Few days back, I was trying to make payment using Netbanking through HDFC bank. As part of internet payment process, some security questions were asked. I wrote the wrong answer. My account got locked. Now this is a good security features. However what happened next is classic example of 'how not to treat your customer'.
- In many cases, when account is locked because of wrong password entry, it is automatically unlocked after 24 hours. So I tried to make a payment after 24 hours. Again it failed. At this point a general expectation is HDFC will send me an email or SMS with intimation that my account locked and how to unlock it. I did not get any intimation.
- So finally I sent an email HDFC customer support. I got a reply 2 days later. The reply was to contact HDFC phone banking to unlock it.
- So I called phone banking, the phone backing support executive took the call and gave me a 'support request number' and told me it will get unlocked in TWO days. Why it takes 2 days to unlock the account???. I thought its just a matter of minutes.
- So I said I want to talk with the supervisor. A lady came on phone and told me 'HDFC don't have any process to inform customer that their net backing secure payment access is locked'. I understand HDFC want to add more security. It is good for bank and its good me as customer. But then 'not having a process to inform customer' is a bad way to treat the customer. HDFC already has alerts for Netbanking and third party transfer transactions. So they already have all the necessary information to inform me about account getting locked.
- I have to make alternative arrangement to make the payments. I could make those arrangements a lot earlier if I get account locking intimation on time.
- HDFC bank credit card department kept calling me even after I got a credit card from HDFC and they kept offering me a credit card for almost another 2 weeks.
- I have already registered my number to 'National Do Not Call registry' long time back. But HDFC doesn't seem to respect National Do not call registry. So I registered my number to HDFCs 'do not call' registry. There is an interesting line on this page "Please give us 45 days from the day we receive this request to action the same.". I started getting calls about credit card almost within few days of opening account with HDFC. So that happened in less than a week but to act upon a 'Do not Call' registration takes 45 days.That's interesting.
- After I opened account with HDFC I wanted to register for bill payment. So I checked 'Payment Services' page. On this page there is 'Bill Pay', 'Visa Bill Pay', 'Register & Pay', 'Pay Now', 'Insta pay' etc etc. I am still trying to figure out which one makes sense for me. Give it a try. Its an interesting exercise.
- Every time I visit the bank there are new notices on the branch notice board usually of the form 'from so and so date Rs xxx charge for yyy service'. HDFC's profit after tax in FY 09 was Rs 2,282.54 cores. Interesting bank still wants to charge even photo attestation, signature attestation. Even cash transactions are charged (5 cash transactions at branch will be allowed free per month. Every additional transaction will be charged @ Rs 100 per transaction effective 1st July 2010)
HDFC is not the only one this kind of mistakes. I have seen some really bad Net banking user interfaces, weird policies etc. in other banks as well (Nationalized, private and cooperative banks). After Sangli bank was merged with ICICI bank, my cousin closed our family hardware shop's current accounts with them because of bad /irritating policies of ICICI.
I have also experienced some excellent customer service from HDFC and ICICI. I don't want to change the banks frequently. I want to be a happy customer of HDFC bank. If HDFC bank learns to take care of such small but really irritating to customer issues, I will be a happy customer of HDFC. If it doesn't I may remain a customer but not the happy/loyal one or I may not remain a customer at all.
Lets see what happens.
Lets see what happens.