A week ago, we were robbed. I woke up on Wednesday morning to find my handbag in the garden, a set of documents, tampons and a body spray neatly stacked to its right. I initially thought I’d wandered among the plants soon after work and left my bag there - but no, I’d not that. It rains, I’ll not risk getting my moleskine soaked. Then I thought KitKat had pulled it into the garden but she’s never shown much enthusiasm for games or tugging at things, much less my bag.
Then it struck me. Someone was or had been in the house.
We walked downstairs to find the Macbooks missing, my brand new functional wallet missing. I wouldn’t have despaired had it been just cash that was flicked. I was dreading the thought of jumping into the thick of the circus that is applying for new debit and credit cards and other government IDs (PAN Card, Driving License).
Blocking the cards was easy enough. The reissue process was very different for the 2 LoBs: Credit Cards and Debit Cards.
While blocking the credit card, I was told I’d be sent a new one immediately. For the debit card, repeated IVR processes and calls to their Voice Agents didn’t work. At one point, I was asked to re-confirm my mobile number at the nearest ATM.
I went in to the Axis Bank, Indiranagar branch on Thursday morning. After a silly token collecting process - where the peon mansplained how I should collect a token #facepalm - I made my way to the seating area and waited. For 45 minutes. Till the TV displaying the token numbers went black and all of us in the area blinked at each other. Gathering wits and courage, I walked up to a man - suited, tied and booted - languidly sipping chai behind his shiny desk.
"Can you help me with the re-issue of a debit card?"
"Go, ask Harish over there" and he stuck his index finger out to point to an area that was the fire exit, 4 people squeezed into a corner and the printer.
Walking up to these 4 people staring at their screens, I asked loudly “Who’s Harish here?” A guy stood up, confused and pointed to a lady sitting next to the suited-tied-booted man.
"But you’re given token numbers for a reason" she twanged in her Mallu accent.
"Yes, madam. Your TV has turned itself off, this guy directed me to Harish who directed me to you. Will you be able to help me?"
Fifteen minutes later, I was out of there not knowing when I’d get the card.
What would have been ideal: Being able to re-issue my debit card via the internet banking site or in the worst case scenario, using the IVR. I have the Account Number, Customer ID and all other PII that would have allowed Axis Bank to authenticate and authorize me.
Again, blocking the Credit Card was easy enough but the process for re-issuing was another level of WTFery. These 2 tweets should sum up the ordeal:
Eventually I managed to convince the lady behind the counter at the HDFC Branch in Frazer Town to print out the form. Where they asked me to enter the credit card number but since I didn’t have it, I had to jump through multiple levels of authentication after which a girl at the other end read out the number to me. I duly entered this number into the paper form and dropped it in a Dropbox that mentioned nothing about dropping Credit Card forms but rather had multiple labels for cheque drop-offs. So reassuring.
Of course, I have no clue what the next steps are and what has happened to that piece of paper.
What would have been ideal: Uh, couldn’t you have saved yourself some money and paper by just allowing me to do this online or over IVR, HDFC? Why create fake employment and silly security processes that can be hacked anyway?
I logged into my Citibank account on Wednesday evening. On the dashboard, clicked on the link that said “Report Lost/Stolen Card”. Was asked if I’d like a replacement card to which I replied in the affirmative.
I received an SMS on Thursday that the previous card had been blocked. I received an SMS this morning (Friday) that the Debit Card had been shipped. I had the card in my hands this afternoon at 1 pm.
I applied for the re-issue of all 3 cards within a span of 12 hours a day ago. Today, I have already received one.
Coming up: Applying for Government IDs and the long wait for the ATM PINs sealed in paper.