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Buyanihan bad review — a tale of unprofessionalism and bad work ethics

I was indignant upon reading this post from a FB friend. Her bad experience from was just so blatantly insulting that it deserves a repost. So that’s how Buyanihan treats its customers– by erasing comments on their page, not replying to emails and ultimately, lying to them to get them off their necks. I will never buy from Buyanihan, and nor should you. They’ll really make sure that you get what you pay for.



Buyanihan is a group buying site. This means that they negotiate for cheaper deals in various establishments in exchange for bulk sales. Last March, we bought vouchers for all 12 members of our family to go to Puerto Princesa, Palawan. We thought that 6K per pax for a 3d2n stay complete with airfare, meals, accommodations and tours is such a steal that we should take advantage of. Not a week later, we paid for the vouchers and then a week after that, on March 21st, we emailed them our schedule preferences. In my email, I told them that we preferred May 6-8, or May 13-15, or May 14-16. They never replied to my email but when I called them up on the first week of April, they said that we are confirmed for May 14-16. We made arrangements. I nagged Arn to file for a very-hard-to-get-approved official leave. We were ready and very excited to go.

2nd, 3rd, 4th week of April I continued to follow up with Buyanihan. They never answered emails or called back when they said they would so I was the one who persistently and insistently followed up on the papers we needed to go – airline tickets, etc. I asked them repeatedly if I can coordinate with their travel agency partner directly and they said that I should go through them and they’ll be the ones coordinating with the travel agency. All the while, they kept on assuring me that our trip was confirmed.

First week of May. I called and then again followed up on our papers and the travel arrangements of Iohan and Araw (I requested that they be not charged the full 6k because since they are still just 2 years old, they could be accommodated for free at the hotel and at the tour). This was when they told me that our trip schedule isn’t finalized. This was when I made posts in FB and twitter tagging them and telling them off for their inefficiency. I made repeated requests to call the travel agency directly. And when I finally got to talk to BC Travel, their agency partner, I was surprised and very angry when I learned that Buyanihan only forwarded our request to BC Travel on May 3rd. Naturally, the travel agency would consider that late booking since May is peak season. Naturally, there would be surcharge. But why would I agree to paying surcharge for something that wasn’t my fault? I booked way ahead of time. They asked me if I would be willing to reschedule. Much as I wanted our vacation to push through, much as I wanted to go to Palawan and visit the famous underground river, much as I wanted to bond and laugh with my family, I said no.

What assurance would I have that if I reschedule, these things will not happen again. If the root causes of the problem are inefficiency and incompetence, what assurance would I have that if we reschedule our trip in September, they’ll gain efficiency and competence over night and suddenly be better in doing their job. Mabuti sana if only adults will travel, pero me kasama kaming mga bulinggit. The fear of my parents is that pano kung mabulilyaso along the way. Pano kung panget pala ang tulugan kaya mura. Pano kung konti lang at di masarap ang food na kasama sa all-in meals. Pano kung pipitsugin pala yung tour operator, e may kasamang dalawang bata sa pagtawid sa mga isla? We have lost trust and confidence in Buyanihan’s ability to deliver – there’s no other recourse but to cancel the trip with finality and ask for refund.

My father (or my grandfather – nakalimutan ko na kung sino sa dalawang Francisco) always told us you get what you pay for. I should have listened. You pay shit, you get shit. He says that if we want the best in life, we should be prepared to spend for it – no shortcuts, no bargains. With that he instilled in us the value of hard work, because that’s the only way you can afford to spend for the things you want most.

The best is what we deserve. It’s what we deserve for all our hard work, for all the times spent at the office working. Never shortchange on the experience. Para sa papa ko, minsan na nga lang papasyal, titipirin pa. Para sa kanya, pag may lakad, pag may gustong bilhin, bawal magtipid.

This time, I will remember to take my cue from him. No to bargains. No to group buying sites. We do not earn much (I am from the NGO sector and Arn is from the military at hindi pa siya pinapatawag para magtestify sa Senate), but my family deserves the fruit of my hard labor. They deserve to be pampered after sacrificing so many hours each week without Mommy or Daddy beside them. They do not deserve the shit, paying shit dishes out. Next time, di na ko manghihinayang gumastos nang mas malaki if it means we’ll have a grand vacation everybody would enjoy and remember. No to bargains and sakit ng ulo at unnecessary hassle. We deserve the best.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2011 12:52 pm

    I had a similar experience with Buyanihan. They don’t tell you all the details of the trip no matter how many times you follow it up with them, through calls, emails, etc. They even gave us false information, tricking us to think that our transportation to our destination (Cebu) was already included in the voucher. I even asked their employee in Buyanihan and we had a common understanding. Days before our scheduled trip, he told me we had to book a flight ourselves. Wtf?! And when we asked to reschedule, they gave us a hard time on it, telling us that they had no fault with the miscommunication that happened. I told them how could that be when I confirmed with their employee about the details of the trip.

    In the end, we gave up talking to Buyanihan and talked to the travel agency instead (Ensemble e-travel). They accommodated our request to reschedule our trip (after days of berating them).

    It will really be the last time I ever buy in Buyanihan!

    • sugarhigh37 permalink*
      May 20, 2011 1:16 pm

      Grabe this seems to be a trend with them! There seems to be quite a number of bad reviews for buyanihan out there. I hope everyone would speak out, if irate customers won’t prompt them to improve their customer service, then bad PR should!

  2. K A. Loka permalink
    August 17, 2011 2:33 pm

    And to think they had the audacity to be featured on tv !

  3. math permalink
    October 17, 2011 5:01 am

    I chance upon this blog site and I would like to share that I had the same bad experience with BUYANIHAN. Having purchased a travel package thru Buyanihan, I had nightmare trying to get in touch with their merchant partnerl, Ensemble E-travel. Having spent several weeks trying to get in touch with Ensemble by phone and email, I decided that it is better to request for a refund as it was quite obvious that Ensemble will never be able to provide the proper level of services.
    I thus contacted Buyanihan to report and file a complain, but to my disgust BUYANIHAN claimed that we were both victims of the situation, ie. short of saying that they don’t care about those who bought the travel package despite the fact that they make money out of every deal they make.
    Recently, I received an email from BUYANIHAN issued by their President to which I would like to share;
    To Our Valued Customers,

    Please accept our sincerest apology for all the inconveniences you have experienced with the travel deals you bought through us. We know how frustrating it is to not get the service that you paid for.

    BUYanihan aims to consistently deliver a professional service to our customers. Rest assured that we are doing everything to rectify the situation at the soonest possible time.
    As advised, we are already undertaking legal actions against Ensemble E-Travel. We will be giving you updates on the development of this case.

    Attached herewith is our OFFICIAL STATEMENT for your reference.

    Thank you for patience and understanding. We hope that you will continue to patronize BUYanihan PHILIPPINES. We’ve got lots of exciting new things in store in the next few months.


    Mr. Eddie Lee

    BUYanihan Philippines

    This is a total B***S**T !!!

    I hope this serve as a lesson to online community that they should be watchful and never to buy anything from BUYANIHAN.

  4. November 12, 2011 12:05 am

    I have the same experience with Buyanihan.

    Can I share this to my wall in FB and to Buyanihan’s wall as well? Para makita nung iba?

  5. maan alonzo permalink
    January 24, 2012 1:57 am

    We went to Resorts World to watch The Sound of Music, which we got tickets from BUYANIHAN only to find out the8PM show got moved by BUYANIHAN and this MARCO AVENTADO / AVENTEJADO of CATALYST REVOLUTION INC to 2PMwithout even informing us buyers! We also found out that this 8PM show has long been moved in lieu of 2 Cellos also from this Marco Aventado and nobody from your office even informed us! WHAT KIND OF SERVICE IS THAT?

    We even got an email confirmation from JIEGGARDMATE YARANON, last 01/18/2012 who confirmed our seats and he also did not inform us about the change. Your voucher indicated redemption would be on the 20th STARTING at 12 NOON, we were there 5PM and NOBODY was there.

    Been trying to call both Buyanihan and this Marco for days now and nobody is answering!!!

  6. Fina Capareda permalink
    July 29, 2012 11:32 pm

    I don’t buy travel packages from group buying sites especially if there is an airfare included in the package. Why? Because airlines have different fares in either economy, business or first class seats… Example P1,000 fare allotted for only 5 seats, P2,000 fare for 10 seats, P3,000 for 20 seats and so on and so forth. Airlines are on a book and buy basis, meaning you have to immediately grab the seats on your preferred dates and they have set a timeframe for you to pay or else they will release your booking. Travel agents are already middle men so having another middle man (grp buying site) will delay all the more to purchase an airline ticket.

    So I think that this can also happen to other group buying sites. People behind these sites should know about this and be very careful in dealing with this kind of situation or else sira ang reputation nila. Ganun din sa buyers, avoid na lang travel packages sa group buying sites para di masira vacation nyo 🙂

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