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 Buyanihan.com 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.
NIGHTMARE WITH BUYANIHAN
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.