I just read a post on iPads & pre-schoolers. I have not yielded to get an iPad or Kindle – 1. I love good old fashioned books rather than e-books & 2. economic reasons too though am sure A would love to lay his hands on an iPad!!
I opened WordPress to write a post on technology & well stumbled on the iPads post which made me jump on to that. So before I digress…here goes what originally brought me to post. I went shopping at a shop abroad recently. I told my friend I didn’t need to take cash from him as I had my credit cards. Thank God for plastic!! I chose what I wanted, go to the counter and guess what? The cards I had could not be used! The shop required me to have cards with chips on them. I had none of those! I had plastic that could be used internationally but none with chips! I was stuck asking my friend to swipe for my purchases. I was struck by technology…was told that most shops there used only the chip & pin. Totally understand that- forgery & hence credit-card misuse can be reduced.
Made me wonder why so much of the technology takes time entering India?! Passports that can be swiped to retrieve info at check-in or like my recent shopping experience…cards with chips?! Even cash back on debit cards at shops are not viable ( a minimum limit needs to be spent to use a charge card). We need to take cash out only at ATMs. New model mobiles or computers come later to the country. No wonder people still are enamoured by the thought of being abroad, stuff that is imported. We often do hear how locally available products even international brands are not the same as the ones we get abroad – starting from cleaning products to hi-tech stuff. Why is it so? A country where electronic voting machines are taken to even the remotest villages…supposedly a country that embraces technology despite illiteracy, poverty etc.. why must we wait for quality technology? Perhaps this is a way to reduce scams?
Whatever it is…it prompted me to pen this down. Frustrated that we are behind, frustrated that I had to ask my friend to help out (hate asking monetary help from friends). Well…for a person who does not like to shop much…it didn’t help at all is what I can say
Situation Saturday night: Lost my wallet with all my cards, cash & a few other things! (had withdrawn some money just earlier that day )
Having decided that I would not get my wallet, I sat down to call all the institution to block my cards reporting them lost. This was after 19:30 hrs IST. I call Bank#1 the “one that understands my world” Yeah right! I am put on hold forever and ever. So, while on hold I call Bank #2 – my “right partner”; managed to block both the debit & credit card I held with that bank & got the cards to be put in for re-issue. Still on hold with bank #1 on the other phone. Called Bank #3 with the tagline “hum hai na” ; after a short hold -blocked the card, requested for re-issue. I was told that I must go to the nearest branch with photo ID to get something called an insta-card. Still on hold with Bank #1!!!!! Lastly, called Bank#4, “Surprisingly” it was a breeze to block and request for re-issue of the credit card I held with them!
Finally Bank#1 phone banker comes on as I was finishing my call with Bank #4. Got the card blocked (it was around 20:45 hrs! ) and requested re-issue. The guy said call phone banking again and get it cancelled! Flabbergasted…I was wondering what I was doing right then if not phone banking?!?! I concede and call back, and was informed by the automated voice that I must call between 8am and 8pm for phone banking
Next day: Around noon, I call Bank#1 again. Phone banker 1 answers and says you must have requested it before midnight yesterday for re-issue if you wanted this done over phone banking! I said…yeah I did!!! I recounted everything and the guy says you must have chosen the wrong option!! I said well, if I don’t find the option I am looking for, I opt to talk to a phone banker who was available only between the said times – hence the call then! He says you must have hot listed!??! I was like huh?! what is that…he started giving me lessons on jargons! I lost it and told him to just enable the re-issue, he repeats saying can’t be done on phone banking! I hung up. Called again, had to explain everything again to phone banker 2, who put me on to phone banker 3 saying she would do it. The lady said, no can’t be done, you must have requested it yesterday!!!! Asked for the supervisor…who said the same!!! I (with my sore throat!) said this was the limit! He apologised for both phone banker #1 who said I was wrong for not “hot listing” and for the fact that they could not re-issue the card then by phone banking. He asked me to head to my branch or the nearest branch to get it done. I must say the guy was calm, polite and friendly (sounded knowledgeable too) unlike the rest of the morons I had dealt with!
Was caught up with other problems on Sunday & Monday. Though did get an interesting call on Monday from a division of Bank #2 that dealt with credit cards. She asked questions to confirm stuff. Then was asked what was my last payment for the card. I did not know and did not have the bill/ receipt on hand at the moment. So, she continues; asked me what was my last transaction on the card!!! This stumped me! As you see, I do have quite a number of cards (thanks to my various job stints & salary accounts had to open them, lazy to close them out!) I asked the lady how could she expect me to remember every transaction and the amount!?!? Her answer was these are security questions! I said I wonder how someone who has 10 cards or more can answer these…guess they would get VIP treatment ‘cos they probably will be stinking rich! She succumbed and said that I could call back if I did not receive the replacement card in 5 days time!
Tuesday: Visit to Bank#3. Take a token, wait for close to half an hour. Was asked to sit in front of an officer who goes, I am helping the other lady sitting in front of the other desk, so please wait! Told her politely that I was asked to come sit there, and yeah I would wait. Soon (about 10- 15 minutes later) her attention turned to me. Told her that I had blocked my card, reported it lost and needed the insta card. She looks into my account details and says that since I hold a different kind of account (supposedly privileged one!) I cannot get the insta card!!!! I just did not get it. I asked her if the phone banker had the same access to information and knew what type of account I held. She answered in the affirmative. Asked her why then was I misled into thinking that I could get an insta card?! All she did was apologised for the wrong information given & handed out the form to be filled out & told me I had to wait a week to get the card. Headed over to Bank#1, filled in the form; was told I must get the replacement card in a week’s time.
So situation now: Still no cash (fool that I am believing I would get the instacard did not take a cheque book to withdraw money!) and waiting for the replacement cards to come. So, borrowed money from dad to fill in petrol for my bike and no spending on anything at all for that last few days (way to cut down on that right?! )
Lesson learnt: Do not lose your wallet (btw, yet to get a nice new one ) If you do, do not believe to get help from phone bankers! Customer service sucks!!