Tuesday, July 5, 2011



If you want to observe sheer incompetence and insensitive customer service please go to The State Bank of India (SBI) especially the Tilak Road Branch of SBI in Pune. If you thought Information Technology (IT) improves efficiency, think again, because at SBI things have gone from bad to worse with the introduction of IT and the much hyped Core Banking. In fact, Core Banking has given an excuse to employees at the branch to say that now nothing is in their hands and to abdicate themselves of all responsibility and pass on the blame to the SBI headquarters.

Every time I raise a grievance at my home branch I am told to enter an online complaint on the State Bank of India website on the internet. I duly forward the complaint online and promptly receive an acknowledgement. After that a number of emails follow but nothing happens. Then, after a few days I am told to contact the home branch for redressal of my grievance. When I go to my home branch I am again told that they can do nothing about it as everything is controlled by SBI Headquarters and again I am told to raise an online complaint on the internet. I must say this is a most insensitive customer service style – to put the aggrieved customer into a spin, into circles, until he gets exasperated and gives up. I am sorry to say but the State Bank of India treats its customers like dirt.

Let me give you a recent example.

An year ago I got a letter asking me to submit some documents like PAN Card, Address Proof, Photo etc towards Know Your Customer (KYC) norms. Though I had submitted these documents before, I once again promptly submitted all these documents at the Tilak Road Branch of State Bank of India and it was confirmed to me that my KYC details had been updated against my customer-id in the Core Banking System for all my accounts. I again submitted all KYC documents when I opened a pension account in the same customer-id. I personally checked on the monitor of the SBI employee and saw for myself that all my KYC details including photo, PAN and address were updated and linked to all my accounts.

Despite this I keep receiving letters from State Bank Of India Tilak Road Branch Pune asking to personally come to the branch and submit the KYC documents. I visit the branch and tell the concerned employee that I have repeatedly submitted all relevant details (PAN Card, Address Proof, Photos etc) for KYC norms to State Bank of India Tilak Road Branch Pune and my KYC details are held in the records of State Bank of India.  The State Bank of India counter staff personally checks on his monitor and confirms to me that my KYC norms are updated in State Bank of India Records and there is no need to submit the documents again. However I receive another letter (this time in Marathi language) asking me to come to the branch and submit KYC Norms documents. As expected, the Staff at Tilak Road Pune Branch express their helplessness and blame it on SBI Headquarters and Core Banking and ask me to raise a complaint on the internet which I promptly do.

And guess what?

I get an email from State Bank of India Local Head Office Mumbai asking me to contact the home branch State Bank of India Tilak Road Pune. Life has moved a full circle. Can someone tell me what to do.

I think it is high time State Bank of India revamps its Core Banking System, improves its Grievance Redressal Mechanism and focuses on training its employees to be more efficient, competent and give better Customer Service.


Anonymous said...


Don't hold your breath when it comes to customer service. We, as a country, are a mess when it comes to that. No matter what you do, there is no guarantee that anything will change.

While traveling abroad for extended periods of time, I put my mobile number in custody with Reliance. I paid the money to do so and the person on Karve Rd shop of Reliance confirmed that once I call from abroad, he will turn on my service promptly. Now, when I called, he said I am on the defaulters list and my service is terminated. WHAT??? So after paying the money for putting my number in custody, I am left with no mobile service. These people are shameless and have no attention to detail. Superpower my foot. We have a long way to go. Our human resources are terrible. And we are shameless when it comes to customer service. Nothing will ever improve. I have many stories to share. I am sure you do too. Its not that government services are notoriously bad. Private sector is actually even worse.

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Sad state of affairs