Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Thrills of Banking

I've finally reached a conclusion that poor customer service by Indians for Indians is our trademark.Either that or I'm a magnet for poor customer service and cheaters.
Last year i opened an account with State Bank of India ,Pulgate,Pune branch. Anybody who has opened an account knows that one has to attach all the required proofs before a/c is opened.Now nationalized banks are class apart. They are Government employees therefore i doubt they can be fired for being obnoxious, poor service, mistakes ,etc etc.

Here's what happened to me and which has cost me heartburn ,umpteenth trips to the bank and lots of cursing.

1. They opened my a/c after 12-13 days.They told me they'd inform me but they didn't . I made 2 trips just to find out if my a/c was opened.
2. On my third trip ,they gave me a/c no. in which one has to immediately deposit Rs 1000 which i did.
3. I had asked for cheque book and internet banking facility which they had NOT activated even though i had filled in the details in the account opening form and the debit card was to arrive at the given address.
4. Days passed and  I did not get the debit card so fearing loss of the card, i went to the branch and there it was -lying safely in the cupboard of Mr Branch Manager ! Now the bank manager growled about why the address was not written on the forms properly. I growled back "why will i not write the correct address for my own account" and i told him address proof was already given to the bank. He refuses to believe that i had written correct address on the a/c opening form .What an idiot !
5. Then i go and waste an hour for internet banking pin and ids at the behest of a rude unsmiling bank lady.
6. I log on to internet banking to realize the data entry people of State bank of India have conveniently written only "Pune"  for address. Poor courier guy. SBI bank had left it for postal dept to figure out where i lived in Pune.
7. On my fifth trip, I go to complain to bank manager that my address is not there at all on net banking so how do i receive anything ! I waste another hour by the time 3 idiots open the a/c on respective PCs to find that indeed the address field is empty.One has to imagine the greatness of banking institutions run by the government - addresses are not important to them !
8. One idiot of the bank asks me to tell her  the address while she updates . Of course, she did a bad job of it and now there is the correct address followed by wrong area. Something i realized later on the net banking page.
9. Amidst all this i suddenly get another shock.The day my a/c was opened happened to be June 30 -last day of the quarter. So guess what ? The great SBI bank deducts min.balance charge even though on same day i deposited Rs 1000.
10. On my 8th visit i go and again complained to the bank manager. Yep i did lot of complaining but they have worn me. He tells me rudely he can't do anything about it because it was automated [i now realize that this is a lie- they throw all the blame on computers and automation.So never ever believe them !] He directs me to another idiot Mr.Despande- his asst.manager. Both of them rudely tell me the same thing .I ask them to close my a/c because I've had enough.They tell me to wait for a year otherwise there'll be more charges. I ask them for email id for their superiors or complaint forms. Now, when i say this- Despande tells me there are no such forms and he asks me to write the complaint on blank page.I do so and then take xerox copy as my acknowledgment with his sign and stamp.
11. Well, what happens next, you might ask....well nothing happens. The trail goes cold ...around 25th July 2010. I resurface around may 2011. Why the delay you might ask ? My mom was terminally ill and it became impossible for me to pay visits to SBI bank's idiots.
12. Armed with the xerox copy of the complaint and an approval form for mobile no. i go to the bank. I ask Despande whether anything has been done in past one year....he doesn't reply properly as usual and then he looks up my details on his system and promises me to reverse the charges that day itself ,saying i won't need this complaint letter anymore. I also give him the mobile approval form.
13.Again, nothing happens . Now I'm thoroughly harassed and beyond angry -I've just settled down in comfortable numbness .Yet, i make 10th visit to the bank only to find Despande on leave and the lady whom he gave forms in front of me feigned surprise. But i had lost patience- i categorically told her that forms were given to her in front of me and why nothing was done about it.She took down my number and a/c no.Of course, i didn't expect her to call me  or to do anything about it.
14. I call Despande after 2-3 days and he takes down my a/c number and doesn't do anything.
15. On my 11th visit ,i go with a/c closure form having made up my mind to close the a/c. Despande asks me why i want to close it. Heaving and too tired to repeat the above details i just mentioned that there is no service and that I'm happy to  leave the bank.He immediately pulled up my details and asks some lady to reverse charges then and there.As for mobile number updation they have lost the form and he's asking me to redo approval thingie.
16. Now i'm a tired woman with charges reversed without interest.
17. One more thing, i had also send two complaint mails via SBI website for which i got docket numbers and an email saying they have forwarded the complaint to Branch manager ,Pulgate. It goes without saying the complaint emails went to the dustbins and arrogant lazy SBI people didn't do anything about it.

Why write such a long tirade on the blog?

1.To bring to everyone's attention that such things happen and thank your stars if this has not happened to you.However,BEWARE. It could happen to you.
2.State bank of India is a lousy bank and don't open an a/c there at all.
3.Banks are your enemies. They are not accountable to their customers and levy charges ad hoc so yes they can reverse charges too.
4. Its good thing my religion forbids me the eating interest off my money .Banks profit from interests and charges.
5. Employees of banks lie and usually they don't know what happens in their own banks.They don't have proper and up to date knowledge of the banking services or charges themselves. This is true for private banks too.
6. Bank employees are there to mislead,misguide ,withhold information so everything becomes YOUR responsibility.
7 Since banks are saving paper and therefore trees, they DON"T inform you about revised charges, changes in interest rates..nothing zilch.So rest assured, anytime anywhere banking ,easy banking are "MARKETING WORDS"- hollow and untrue.Its your responsibility to keep checking their websites etc.
8 If you take interest off your money, then beware, when you close a/c in any bank they have to send the chq for interest accrued to you - just remove all your money from the bank because from experience i can tell you they don't bother to send your accrued interest by courier once your a/c is closed.They just eat up the money.

1 comment:

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