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PNB Metlife has returned Rs25,000 to the correct policyholder to make up for their error in earlier refund to wrong policyholder, following an article in Moneylife on 2nd May.
On 2nd May Moneylife had put out article about a PNB Metlife policyholder who was given a run around for Rs25,000 that it collected through its flawed online premium payment system. Ms Asha Kapoor (name changed) had approached Moneylife insurance helpline seeking help to get her money back, which PNB Metlife, surprisingly had given to some other policyholder. The system has no check of the entered data of policy number, date of birth, mobile number and email address and so the payment of Ms Kapoor was applied to a wrong policy number due to a typo with one digit switched (e.g. policy number 37012645 instead of 37012654).
Following our article, Ms Kapoor got a call and an email from head – grievance redressal team of PNB Metlife the next day (3rd May). According to Ms Kapoor, “He said in his conversation that he was sorry about the whole thing and that PNB MetLife would be looking into the lacunae in their system. They promised to deposit Rs25,000 into my PNB MetLife account within 3-4 days as premium paid for 2012-13 (original payment was done in Jun 2012 ).” The premium amount of Rs25,000 was deposited into Ms Kapoor’s account on 6th May morning.
Moneylife had written to PNB Metlife on 25th April and 30th April and a call was made on 26th April, but there was no response. PNB Metlife was probably waiting to see if we really write about it and may be hoping that the issue gets sidelined.
Customers would now look forward to an improvement in PNB Metlife’s online premium payment system. In fact, we wonder why PNB Metlife online premium payment system even asks for the date of birth, email and mobile number when it is not cross-checked with the policy number for which the payment is made. It is not just the absence of cross-check of policy number to date of birth, mobile number and email address. The system accepts payment to even non-existent policy number. In short, you can even pay for a junk policy number.
PNB Metlife has recently launched TV ads that proclaim to “Be Double Sure” in life. A bank customer who receives money from the cashier does the counting of the money, when the cashier is counting and counts it again after receiving the money. The punch line is that “Paisa ho ya life insurance, hamesha double sure hona hi accha hain. Punjab National Bank and Metlife ne milke banaya PNB Metlife. Hua na double sure.” We certainly hope PNB Metlife can live up to same standard for their online premium payment system to make it “Double Sure” for a policyholder who may make an error in keying a long number. A policyholder may key in incorrect policy number, but he or she is unlikely to make mistakes with their own date of birth, mobile and email address. There is the need to cross-check all the entered data.
While imposing the cost, the apex court also rapped state governments for taking its directions 'very lightly' and filing affidavits as per their convenience
The Supreme Court on Monday imposed an exemplary cost of Rs5 lakh on Maharashtra government for delay in filing its affidavit relating to compliance of the apex court's directions on police reforms and constituting State Security Commission(SSC).
A bench comprising justices GS Singhvi, Ranjana Prakash Desai and Sharad Arvind Bobde said, "Maharashtra government filed the affidavit on Monday and its counsel has given different explanation and submission for delay in filing the affidavit and non-compliance of its directions by bureaucrats. For this delay in filing affidavit, we are imposing a cost of Rs5 lakh".
The apex court also said some of the state governments are taking its directions 'very lightly' and it has now become a habit for them to file affidavits late.
It said there was a direction for Chief Secretaries of Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa to file affidavits by 3rd May in this matter.
The Supreme Court also made it clear that it was not for state governments to extend the time of filing affidavits suo motu.