October 2006

Online Security Device — Hidden Truth

The latest innovation from HSBC India is bringing in of some sort of Online Security Device (handheld) which generates a random six digit code each time you logon to online@HSBC. But I really wonder how effective is this device on the following arguments?

  1. Compared to ICICI Bank or UTI Bank (powered by Finnacle) which has two passwords like login and transaction passwords, I think this is not that much secure.
  2. The device has a battery life of one year and in case the battery runs out, you can not recharge it. You need to order a replacement device which costs about 350 INR from HSBC Call Center. One more way that HSBC can make money from the customer. I think the manufacturing cost of the device along with other costs should work out to a retail price of just 50 INR and hence the entire 300 INR should be a huge profit for HSBC India considering the amount of credit card customers they have. The call center too is not able to justify the battery life time.
  3. If you lose the device you can not login to HSBC Online till you get the device.
  4. One of my friend was fighting for more than one and half month till the device was despatched. His online@HSBC got deactivated till a device logon was furnished but the device did not reach him.
  5. With the amount of laxity of backoffice staff and inertia, you need to wait for one month till a statement or report comes from HSBC India. And more further HSBC India has too many bad people handing the staff. I think instead of fleecing the customers like this, they can try cleaning up their staff first. Check out this HSBC Employee fraud in Bangalore.

A Moratorium Experience in my Team

Is it always the case when banks only experience moratorium? A dictionary.com definition of moratorium says that “a legally authorized period to delay payment of money due or the performance of some other legal obligation, as in an emergency“.

With a critical delivery deadline, I had an interesting experience with a team member running amuck behind only his narrow myopic view of satisfying his personal requirements. Also, I could not bear his non-committment attitude since the way he gave the deliverable (or undeliverable) to me. Myself and my other member kept bearing this atrocity and nonchalant attitude for sometime till the BreakEven Point (BEP Analysis). More further, I could not bear with this.

I had to just escalate this to my manager and just say ‘You are relinquished. Report directly and no further route of actions for you is available to me’. For the past one week, he was absconding and one fine day appearing back with a long face and a frowning fuming eyes. I damn bother about these expressions.  As I have already described in my other post, I have only concern and care for the service of the Lord and I am least bothered about such mean fellows who are only driven for their personal satisfactions at the expense of others. And I thank the Lord again for showing me that world also showcases such guys.

By the way, why I have captioned this post as ‘A Moratorium Experience in my Team’. A Moratorium is experienced by a bank when it has more Non Performing Assets that is going to kill its equlibrium. Similarly, I was witnessing a sharp high rise of Non Performing Asset which was killing the tranquility and equilibrium and hence I escalated in the same tone so that instead of the entire bank getting moratorium only the Non Performing Asset (NPA) is remedied for.

Poor Clerical Work at Citibank Chennai

There has been scores of negative discussions and complaints amongst the private banks in Chennai and the guys that top the list are ICICI and Citibank.  Last week a couple of wrong number calls came from a Citibank Personal Loan center. Just wanted to share about these since these wrong number calls were also a fond recall of another similar wrong number incident sometime in my previous residence number.

It was sometime during 2002 when I was staying in Virugambakkam very frequently this call used to come asking for one Mr. Annamalai. I think this fellow has taken some personal loan or has been defaulting in credit card payment  and hence Citibank has been keen of following up with him every now and then. Since the (then) Virugambakkam SI was a close friend of mine and with his help, I traced out this Annamalai’s residence address and number. He took up the issue with Citibank and then the issue stopped.


  1. The wrong number menace has been going for more than one year and this encompasses two bank closing of accounts (Half -Yearly and Annual). How come Citibank had been so lethergic in not able to verify the wrong address? 
  2. Deducing from (1) has the phone number intentionally given by Annamalai wrongly by transposing the digits?
  3. Deducing from (1) and (2) and since a particular women staff was calling frequently, was it a co-alliance between her and him?
  4. Deducing from (3) was this call from the particular girl staff (since 75% of the calls were from her), was it a genuine business call or a love affair?  I actually did’nt want to touch base on thier personal affairs but I had to cover this point for the simple reason that my telephone number was involved in the love triangular affair and for the benefit of other readers in not getting entangled in similar future issues,  I am trying to address and investigate the issue from all perspectives.

My telephone number then was +91 44 23776015
Annamalai’s residence address was:

+91 44 23776105  and his address was:

Annamalai K,
Jayam Flats,
33/5, Ratna Nagar,
Virugambakkam P. O.
Chennai — 600 092.

This wrong dial number was continuing unabated almost for a period of one year inspite of telling the stupid staff regarding no such person and also intimating to indiaservice@citicorp.com Other than the usual autoreply and then a response like ‘We have made corrections’, this menace continued and once the SI intervened this wrong number menace stopped.

And sometime last week there was one call from Citibank staff on my mobile number asking for Abdul. Again I had to shower some blows. I have also explained this to indiaservice@citicorp.com and let me keep posted over the developments. I really don’t know how these private banks are easily escaping from the Apex Bank (RBI) Know Your Customer regulations. Here is a writeup in ‘The Hindu BusinessLine‘.

Thanks to Nirmala for her comment in my post on ICICI Bank about someone having opened an account without proper address verification. I have attached the two documents from Ask4Safety.com here for reader’s information.

[ICICI Bank Lethargy]

Latest Update on November 26, 2006 Chennai Virugambakkam Police Station have unearthed an Eve-Teasing racket played by a telemarketing prankster. This news has appeared in Dinamalar.com (Sunday November 26, 2006) on Page 4.  A screenshot of the same from http://epapaer.dinamalar.com/ is given below for easy recognition of the news in the main newspaper.

[Telemarking Joins Hands with EveTeasing In Chennai]

Human Resource Telemarketing

About sometime back we were discussing about junk telemarketing calls from various financial institutions and credit card agencies. Perhaps for the interested reader, here are a few URLs that we have been discussing:

  1. Unrelented Telemarketing Calls — Total Fun
  2. Do Not Call Registry

I think adding to the list now comes private placement consultants who harvest mobile numbers and email addresses from various sources, call them at odd times, spam them with superflous multiple messages and sometimes the profile positions they solicit simply do not befit the profile itself. This would mean the candidate would meet its prospective organization and then would encounter an embarrasing situation. The organization would think that the candidate is desparate for an offer and the candidate would think that this organization is driving everyone crazy. This, in reality destroys the fine fabric of future rapport and relationship that is to developed between the candidate and organization.  I have been thinking a while to write on this topic but hey curse my laziness that I kept procrastinating and Hey Presto, I caught an impersonating and fraud placement consultant today right after lunch. The fraud came to light since he was attempting to impersonate my previous organization, when the telephone CLI clearly indicated and the head office declined of having any such series of numbers over there currently.

So just thought of sharing this interesting piece of melodrama for others so that both opportunity seekers and organizations can be wary of such unscrupulous and unethical fellows. Though he is a fraud, as deduced from the conversation and as confirmed by post telephonic investigations, I would like to thank the Mr. Anonymous for the simple reason that he had been the source of inspiration for me in writing this weblog as an eye-opener to all career seekers and employers.

Over to the conversational tone.

20 October 2006 13:27 hours: (Just returned from lunch. Since I was staying awake till about 3 AM the previous day attending some calls, I had only brief lunch as not feeling hungry.) [Tring Tring Tring Tring, flashes the number from +914443587274. The junk call was ranging for a call duration of 1 minute and 07 seconds and that amount is waste for the organization from where the prankster called me.

Deepak: Hello. Vasudevan Deepak here.
Mr. Anony: Hello Hello Hello
Deepak: Hello. Vasudevan Deepak here.
Mr. Anony: Hello Hello Hello
Deepak: Hello. Who do you want? Who is calling?
Mr. Anony: Can I speak to Deepak?
Deepak: You are speaking with Vasudevan Deepak.
Mr. Anony: Hello. Hello. Can I speak to Deepak?
Deepak: Yes. What do you want?
Mr. Anony: Hello. Hello. Can I speak to Deepak?
Deepak: (scratches the head and senses that this might be a either some wrong number or a credit card personal loan junk caller.). Yes. This is Vasudevan Deepak here.
Mr. Anony: Is this Mr. Deepak?
Deepak: Hello. What do you want? Who are you?
Mr. Anony: Hey. Why are you talking to me like that? I am calling from your company only. I am calling regarding a PHP opportunity.
Deepak: Can I know  your name and organization from where are you calling? [I presented this question for the simple reason that this number that flashing on the CLI was not a legitimate number of the known circle]
Mr. Anony: You keep the phone down. I will talk to you on Monday, when you come. I know how to tackle guys like you.  I have forces like goondas also.
Deepak: Can I know your name please?
Mr. Anony: [in local vernacular dialect] You keep the phone down. I will talk to you on Monday, when you come. I know how to tackle guys like you.  [and bangs the phone].
Deepak: [whispers] Crazy looks like it. But need to figure out who is this eccentric? [Putting on the Investigation Cap of Views and Reviews]

Simple Inferences about Mr. Anony:

  1. Mr. Anony would have had some family problem in the morning and since he might have been impotent to rebuke or retaliate there, he is trying to shower his emotions or vent his anger on some one else. Poor chap. He needs more a psychic counselling on how to seperate personal and professional works.
  2. There had been one more such incidence sometime about six months back. Check it out here. But here, since the organization name was immediately known as the eccentric blabbered it in the conversation, I could immediately contact Arka, who is head and who could sort out the issue at war-footing basis and ‘advise’ him and also counsel him in more soothing psychic terms.

Now comes the investigation I have taken and found out the same.

  1. I alerted a couple of my friends regarding this and we planned to stage a plot to first find out where he is calling from and where he is heading and who is the brain behind him to give him the key for this drama.
  2. We tried to call Airtel Mobile Services and Airtel Landline Services since the victim and the accused numbers belonged to the respective networks (98400 26014 and +914443587274). But these jokers at the call center could not help and suggested some wild routes. This had been our topic of interest earlier.
  3. One of my friend by this time directly called the accused number pretending to be a different person and found that he was calling on behalf of ‘Cybernetsoft‘. And here comes the catch. Either this should be an impersonator or someone else driving him or an outsourced placement consultant. I should save my previous organization and alert them of this malady immediately.  I tried to call both Synaptris Decisions, Nungambakkam and Cybernet Software, Mylapore and confirmed one thing — the major breakthrough.  The service provider there is completely Tata Teleservices and there is nothing for Airtel to play around. So this guy is an impersonator.
  4. And the persons I have talked were I know very well. They have taken the number and time and they are parallely checking the same too.
  5. I think there is a saying in Tamil that a well-crafted thief who meticulously does the plans of door breaking always leaves one signage left behind. And this well-crafted crooked prankster had blabbered the name of my organization only to be entrapped very soon. Just a bit of 15 minutes melodrama to unearth his treacherous prank or plot and about 20 minutes to draft this conversational tone for the benefit of the world and other readers.

I think this would be a very best learning and a great eye-opener for any organization or career seeker to be wary of such pranksters. Chennai is known for these in huge magnitude and intensity.
Well. It is currently Diwali time. I would like to greet the readers a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali and also let us pray the Lord that he should slay down and eradicate such culprits from the face of the world just like he slay the wicked king Narakasura and make the world a peaceful place to live in.

Civic Elections — Rehearsal To Thier Shows After Selections

It has been a totally disgusting and chaotic scenes in the metropolitan city of Chennai yesterday on 13th October, 2006, when the first phase of civic elections were being conducted. There are very many negative points with respect to this election, which were brewing from the stage of planning.

  1. Contrary to the normal election process of legislative assemblies, they were planning and using ballot papers instead of Electronic Voting Machines. This is almost going back in the stone age, since ballot papers introduces more logistics cost, maintanability, counting time is more and security problems.
  2. The Government machinery from both Central and State was illicitly mobilised to support the calls of the ruling party. Oppostion parties were ruthlessly slammed and suppressed by the police in various parts of the state. Source: http://epaper.tamilmurasu.in/ and http://www.dinamalar.com/
  3. Inspite of additional security forces being mobilised from various other states, there were large scale incidents of booth capturing, bogus voting, attack on candidates and rampant vandalism on its own spree. Check out this report from Teluguportal. The opposition party (AIADMK) leader, Puratchi Thalaivi Dr. J. Jayalalitha has rightly alleged that, as said in the report that the election commissioner who ought have supervised the proceedings had been taken refuge in an unknown hideout.

Sometime back we were discussing about Street Fights in the Tamil Nadu Legislative assembly. Now I think even before the selection in the election, these jerks have started to rehearse on the fights that they have to stage in the legistative assembly and corporation hall arena. Shame on these guys and we call them as our People’s representatives!

The furore of Clemency in India

The death sentence of terrorist Afzal has been brewing a large amount of uproars and upheavals through out the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere. So what’s going on? Afzal has been a noted terrorist that committed a heinous crime of attacking the Indian Constitutions’ most sacred place (“Sansad Bhavan”) in New Delhi sometime during December 2001. And the jury has rightly given him the Death Sentence.

The only things that were about to save him was he being following the Islam principles and the current month is Ramzan — holy month. I really don’t understand why Kashmir and elsewhere common people has to support pleading clemency for a terrorist. It is pretty sure that who claim clemency for such underworld people would naturally can not be just common people but terrorists on that pretext.  There are various interesting developments over this perspective. A few of them are:

  1. Pleading by 2001 Victim’s widows to Indian President on the day of Karva Chauth that clemency petition be denied. Check out this IBN Live news.
  2. When, How and Where can Clemency be judiciously deployed by Presidents and Governors?
  3. From the pages of “The History of India” — Clemency Canning — The most right way clemency was used during Sepoy Mutiny. The excellent and elegant way the then Governor General advocated clemency to the various people besides giving less punishment to the people involved in upheavals got him the name ‘Clemency Canning’.

Ban of Auto in Chennai

Sometime back we have been discussing how much acute and intense are the problems with autorickshaws in Chennai particularly with respect to the acute overcrowding of the same as also fleecing of passengers. It has almost become like a  daylight dacoity of every auto driver fleecing the passengers. For those interested the past topics that we have been discussing on Views and Reviews is here:

  1. Modes of Commutation in Chennai
  2. Escaping from Pocket Pickers and making celebrations colorful

About two days back, while reading through the Tamil Murasu evening daily, I found an article where a Chennaite had filed a petition in the high court to bring a ban of autos within the Chennai limit citing overloading, fleecing and haphazard parking in the roads leading to traffic chaos. You can check out Tamil Murasu ePaper over here and this news is available in the archive of 4th September, 2006 Page 3.  A screenshot of the news clip is given below for quick reference and identification in the archive.

[Ban on Autos]

I think it would greatly help to ease the traffic discipline in Chennai besides a great help for public transportation services which are greatly disturbed by some of the auto drivers enjoying bliss due to the connivance of the political parties.

Modes of Computation in Chennai

At least with respect to transportation, Chennai is blessed that the Metropolitan Transport  Corporation is never overloaded anywhere. Thanks to the previous regime of AIADMK government led by Puratchi Thalaivi Dr. J. Jayalalitha that small taxi-like vehicles (branded as share autos) supplement the bus services. This brings some relief to passengers from heavy surging crowds in the buses. I admit that share autos do overcrowd for getting some more profit to manage through the ever-increasing fuel tariffs. In fact, we have discussed this sometime back over here.

Well! The purpose of this post is to briefly guide the user on various available modes of transportation available in Chennai so that a new visitor can best plan his logistics economically and saving an undue pressure on his wallet.

  1. Public Transport Roadway The best known transport service in Chennai is [Bus]operated by the State-owned Metropolitan Transport Corporation. It has almost 24×7 operations to ferry passengers up and down through almost every possible nook and corner of the city.
  2. (Call) Auto (or) Autorickshaws (or) Auto This is the next [Auto]best known transport service in Chennai.We are prefixing ‘Call’ so as to unambigiously identify this mode of commutation in the city. But be wary that you need to be careful regarding the charges levied by the drivers. There are no rigid laws in place and hence a very careful bargainer can do away with 10 Rs. from Tambaram to Pallavaram or Airport and a newbie would be paying as high as 200 Rs. for the same distance. The name ‘auto’ is a shorthand version of ‘autorickshaw’ which was derived from its predecessor ‘cycle rickshaw’, where the driver used to manually pedal the vehicle and ferry the passengers. With engines fitted to the same and many evolutions in place, this is now called as ‘auto’. We can call them ‘Call Autos’ since it comes right at your doorstep to pick you and drop you unlike Public Transport where you need to go the designated terminuses and bus stands.
  3. Share Autos These are subsidised version of auto, which look like car and offer to [Share Auto]ferry passengers between arterial places. It would wait for more number of passengers in that route and then once enough people join, the fare would be shared by all.
  4. Taxi Once upon a time for passengers alighting from Central Station, this was the only mode of transport. It was actually an Ambassador car but running with meters fitted. Compared to autos, it is more safer and comfortable in terms of journey. Currently you can hire and take taxi services in Chennai Central and Chennai Airport.
  5. Call Taxi These services are derivatives of Taxi. They are operated by using Call [Call Taxi]Center strategies, meaning, you are expected to call a particular number, book your route taxi by giving your name, address, contact telephone number etc. Ranging from a minimum of 45 minutes to the time you specify, a call taxi would come to your doorstep to pick you up and drop at the designated location.
  6. Metro Railways [Train]The Railways too usher in the transport services of Chennai to a great extent, albeit the metro coverage is fairly restricted. They have Northern stretch covering from Chennai Central towards Arakkonam through Ambattur, Avadi etc. Southern stretch covers from Chennai Egmore to Tambaram and then to Tiruchi. There is a Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) which is currently operational between Chennai Beach and Mylapore and cuts across the city as flyovers. They have plans to extend this to Velacherry. This is a great system since you can have a picturesque view of the city, albeit the services are very limited, since it is nascent stages of evolution.
  7. Lesser Known Transport Modes
    1. Private Travel operators do offer to ferry passengers between arterial places like Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus (CMBT) and Tambaram etc. but the services are offered only when they have some trip in that route.
    2. Private Van Operators between places like Velacherry and Tambaram etc.
  8. Share Taxi At the moment, there is no such thing called ‘Share Taxi’. I am just trying to make a suggestion through this forum at least to make the lexicographical permutation and combination complete like (Call Auto, Call Taxi, Share Auto and Share Taxi). May be the administration can bring in Taxi in the similar style like Share Auto, which would offer two advantages:
    1. Subsidised Taxi Services to all.
    2. Bring back the taxi services that were reigning the city but currently getting extinct because of Autos.