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This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

July 18, 2010

A Citi that Slips

Have you ever gone through an ordeal with the customer service dept in your bank? Chances are that 9 out of 10 you would. Can you pls describe how the experience has been? Chances that you felt like tearing your hair out or yelping at the other side would have been equally bright. And a thought that some pea brained official sitting in a cosy corner cubicle in some part of the country formulates the bank rules and in another you have a ill trained fresh- on- the- job executive sitting in the call center and reading out the rules like some kind of sermon in a Sunday mass that the customer is customarily obligated to. While the disconnect is complete , all in the name of Customer (kasht se mar) Service.

For a while I had been under the impression that Citibank was the better of the lot when it came to Internet Banking. The user interfaces were friendly and the features less cumbersome as compared to ICICI Bank & HDFC Bank (in my firsthand experience). But that was until recently. Last week I attempted to register a new payee in my account to effect some electronic fund transfer. After keying in the mandatory beneficiary details in the ‘Add new beneficiary’ section , the bank automatically sent a OAC (online authorization code) to my mobile number. The ensuing page gave me two options 1. Authorize payee now 2. Authorize payee later. As I did not get the SMS (OAS) immdtly I opted for option 2 (i.e, Authorize payee later). A good 5-7 minutes later I received the SMS but by then the webpage has expired and relogging into the account I see that the payee was not in the pending list (i.e, registered payee list). So I go through the whole rigmarole again to find in the same spot in the beginning.

Then comes the dial ordeal. I dial the call center and go through all the number pressing options, first dial the account #, then the Pin#, then listen to your automated account balance and then press 9 to finally go to a call center executive. Here once again you through the online verification and after another good 5 minutes of explanation, the executive says ‘as a part of our new security procedures’ the authorization option is valid only for a few minutes on the Account page. That means if there is a time delay in my receiving the OAC then the whole exercise is as good as a walk in the Garden. I protested that I did not get the OAC immdtly on 2 occasions and therefore had to opt for option 2 (i.e, Authorize payee later). The call center executive nonchalantly says ‘then you have to call the mobile service provider’ as the problem is at their end. But then why the ‘Authorize payee later’ option I ask? The reply harks back to square one ‘Sir as a part of the new security .....’

I throw up my hands in despair.
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