I am legend

Sigh. Yea, it’s a tag ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

This one has been passed on by Pepper. Unlike Pepper who decided not to let her thoughts be tainted by those of the person who tagged her (she even went to the extend of NOT reading that person’s responses till she was done with her tag ๐Ÿ™„ ), I went straight ahead and copy + pasted the entire post from her page to my drafts and decided to edit it there ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ I always choose the quick-n-easy way, folks ๐Ÿ˜€

And well, it’s Pepper. Most probably, even if I’d done this tag the way she did, we’d still have the same answers ๐Ÿ˜‰ So, to give her her credit, I’ve put in blue the responses I share with her ๐Ÿ™‚

So here are the rules:

1. Every phrase needs to be completed with three answers about yourself

2. That’s it. Oh…post it an tell a few people, so they’ll know they’re in for some laughs ๐Ÿ˜€

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I am

  • forever confused.
  • lazy, most of the time: esp, at home!
  • easily pleased. Suraj finds this very cute (and very convenient). all it takes to light up my face is sometimes a small lollipop, a cartoon, a pack of Sunfeast Dark Fantasy, a hug, a cute nickname, an eclair, a 2 rupee coin in an old jeans pocket, a waft of my fav perfume, summer rain…

I want

  • to be able to make decisions I can stick to.
  • to be able to learn and be a swimmer soon.
  • to be paid more at my job ๐Ÿ˜€

I have

  • the memory of a goldfish ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  • the weirdest definitions of “loyalty” and “commitment”.
  • the best family in the world, or so I think. (so that makes it two of the “best” families in this world)

I wish

  • I could travel to any part of the world whenever I feel like it.
  • all places allowed pets to enter — temples, shops, malls, resorts, hotels, offices, churches, theatres, any damn place!
  • India had a much better market for dark, dark, super dark chocolates.

I hate

  • having to decide; I suck at it, and mostly regret the ones I make.
  • pineapple and boiled corn. They both make me nauseous.
  • days that are too sunny.

I fear

  • that I’ll fall off the steps (every time I climb up or down a flight of them).
  • that I’ll make a fool of myself if I do or say something at any moment in time (and I keep quiet, someone else does it, and gets the credit! :D).
  • that I’ll lose my senses if something happens to my brother, mom, dad or Suraj. And Pumbaa.

I hear

  • myself singing/humming all the time.
  • myself always saying “ugh” when i see gold on a person ๐Ÿ˜€ I can never understand how people can like gold so much, and actually “want” to wear it all the time, as many as possible, that too.
  • imaginary sounds if I am alone at home at night.

I search

  • for a song on the Internet (mp3 and lyrics) from the minute I listen to one on TV/radio and realise I dont have it in my list.
  • for a purpose in anything I do / am asked to do, before I actually do it.
  • for certain qualities in people, before I can call them friends.

I wonder

  • why love is never unconditional — even a mother’s love always has some “expectations” bound to it.
  • what it would feel like, to touch the clouds ๐Ÿ™‚
  • what the purpose of life really is..?

I regret

  • tolerating so much abuse and not ending it with SS (the ex) earlier than I did.
  • not attending my best friend’s wedding.
  • never being able to be a good host when the need arises. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I love

  • my brother.
  • walking in the rain, getting drenched, and well, just about everything to do with the rain.
  • the beach. I sooo love the beach! (And I love my name too ๐Ÿ˜€ (the rule says “3 phrases”, so I had to cheat and put in a 4th one as a part of the 3rd ๐Ÿ˜€ )

I always

  • try to give away my responsibilities to someone else (I told ya, I do things the quick-n-easy way).
  • see both the points of view and confuse myself; I look at things from multiple perspectives, through the other party’s eyes too (though my perspective is always the best ๐Ÿ˜€ ).
  • am outright frank and brutally honest. I never know to “put it mildly”; and to me, truth is more important than feelings — because I’ve seen how feelings can make someone lessen or even hide the truth.

I ache

  • when I see old people living alone, longing for their kids who are far away; and when parents do not love their child enough and keep judging him/her till he/she thinks she/he is no good. I really ACHE when I see these happening.
  • when I see trees being cut.
  • when I see homeless children on the road, selling something, taking on responsibility and having lost a childhood.

I usually

  • forget everything that happened 5 minutes back — unless it’s affected me real well and has left a deep impression in my mind.
  • suck at saying โ€˜Noโ€™ to anyone for anything; how I still manage to be brutally honest and frank beats me ๐Ÿ˜€
  • sleep quite late at night; most of the times because Suraj stays up watching a movie I have no interest in. Yes, I can’t sleep without him. Is that a crime now?

I am not

  • business-minded, and cannot succeed at ANY DAMN SALES :D.
  • easily accessible on phone. I am NOT trying to change that. Yes, I’m not trying to change that, unlike Pepper. I’m much better off “IM-ing/pinging/sms-ing/texting/emailing”. Come on! I’m a writer ๐Ÿ˜€
  • courageous enough to undertake new challenging tasks. I am too afraid of failure and always prefer security to excitement. Unless it’s a trip/travel plan to some godforsaken place (the condition, situation, people, food, accomodation, etc. of which I have no clue about). In such circumsatances, I’m extremely excited about the “New” and “Excitement”.

I dance

  • in public, only if I’m at gun point; even then, it’d be a torture for the ones watching me.
  • in my dreams. And damn well, at that. I also dance freely when I’m all alone in a room, with some good music. Like now, when i’m listening to “Uff teri adaa” from Karthik Calling Karthik. (Yes, I do like that song, very much!)
  • more with my eyes that with my body; a lot of people have asked me if I’m a professional bharatanatyam dancer!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

I sing

  • all the time. It’s the one thing I’m super glad God blessed me with ๐Ÿ™‚
  • songs of all languages, if I know the words and the tune.
  • when I’m happy, sad, elated, thrilled, depressed, angry. Yes, especially when I’m angry — it soothes me like nothing else will. Yes, I’m a sucker for music and songs.

I never

  • say no to dark chocolate. I’m not too fond of normal/milk chocolate anymore — er, not that I hate them ๐Ÿ˜€
  • boost anyone’s ego if that person is undeserving of it — no matter how that can help me. I’d rather be hated than not be myself.
  • bribe, corrupt or allow myself to be corrupted — in any way, whatsoever.

I rarely

  • generalise people, based on their nationality, upbringing, interests and the state they’re from (he’s a Tamilian, would be like this; she’s from Punjab, has to be this way…, etc.). Never. And I’m guilty of judging people who do that because I think it’s unfair.
  • break the rule.
  • exercise.

I cry

  • when I get too angry for words.
  • rarely but endlessly when I do. I always give myself a headache after that.
  • whenever I see “Kireedom”.

I am not always

  • nasty. I can be honest and frank, yet super good. The brutality comes in only when someone asks for it.
  • insane. At times I can be quite solemn and sane really. And make a lot of sense ๐Ÿ˜€
  • a rebel.

I lose

  • mostly because I donโ€™t care to win.
  • my cool whenever there is injustice and nothing/no one stopping it..
  • my hair clips and bands all the time. Plus every single handkerchief I ever lay hands on.

Iโ€™m confused

  • all the time.
  • whenever I am asked to make a choice.
  • about which confusion of mine I should mention here. Oh I am confused a lot. Yes, this is in bold because this is exactly how I am!!! Thanks Pepper, I’d have been too confused about how to put this in words, really! ๐Ÿ˜€

I need

  • to talk to my family at least once a day. I can live peacefully without having to talk to ANYONE else for days together, incl. the in-laws. But not my family.
  • a good amount of sleep everyday. Lack of sleep for me is fatal for people around me.
  • to check my mail every few hours, or I get restless. (Ok, so I had to agree with all three of her points. Again, is that a crime? :P)

I should

  • try to learn the art of “patience” from Suraj — he’s been endowed with a lot of it!
  • take work less seriously. Sigh!
  • spend more time grooming Pumbaa. OK, I promise to do that once he’s fully trained and does not feel compelled to nip at the brush every time. ๐Ÿ˜€

I dream

  • of being able to live for years together in a greener, safer, better world.
  • of a world: that’s not corrupt; where money doesn’t rule over life, people, values and emotions; where I can live my dream life above, without having to care about anything else.
  • of living in some European country, far from civilization, in a small cottage-house, with: a lovely garden; loads of space for Pumbaa to run around; a stable with two fantastic horses (a black and a dark brown); lot of pretty flowers; a separate vegetable-garden; tall, lovely trees; a small stream running by…and my parents living in an equally beautiful cottage next door ๐Ÿ˜€ Wow!

There!

Now who wants to take this up? Let me tag a few people: Rev, Verby (so you’ll post something), Vimmuuu (if I can do this looong tag, you should too :P), Reema, Chatterbox, Preeks and Mahak (where are you, girl!?).

See, I’d like to tag ALL YOU PEOPLE who regular my blog: but I’m too lazy (forgot the second point under the first question already!?) to mention all your names and then find your URLs and hyperlink you all :D. So I’ll just request all of you to take this up and share your “I”s with us. Please, pretty please?

The paris she saw…

…was beautiful, awesome and sexy. Just like she is, I’d say ๐Ÿ˜‰ And by “she”, I mean my mother ๐Ÿ™‚

She went to Paris with my brother, to attend his convocation.ย  Amma’s never been out of India before, so I found it pretty amazing that her very first international trip was straight to Paris!

๐Ÿ™‚ Fantastique, n’est-ce pas?! ๐Ÿ™‚

Right from my earliest memories, Amma has only sacrificed — be it a chocolate, be it the last piece of her favourite fish fry, be it a chance to buy that lovely sari, be it a chance to indulge, be it a shopping-for-self treat, be it a good night’s sleep…you name it, and she HAS sacrificed it: either for me, or for my brother, or for dad, or for her mom, or for her siblings or their spouses/kids, or for her in-laws. For her, “me” and “I” was (and still is) after “you”, “them” and “they”.

So, when the brother got into ESTACA, Paris, to get his Masters in Spacecraft Engineering, both he and I knew that his convocation would be either at Paris, or at Southampton (his course was to be two years, the first year conducted at Paris, and the second at Southampton) — and we’d been planning since then, to ensure Amma gets to attend the convocation ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course, we never told her this, since we didn’t want to get her hopes high.

It was only when we needed to make her sign for the Visa applications and stuff that it really sunk in, for her, that she was going to Paris. We were praying that the Visa would be alright and there would be no glitches. I also have a feeling one of us drugged Murphy, for there were absolutely no glitches! ๐Ÿ™‚

The few days before the trip, she was in a frenzy. “I feel weird, and I don’t know why…” she kept saying. We shopped for her — bought her a new pair of spectacles, new shoes, new dress… We taught her some basic French, though she insisted she’d respond with aย  “Khem cho” if anyone asked her “Comment allez vous?” ๐Ÿ˜› We told her to make sure no random frenchman would grab her and kiss her. We told her the ONLY food she’ll get in Paris would be “bouillabaisse” (this grossed her out!). You get the idea, right? ๐Ÿ˜€

The way her face lit up every time we said “Yay! You’re going to Paris”, was one of the most wonderful things! ๐Ÿ™‚ On May 23, Amma and my brother set off to Paris.

She had an awesome time at Paris.

The convocation was a small, private affair with just the students and their two guests each, on a cruise boat that went cruising along the Siene river from 7 – 11 pm ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Dressed in traditional Indian attire, she apparently stole the limelight and had quite a few fans ๐Ÿ˜‰

A proud moment

A proud moment

She was made to walk all over the city by my brother, so that she could take in the Parisian streets, houses and shops. She got on to the Paris Metro, and almost got mugged by a french belle and a boyefriend ๐Ÿ˜‰ She named the Arc de Triomphe her very own “gate”, like the India Gate :D. She felt the Louvre was too big, and there was too much walking to do — and all this, to see a lot of nude statues ๐Ÿ˜€ Funniest of all, she felt the Monalisa was too small, for the whole world to kick up such a huge hype about her! ROFLMAO! She loved the Moulin Rouge, but the sex shops on both sides of the street freaked her out. She was glad to see that the women were all fully and well-dressed, and there was no public display of affection that an Indian woman could not handle with dignity. LOL. “The movies are all a load of fakeness ๐Ÿ™„ “, she said.

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We had planned the trip such that the return would be via Doha, Qatar, where her two sisters and family live. So, two birds at one shot: she went to Paris, and she went to Doha as well.

On early 4 June morning, Amma came home beaming with joy, was welcomed by an exuberant Pumbaa and had many tales to tell. I’d have loved to go o Paris too — but I’m much, much, MUCH MORE HAPPIER knowing Amma could go, see and enjoy a place she never even dreamt of going to.

ร€ bientรดt, folks ๐Ÿ™‚

icici: customer scare

I know I’ve bored you all with too much icici tales — but ALAS. I’ve closed the darned account. I can never crib about them again. Yay! Freedom, and peace of mind! So just this once more ๐Ÿ™‚

Gee! I’m on a roll! ๐Ÿ™‚ย  ICICI seems to be bent up on giving me fodder to rant on. After this and this, here’s some more ๐Ÿ™‚ Wow, ICICI sure knows how to make fools out of themselves!

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FODDER 1:

After all that drama, since we were in need to take out at least some of my money from my account (I have no cheque leave, and no ATM card, and they have no withdrawal slip, and I refuse to pay them even a single penny for their precious “instant” cheque leaves/cards), Suraj calls up ICICI Customer Care. He explains the situation and asks if its possible to transfer money from my account to his. He also says neither of us have Internet banking. “Of course Sir, it’s possible. You have to go to your home branch, and she also has to come there and give a written statement to theย  Manager, saying fund has to be transferred.” Suraj is overjoyed, but clarifies “My home branch or hers? And is there a limit, or can any amount be transferred?” “YOUR home branch, Sir. And you can transfer any amount, Sir. No limits.”

Suraj’s joy knew no bounds. He took an hour’s off from work, so did I. I knew some screw up would happen, but I kept quiet. At the Jayanagar 9th block branch (his home branch), of course, the first polite, all-smiles response to the query, in typical ICICI-style is “No, Sir…that’s not possible.” We had to tell her about 5 times that the Customer Care employee had confirmed it was possible.

“Ma’am, you can use your cheque leaf no?” I had sworn to myself I would be polite, so I said “I don’t have it; if I did, we wouldn’t be asking for this, right? (sweet smile)”

“How about your ATM card?” Before I lose my cool, Suraj says “I already told you she lost it, and we’ve blocked it.”

She: “Ma’am, in that case, you can buy loose cheque leaves from us.”
Suraj: “But that’ll be charged, right?”
She: “Yes, Sir. It’s Rs 28 a leaf, but we’ll give you 5 leaves together.”
Me: “Hmmm…so Rs 140 for 5 cheque leaves. It’s a lot cheaper here, Suraj. It was Rs 220 at Koramangala, remember?” (sweeter smile)

She gives us both a weird look before continuing, “Or if you go to the Jayanagar 3rd Block branch, you’ll get an instant card. Instantly, they’ll give it.”
Suraj: “But that’ll be charged, right?”
She: “Yes, Sir. It’s 221 a card.”
Me: “Wow. That’s so uncool. Koramangala was cheaper for this one…they had said Rs 150.” (much more sweeter smile)

The lady now is so bewildered, Suraj politely asks her to talk to the Manager. She’s gone a while and returns to tell us “You can transfer a maximum of Rs 5000. For more, you’ll have to go to her home branch.””I clarified and the Customer Care person said I’ve to come to MY home branch, and there was NO LIMIT.” “No Sir, sorry. We can’t do anything. We don’t have the authority. Go to her home branch. Or you can even request her home branch to be transferred to this branch, so it’ll be easier for you both.”

Before indescribable expletives come out of my mouth, Suraj ushers me out, looks at me, sighs and says, “Yes, pannnna stupid horrible ICICI.”

But in this case, I must admit, the lady was DAMN POLITE, and was quite apologetic when she said she can’t do anything to help. And I held on to my temper, since she had no clue what I’d gone through a couple of days back. But well, there’s NO COORDINATION BETWEEN WHAT THE EMPLOYEES AND THE CUSTOMER CARE SAYS!

Where ICICI is concerned, the customer is forever on a merry-go-round, which isn’t quite all that merry!

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FODDER 2:

For a change, this happened to Suraj, and not me! So, I think his “good spell” is waning too. I’mย  — not secretly at all — THRILLED!

He, after hearing all my stories and rants, decided that Internet banking HAS to be activated. So he goes to the bank and enquires how he must go about it. The officer there said that though they do have a form he can fill up there, it’ll be a quicker process if he can go about it via Customer Care. (When I tried for this once through Customer Care, they’d explicitly told me I HAVE to go to the bank and fill the form up, there was no other go ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Different people get different options. Nice!) He also said that the mobile number needs to be registered first in their server.

So Suraj registers the mobile number, and also gives a request to update his address to our current one. The officer said it’ll take a day for the mobile number to be registered, and that Suraj’d get a letter via post confirming the new address.

As promised, the next day dawns with an SMS from the bank stating that his mobile number has been registered. Suraj waits further, and on Day 4, a letter comes via post, stating the address has been changed to the current one, and registered in their server as well.

Suraj then calls Customer Care and requests to activate Internet Banking. So they say they’ll send him a new id and password through post. Recalling how, in my case, without even confirming the address they SENT an id and password to an old address, Suraj says he had changed his address two days back, and asks the Customer Care person to confirm it. But voila! After 6 days — and even AFTER getting a letter by post to the new address — the “server” still hangs on to the old address. “How’s that!? I changed it, and I even got a letter confirming it. If it’s still showing the old one, how did the letter reach me?” “I don’t know, Sir. It’s still showing the old one. We can send the password and id to that address only, unless you change it. If you change it, it’ll take 4 days, and you’ll get a letter. You can then call again and activate Internet banking.”

Dende kedakkunnu! There! So, singing “here we go round the mulberry bush”, Suraj starts all over again, requesting an address change. The guy says Suraj’d get a letter via post confirming the new address. On Day 4, the exact same letter arrives all over again, stating in the exact same words the exact same “new” address” has beenย  registered in their server as well.

EDITED TO ADD (after the latest address change letter):
ย  ย ย  Letter 1 said:ย ย ย  Old address: ABC… ย  ย  New address: DEF…ย  (which is exactly what Suraj wanted)
ย ย ย ย  Letter 2 says: ย  Old address: DEF… ย  ย  New address: XYZ… ย  (ROFL is all i can do!!)
The funniest part is, Suraj DID NOT give XYZ as his address at all! So, I wonder where they go it from. I wouldn’t be surpised if tomorrow they change his dad’s name, or even his very own name — and then shift all his funds to another account saying “That’s your real account number, SIR”! ๐Ÿ˜€

From the looks of it, the next time he calls, a third Customer Care employee will again say it’s still the old address they have, Suraj will again give the new address, they’ll again send the letter. I wonder how many Customer Care employees they have — just so I know how many calls Suraj will make ๐Ÿ˜€ย  And I wonder if there’ll be enough trees left in the world — considering how many letters they send via post for the same ****ing thing.

So much for getting his Internet baking activated “much more quickly” ๐Ÿ™‚

I think they need a new server that’s willing to accept new addresses and make sense of existing names and stuff. Especially after reading this experience of another customer unfortunate enough to have an ICICI account, I don’t just think, I’m SURE they need one.

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What I just can’t accept is the fact that they’re never inclide to “help”. No matter what the situation is, on whose side the fault lies and how simple it may be solve it, they JUST DONT SEEM INCLINED TO HELP. The first response I always get is a “No”, before they give options, that too, ONLY if we ask! THAT is what pisses me out. I seriously hope they fall out of business. Soooooon!

Customer ser-VICE: the ICICI way

LONG-POST-AHEAD alert!

Ok…I’m honestly ashamed at myself for even letting the nasty “ICICI” be allowed any space in my blog, but well…I have to! For their own UNwell-being!

Their initial tagline was “hum hai na“, translating to “We’re there (for you)“. Probably they realized they’re never there, or maybe they thought just “being there” wasn’t enough. So they changed it to “khayaal aapka“. Well, they have zero knowledge of Hindi. They’ve absolutely no clue what “hum hi na” and “khayaal aapka” means. I think they actually mean “kya haal appka (tch tch)“.

Yes, that HAS to be it. They’re actually mocking, sneering and smirking at their customers, saying “kya haal aapa…poor you!” and then rolling around laughing teir *&%^*& asses out!

For the stupid ICICI Bank, Customer Service just means giving customers a tough time — especially when they’re really in need! I may be prejudiced here, but I must say: I’ve banked with State Bank of Travancore, Axis Bank (which was UTI Bank), Standard Chartered Bank and the horrible ICICI. I’ve never been hesitant to walk into any of the other banks ever — but with ICICI, every single — e.v.e.r.y. s.i.n.g.l.e — time there has been traumatic for me. I’m sure if someone checked my blood pressure before I decide to go to ICICI, and after it, there would be a huge difference, the latter bordering on dangerous!!

Here’s one such incident I wrote about. This is ICICI Customer SerVICE.

Of course, that incident happened over 2 years ago, and I forgot about their “policies”.

Recently, about 6 months back, I needed some money very urgently. I, in fact, had to borrow 30k from a friend. I took her ATM card (in the hopes of withdrawing in 2 days if the limit was 15k) and went to the ICICI Koramangala Branch to withdraw the maximum I could with the card. They have 5 ATM machines in that office — but none worked! So, along with a few other annoyed customers who were there, I walked into the branch, and asked the “very eager to HELP” officer that I needed money, and that their machines were out-of-order. We began on a polite conversation.

“Do you have a cheque leaf ma’am?”ย  “No, I don’t.”ย  “Then I’m sorry. You can’t withdraw cash.”ย  “What? Give me a withdrawal slip, please. This is an emergency.”ย  “We don’t have withdrawal slips, ma’am. It’s not per our policies.”ย  “Then what do I do?ย  “You can go home and get your cheque leaf, ma’am.”ย  “I told you, I don’t HAVE a cheque leaf. And I need cash immediately. I need about 30k. There’s no other way I can get it?”ย  “No, ma’am. You can place an order for fresh cheque leaves, and you’ll get it in a week’s time.”ย  “Do you know what an “emergency” is?”

And I walk out of the bank in a huff, all patience lost, back to my friend’s home. She writes me a cheque for 30k, stating pay “Cash”. Duly signed, filled in well. Ensuring there’ll be no further problems. I go all the way back to the bank and present the cheque. I begin on a polite conversation with the teller lady.

“I need Rs 30,000 in cash. Here’s a cheque.”ย  “Ma’am, we can’t process this cheque.” (no further explanations, just a blank look. Of course, per their policy, the customer needs to entertain them with the questions!)ย  “And, why, may I please ask?” I’m beginning to lose it.ย  “It’s written “Cash”. You’ve to write pay “Self…”ย  “Listen, lady. This is NOT my cheque. It’s a friend’s.”ย  “Whatever ma’am. We can’t accept cheque written “Cash”.ย  “So, my friend must write pay “Self”…and I must bring it to you?”ย  “Yes, ma’am.”ย  “So, then you can say “This is someone else’s cheque and it’s written “self”, so that person will have to come”, right?”ย  No response. That’s when I lose it. I scream at the top of my voice, ensuring all customers hear me: “This is a medical emergency. Your fucking bank has already delayed me by 30 minutes. Because of you, someone could lose his life. If that happens, have no doubt that I’ll sue you as a person, and as a company. I need the money right now. Do something about it.” The lady is irritated now, and tells me:ย  “Then go upstairs and get an emergency cheque if you want.”ย  “I’ll sit right here and give YOU 5 minutes to go get a cheque by yourself, and get me 30k in cash. Else, I’ll definitely make sure all you people get in trouble.” And I sit down, fuming, shaking with anger.ย  There’s a flurry of movement. People running up and down — and I have the cash in hand in 5 minutes.

This is ICICI Customer SerVICE.

Fed up of going to the bank for any more such “services”, I decided to enable internet banking. Once again, after a month or so, I go to the same darned ICICI Koramangala Branch, to enable internet banking. They direct me to the 1st floor, to get it done. I take a token ticket, fill up a form for enabling internet banking and wait for over half an hour, for my token number to be called. Finally, a girl comes around asking people “What’s your query?” I tell her, and she says “Wait, you’ll be called.” After another 15 minutes, she comes, takes the form from me and tells me, “You can leave ma’am. All the employees are busy. We’ll send you your username and password to your mobile in 4 working days.”ย ย  I’m surprised. “To my mobile? Is that a safe thing to do?”ย ย  “Yes, of course. that’s how we do it.”ย  “Are you very sure?” “With extreme confidence, she says “Of course, ma’am.”

Eight working days later, I’ve still not heard from them. So, I call Customer Care. “See, I’d requested for my internet banking to be enabled, and I was told I’d get the username and password to my mobile in 4 working…” I barely finish when he interrupts me with a smirk “To your mobile? We don’t do it. We send it to your communication address via post. And from your account details, I can see that it has been sent already.”ย  “Do you know my communication address?ย ย  “It’s…” and he reads out an address I stayed at 3 years ago. I’ve shifted house twice after that.ย  “But that’s not my address anymore.”ย ย  “Then I can’t help you ma’am. You need to block the password immediately.”ย ย  I was seething, and I told him “It was a person at the bank who told me it’d come to my mobile — and if she wasnt sure, she should at least have asked me to confirm my address — even the form didn’t have a section asking for the current address!”ย  “I’m sorry ma’am. Maybe she was new. I’ve blocked your password. You can re-apply at the bank.”

This is ICICI Customer SerVICE.

I swore never to go to ICICI for any damn thing — and I was adamant I wanted to close the bloody account. But Suraj said we’d already given that account number for the housing loan purpose, to show bank balance and statements — and he didn’t want anything delaying the loan.ย  So I didn’t close it.

A few days back, I lost my ATM card, and I’d to block it. Well, it wasn’t really lost: it was hidden in my bro’s jeans, and after hunting for it over 3 hours, we presumed it was gone, and blocked it. So, now, no ATM card, no cheque leaves. I knew my money was stuck in the bank — of course, they have no withdrawal slip!

I went to the ICICI Koramangala Branch and asked yet another “eager to HELP” official what my options for a withdrawal were. “You can pay Rs 220 and get a cheque book right now, or you can pay Rs 150 and get an instant ATM card.”ย ย  I was adamant I wouldn’t part with even 5 paise for this ****ing bank. So, I tell him “So, to withdraw MY money from MY account, I need to PAY your bank. Interesting. Ok. I have another question. I’d like to close my account. How much do I pay for that?” He gives me a weird look and directs me to 1st floor. Oh no, not the first floor again. Aaaarghhh! I tread up the stairs.

I go up to see about 10 people already waiting to be “taken care of”. I take a token ticket, and sit down at exactly 1.05 pm. As soon as a guy comes around asking “What’s your query?”, I tell him my need and ask him how long it will take. ย  “I can’t tell you ma’am. They’ll call your token number.”ย  Flabbergasted, I ask “Listen, can;t you just ask them how long an account closing will take?” ย  “No, ma’am. Sorry.” And he moves on to the next person sitting.ย  Time slowly ticks away. It’s 1.35 pm and not one person has been called. All the counters have employees, but they’re all “training” new recruits learn the work. How nice. Finally, one of those guys come around asking again “What’s your query ma’am?” I say, very patiently still, that I need to close my account, and when asked why, I say “This is why. I’ve been here multiple times, and your bank and your people have ALWAYS given me a tough time.”ย  “Ummm…shush ma’am. They’ll all hear you. Ummm…you’ll be called soon.” At 1.50 pm, the guy looks at me, and quickly turns away. So I get up, and call him loudly, asking if someone even plans to call the token numbers. He says “Ma’am, there are people waiting who came before you.”ย ย  “Really? So, is that a good thing? I’ve been here for 45 minutes!” “They’ll call you. Please wait.”ย ย  “Listen, do you need an account closing form to be filled, or a letter written? Then let me know, so I can do that now instead of wasting time for that later. And how long will this whole thing take?”ย  “No madam, I can;t tell you till they verify your account.”

At 2.10, I’m called. After repeating for the 4th time WHY EXACTLY I need to close the darned account, she tells me “This is your salary account. We can’t close it without getting a letter from your employer. Otherwise where will your salary go next month?”ย  Rather pissed, I tell her “There are other banks, in case you don’t know. And, to close MY account, you need MY permission, not my employers. I’ll deal with my company. You just deal with your company policies.” And then she comes up with “We need 10 days to close your account, since from your account number it is evident that your home branch is Chennai”.ย  I’m quite loud by now. And, I have to tell her it’s not Chennai, but “Kumara Park, BANGALORE”.ย  “Oh, whatever. It’s not this branch, so we need 10 days.”ย  “You made me wait for over an hour to tell me this!? Have you NO REGARD for a person’s time!?”ย  “Well, you never asked.”ย  “WHAT!? Ask your over-eager-to-help people how many times I asked!”ย  “Well, they’re all new. They don’t know these things.”ย  “If they don’t know, they should’ve asked someone who knows, and then told me, right?”ย ย  “Whatever. That’s not my fault.’

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is ICICI Customer SerVICE.”

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

I really, truly, honestly wish I could ask all you readers, with ICICI accounts to go close them, saying “A friend had too many bad experiences with your bank. So, to support her, I’m closing my account.” or something. I wish I could start a movement like this. Such closures — stating this as a reason — around the country will probably make them re-consider the meaning of “customer service”. But well, I know there might be those of you who’ve had no issues with this bank, and love it. Why say more: my own husband refuses to close his ***ing ICICI account since he’s had no issues so far. So much for “support” ๐Ÿ˜ฆย  When he said he wouldn’t, I was near tears: but I know it’s not fair to pressurise him into doing that. I’m NOT kidding when I tell you that the very sight of an ICICI ATM / board / ad gets me seething. I’ve had too many bad experiences with them.

I’m closing the ICICI one on Monday. I feel on top of the world now! I usually stay away from profanities, but….

ICICI — FUCK YOU! I’ll make sure however and whenever possible, I’ll do ALL I CAN, to ensure I can stop someone from being a bloody ICICI scapegoat. I swear.

I opened a new SBI account yesterday (THEY HAVE WITHDRAWAL SLIPS!), and I explicitly told them I want to shift my salary account from there to here because they’re the MOST HORRIBLE BANK I’VE EVER BANKED WITH.