I had a bitter experience at the State Bank of India (SBI), RACPC branch in Trivandrum a couple of months ago. At that time, the Deputy General Manager (DGM) came for assistance and he cleared the mess created by the other staff. Today I had to visit the branch again to create equitable mortgage on my property as per the home loan agreement. This was following a letter I received from the bank asking me to be present at the branch to create the mortgage. I waited almost an hour at the branch before my turn came. Since my flat and loan were in the names of my wife and me, the person in the section asked me to bring my wife along to put her signature on the paper. I asked him if both of us were to be present at the branch, why was the intimation letter not addressed to both. I also told him that it was not possible for us to visit the branch on any other day in the next few days, by which time the stipulated 14 days for mortgage creation would be over. I told him I wanted to meet the Assistant General Manager (AGM) who sent out this communication to me alone, and talk about it.
Hearing this, the person in the section took the intimation letter from me and wrote my wife’s name also in the address field! I was baffled by this act and asked him why he did that. Although he did not have an explanation, I knew why he did that. I immediately called up the DGM and informed him of this shameless act of document forgery. I wanted the DGM to talk to the branch and get them to strike off the handwritten name from the letter, write an explanation, stamp it, and sign it. I also told him that my wife was not present at the branch because the communication wasn’t addressed to her. He apologised, and after a while, called me up and said he spoke to the AGM and an arrangement could be made, if I agreed to it.
I walked into the AGM’s cabin and she offered an apology, stroke off the handwritten name from the letter, wrote on it about the removal, stamped it, and signed it. Then came the compromise proposal. You wouldn’t believe this came from the State Bank of India! The AGM said since it was a problem in the communication from the bank, she was ready to make up for it, by sending a car to my flat to pick up my wife to the bank and drop her back afterwards. I was so disturbed by the bad experience and wanted them to take the trouble this time, and agreed to it. Soon came a car to bring my wife and kid to the bank. We signed on the papers and after that, we were dropped back to the flat.
Most of us would have gone back and come again another day. But the bad past experience with the bank had already made me stubborn. The act of tampering with the letter ignited the feeling and I wanted them to clear the mess on the same day. Moral of the story remains the same – customer is king, if he so desires!