Long time back in 2008, I  had an Axis Bank account which I closed it. Around July 2015 my employer switched to Axis Bank and hence had an opportunity to experience the new banking practices of Axis Bank. Even the opening was crazy.

  1. The guys were pressing for a demat and trading account and I had to literally shoo-shoo them away.
  2. Again they opened with a different customer id but since long back I already had an account they should have used that one. After a long debate they fixed it and switched my customer id.
  3. No sooner the account was opened than a telemarketing call came offering pre-activated credit card. Issuing a pre-activated card is a crime on part of financial institutions in India. When I escalated it, some one called Murugesan (+91 97909 06735) who introduced himself as a corporate relationship manager and was acting smart that calls from banks can not be considered telemarketing but offers to customers. I had to silence the smartass by involving the regional manager (+91 98849 00917) and the apex bank team.
  4. And in the meanwhile a lot of telemarketing calls which were duly reported to for unsolicited personal loans.
  5. Worst yet in BankBazaar, if you choose Axis Bank for home loan, credit card or personal loans, they ask you to unsubscribe from NDNC and then only offer to process your application.
  6. And after the contract got complete, the first thing I did was to close the Axis Bank account but immediately I got a call telling personal loan on the basis of relationship with the bank!
  7. This time I engaged PgPortal and Axis Bank Nodal Team. They are yet to figure out how to totally unsubscribe customers from their calling lists!

Have you tried calling 1-800-425-5430 helpline which manages complaints in Tamil Nadu against errant auto drivers. It is a toll-free number managed by State Transport Authority (Government of Tamil Nadu). Calling this number from Vodafone gives the response as ‘You may not make calls to the dialled number from this telephone’.

V&R has reported this issue to DoT/TRAI (via PgPortal) and also to Vodafone Social Media (via Twitter)

So if you need to call ASK Helpline meanwhile you may need an alternate cellphone network or a landline to call the same.

According to TRAI any pack that is activated by consumer by any channel (voice, USSD or SMS) is a two-step process. First the request is acknowledged then a confirmation is requested from the consumer. Only one when the consumer responds within a stipulated time, the request is taken up or it is discarded for good.

However, when it comes to Roaming Incoming free pack for Vodafone via USSD, the two step process is totally overlooked. You dial the USSD code and the requested is accepted for processing, the charges are debited from the main account and the pack is activated in a few minutes.

Big Bazaar (a Future Group enterprise) is no doubt a wonderful shopping complex for cost-effective one window shopping for all household goods. However the next time you shop BigBazaar take note of the following hooligans waiting to scam you.

  1. A smiling girl will ask you to fill the details in a coupon promising a lucky draw.
  2. A life time free credit card offered from SBI.

Both of these are scams anyway. For the former, a guy calls from another state number inviting to a hotel in other part of the city for a gift distribution function but they invite you to sign up for a club membership. And the latter is not true either. They levy a lot of charges. And this writer got even a text message with the hotel address where the function is held.

In parallel to Number Portability in Telecom, there is a lesser known portability concept that is also available in Banking and Insurance sectors. Here is how it works.

Savings Account Portability: A savings account could be transferred within any bank between its branches without changing the account number.

Limitations in this system:

  1. It is only within the branch and between its branches. For example, if you have an account with Indian Bank Connaught Place branch you can seamlessly have it transferred to Indian Bank Pallavaram branch. You can not transfer it to Indian Overseas Bank or ICICI Bank.
  2. The modus operandi  is still not clear. Though you can logically approach either the transferor or transferree branches, at times due to lethargic attitude of the staff you are approaching you might get hostile response and may need to force them to accept your porting application.
  3. Despite being a porting vis-a-vis full account opening, you are still expected to give photograph, address and identification documents.
  4. Though the bank is not expected to charge for porting, some egoistic managers levy unscrupulous charges. In this writer’s case, Canara Bank Pimpri to Madambakkam was levied a charge of INR 37 which the latter manager refused to entertain any hearing.
  5. Some banks like Corporation Bank still change the account number during porting process.
  6. Even though the porting is expected to be seamless, the standing instructions and cheque book stands invalid and needs explicit refreshing of the same. Only Internet Banking and ATM services work transparently.
  7. The time framee of porting is ad-hoc. It varies from two business days to four weeks.

Insurance Portability: If you have a non-life insurance you can have it ported to another provider. Life insurance can not be ported as of now.

Limitations:

  1. You need to approach the transferror as against transferree. So the customer service might try to discourage porting and/or even delay/deny the porting unscrupulously unless and otherwise you engage in extensive and expensive appellate exercises to complete the porting.

Authorities controlling the porting:

  1. Telecom. Department of Telecommunications/Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. Lodge complaints at http://pgportal.gov.in/ choosing Telecom Department.
  2. Banking. Reserve Bank of India. Lodge complaints at http://pgportal.gov.in/ choosing Deparment of Financial Services (Banking Division)
  3. Insurance. Insurance Regulatory Development Authority. Lodge complaints at
    1. http://pgportal.gov.in/ choosing Department of Financial Services (Insurance Division).
    2. Integrated Grievance Management System

 

Though we in India take pride to call ourselves as soveriegn secular democratic republic, are we reflecting it by our gestures. At least by way of secularism there seems to be a stiff conflict. A few thoughts on the same are being analyzed here. Take for example the holidays that the banks are being offered in India for the year 2016 here.

A good 60% of the holidays is based on each religion. I am just thinking if Federal Government should consider scrapping all these as mandatory holidays and provide as optional ones so that the each organization can function on these days. Only employees belonging to these religions can take off on those days. That way business can continue as usual. However holidays like Gandhi Jayanthi etc are national interest and should be observed unanimously and as before.

This thought is taken from the way Federal Government in USA works which has only around 10 federal holidays that are non-religious in nature.

This change will also improve religious tolerance in the country and make us truly secular model for the world.

 

This incident happened a few hours before my starting to Thei Pirai Ashtami Pooja. And it has been going along for a while. A bunch of residents in the corner apartment of Gurunathar Street in Rajakilpakkam had been nurturing a kind of core blood-red hatred for Canis Lupus Familiaris. We have been observing this by different gestures.

  1. Some residents pour hot water at dogs/puppies to shoo them.
  2. Some of the apartment entrances have chilli powder thrown all around them to prevent dogs from sitting there. In fact the poor dogs don’t even deface them. They are going outside for their nature calls in camera.
  3. Some apartments give a picture of bleaching powder scattered all over to prevent dogs coming near.
  4. A couple of hard-hearted residents even have steel rods to beat the puppies.

Dog is considered to be vehicle of Kala Bhairava who is considered guru for Shri Shanidev. I am in fact waiting for next Shani Peyarchi so that all these hardcore criminals who have been torturing the dogs would be taken to task by Shanidev.

Coming back to the mainstream discussion. A couple of days before a black dog was carried by animal welfare organization for sterilizing.  She had recently given birth to three puppies. The three puppies had been wandering here and there searching for the dog.

And today, the devils in those apartments were running with the steel rods to hit and kill those puppies. After all those bastards ran away taking rest, we slowly took each puppy one-by-one into our apartment for time-being. Next I had to identify some good animal care shelter. I remember seeing one near Medavakkam and hence called them. They asked us to carry the puppies and drop off at their place. One of our friend offered to come with his bike and we put all the puppies in the bag and took to the shelter and dropped. Both us and puppies heaved a sigh of relief when puppies landed one by one into the cage at shelter. The puppies were planned to be put in the cage for a day till a vet comes and vaccinates them and then it would be roaming free within the shelter campus playing with other dogs.

In another vien, I am seriously disturbed to see our indian laws are not stringent (rather non-existent) when dealing with cruelty to animals.

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