Monday, July 10, 2017

Manila Bankers Life Insurance: Scam or Not?


Image from MBLI's website

Last Wednesday, I received a landline call. Since I am no longer expecting character investigation calls through my landline number because of some credit card applications, I'm a bit surprised that someone would call via landline. Telemarketers are ok especially if I know the product like Citibank and PLDT but what I experienced was new to me. Here's how the conversation went:

Manila Bankers Life Insurance (MBLI): Good morning! May I speak with Mr. XXX? 
Me: Speaking. Who is this?
MBLI: Hi Mr. XXX! This is YYY from Manila Bankers Life Insurance and I’m calling you today to happily inform you that in celebration of MBLI’s anniversary, you won yourself 4 free rewards! You were recommended by one of our partner banks: BPI, BDO, Metrobank, RCBC, Security Bank, EastWest Bank, PNB, LandBank etc.
Me: ...
MBLI: Since our records show that you have a good credit standing, you were chosen to receive 4 rewards that includes an educational scholarship at a computer school,  free life insurance, as well as health and wellness GCs. I'd be happy to explain them one by one.
Me: I'm already a graduate and have a life insurance (even though I don't really have one). 
MBLI: No worries Sir! The educational scholarship can be given to anyone and our life insurance is free. We just need to confirm your credit standing via your ATM or credit card. 
Me: Sorry but I'm not willing to give my credit card or ATM details over the phone. Thank you. 
MBLI: It would be here at our office Sir. 
Me: No thanks. I'm not really interested. Bye!
I don't know if its the representative's voice and manner of communicating (heavy accent, script-dependent and all) but I'm very cautious with these kinds of calls. So I turned to my best friend, Google and made a quick search of Manila Bankers Life Insurance and was not really surprised to see the numerous negative comments and allegations of fraud:



These posts dates back 2016 but I also saw some way back 2013. Most are negative comments. I did see one positive post about it but the comments were bombarded with negative ones. From what I read, MBLI persuades people with offers of an educational scholarships and other gift certificates. When one claim their prize from Manila Bankers Life Insurance office in Ayala, they will be subjected to a product presentation of the company's insurance products and then pressured to avail of the products.

However, Manila Bankers Life Insurance seems to be a legit insurance company. They have their own official website and is listed among accredited life insurance companies by the Insurance Commssion. If Manila Bankers Life Insurance is not one of those fly-by-night institution, why the negative comments?

I strongly believe it’s because of their misleading marketing and sales practices.

Manila Bankers Life Insurance utilizes deception (for a lack of better term)  to secure a potential client’s attention. The modus is to use the scholarship and gift certificates as a bait to bring people to their office and once there, hard sell the product to the unsuspecting audience.

The aggressive selling of their life insurance product borders on pressure and  intimidation. Manila Bankers Life Insurance might say in defense that the final decision is still with the insured, but with such tactics, very few would be able to say no, and even if they were able to, it would be too late as representatives would already have a hold on their financial details. And with Filipino's  inherent meekness and non-confrontational nature plus limited knowledge, this would be easy as pie.

Based on the numerous comments against Manila Bankers Life Insurance on social media, the agents are smooth talkers who somehow manage to convince the insured to hand over their credit card or ATM for what they claim is a simple verification process.

So if it’s not a scam, would I recommend going to Manila Bankers Life Insurance to claim your supposed prizes? If you have an ample amount of time, or you want to your test your saying "No" skills or have something to write home about, then go right ahead. Otherwise, I honestly think it’s a waste of time. Even if MBLI is a legitimate insurance company, I wouldn’t want to deal with an entity that uses shady methods just to close a sale. I have friends who are into insurance sales and I see how they work hard to secure clients, explain the ins and outs of a policy, how knowledgeable they are with their company and product. And they are okay even if potential clients says no.  The least thing I can get for free is lunch. :)

Always remember, don’t let Manila Bankers Life Insurance or any other entity near your credit, debit or ATM cards. If you need to be rude, then do so and save yourself from the headache of unwanted and overpriced charges, and never ever sign anything you haven’t thoroughly read first. Be vigilant.

2 comments:

  1. Oh God. I just made a money savers account with them last June 28 this year. Like some of the "comments", one agent approached me in Cubao Farmers Plaza. He told me that it's like a raffle entry, and he's really convincing me though. So I did put my entry and after that he told me that it will only take 5mins of my time for a short presentation. Oh God! I was so stupid then. Or maybe I was just to humane. So we went to their mini office. Gaaad! I was quite in a hurry that day but I really killed my time with them. So there were some financial advisors blah blah and explain some things to you. I know what it is coz I am a personal banker and I work with British people. However I was damn stupid. I just realized it today when I read all the feedbacks. Damn disappointing and is now giving me a headache. My attention was really lured that time though and guess what I gave in to their misleading strats. Oh whatever! So now I have this problem of getting the money back I invested. Although it's just a small amount of money, it's still my money. Right? I pay quarterly and my next payment will be by to.orrow and I don't want to pay it really. Fortunately I did not agree with the auto debit so that quite saved me then. Oh God! I already wrote emails to them about the closure that I want. Gaaad! *damn* it!

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  2. Damn. I just received a call. Just NOW. I was swayed by the free educational scholarship and all that jazz. I was convinced. I called my mom because they were looking for her but she's out of the country. So I googled. That's exactly how the conversation went! Thank you for this.

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Be kind! :P