28 March 2010

Worldbex 2010

We stopped by the World Trade Center last Saturday, March 20, to check the Philippine World Building and Construction Exposition.

For those who are building or renovating their homes, this is a pretty good place to look for suppliers. We found quite a few kitchen cabinet makers, tile and floor providers, and even a switch plate dealer (I've been looking for modern looking switch plates as all I see are the ordinary white ones).

For those interested in home security, the GE booth had a basic package (motion sensor, one door and one window alarm) for Php 18,000+. If the alarm goes off, the system will immediately call you at the land line or mobile number you've designated. Extra door alarm would be around Php 3000+. We're definitely planning to look into this once the house is done.

All in all, I'm glad we went as there were quite a few brands that I don't normally see at the home depot stores so it was nice to get more options.

27 March 2010

Inefficiency at its Finest

March 23, Tuesday: Christine from the bank asked us (via email) when Earl and I will be able to pass by their Makati office to sign the loan documents and pay the bank charges. She also mentioned that she will email the amount.

I then call her up to tell her that we already paid the bank fees last year and asked if we could have the documents sent via office messenger instead. She replied that we would need to sign it in front of bank officials. She also advised for us to send her the OR number so that they can check.

Later that night, I sent her an email with the OR number, date and amount paid.

March 24, Wednesday: Christine replies with this email: "Will check the OR to identify the breakdown. Hope you can sign the loan docs soon."

I reply back advising that we will confirm the meeting date the next day (Thursday) but we will most likely be available on Friday, March 26. I also asked for a follow up regarding the bank fees.

March 25, Thursday: Earl confirms in writing that we will be available on Friday, March 26 at 2 PM. She replies back but this time she copies in Denise. She instructs us to look for Denise on the 8th floor when we arrive at their office.

I ask her again regarding the bank fees but she did not answer.

March 26, Friday: We arrive at 2:25 PM and ask for Denise. When she arrives, she asks us to wait a bit as they are still computing the fire insurance. I asked, "We have to pay fees?". She said yes. I informed her we already paid the fees and that we gave Christine the OR number a few days ago so that they can cross reference.

Around ten minutes later, she comes back with the documents and the bill for the fees. We take a look and the amount due is higher than what we paid for last year. I asked why the fees increased and Denise explains that it was due to their service provider changing the processing rates.

I informed her again that we already paid for the charges last year. We also tell her that we're actually expecting a small refund as the fee we paid was based on an incorrect loan amount initially given to them by Avida. The actual amount is lower so Ming, who has since resigned, advised that we will get a refund (albeit a small one).

Denise said that she will check if we can get a waiver. My reaction? Uh, what's to waive considering this loan was already approved last year and the fees have already been paid for? In all my conversations with Ming and her successor Rona (who also recently resigned), they never mentioned that we would have more fees to pay or that if the fees increase, we would need to pay for the difference.

At that point, I asked her why didn't they check or settle the issue (i.e. OR, waiver, etc) prior to our arrival considering that they already had all the information days before? I was expecting that we'll just sign the documents and leave.

She said that she just gotten our account from Christine and Rona recently and has not been able to check our file yet. I told her that was NOT an excuse and if she had been working in my office, she be dead by now (figuratively speaking, of course). I also told her that the meeting was a complete waste of our time considering that Earl and I both had to go on leave just to meet up with her. We told Denise that we are not signing anything and that we are expecting not only the waiver but also the refund. Was she going to pay us for the leave we wasted? Does this mean we have to come back and go on leave again?

Denise said that they will go to our respective offices in Alabang and Makati to get our signatures. Earl then asked why they insisted we visit their office if they could have gone to us to begin with. She didn't answer.

Strike Three!!!

And here's the reply from Avida:

From: AVIDA Ellen
Date: Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 6:06 PM
To: Nicole
Cc: Earl, "AVIDA Desiree

Hi Ms. Nicole,

We have checked with our Construction team on site and they have indeed confirmed that your unit will not be ready by March 31st.

With this, we would like to extend our apologies for the delay…

The Construction team has assured us that they will make your unit their top priority and committed to its completion by end of April.

After the unit has been completed, we will endorse it rightaway to the Quality team of Avida for quality inspection.

I will personally monitor the status of your unit with the Construction team to ensure the end of April completion.

Btw, Ms Ruth Gonzales is no longer with Customer Care. She has been assigned to handle a different unit.

Thanks and best regards,

Customer Care Dept.
Avida Land Corp.

23 March 2010

The Deadline is Fast Approaching

And the house still looks like this (at least as of 21 March 2009):

The thing is, it also looked like this two weeks ago. Turn over by March 31? It will take a miracle.

On the other hand, construction on the neighbor's house seems more advanced (see below) - note that when we visited the site in September of last year, they hadn't even started digging. We know this for a fact since you would need to pass by this house before you reach ours.

This then prompted another email to Avida:

From: Nicole
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2010 10:52 AM
To: AVIDA Ruth
Cc: AVIDA Ellen; AVIDA Archie;

Hi Ruth,

The contractor confirmed over the phone a few minutes ago that the house will not be finished in time for March 31.

I mentioned to him that we've been visiting the site almost every week for over a month and there has been no progress (from what we've seen). We also pointed out that there are two houses on our street that were started late last year but it looks as though they are now at the same construction stage as our house - one even has the walls inside painted already and the window openings are ready for actual window installation.

The window openings of our house still need to be smoothened out with cement (you can still see the holes made from cutting the wall).

So our question is, what now?


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