There are just too many things I want to rant about, so today, I closed my eyes, and placed my index finger on a random topic. It turned about to be my recent rather scary experince with Citibank. The story goes like this: I had a salary account with Citibank and was fairly happy with it. But somewhere around May last year my employers decided that Axis Bank was a better bank to have an account in and so I was forced move over. As a result of that my loan payment went into a tizzy and I had a rather hard time managing the two accounts (don’t have to call me lazy, I already know that). Over the next few months my usage of the Citibank account declined to near nil. But I had payments to make through that account, an SIP and some credit card payment. I did not worry about the SIP, and since Citibank was sending a collection exec every month, the Credit Card payment was going on track, or so I thought. And then, allaofasudden, the guy stopped coming. That was only the beginning.
Citibank, like all other foreign banks in India, has just one friggin branch in Hyderabad, that is crowded all day long. So for me, going there personally to check my account status was not an option during office timings. So, I did the smart thing: I sent a mail to the Citibank Customer service. And, surprise surprise, there was an instant reply. Only that it was a system generated one saying that the great souls at the citi that never sleeps will get back to me after a five day slumber. Five days to respond to a mail? Thank you! And after five days, I get this:
Our records indicate that your Suvidha Account number xxxx was closed on September 29, 2008 for the reason “Negative Balance in your account for considerable period of time”.
Now what exactly ‘considerable period’ means I do not know. But I shot off a reply saying that I should have been at least informed that such an action has been taken and what needs to be done to reopen the account. Guess what the reply was? Yes, the five-day slumber again.
And then the reply for which I was least prepared, came. I guess the monster was really angry that I had woken it up twice in the space of 10 days.
Dear Mr. Tandulwadikar,
This is with reference to your email dated November 08, 2008.
To reactivate this account, please send a signed written instruction, a letter from your corporate signed by the authorised signatory, along with the cheque for Rs.10,000.00 and two attested introductory documents. The introductory documents can be two Primary Documents (or) One Primary and One Secondary Documents.
1. Valid Passport
2. Valid Driver License***
3. Valid Voter’s ID Card
4. Valid PAN Card
5. Valid Armed Forces ID card
6. Valid Food (Ration) Card with photograph for primary holder
***Copy of PAN letter is acceptable Primary ID / Learner’s license is not an acceptable ID
1. Utilities bill** with name and address of customer(landline # in case of telephone bill, mobile bills not acceptable)
2. Ration Card (Food card) with or without photograph, the customer is mentioned as one of the family members
3. Photo credit card / Debit card issued by a financial institution / Citibank credit card
4. Current Bank statement within the last 30 days* – MNC/Nationalized or a Private Bank. In exceptional cases, statement from a Co-operative Bank may be taken with RSM approval.
5. Passbook and email Statements/ Printed Statements not on Bank’s stationery but attested by the bank can be accepted with RSM approval.
6. Credit Card Statements within the last 30 days*
7. Form 16 – Tax Deducted at Source Certificate
8. Certified Birth Certificate (with name of the customer)
9. Certified Marriage Certificate
10. Registered Lease Deed (Registered Leave and License Agreement is acceptable)
11. Professional license with photograph
12. Trade license with photograph
*The statement date must be within 30 days from the date of sourcing the account, no exceptions allowed. Further, it must be on the bank’s stationery, e-mail statements cannot be taken. Pass Book is a valid ID.
Utility bill must be for the period within the last three calendar months.
Please submit the above documents to the nearest Citibank Branch. Our officer will be glad to assist you.
Sleeping Monster Bank
These were the same people running after me to open a Citibank account about an year and half ago. I especially liked the “Our officer will be glad to assist you” part. How kind of them. Afterall, after having to read such a mail, gathering the documents and standing in the long queue, the smiling citibank officer will be a much needed relief, no?
As of now, I have let go of the dreams to reopen the account. As for the credit card payment, I discovered after a long chat with a customer service exec that there’s an option to pay the bill through any other bank account. Thank you for that, oh great citibank. Sob, sniff…aaachhooo!