ICICI – Excuses Galore

I have been a customer with ICICI for over 5 years, and never have I faced the degree of frustration than I have at their hands. But now when I look back at it, I am almost glad it happened, if not banking services they did atleast supply a lot of laughter over the years.

You may ask , why 5 years with a bad bank , well , being an outsider in Delhi I had all acceptable documentation proofs at my Shimla address, and it so happened that ICICI was providing a student account which did not require these , hence the fall.

A day before newspapers carried the story of ICICI servers crashing, ATM’s not working and the possibility that it was a terrorist attack I had the misfortune of having to call them. While my account there is more or less redundant I still have one tiny attachment which still constitutes towards them being a part of my life – A Credit Card from Hell!

I was having a nice quite evening with my wife when I suddenly get a message informing me that my new Airtel bill has been generated and it will be cleared by ICICI Visa Bill Pay by the 20th…now this came as a surprise since no authorization to this effect had been given my me…nevertheless I needed to call and cancel this process otherwise there was a chance that I mite have paid Airtel double the amount (and unfortunately this happened to be rather high bill as well)

So once home I called ICICI and went through the entire phone menu to be told that they can’t do anything….system is under routine maintenance, please call back… I did about 10 times without success…… here are some of the excerpts from the actual conversations

CALL 1 – 9:10 PM

CCE: Good evening sir, how may I help you?

ME: I needed to check something regarding my card

CCE: I am sorry sir, they system is under routine work, please try in 15 minutes.

CALL 2 – 9: 45 PM

CCE: Good evening sir, how may I help you?

ME: I needed to check something regarding my card

CCE: I am sorry sir, the system is down, please call in 1 hour.

ME: I was told it will be fixed in 15 minutes about half an hour ago, What is the problem?

CCE: Sir the MIS is still down because the net speed is slow (??)

CALL 3 – 10: 45 PM

CCE: Good evening sir, how may I help you?

ME: I needed to check something regarding my card

CCE: I am sorry sir but the system is down.

ME: Which System

CCE: The entire system sir, it is down (sounding very very panicky)

ME: Please let me talk to your supervisor

CCE: Sir he is on a break

ME: Then someone else please who can assist in this. It’s important.

CCE: Sir please tell me the problem I will see what I can do

ME: I received a message…………have not given any authority…”

CCE: Sir I won’t be able to help you the system is down.

ME: When can I call back?

CCE: Sir you can try in 1 hour or tomorrow or even day-after (!! Ya why not next year)

CALL 4 – 11:45 PM

CCE: Good evening sir, how may I help you?

ME: I needed to check something regarding my card

CCE: I am sorry sir the system is down.

ME: Which system

CCE: The internet

ME: Then why did you say if you can help me when you can’t.

CCE: ————————-

ME: Hello?

CCE: Yes sir, I am sorry sir the system is down

ME: The why did you take me through the entire menu and then ask if you can help me

CCE: I am sorry sir the system is down.

ME: I know, but when will it be fixed

CCE: I am sorry sir but the system is down.

ME: So when should I call now?

CCE: Sir the system is down I would request you to call later (!!!)

NEXT DAY – CALL 1 – 9 AM

CCE: Good Morning sir, how may I help you?

ME: I needed to check something regarding my card

CCE: Yes sir, please tell me the problem (Yipeeeeeeeeee!!!!!)

ME: I got a message……….no authority give……”

CCE: Sir let me check it

ME: Ok

CCE: (5 mins later) I am sorry sir the system is down (Now hold the %^$& hell on)

ME: But you just said it is.

CCE: I am sorry sir but its gone down again. Will be fixed in 10 minutes.

CALL 2 – 10 PM

CCE: Good Morning sir, how may I help you?

ME: I needed to check something regarding my card

CCE: Yes sir, please tell me the problem (Yipeeeeeeeeee !!!!!)

ME: I got a message……….no authority given……”

CCE: Let me check it out sir…. Sir this is not reflecting in our records

ME: I got this message just last night: I don’t want this automatic payment.

CCE: Sir, let me check

ME: Ok, please hurry.

CCE: Sir I am sorry the system is down (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

ME: How long does it tend to remain down every day , does it ever get up?

CCE: Sir temporary problem only happened right now (Ya right!!)

CCE: I will take your request down for this to be de-activated.

ME: Ok fine, how long before the request is serviced

CCE: Sir 5 working days

ME: But that’s too long , the card will be charged on the 20th. It needs to happen before that, if the card gets charged I will not pay.

CCE: Sir I will take your request down

ME: What request…that I will not pay?

CCE: Yes sir

Me: Fine

CCE: Sir your service request number is………….

Me: What is the number?

CCE Sir, I am sorry the system is down……..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????

Fortunately i did get a request in when i called again about 2 hours later. Knowing ICICI, however, they will probably not do anything on it and i will end up paying Airtel and also get charged…well ICICI can run after that money because i dont intend to pay twice , i know airtel will credit my account but nevertheless…

I am trying to figure out now whether ICICI can do this at all , initiate automatic billpay through the credit card without my permisson , obvious answer would seem no right? Is it a criminal offence…because that would really make it interesting.

Anyhow I am gonna sit with my fingers crossed and hope something happens but i wont hold my breath.

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