Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Differently Abled Banking System?

This is to highlight an instance of apathy and calculated indifference of a Bank to the voice of an employee turned customer.

A certain additional facility was being extended to the retired employees in a bank and the communication to the eligible, I felt, was not properly done. Being a prime facility, I was of the opinion the bank was slack in even communicating the same.  I was also concerned that the facilities being extended after much deliberations should not be deprived to a section of the eligible due to communication issues, in this era of technological and communication advancements.

Not knowing whom to address, I wrote to the Chairman of the Bank copying one of the Executive Directors to the email ids available in the bank's website, politely drawing their attention to the shortcoming. My email of 12th Sep was not even acknowledged despite a reminder on Sep 18th. On the 22nd Sep, I connected to another ED of the Bank drawing his attention to the lack of response and requested for action, as the scheme was to close shortly. As this also fell on deaf ears I was at a loss as to where else I could go above the Chairman & senior executives for a genuine grievance against the bank's practice. Browsing through the website, I decided to knock at the doors of the Ombudsman and on the 23rd Oct I drew their attention to the indifference of the bank to the issue and the discourtesy of not even acknowledging a mail even by their highest officials.  

The Ombudsman office acknowledged fairly quickly but closed the issue yesterday (18th Dec) stating that the '. . . issue raised in my complaint does not fall under the purview of the Banking Ombudsman scheme. . . '.

What I fail to understand are:
  •  If a bank is not responding to a communication from its customer, what is the recourse available?
  •  In this computerized era, what is preventing the bank from acknowledging customer mails?
  •  Why is that the office of Chairman was not even having an automatic reply facility which even an ordinary start-up company could boast of?  Should this be treated as ignorance of technology or indifference to customers?
  •  Ombudsman might have been set up by the Apex body to look into some specific, identified categories of complaints and as such their claim of 'not falling under such categories' is understandable. But then, is this not an aspect which the Central Bank of the Nation should first insist upon? How is that, this is not in their ambit? People concerned must realize that in addition to grievances resulting in financial losses customers are also entitled to basic courtesies and have a right to be peeved if it is denied.
  • As a matter of courtesy,  they were kind enough to forward a copy of the complaint to a General Manager of the Bank for' information and necessary action'. I am sure being forwarded from this office, I will be getting some response now. Or am I hoping too much that the Ombudsman's communication will be responded to!
  •  But, then is this not the suggested solution for the issue reported - Ombudsman directing the bank to respond? What is preventing them from directing the bank in doing this as a solution instead of ducking the issue citing technical reasons about which a customer is neither aware of nor interested in?
  •  To the most misused cliche , 'Last but not the least', if I still do not get any response, pray tell me which door is left for me to knock at?  When a bank is deaf to its customer's woes, its appointed authority is blinded by rules, should the customers remain mute to such insults of poor business ethics?

Is our banking Industry so severely crippled with deaf banks and blind authority producing dumb customers?

1 comment:

  1. This is the same with many "services" in India. We pay service tax also for such glorious service. What to say....Mera Bharat Mahaan.