad and to want never to return at any of your offices. Because you may throw thousands of hundreds of dollars for advertisement, but if your own office sucks, no advertisement can beat this!

Why I decided to write in English, and not in Bulgarian? Why I’m taking the risk to make some stupid mistakes, because Enligsh is not my native language? It is because I hope someone from the NBG Group officials to read this article, and to take **measures**. Maybe even **severe measures**. Because I am completely sure that the high management thinks they have one great bank, and a lot of happy clients – both big business ones, and the small cash clients like myself. Well, management guys: guess what? **That is soooo not true**!

First of all I would like to start my expose with today’s fresh UBB experience. I had to go, exchange some EUR, buy some USD for my VISA credit card account there, and either get the rest of the money in my hand, either send the rest of the money to my cash account in another bank. I had to do all this in the UBB office, located in Iskar area, Sofia city. It is small and cosy office, not very luxury, but also not very bad if you compare it to the general business style currently in Bulgaria.

OK, I arrived there, and I went to the first employee, who seemed to go through some papers. I got immediately her attention, and I asked her about “what’s the bank commision, if I have to transfer money from here to another bank?”. Yes, I had this intention, because I also had to send small amount of money to another account. What do you think – did I got the commision’s value? She told me that she does not know! And she sent me to the other bureau (about 5 meters opposite), and she told me to ask there. I was astonished (but I was already used to ridiculous things in this bank). I did not wanted to wait on the line just to know the commision, so I decided to do this operation in another bank (First Investment Bank – office Europe), where I was already accustomed to. So, **to the attention of the NBG Management**: you, guys, just lost my commision, because of the bad (or lazy) employee, who did now knew the commisions of the bank where she works in.

The UBB saga continues: I still had to exchange my euros and buy some dollars, which had to go in my VISA account. I went to the cash bureau, where I had to complete these operations. There were two open bureaus, and there was a line (2 lines, about 3 persons each). Finally one of the other employees (who had seen the lines) decided to open third bureau, and I went there. I explained the operations I had to perform. She (not saying even a word after my explanations) just grabbed my documents and my money, and after a minute she gave me a document for signing. This document was for the EUR -> BGN exchange. I thought “well, stage 1 completed, now she will ask me for my account”. Noooooo! She just returned me everything. I asked her “Why?”. She told me (with this very grumpy voce, no smile or other positive emotion sent) “Each customer must fill the deposit slips himself. Next, please!” And that was all.
Needless to say – I was **very mad**. But I knew from my previous experience that “UBB empployees suck – their behavior is way out of the normal bank employee behavior”. So I just went to fill my deposit slip. I felt it up, and I went to the other bureau, where the money finally went to my VISA card account.

If you, dear **NBG/UBB management guys**, read this, you may ask yourself: what’s the moral of the story. I could summarize the whole story in these few numbered items:
### UBB employees suck! Because:
1. They do not know the commision of their own bank
2. They preffer to pass you to another employee rather than to serve your need. Your time is not important, your mood too. Only their time is important
3. They do not smile. They do not look you in the eyes, when they speak to you. That’s why they’re very busy. And very grumpy. And (maybe) becayse their salaries are low. And maybe because they hate their work. And maybe because hell knows what!

### How you could improve it?
In case you (**the UBB management guys**) are already asking you “Why? We have been there, we have checked everything, and it seems fine”, I can tell you how you can improve that. I am sure you do not want a bank, which leaves these impressions to its customers. No matter how big they are – I am sure any customer is important for your bank. And every single commision too!
So, let’s return on the question “How you could see the reality”. Because I am sure the reality is being well hidden for you, especially when you are on a supervision visit.
First of all, you should know that we, Bulgarians (just like Greeks, Turks, and any other Balkan nation) are very good in showing how good we are. Especially if we have a supervision visit. So you, **NBG management guys**, must drop these useless visits. They are good only when you can put yourself on the place of any client, just like me. Of course, the employees you’re currently checking, must **not** know who you are.
Then, and only then, you will receive the “quality service”, which the mass of your clients receive. Then and only then you will be able to see the real problems, which strike most of your clients during their UBB visits. Then and only then you will be able to find ways to fix them, and hopefuly, you will teach your employess why it’s important to smile to every single customer, to take care for him, to make client happy, and to make anything possible to finish client’s business as fast and as competent as possible.

### Maybe you continue to ask, why?
Why do I care to loose my time, writing this? Why do I do this favor to a bank, which I have just to drop and forget about?
I will tell you why. It’s because I believe that any bank, and any business, must have another chance. Even two chances. Because if we do not give that chance, then we will miss many good things, which will never happen.
So – I give you my second chance. And I really hope I will receive some official feedback from you, **the UBB management guys**. If I receive it – I will know there is hope. I know that my blog has been red by approximately 80 people per day. One and the same people, in most of the cases. I promise – if I have feedback, I will update this article. And if I receive feedback I will tell you my other UBB problem – the home-banking. But that’s another issue!
And, finally, if you still ask yourself why I do not follow the standard UBB’s official procedure – here is the answer. I have to fill a paper form, which I have to bring in one of your offices, and where I will have to meed the grumpy employees again. And my form will make them even grumpier! So now, after finishing this article, I will try to make it really popular. I will send it to you, **NBG management guys**, if I find your e-mail. Also I will send it to the **Bulgarian UBB management guys**, but I’m almost 100% sure they will assure me that all is and will be OK, and nothing will change!

### Waiting for your feedback, NBG management guys!

8 thoughts on “UBB Bulgaria, an NBG Group member

  1. Well it was about time somebody to write about the so called “banks” in Bulgaria. I am not sure who and where teaches these bank employees and who and where teaches their management staff but I think that they should be fired immediatelly. Or sent to sell tickets for the public transport.

    If they were just UBB one could live with the fact, but they are so many – Hebros, ING, Postbank, etc. I think it is time to create a chart “User: STAY AWAY!” for the “Bulgarian bank system” and to give an award each year for “The Worst Bank of the Year”. Probably a stinking fish for they official holiday – December 6 is not a bad idea.. To leave it for one day in some of their branches so that the people to see that there is something “smelly” in this bank..

  2. If that was the case only with banks, that would be fine, but it’s not. Almost in every instituation in Bulgaria, almost in every office I see the same thing. Usually, when people are asked why, they say it’s because their salaries are low or they are dissatisfied with their working conditions. That is true but it isn’t the client’s problem! So, in case any grumpy employee anywhere is reading this: it’s not our fault that your boss sucks! We are not your boss, we are clients and we expect to be treated as such. What happens between your boss and you is your business but we don’t have to stand the conesquences. Of course, there is a way out of it – we can go to some other bank/store/whatever, where we’ll be served better, and this will make your salary even lower. Think about this the next time you talk to a client.

  3. Well, I have a MasterCard from UBB and my last monthly statement was very strange.

    According to my contract with UBB I have to pay at least 10% of my total due every month. Last month I decided to pay all my credit and I paid. The problem was that they didn’t know how much exactly is my interest. “You will recieve another statement with the interest due”, a girl from UBB said. “You tell me that you can’t calculate my interest?”, I asked. “Sorry, Sir! The system will do that at the end of the month”, she said. “But today is 7th! Why should I pay interest for the whole month?”. “No, you won’t but I can’t calculate the exact amount before the end of the month.”, she tried to smile. “So I have to be here again to pay some small amount of money because of your strange system?”. “Sorry, Sir!”

    At the end of July the statement was here. Total due amount 26.19. Minimal payment 26.82. Bang! Why? Why should I pay 0.63 more? I will but who will tell me why?

    I am at the bank again. “Excuse me, how much should I pay? 26.19 or 26.82?”, I asked. “Well, probably it is better to pay 26.82, because if 26.19 is not enough you have to come here again for the rest.”, she told. “Probably? You don’t know? Again?. When actually you will know how much I have to pay? At the end of the year?”. “Well… sorry but our system…”… “OK”, I told… “I will pay 26.82” and hope I’ll never use my UBB MasterCard again. Now I have 0.37 over my credit limit. I don’t know why. Not 0.63, but 0.37 (because some 0.26 interest correction). I don’t know what is this… AND I DON’T WANNA KNOW!!!

  4. Защото, приятелю az (от IP: , lan1.rousse.spnet.net, това е изпратено и предназначено е адресирано и за гръцките мениджъри от NBG.
    Анонимко, не си толкова анонимен, колкото си мислиш! Едно приятелче ги лекуваше нещастници като тебе по специален начин, но аз съм над тези неща. Затова ще оставя коментара ти, който не е по темата (можеше и по поща да ме питаш, нали?) още няколко дни, и след това ще го изтрия.
    Аман от комплексари като тебе в тази държава. Когато не знаеш какво да кажеш – почваш да дрънкаш цинизми и глупости.
    И в същия дух – защо пишеш на шльокавица? Нали искаш на български – пиши и ти на български де?

  5. UBB Branch in Lagera district in Sofia is terrible. Always there are queues of people and only one desk works while the other people just sit there and look over some documents – pretending to work. Its total disaster and they usually scream to you when you do something wrong – example fill the paper with a mistake or ask them to hurry up a little bit because your time is precious.
    Instead of UBB i choose First Investment Bank 🙂 This is the bank of the end customer. They are always helpful and you feel much comfortable. Also no more queues. !

  6. I would like to share my UBB experience: I have been just once in their office at Vitosha blvd, which in my opinion should be the perfect of all, since it’s on our capital’s central blvd. Instead, what I saw really reminded me of G.Orwell’s “1984” — some kind of nightmare there. I remember me and my girlfriend were there to transfer some money and pay our rent that way. We had to wait much. Some horror system on the wall with screens, informed the customers, which guishee is free. I got very nervous. We did not had bad experience with the employees, but I told myself never to get back there.

    In contrast — I am customer of First Investment Bank, office Vitosha ( in Sofia ) for more than year and a half. Must say here do not have problems durring this time. Noone is perfect, but at least they do not show weaknesses to me.

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