HDFC bank has this message on their page– (reproducing it as it appears) - Effective June 1 2010, debit card holders will need to call PhoneBanking to place a request for the accrued cash back to their account. I have always found bank/government official language to be strange. But then one has to make sense of it, otherwise you are the loser.
I called phone banking only to realise I did not have the PIN number. Then I tried the customer service . And it is a long story.
I tried the first number that was listed. I had to wait a while, hear some music, press some numbers as the recorded message gave me the options, and finally after about 5 minutes, it connected me to an operator. I had to wait till the voice at the other end introduced herself, and finally asked, how may I help you? She heard me out patiently and said, we do not deal with debit cards. She gave me another number
I dialled again. Same story. Dial, wait, press keys, listen to music and finally the voice. This time it was a male voice that said - Good afternoon, I am so and so, how may I help you? He heard me out too. He asks Debit card number, Madam? . I tell him. He asks for address, the date of birth and then finally says, I cannot help you, I shall transfer your call to Mumbai. ( Why did he ask me all the details? )
He transferred my call. Again I wait… again the options, and finally the voice. Good Afternoon. ( It was already 15 mins since I had dialled the first number… shouldn’t he have said Good Evening? ) How may I help you?. I said, I have a debit card… I was getting tired of repeating the same thing over and over again.
Debit card number, Madam. Debit card number, the address, date of birth. He is not done. He wants to know more.
Landmark given for the address? I had filled the form over 3 years ago. How was I to remember?
I rattled off three landmarks. One worked.
Nomination.? Again three names. One worked again.
Then he says, I need to know the ATM PIN . I say I don't remember. Never used my debit card at the ATM. Telebanking number. I do not remember that either. I tell him, that I have answered all other questions regarding my identity. And besides it is my debit card. My money that I am spending. And all that I ask is the money that the bank promised as an incentive for my usage, to be credited to my account. So what is the problem? Sorry, madam, we need all these details.
Then he says, Madam, you search for the number and call me back ( It is close to 25 minutes now). I said - WAIT! ( did I scream in desperation?). I cannot go through this process again,
I have this practice of entering all these numbers in my mobile phone. But then cautious me, I have coded it, so that none will realise it is a telebanking number ( after all the mobile can be stolen). And doesn’t the bank communication state clearly that we are to remember the number and tear the piece of paper?
I had to decode the entry. It took me time to figure it out myself. I try different combinations. Finally ….I get a number. . I was not sure if I had the right one. ( But I felt a little victorious.. I had kept the customer service guy waiting ).
I was connected to a recorded message again to key in the telebanking number and then at the end of the message was transferred to the customer service person. He thanked me for confirming my identity. ????? He said you have Rs 294/- out of which Rs 250 will be credited to your account. I said what about the balance. He said, we can only credit it once it reaches Rs 250/-.
So, can I give you instructions to that effect. No madam, you will have to call again each time!!! Anything else? Thanks for calling. Have a nice day!
All this to get Rs 250/- credited to my account? Is it worth it? I am not sure. Will I go through this again. I do not know. I guess that is their intention. How many will have the patience to keep track? And then call and inform them to transfer it to the account? A case of daylight robbery.