Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bank-vank. Credit-vedit

I love my friendly neighbourhood bank. It is far from fancy and has plastic flowers as decor. There's nothing hi tech about the set up. The atm facility is a joke. And I don't receive computer statements. Mercifully, there is no relationship manager to deal with either.The guys and ladies who work there speak marathi and marathi-hindi. No english. In other words, it is devoid of 'suits' and sharp bankers in even sharper designer ties. But when it comes to delivering the goods, these chaps score over their hip counterparts many times over. I have had the most awful experiences with big brands like Citibank and American Express. Their billing is wrong so often one wonders whether it is a genuine mistake or a con. Card statements are invariably loaded to favour them. Even after cancellation. I keep receiving annoying phone calls with veiled threats from some bloody call centre, demanding 9,000 bucks, which i don't owe, since I'd closed the account years ago. Perhaps the 'sophisticated' computers have forgotten to talk to each other and communicate this basic info. There is no way of clarifying since one never gets to speak to a human. After the twentieth recorded message and thirty minutes later, the process begins all over again.
Compare that nightmare to making a single call to a Sonawane or a Chaphekar, and hearing a familiar voice saying,"No problem, madam...ho jayega." You can keep your phoren bankers. I am cool with my local Maharashtrians. Jai Shivaji.


Harish said...

citibank is a faar ghanerda bank. second to none in the worst list. Amex: havent dealt with it. I like Icici, though many dont.

Yes, these big banks have sohphisticated computers, and chikna/chikna suited booted chokras but they wouldnt tell a random Hi to someone who looks lost.

I am dumb when it comes to banking. And many times have been scolded by the counter staff "Tumko Itna Bhi Nahi Maloom."

but have gone to our desi Indian Overseas Bank and have had teh counter waali aunty calling me over to the other side and explaining me the process. Jai Bharat!

sanju ayyar said...

bang on. every foreign bank operating in this country thinks it is doing a favour on us by letting us open savings accounts with them. Citibank even charges 100 bucks if you walk into the branch to deposit cash into your own account. Reason? We have provided ATMs, so you should deposit money there. No average Indian (like me) would deposit money into a ATM Machine. We dont trust machines, we trust humans, right? But try reasoning it out with these high-headed pseudos only frustates you further. They dont want to see customer faces, but then would lick your asses for home loans and personal loans. Bloody hypocrites.

Kris Bass said...

I haven't had such bad experiences with phoren banks yet. I am very dependent on them as the only credit card that I have is from CitiBank. Having said that, I have enjoyed the 'personal' care that your desi/local banks give. And I must also say that despite being an 'alien' to Mumbai, I too like the Marathi Hindi lingo atmosphere in such a bank

flygye12 said...

a) Does Raj Thackerey (what is the correct spelling?) read this blog? Because i don't understand the need to Jai Shivaji in the end ! Jai Maharashtra would have sufficed. Or do u mean to say, Tilak, Senapati Bapat, Bajirao Peshwa & co have not done anything for Maharashtra? But if Raj does read and u being 'De' are an outsider then its fine :) my sympathies

b) I think what you mean is 'Private' Banks because ICICI n HDFC suck big time too. They put inexperienced boys n gals at their counters who are only for decorative value and have to refer to their bosses for everything!

c) Your bank must be one of those little co-op ones. Because the pre-VRS Sarkari Banks were tales of inefficiency. It used to take one working day to make a draft cause there was the usual gossipin n chitting chatting. So yours truly would have to take a chutti to get a draft made for those engineering exams. But at the same bank Mom/Dad would get their jobs done over a cup of tea with the manager whom they 'knew'.

ps: i hope u won't delete my comment because of point (a) :)

Arjun said...

interestingly we do a lot of dealings with the Indian overseas bank... which is akin to the local bank you've described. It has ambitions of being great.. but they're only thoughts at best.

I haven't dealt with the banks you mentioned but my experiences with ICICI & HSBC till date have been immaculate. Touch wood!!

I still go to IOB... cos they always make me sit down and say,"Mr.Mahajan - kaise hain aap".

It's the same difference between my neighborhood kiranawala and a Spencers outlet

Unknown said...

I guess that may be our public sector bank...they have inculcated the values, culture etc without creating special superficial posts like relationship manager. You receive the same type of treatment in small local places like vegetable market, kirana store.

rainboy said...

i am so happy with my SBI one

Anonymous said...

Yep, SBI sure is good. I think banks that employ muscle men to harass customers should simply be banned from operations. That would teach them. Have more stringent norms in giving out loans, if you please. Why give the loan first, and then harass the individual to (literally) death to get it back? Makes no sense!

Kris Bass said...

I know I'm cornered. In my limited experiences of banking, I found ICICI and Citi better than SBI and smaller banks. The only added advantage of a smaller bank in my life is that they accept the electricity bill payments in the afternoons as well.

Mister Crowley said...

Oh, I don't know....I've had huge problems with most banks except Citi (been banking with thme for 5 years now...and mostly trouble free at that)

But, yeah, it's nice to have a neighbourhood 'family' you have a family doc.

If only they'd dole out cheap lonas as well...sigh

Anonymous said...

totally agree with the post: the private banks' are the epitome of sophisticated non-challance and the public banks remain slightly slow but personal...much desired i say!
just as the doctor who cud listen cud cure half ur disease.
The spencers and the kiranewale is a gud example. add to it, hypercity vs. vijay sales: reliance vs. hathway, meru cabs vs. yellow-black taxi, kailash parbat vs. thela wala panipuri and the urbane india's list goes on!
A lil' bit of convinience to be able to dial and order is awfully compensated with the high-handedness that comes along.
I wud rather be respected than be served.

Anonymous said...

I just want to get good value for my money, in service and accuracy. I dont care who gives it to me. Shri Chaphekar whose wife sends him varan bhaat and gawarichi bhaji in a dabba every morning or Mr. Khanna in a suit who lunches at a gentrified dhaba on Colaba Causway. Both have done well by me. I have had good experiences with every bank or business I have used in India or overseas.

I do agree with one statement though. Jai Shivaji.

Maharastrians all alike, we sell ourselves very short. From on marathi mulgi to another I repeat what you said. Jai Shivaji.

To whoever commented on why the slogan Jai Shivaji was chauvantistic and narrow... Shivaji is a symbol. That is all it is. He is a symbol of what Maharastrians aspire to be. So why not?

Another Kiran in NYC

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