ICICI Strikes back!

iciciIs it just me? Or does anyone else experience the same? At least 25% of the transactions with the banks become nightmares.

This incident has been going on for a couple of weeks now with no solution. Well, there IS an ultimate solution provided the Branch Manager, finally! Read on…

I deposited a cheque in my account. Properly filled in the PAY IN slip and dropped it in the ATM nearby. I guess two to three days is normal duration it takes to credit the amount in my account. When I checked that nothing happened for a week, I sent an email to Customer Care to inquire. It appears that there is a name mismatch (the one on my account and the one on the cheque are not exactly the same) and the money is put in some ‘unclaimed account’. I’ve been claiming it everyday since 2 weeks, by the way!

  1. They would not credit money in my account until both have same names on it
  2. ICICI went to the drawee bank and got money to put it in unclaimed account. So, as per my friend’s statement, ‘I got the money’
  3. I had to contact the bank to find out the status. They keep the money aside and wouldn’t even care to inform. When I checked about this, they didn’t have a proper answer. Well, why the hell do you ask to fill in mobile AND Home telephone number on the deposit slips? To call me and check if I need any personal loan? If you have a profitable account like ‘unclaimed’ where you have all our money, we would NEED personal loan, by the way!
  4. Now, Customer Care is after me (calls and emails) asking me to visit branch to change the name on it. According to them, any document that has the correct name (i.e., the one on the cheque) should be fine to get it done
  5. Branch manager (Jubilee Hills) has very simple answer. The name cannot be changed at any cost. Best option is to close your account. I was silent for few minutes in his cabin and couldn’t even think for some time. All I could say was ‘Wow!’
  6. Customer Care still thinks that the name can be changed. Well, am not sure how long are they going to argue to put this process in place

And the discussion with the Branch Manager when he asked me to close the account was the best part I guess. I was trying to understand the reason for NOT being able to change the name. After all, it’s my name, my account, I was standing right in front of him, offered to provide copies of any documents, or pictures, signature, whatever. I guess he was too concerned about auditors. ‘Sir, they would question me as to why I processed the cheque as the name is a different one’. Didn’t make sense to me either.

By the way, name on the cheque is ‘Vivekananda K’ and the bank supposedly knows me as ‘Vivekananda Reddy’.

I was trying to convince him that it’s the same person and I could provide my identity proof, even for the record, if he is too worried about the auditors. He could reference this file if the question arises! However, I think he got his basics very strong! Anything that auditors could question: is bad; and never do it! At one point in time I even asked directly if he wants to be ‘careful’ for the auditors even at the cost of the customers. His answer was a straight ‘yes!’ All he is after is, to close my account, open a new one with the name that is on the cheque.

Well, I agree with the closing part. I obviously have better things to do than talk to them/ spend time composing emails. Why ICICI if I have to open it again? Let’s see.

10 Replies to “ICICI Strikes back!”

  1. Thanks again for the updates!

    Do you have any online resources for such RBI rules? I guess we can let everyone else know these instances and make them aware. We cannot afford banks to take us for a ride!

    Viv.

  2. Update 2: Got my money!

    After explaining to multiple people within ICICI bank that it was ILLEGAL , they discreetly made a call and told me to visit the branch where they promised it would be sorted out.

    I visited the branch and they promptly sorted out the issue and credited my account with the money 48 hours later. That is 8 days later.

    However no interest was paid, which is the next thing on my mind! As per the RBI rules they should credit the interest to the customer account along with the cheque amount without the customer having to claiming it. Also Negotiable instruments act 1881 states that there account name need not exactly match. So its clear that ICICI is just fleecing us for the Rs.250 crores they can have in the suspense account.

  3. When I encountered the problem, I didn’t know about the interest thing…

    Anyway, keep us posted.

    Most probably, they will issue a Pay Order with same name on it… If you have an account in any other bank, they will credit without any problem. Just to be sure, submit the cheque over the counter as against dropping in an ATM etc…

  4. Updates:

    S.R.Nagar Branch staff called me and again requested that i produce a letter from the drawee (the person who issued the cheque) – which i declined. I have once again lodged a complaint clearly stating that i cannot produce any such letter since the money was already drawn by ICICI bank.

    I also spoke to an Advocate who is of the opinion that a bank cannot even encash the cheque if there is a mismatch.

    I have mailed ICICI bank asking them to credit my account or issue a payorder for the amount in the cheque along with interest. As per their cheque collection policy for outstation cheques, they must pay an interest of 2% over and over above the rate of interest they pay for term deposit. So if the term deposit rate is 8%, they must pay an interest of 10% for the delayed period.

  5. Very true!

    Their policies have become so weird that they no longer hyelp them do business…

    When I requested them to update the name on the account, they said that their auditors would feel bad…!!!

    And to the question if bank cares about auditors more than customers, the manager gave a confident yes!

    As far as I understand, organizations do business with an objective and auditors make sure that all is well… wrong??

  6. I have the same problem with ICICI Bank, S.R.Nagar Branch. In my case the name was spelt as Ranjit instead of Ranjith.

    The officer in the bank told me to get a letter from the person who issued the cheque stating that the two names are same! I have refused to get the letter, because i feel that if they think there is a mismatch in the name, they should not send it for collection in the first place.

    I have now asked for my cheque back, let me see how ICICI bank responds. I know for sure many other consumers are facing this problem, only a few are talking about.

  7. Well, I was initially surprised to see the environment at HDFC. I guess this is the first time I had to visit the branch though I’ve been maintaining an account with them for about 16 months now. It was like a MELA or something and nothing was organized. Took about 10 minutes to figure out whom to talk to to get my business done.

    Irrespective of the ambience or maintenance, am at least happy that business is okay with HDFC. They did object for the name mismatch here as well. But when I offered an ID proof and told that I can attest if required, accepted cheque immediately.

    Good!

  8. Well, I fought for the cheque back and got one from ICICI bank itself (not my original cheque) for the same amount with the same name.

    I could deposit it in another account I have with HDFC.

    Irony is, I still receive emails from ICICI Customer Care asking for my cell phone number so that the issue can be resolved quickly. The emails department is after my contact information, while the calls department calls almost everyday just to while up time. It’s different person everyday and after I explain the story, they never get back!

    😀

    I think I am not going to close the account. When I have nothing better to do, it’s fun to interact with them! Strictly, no transactions, though!!

  9. hmm. the best option i can think of is by claiming back the cheque and return to the person asking to draw other one with the correct name.

    OFCOURSE icici should not have made so much of fuss for such a silly thing.

    keep blogging until this is solved

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