An interesting encounter with Citibank Telemarketer — Investigation Results

For those who have actively followed my other post on ‘An interesting encounter with Citibank Telemarketer‘, here are some more information to share. Initially, I was planning to update the same post as comments but eventually the later developments, related observations on the various accused parties qualified this post to be an independant new one instead of bieng as a latent comment.

Till the day I started to Dallas on Feb 13, 2007; a guy claiming to be Citibank Manager wanted to meet on the incident. I have informed him that I have no free slots/schedules for the next three months and we can meet next only after May 11, 2007. In the meanwhile, I could learn from home that Citibank still seemed to have made a significant amount of calls, which my mobile kept recording as missed calls.

Coming to the other party, Redhy Palakatil Issac seemed to have been showing extra-ordinary proactiveness in negotiating deals with the telemarketer with almost a call every hour. Again as the parent post indicates, there was no clue for his showers-of-kindness to the telemarketer. I wouldn’t like to drag into describing it beyond the Views and Reviews principles and policies. However, there were certain relationship speculations that a citibank supporter Kumaraswamy had given in the parent post and I have replied there too.

After the return on May 11, I just thought of opening the file again by dusting it. Now Citibank seemed to have a different screwup to depict. For the same case reference number, after the usual three to five business days, I got the following response:

Dear Mr. Maheshwary,This is with reference to your email dated May 14, 2007.We are concerned to note the dissatisfaction expressed in your mail, with regard to the call received from one of our executives.We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused to you in this regard.We confirm having shared your feedback to the concerned department and assure that such instances does not recur.We have also updated our records to ensure that you do not receive any unsolicited calls from our end at your numbers 1412711671 and 22743617 .Should you have any other telephone numbers, please intimate, for us to update our records.

As per the process we will require 30 days to register a customer for Do Not Call Service. This is required to ensure that the calling lists available with our different partners are provided with this feedback.

We assure you of our best attention at all times.

Warm Regards,

Officer – Customer Care

“The information contained in this message is confidential and intended only for the use of the individual or entity identified. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution or copying of the information in this message is strictly prohibited. If you have received this message by error, please notify the sender immediately.”

So, the following points can be deduced from the latest screwup:

  1. The reference numbers that Citibank gives does not have a good enough time period of even 6 months, which is normal for a bank cheque.
  2. Within a short timespan, the reference numbers are assigned to a different customer.
  3. Even if (1) and (2) are not true, then it still means a more hilarious comedy or a severe mistake of swapping customer responses — landmark bug.

When I brought this to the attention of Citibank, the next three business days was like investigation for them. Then they seemed to have sorted it out.

Today I got a call from one Mr. Abhit introducing himself as Personal Loans Relationship Manager (914442226033). He conveyed and declared the issue resolved claiming the following. Let us now hope the issue does not crop up any further with any more customers.

  1. It was purely the telemarketers fault to keep persistently disturbing the customer inspite of non-interest conveyed and also being in the Do Not Call Registry.
  2. There is a gross overlook of things by Redhy Palakital Issac. This typically reflects how people are careless.
    1. Just to satisfy their bestial instincts and/or of monetary pleasures, people just try to rent/sell of friends/family relationships to anyone.

So, this case has been a huge success story for us in more ways than one.

  1. A good incident where a telemarketing scam was unearthed at even in its inception.
  2. As part of the investigation spree, I could fondly recall that Srinivas Thirunagari (the then CEO and now Chairman of my previous organization). I clearly have the words ringing even now afresh and as green. The words might not be verbatim but at least stick to the context and convey the essence. “Let us try to be as magnanimous and generous to all and at all occasions as far as possible. Even these evil pranksters help us in a significant way. We should thank them for serving and helping us as guinea pigs in our learning labs”. I really salute him for his extreme optimism in looking at any things.