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Talking to 24-hour banking call centers? Think again!

January 29, 2008

guyonphone.gifGosh! I hate calling them. You wouldn’t understand me unless you had called them during some crisis and felt their real best. After a few calls, I got really irritated by the music, getting on hold for several minutes, compulsory audio advertisements on my phone bill, tall menu trees, unnecessary redirections, umpteen number of “verification” questions… Oh! My goodness!

I tell you one such painful adventures. During my travel to other countries, I used to transfer payments electronically to my cards. One of the payments was not transferred to the recipient bank but got debited from the account. The amount was of several thousands. After coming back, it took me daily 2-3 hours calling both the banks on tracking the transfer. You wouldn’t believe, let me tell you a sample of this incident.

During that time, the recipient call-center guy said, “sir, we need reference number for the transfer.”. I called the savings bank account guy and he gave me some reference number. I again called the recipient bank and asked them to raise a complaint with the details. After two days one guy in the recipient bank’s call center confirmed they didn’t receive payment with the reference number. By God’s grace, he gave me a clue to ask for RBI reference number in the savings bank. I again called the savings bank and to my astonishment, the reference number is the same but prefixed with two more zeros! I have to again call the recipient bank and ask them to raise another complaint which took couple of more days…!

As that payment is in crisis, the card acquired additional fines, fees etc. I again have to do a big fight. That is not the end of it, the next month, I started getting “reminder” calls before two days of the credit card payment due date. About eight guys called at different period from morning 7’o clock to evening 7’o clock. Worse, after the end date, again I got several calls for “confirmation” of payment from call centers in Delhi, Mumbai and various places.

My friend once told me to call from the ATM if I had to, instead of calling them from home. However, the call center guys are ingenious. When I called from ATM, they asked me to tell my last couple of transactions which I didn’t had with me.. The next time, they asked me the secondary card number. The other time, they asked me the exact email id I gave them. Touche! I don’t understand why they made it so tough in the helpline (in helpline there is no help – only line 🙂 ), because you can’t move anything with it! (You can’t transfer money, make payment, change ATM pin etc. can’t be done over phone). One more thing, talking to the representative is the last option in the tall menu tree and you have to hear all your statement details then sometimes you have to press 0, sometimes you have to press 9 – I suspect it changes often! Whoa!


If you have issues in your loans, you can’t call them after evening 9’o clock and before morning 9’o clock. If you had some problem on the cheques you issued, you have to wait for 5 working days and after that only you are entitled to know any information. On one such incident, I called on the 5th day. The guy said, “sir, you have to wait till the end of day”. I was calling him at 7:50 in the evening. I told him out of frustration “If you can’t make the job in 5 days, you definitely are not going to do it in next 10 minutes. Please accept my complaint”. For which he replied, “sir, I can’t help you, this computer system wont accept it”. I have to put down the phone. Out of curiosity, I immediately called again – this time I got a different person and she immediately took my complaint! But why the first guy didn’t took my complaint? God only knows!

This is not the only few but I have faced several such incidents as I explained above. You can’t avoid banking. You can’t show your angry to them – because there would be different people each time. You can’t be nice also because you are on the receiving end!

After all this agonizing experiences, I told myself “You can’t win them all, kid!“. You have to know the rules, play by the rules and if you occasionally got trouble, accept it is always your fault!

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 2, 2008 5:47 pm

    Could understand your level of frustration..

    Apart from the long waiting time, the height with them is when they listen to your story and divert you only to get redirected to someone else.. However I accept that knowing the rules helps in simplifying the task.

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