Monday, April 23, 2007


If you thought violation of confidentiality by Airtel was too much, here is something which takes the cake.

This weekend I received my account statements from Citibank N.A through a courier at my residence address. It contained the usual stuff – few pages of quarterly bank statement, statement of my credit card dues and also a page for the reward points. However, right at the end, stapled along with the 5 sheets was 6th one – carrying the Statement of Annual interest credited.

First I was amused and confused – I never received any interest from the bank through whole of the year (April 2006-March2007). Then how come this statement claims that 5 figure amount had been credited as interest into my account on so and so dates. I was shocked, confused and at same time thrilled – was I about to get some money which I didn’t know I was supposed to get. But on the other side I was sure I wasn’t due to get any interest – since I don’t park much funds in this account at all.

Few scalp scratches later – I found that the bank had been kind enough to share this confidential banking information of another customer (who incidentally is also a colleague at work). I tried calling the Call centre today to lodge a complaint – but then after few minutes of wait – dropped the call. Those call centre people will not do any thing more than their parroted answers “We apologize for the inconvenience caused. We assure this will not happen again” – all of which are ridiculously useless responses. And they will make sure that any demands to talk to a senior person will be rewarded with a “Please be hold while I transfer you to my supervisor” and then an endless wait. Only God knows where those ever elusive senior personnel always are.

I resorted to a lesser headache method – filed an online complaint (Reference no. 4207047763). I know, I know… there answers won’t be any different. After all they are from the manual Customer Harassment manual that the phone guys have been tutored from – but at least I save myself the hassle of being on endless ‘hold the call’ – which is a literal pain in the neck. Moreover, none of these banks offer you a Toll Free helpline – so you are expected to pay for telling them their mistakes as well.

Anyways the inconvenience caused is not mine alone. While I am still fretting and worried about which all places my confidential bank statements might have gone to – the colleague whose statement was made public to me won’t even be apologized to. (Of course, I handed over his document to him in due confidentiality).

So next time some agency asks your for a bank statement or a proof of income – you can as well approach Citibank. They will be able to oblige by giving you bank statements and other confidential information of whatever kind you need.


How do we know said...

why don't u just blacklist these banks? That way, they lose your business.

My blacklist is ICICI, ABN Amro, Citibank, HSBC and HDFC. All for fraudulent transactions/fee or mistakes like the one u have just mentioned, or simply, non responsiveness.

ABN Amro recently realised how much money they were losing bcs i had chosen another bank for my corporate account. It was sweet revenge to tell the bank manager " Maybe, you should treat your retail customers better. That way, when they are big enough to matter, you will not lose their business."

!!! said...

Thats the Unfortunate part... I can't choose to blacklist because its my salary account and the corporate banker for my company :-(

...unless I change my job.

BTW.. its been over 10 days since I filed the compliant -- they still have not replied to the complaint.