Citizens' Issues
Public Interest Exclusive
More Indians using Twitter, Facebook and other social media for customer service

About 54% Indians have used social media to get a customer service response at least once in the past year as compared to an average of 20% in other markets. However, 64% Indians lose their temper with a customer service professional which is far higher in comparison to an average of 48% across the world

You may have horrifying experience while dealing with a customer service representative or department for any product you have bought or any service you are using, but according to a survey around 54% of Indians have used social media like Twitter and Facebook to resolve their grievances. This is more than twice the average 20% of consumers in markets across the world, says the findings of American Express Global Customer Service Barometer.

The survey conducted in India and 10 other countries also found that people in India who use social media for customer service are more willing than the general population to reward companies with both business and loyalty for quality service and end relationship due to poor service.

Indians also score high when it comes to losing one's temper while dealing with the customer service representatives. About 64% Indians lost their temper with a customer service professional in the past year, far higher in comparison to an average of 48% in other markets, the survey found out.

"Today's networked consumers are demanding engagement, personalization, and prompt response from the companies they deal with across multiple channels. They also wield a lot of influence because they spend more for great service and share their opinions widely. Ultimately, these consumers can help influence improvements to service quality," said Pradeep Kapur, senior vice president for world service India and process excellence at American Express.

According to the survey, companies' track record for resolving issues through social media has been good so far. While more than a third of consumers (37%) feel they always have their issues resolved, another 14% say they rarely or never get an answer.

The perception is positive for the time companies take to respond-80% of Indians feel companies have improved their response times through social media over the past year, which is far better than other markets, the survey said.

Social media is not the only way people are spreading the word about their customer service experiences.  Consumers overall will tell significantly more people about their customer service experiences compared to last year and other countries, highlighting the importance of every interaction for businesses aiming to build customer loyalty and a positive image. On an average, Indians talk to 44 people about good customer service experiences and to 46 people about their bad experiences.

"When customers know that a company is listening to them and addressing their needs quickly and responsively, they will not only spend more-they will spread the word to others as well.  Great customer service is great business and positions a brand with staying power," Mr Kapur added.

According to the survey, 87% people are willing to spend more for better service-willing to spend an average of 22% more; 74% say they have spent more in the past year. In addition, 80% of consumers surveyed feel small businesses provide a more personal customer service experience than large companies.

For a complex query (such as returning a product or getting assistance with a product issue), people gravitate to a "real person on the phone". Specifically, 25% of Indians prefer addressing complex queries to a "real person" which is low when compared to the average of nearly 37% in other markets. Moreover, Indians expressed their preference for using a diverse range of channels when addressing complex queries including automated voice response systems (12%) and Social Networking sites (10%)-nearly twice the number of their counterparts (other markets: average of 6% prefer automated systems; 5% prefer social networking sites).
 
The average consumer in India is more patient than their counterparts in other markets surveyed when they want to contact a customer service centre by telephone. Respondents hit his or her boiling point after 16 minutes on hold, higher than other markets (Mexico - 15 minutes, Canada and Australia 14 minutes each, Germany and Netherlands 7 minutes each and Japan - 6 minutes). When it comes to customer wait time in-person, Indians wait for an average of 17 minutes for help at establishments such as banks, retail stores or restaurants, which is higher than all other markets surveyed, the American Express survey finds out.

The American Express Global Customer Service Barometer research was completed online among a random sample of 1,007 Indian consumers aged 18 and above.

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Public Interest Exclusive
I-T fake raids; dept seeks help for nabbing master-mind

Posing I-T officials a gang looted a doctor and also used fake letters to get police protection during the raid. Now the I-T department want to nab the master-mind of the gang, believed to be an insider

This is not a story directly lifted or inspired (as they call it in Bollywood) from a movie, but is a real life incidence. A gang of six people—claiming to be income tax (I-T) officers—raided a house of a doctor with the help from local police, seized Rs11.1 lakh and also demanded a bribe to close the case. Only things, the ID cards and letters used by the gang were all fake. This has prompted the Sahranpur Joint Commissioner of I-T to issue a note to all offices requesting their help in nabbing the master-mind of this gang.

According to the release, on 18 April 2012, this gang of six people led by VD Goyal raided the house of Dr Mohan Pandey in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh. The gang claimed that they were from Office of the CII, Lucknow and also submitted a letter (which turned out to be fake as their ID cards) issued by the Commissioner of Income Tax, Zone-2, Lucknow to the SSP, Saharanpur and got allotted police force for the raid.

Mr Goyal, who may be an ex-employee of the I-T department, appeared to be well-versed with the procedures and laws related with search and raids. He and his gang took away Rs11.1 lakh from Dr Pandey and also demanded a bribe to close the case.

 

Meanwhile, after receiving an anonymous call regarding the fake raid, Dr Pandey filed a first information report (FIR) with the police, who then arrested two members of the gang and also the driver of the doctor. However, there is no trace of either Mr Goyal or other members of his gang.

Requesting all I-T offices to circulate the photograph and information about the master-mind of the gang, the joint commissioner has said that it believes that this so-called VD Goyal, directly or indirectly belongs to the I-T department as he was well-versed with the procedures and law of search. “He may be a terminated or suspended employee of this department. To save the respect of our department, it is requested that if any officer/official know about identity/name of this fraud man it may be immediately conveyed to Income Tax Office, Saharanpur,” the joint commissioner said in the release.
 

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COMMENTS

Tira T

5 years ago

Oh, what a great ISO 9999…Brand Equity of the IT Department and its officers in its 151st year to lure professional fraudsters to fake its name and its “honest” officers! Every serving and retired officer and staff must feel proud of this Department run inter alia by a non-descript group of expendable quantities called the IRS! This certainly is the greatest ever accolade that a corrupt entity may crave for, especially as there is now every possibility of a fake Ad.VI section of the Deptt. of Revenue also coming to surface. In fact, yours faithfully was told by a rather unpoular IRS fellow decades ago of this section and its boss with his own team would every year keep bogus lists of annual general transfers of officers ready in February-March. Then someone would call the persons listed from far flung places telling them of the “draft” orders and the need for preventive action on their part! So, these (mostly corrupt) officers would run to Delhi and submit them to blackmail pay huge amounts in exchange of promises to spare them of a posting to a “dry” place as punishment. A friend in the related service with offices in the same monumental heritage building confirms that this practice is not extinct at all even today. So, no wonder, there will be fake Board members, chief commissioners, etc. too!
Kudos to the department and the top boss in the hierarchy.
But, just one thought--could it happen without the connivance of insiders--with the past Calcutta and Madras history?

NN Bala

5 years ago

The IT Dept should issue a circular in news papers that the person on whose house the raid takes place will be permitted to take photographs of all the enforcing officers . This may to some extent curb the activities of such miscreants.

Tira T

5 years ago

Oh, what a great ISO 9999…Brand Equity of the IT Department and its officers in its 151st year to lure professional fraudsters to fake its name and its “honest” officers! Every serving and retired officer and staff must feel proud of this Department run inter alia by a non-descript group of expendable quantities called the IRS! This certainly is the greatest ever accolade that a corrupt entity may crave for, especially as there is now every possibility of a fake Ad.VI section of the Deptt. of Revenue also coming to surface. In fact, yours faithfully was told by a rather unpoular IRS fellow decades ago of this section and its boss with his own team would every year keep bogus lists of annual general transfers of officers ready in February-March. Then someone would call the persons listed from far flung places telling them of the “draft” orders and the need for preventive action on their part! So, these (mostly corrupt) officers would run to Delhi and submit them to blackmail pay huge amounts in exchange of promises to spare them of a posting to a “dry” place as punishment. A friend in the related service with offices in the same monumental heritage building confirms that this practice is not extinct at all even today. So, no wonder, there will be fake Board members, chief commissioners, etc. too!

Kudos to the department and the top boss in the hierarchy.

Public Interest Exclusive
Fake currency notes from ATMs: What needs to be done

The issue of fake currency notes coming out of ATMs is very real. What can be done? Here are some suggestions

Most ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines) in India simply dispense cash, but increasingly are being readied for a host of other functions and capabilities, so the risk increases. According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) the ATM machines should:

  •  check the authenticity and fitness of notes, i.e. note processing machines/note sorting machines, and machines which check only the authenticity of notes, i.e. note authentication machines. All these machines shall classify the individual notes as either genuine or suspect.
  •  perform authenticity check with reference to the features of genuine notes as disclosed by the Reserve Bank of India from time to time. Any note which is not found to be having all the features of a genuine note shall be classified by the machine as suspect.

 Is this objective met? Not really.
 
There are two broad ways in which currency notes are stuffed into ATMs in India. One, by the bank staff themselves, usually for the 'onsite' machines. Two, by specific agencies which do the stuffing- often as common carriers for multiple banks. I have worked in many aspects of the ATM industry and my sources tell me:
 
1) None of the banks in India, currency chests or agencies have facilities for 100% verification at all stages of currency notes headed for ATMs-except for some very specific marked ATMs which are located in VVIP locations. Yes, this is being corrected, but the speed of growth of ATMs is also high.
 
2) The chances of genuine cash sent by the banks directly from the cash chest/teller being swapped for counterfeit notes is not so high for onsite ATMs. However, it does exist as a higher risk for off-site ATMs, as well as for ATMs stuffed by agencies. The arrival of 'white' ATMs will further muddy the waters.
 
3) The global concept and practice of sending only pre-stuffed and sealed 'cassettes' for insertion into the larger 'cartridges' for the dispensers and then to be placed inside the 'vault' of ATMs is being resisted by banks and agencies in India. These pre-sealed 'cassettes' provide physical security by 'neutralising' currency notes in case of physical attacks and also provide note-by-note accountability in case of transactional lacunae.
 
What would we, as consumers of currency notes, really want and deserve? After all, the issue of FICN/counterfeit currency notes is very real, and at the very least, some steps have to be taken to protect us, assuming that almost all ATM transactions are for consumers who not in the fake money business. Here are some simple steps which need to be taken, and which we should demand:
 
1) All ATMs in India need to be provided with a centralised RBI reference number, and this must be displayed prominently at the location, as well as on the ATM and also on the paper trail.
2) All ATMs must indicate whether they are "sealed cassette stuffed" or "loose stuffed".
3) Performance of ATMs-failed transactions, disputed transactions, down-times, frequency of FICN and similar data must be available online.
4) ATMs can then be provided either 'star' rating or percentile performance rating, which needs to also be displayed on the ATM.
5) Most importantly, the ATM must indicate whether it is providing 100% authentic currency notes or not, and by what method.
6) Certain other safeguards, like silent alarm provision as well as provision of a 'cover' on the key-pad, need to be incorporated too.
7) Disabled access is another issue which needs to be resolved.
 
There are more too, but these are the least we can expect. After all, we are customers worth Rs4 lakh a day-a fairly heavy turnover under any circumstances for 9 square metres of real estate.
 
A bank is not doing a customer a big favour by providing an ATM; it is actually doing itself a favour primarily by reducing the cost and effort of human interaction. In exchange, a customer must know what level of service to expect, and RBI needs to enforce this. Today's customer is very aware of what is going on and is willing to pay a premium for better and more reliable service. The earlier this is done, and certainly before the introduction of "white ATMs", the better.

(Veeresh Malik had a long career in the Merchant Navy, which he left in 1983. He has qualifications in ship-broking and chartering, loves to travel, and has been in print and electronic media for over two decades. After starting and selling a couple of companies, is now back to his first love-writing.)

User

COMMENTS

Shahid Shaikh

3 years ago

I received two fake thousand rupees notes from SBI ATM and one fake thousand rupees note from ICICI bank ATM. My question is what to be done in this case as the banks will never accept that notes has been dispensed from their ATMs. How to solve such issue. Pls advise.

REPLY

Veeresh Malik

In Reply to Shahid Shaikh 3 years ago

Please file a written complaint online with the Reserve Bank of India giving them full details and hope for the best after that. I fear that is all you can do at this juncture. Good luck.

Sai chandra M

5 years ago

I feel there should be some mechanism like while loading cash into the atm the machine will read all the notes serial number.

when ever a person with draws cash from the atm he should get the the serial numbers on the receipt, so that a person can demand for the justice against the respective bank if he get's the fake note.

-sai chandra

REPLY

Veeresh Malik

In Reply to Sai chandra M 5 years ago

Thank you for writing in.

Here's an RTI application filed in this context, shall add the respond as soon as I receive it.

rgds/VM

http://rtivm.blogspot.in/2012/07/rti-on-...

hari prasad b

5 years ago

thank u sir giving good knowlege about fake note. harded money is safe by using cheques, netbanking & card transfers via atm. drawing small denomination is best. less chances to fake notes.

Kranthi Kumar

5 years ago

Hi Veeresh Malik,
Your article is very informative. But I request you to include "What a customer should do, When he gets a fake currency note at an ATM machine". Should he loose his hard earned money? What are the steps required to be taken by a customer?

Very recently, I had started opinions on the same topic on a popular educational forum, But didn't get any helpful response. Here is the link for that.
http://www.indiastudychannel.com/forum/9...

a v moorthi besides TIHAR

5 years ago


from 10.11.2004 RBI advised all banks to file FIR with Police irrespective of the number of pieces/ bonafides of tenderer.

When position as above Banker and the common citizen, usually adopt the policy of burning of that counterfeit note on

detection ( when it is say one out of hundred or more) as detection and impounding counterfeit notes in the legal way is a

troublesome aspect which is beyond tolerance for both the public and bank staff.This solution may not be in accordance with

the law of the land but years experience gained in India ( law is an ass) says it is a good solution.

Nowadays Banks have out sourced refilling of cash in ATMs. Usually the 2 cash trays can hold about Rs 14 lakhs if one tray

each is filled with Rs 100/- and 500/- denomination. Now it takes about 10-15 minutes to refill in one ATM. The out sourcing

agency will try to fill about 20-25 ATMs in a day (10 AM to 7 PM) spread over 60-80 Kms in distance. So the agency man

withdraws cash to the tune of Rs Rs 3 crores. Now there is Bank staff, agency staff if any one of them is of doubtful

integrity 8 to 10 pieces of notes can be removed from the lot or 8-10 pieces of counterfeit notes can be inserted ( because

it is humanly impossible for the agency man to verify each piece of note and count the physical cash. if the above happens

cash shortage in ATMs can happen ( only joint custodian is responsible for cash - here the agency person) when this happens

this comes out when the ATM runs out of cash which can happen the same day or definitely when ATM has to be refilled by cash.

I have still not able to find a so;ution for the above in the existing scenario. In the case of counterfeit as the 8-10 notes

are distributed over 20-25 ATMs it is next to impossible to track the mischief maker and if ever a counterfeit is reported if

the Branch head of the Bank feels the customer is genuine either they destroy or put the counterfeit back in circulation

without impounding as hardly one such case will come in a year.

recently other day a young girl who enjoys doing net banking and using card based transactions was seen shouting at the

branch Manager of a PSB which recently completed 100 years for his un caring attitude despite of the fact that she had

withdrwan cash of Rs 50000/- a few minutes back and and the when she deposited the same in next door branch of India's No 1

Pvt sector Bank, the cashier there has impounded one note.when the young lady came out of the PSB i talked out to her told

her the examples detailed above but as the impounding bank has issued her a certificate to the effect my prayer was she

should not get call from investigating agencies in next 3 months( as that is way law operates) and meanwhile can scan the

receipt and share it with her friends as a momento.

As of now, there is nothing much you and I can do if we get a fake currency note from an ATM.

The media should take up for implementation of "The global concept and practice of sending only pre-stuffed and sealed

'cassettes' for insertion into the larger 'cartridges' for the dispensers and then to be placed inside the 'vault' of ATMs is

being resisted by banks and agencies in India".

another issue needs to be follwed by Money life is

Staff Selection Commission receives on line application but fee can be remitted by one thro Net Banking facility of SBI only

. As approval of the Controller General of Accounts, Ministry of Finance is awaited for use of credit cards / debit cards

since January,2010, payment through these modes will not be available.This is the position even for Combined Graduate Level

Examination -2012 whose closing date for application on line was 20.04.2012

R Nandy

5 years ago



You have pointed to a very important issue.

I was just wondering if it is technically possible for the ATM machine itself to validate the notes and dispense it to the customer?Probably a small
hardware/software upgrade of the existing machines?

a v moorthi besides TIHAR

5 years ago

RBI has got detailed guidelines regarding detecting and impounding counterfeit notes.

Forged Notes Detected at bank branch

Impound Forged note: Size: 5 x 5 cm seal
FORGED NOTE IMPOUNDED
Bank:
Branch:
Signature:
Date:
Issue Receipt (in duplicate) taking the acknowledgement of the tenderer even if he not willing to take it. (Notice to be displayed)

Forged Notes Detected at bank branch

File FIR with local police – endorse a copy to Forged Note Vigilance Cell and/or to Head Office of the bank, with all the details: how the notes came into possession of the tenderer etc.
The data on forged notes is required to be sent, in a monthly return to RBI and National Crime records Bureau.
In no case forged notes should be returned to tenderers or destroyed by the bank branches.
Security features of all the Bank Notes are required to be displayed at the branches.
W.e.f. from 10.11.2004 RBI advised all banks to file FIR with Police irrespective of the number of pieces/ bonafides of tenderer.



REPLY

malq

In Reply to a v moorthi besides TIHAR 5 years ago

Moorthy ji, thank you for writing in.

And here are some more articles on the same subject:-

http://www.moneylife.in/article/78/7308....

http://www.moneylife.in/article/counterf...

http://www.moneylife.in/article/78/7245....

rgds/VM



rgds/VM

Narendra Doshi

5 years ago

Dear malq,
Pl clarify what you mean by 'white' ATMs?
Your points are well worth for a price , too. I hope the authorities take corrective steps , sooner than later.

REPLY

malq

In Reply to Narendra Doshi 5 years ago

Dear Narendra Doshi ji, thank you for writing in.

A "white" ATM is put up and operated by a non-banking entity.

Some details can be found here in the relevant RBI circular enclosed.

http://www.rbi.org.in/scripts/BS_PressRe...

rgds/VM

Veeraf

5 years ago

Whom should we complain in case we get a fake note from the ATM machine. Is there a toll free number to contact. What can we the proof that the note the customer is pointing out as fake did come out of the ATM only? Please advise.

REPLY

malq

In Reply to Veeraf 5 years ago

Dear Veeraf, thank you for writing in.

As of now, there is nothing much you and I can do if we get a fake currency note from an ATM, other than throw it away.

However, you can bring it to the attention of the relevant bank which operates the ATM, and hope for the best.

I am sorry I could not be of more help.

rgds/VM

Veeraf

In Reply to malq 5 years ago

Thanks Malq for your response. Now atleast the readers know that there is no safe gaurd and they need to protest against it ASAP, otherwise we all can be a victim one day.
Regards,
Veeraf

malq

In Reply to Veeraf 5 years ago

Dear Veeraf - thank you for writing in.

I have forwarded this issue to the RBI as well as the Home Ministry and the Finance Ministry more than a few times, but it never seems to make a difference, some days I feel that one reason could be because there are existing schools of thought which do not want to solve the issue.

Anyways, we persist - and with the average turn-out from an ATM being about 4 lakhs a day, for about 1.02 lakh ATMs in India and growing, something needs be done. And soon.

I request all readers to forward this article to RBI and the Ministries of Finance as well as Home Affairs, and to their friends - let us get some correctives in place?

Best/VM

mansi

5 years ago

Great read. shared the article at our blog.

REPLY

mahesh

In Reply to mansi 5 years ago

If this is the threat, should these suggestions not be demanded through a PIL to be filed in Court. Maybe float an online petition and file it.

malq

In Reply to mansi 5 years ago

Thank you, please let us have the link? And here are some more articles on the same subject:-

http://www.moneylife.in/article/78/7308....

http://www.moneylife.in/article/counterf...

http://www.moneylife.in/article/78/7245....

rgds/VM

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