I had purchased an IDBI Flexibond for my wife which is maturing this december.
I got a letter from Mr.John, General Manager, IDBI asking me to intimate any change in address or Bank Details to their Registrar ISIL.....
"In case of change in Bank details or address, please inform the Registrar, Information Services India Limited....... before December 18, 2007. You can inform by phone, fax or through email" his letter said.
I was impressed with the efficiency..
Since my wife's bank account had changed, she sent an email to the address mentioned immediately. That was on December 10th, the date we received the GMs letter. The time of the mail was around 10.00 AM.
In the afternoon, I called the ISIL's number in Mumbai (I am in Bangalore). I wanted to get a confirmation that the bank account details has been updated.
I was tossed around from one line to another till a lady answered the phone.
I explained to her the reason for my call.
"What time did you sent the mail?" she asked.
I told her the time was around 10 in the morning.
"See, we have received so many emails. We are yet to go through them. After going through your mail, you will get a confirmation in three day's time".
I reminded her that December 18th is the last date.
"Don't worry" she said reassuringly, "You will get the confirmation before that"
I waited till 17th for the confirmation that never came.
So I send a reminder mail. And called the number again.
As usual we went through almost all the lines in their Mumbai office till the phone was answered by a lady.
I explained to her the reason for my call.
"Did you send a scanned copy of your document?" She asked me. This was news. Mr. John forgot to mention this.
"No, why do you require that?" I asked stupidly.
"How will we verify the signatures" she asked with a 'what all types I have to put up with in a day' kind of voice.
"Can't you validate the email ids?" I enquired tentatively.
"We are not authorized to do that" came the prompt reply.
"What should I do?" I asked.
"Can you fax the application letter to us"
In these days of emails, a fax machine is as difficult to find as water in Sahara. After much search, I located one.
The operator dialled the number. The machine kept ringing.
"I think they have kept the fax machine in Phone mode" he informed me.
Again I called the Mumbai number to inform her this. Again the world tour...
"Try after 10 minutes" she informed me.
The machine went into the Fax mode full 30 minutes afterwards. All the while, I waited at the Fax machine shop. What else can I do? The next shop could be in Timbuctu for all I know.
Again I called ISIL to check if the fax printout has come correctly.
"The fax machine is in another part of the building. Can you courier the same?"
Finally I send the same by courier on the 17th of December.
Of course I realize now that I should have done a lot of things differently.
1. I should have found out (through my incredible mental prowess which enables me to understand Mr.John's mind) that 'You can send by email' means 'Better make a scanned copy and send it by mail, followed by fax and finally by courier, not to mention the phone calls'!!.
2. Should have known (again using the same superior mental capability) that it has been ages since (almost 16 Flexibonds since!!) the preprinted stationery was changed at IDBI. I should have been able to read what is not in the lines and send the courier on 10th itself!!.
3. Should consider about Rs.150 lost in the whole transaction as a cost of my incomptence and not blame IDBI for their sheer bad customer service!!
4. I should have known that if I were ISIL, I would have given the customer the fax number and then kept the fax machine in the phone mode. Normal human behaviour, you see...
5. Given the multiple investment options available at that time and considering my previous experience, should not have invested in the IDBI Flexibonds at all in the first place.
Mind you, other than the email id of the registrar, there was no other email id where I can raise my complaints against the poor service of the registrar. It was almost like IDBI had washed their hands off the IDBI Flexibonds and put the onus on the Registrar.
Tail Piece: After all this I am not sure if the bank details have been changed in their records. I will come to know this when the redemption check comes. Will keep you posted.....
PS: I got a confirmation from ISIL that the bank account details have been changed. I will believe it only when money is credited in the Bank. But a temporary relief nevertheless....