Citizens Court

If you had tried using the online reservation facility with Indian Railways the most common setbacks that you witness are below.

  1. Steep service charges
  2. Payment Gateway charges
  3. Daylight robbery in case you chose to cancel the tickets.

A petition to this effect to rationalize the charges was sent to the office of Prime Minister on 20 March 2017 vide PMOPG/E/2017/0154217 and a response was obtained on 3rd July 2017 as below.

1. Railway has already withdrawn the service charge of Rs 30/- applicable on transactions against Credit and Debit Cards for purchasing journey tickets w.e.f. 18/05/2016 in case of PRS tickets and 22/12/2016 in case of unreserved tickets. However, the service charge collected by respective banks on use of cards is not under the control of Indian Railway. 2. Cancellation of tickets involves two transactions, namely, one for booking and another for cancellation. Clerkage and cancellation charges are levied to cover the cost of service for issuing and cancellation of tickets which include cost of staff, heavy investment for providing booking/cancellation facility through internet and providing PRS counters even at smaller stations, maintenance cost of the systems, etc. Cancellation charge has been kept high to prevent and curb the malpractice of overbooking and hoarding.

Most of the service providers in banking and telecom in India have stopped giving Toll Free number for customer service and are either charging for agent assistance or having the agents service on the Toll number. Some of them like Citibank have customer service on 860 PREMIUM telephone line.

For example,

  1. Airtel 121 Toll Free for IVR 50 paise per minute for Agent
  2. Vodafone 111 -do-
  3. Idea Customer Care does not exist.
  4. Tata Docomo 198 Complaints number is also chargeable
  5. Citibank 860 PREMIUM
  6. ICICI Local

We sent a request to the office of Prime Minister vide PMOPG/E/2017/0361055 on 30th June 2017 regarding the above to take steps to ensure all service providers have a TOLL FREE 1800 number for customer service which is an international standard.

As per their response on 6th July 2017 that it is a policy matter and need to dealt by TRAI, the petition was forwarded to the following personnel in TRAI.


I had reported to #TANGEDCO on 30 September 2016 with the following petition text and the response from them came on 25 May 2017.

Petition Text:

Dear Team, The TANGEDCO website payment interface has been non-functional now at least for the third consecutive week. I had a power bill payment due. At least a dozen requests to TANGEDCO team has elicited sparse response after which I paid a visit to the local office to make the payment. The local office person told lot of people are complaining the same and also at times their server also is kind of slow. Can you take up the issue with the software/hardware vendor for TANGEDCO and get the issue rectified asap? Thanks and Regards, Deepak Vasudevan

Response from TANGEDCO


I am not sure if TANGEDCO is going in the right direction with this amount of lethargy and inertia in them.

Unlike Mumbai, in Chennai and TamilNadu, erstwhile TNEB (now TANTRANSCO and TANGEDCO) is having the monopoly in  power transmission and distribution. This leads to large scale bureocratic red tapes and corruption along with stale technology adoption. We submitted two petitions to Government of Tamil Nadu as below.

  1. GOVTN/E/2016/02955 (on 19th December 2016)
  2. GOVTN/E/2016/02957 (on 19th December 2016)

The text and response for the first petition is as below.

Petition: Dear Team, TANGEDCO is getting non-competitive and also lesser efficient these days at least in the perspective of bill payment. Most of the service providers in other parts of the country have tieups with providers like Freecharge, Paytm etc so that they have redundant payment interfaces so that if one goes down, another will manage the load. But since TANGEDCO has a single proprietary online payment and a few months back there was an outage which made a huge surge on offline counters forcing undue load on them. Can you look into the same and get TANGEDCO onboard a few bill payment services like PayTM, Freecharge and a host of others? Thanks and Regards, Deepak Vasudevan

Response on 25 May 2017:

TANGEDCO have already provided facility for making online payment of Electricity Bill by Net Banking, Payment Gateway:Debit Card/Credit Card), Mobile Banking, Branch Counter, Mobile App, ATM collection etc. through the following 20 banks and is going on successfully to enhance the consumer’s satisfaction :- Net Banking 1. AXIS Bank, 2. ICICI Bank, 3. City Union Bank, 4. Karur Vysya Bank, 5. Bank of Baroda, 6. HDFC Bank, 7. Punjab National Bank, 8. Canara Bank, 9. Central Bank of India, 10. Federal Bank, 11. Lakshmi Vilas Bank, 12. State Bank of India 13. Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank, 14. TNSC Bank, 15. Indian Bank, 16. Indian Overseas Bank, 17. IDBI, 18. State Bank of Travancore, 19. Union Bank of India, 20. Bank of India Payment Gateway:Debit Card 1.Canara Bank, 2. Indian Bank, 3. Indian Overseas Bank, Payment Gateway:Credit Card 1. AXIS Bank, 2. ICICI Bank, 3. Bank of Baroda, 4. IDBI, Mobile Banking 1.City Union Bank, 2.Karur Vysya Bank, 3. Lakshmi Vilas Bank, 4.Tamil Nadu Mercantile, 5.Indian Bank – Mobile Banking SMS Mode, Branch Counter 1.City Union Bank., 2.Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank, 3. Lakshmi Vilas Bank Mobile App 1. Indian Bank ATM 2.Tamil Nadu Mercantile Bank, Inspite of many online payment interfaces are already provided to the consumers, necessary efforts have already been taken by the TANGEDCO for engaging online collection through PAYTM in the alternative mode of payment channel and are under process.

The text and response of the second petition is as below.

Petition Text: Dear Team, We would need to have a radical renaissance of TANGEDCO. It is good that TNEB was birfurcated into TANGEDCO and TRANTRANSCO. It would be best if like Mumbai we had some private players like Tata and Reliance thus infusing more healthy competition in the market besides active growth. Thanks and Regards, Deepak Vasudevan

Petition Response (on 25 May 2017)

As per rules and regulations of the Board action will be taken by the Board.

On an average, Tamil Nadu Electricity Board takes six months to work on the petition.

Today I visited Anna Nagar (W) Extension Post Office next to HP Petrol Bunk and Ambattur Revenue Office in order to open a savings account which I had been intending for a very long time. A few of the observations from this post office are hereunder.

  1. After filling the form, they unnecessarily insisted on turning me back citing necessity of ‘Witness’ in the form. A good samaritan who was also trying to open the account volunteered to affix the witness for me.
  2. When my turn came in counter, she told me no ATM card and try visiting after MAY END. What is going on? For a simple ATM card I should wait for a month and a half and even after that I should try asking them?
  3. When I asked at least if I would get a passbook she told yes but only on Monday. Something was wrong, I sensed and asked are you sure it is Monday and she affirmatively replied Yes Monday. Interestingly, Monday is May Day and I think it is a federal and state holiday in India.
  4. When I tried to give a 2000 rupee note to open an account with 1000 rs. she turned me again asking to get a change. Another rude behavior.
  5. When I gave two 500 rupee notes she was asking me weird questions like ‘Why are you opening account here when you are in Tambaram area’ (I told my workplace is nearby and by the time I cross Tambaram the counters there would not have opened).
  6. Next question she made is give the list of all NSC certificates that you have so that she need to cross verify and give the same CIF for this account. Some of my NSC is from Pune.

I don’t understand the essence of these crazy things and I can only infer if she was trying to avoid servicing the account opening request and was attempting all different ploy to achieve her goal. IndiaPost is doing a very hard work in marketing its savings account and banking business and your service is absolutely wonderful but these bad workforce are indeed spoiling the hard earned image of the department.

Response from Postal Department on 5th May 2017

It is season again for Axis Bank telemarketers. This time on 22nd March 2017 around 4.30 PM,  one Ms. Kavitha called me from 79047 55927 but Truecaller shows the name as Vinodha Jio. She was literally begging to take personal loans because her supervisor is forcing her to do it. Not sure she is being subjected to some kind of trafficking or workplace harassment but that is another story.

Coming back to the main story of Axis Bank Telemarketing in Chennai this latest call incident occured at
22nd March 2017 and 23rd March 2017

Looks like another round of telemarketing menace is budding with Axis Bank Chennai telemarketers.

I am not sure if Shikha Sharma is capable of dealing with her enterprise’ Chennai operations? I would suggest her to either quit or wind up the banking operations in Chennai because she doesn’t seem to be having a good control in this region.

And whenever an issue with Axis Bank telemarketer is escalated to you, the Chennai operations seem to be bribing the local law enforcement and making them to call us threatening us to withdraw the complaint so that they can continue their business as usual. Last year three police sub-inspectors were caught red handed doing this. Their names are: 1) Dhanasekaran (2) Anandan and (3) Purushottaman along with anonymous person who was introducing himself as an advocate for Axis Bank Chennai operations.

A copy of the report is sent to the following via CpGrams:

  1. Department of Financial Services (Banking) DEABD/E/2017/08657
  2. Government of Tamil Nadu regarding alleged irregularity with their police department GOVTN/E/2017/00801
  3. Office of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to take into account considering law and order breakage in one of the states whose capital city is competing to be smart city candidate. PMOPG/E/2017/0170588
  4. Department of Telecommunications FYI DOTEL/E/2017/09598

Additional Reading:

  1. Suspicious Central Government Job Recruitment address verification through Police Department
  2. Reporting a telemarketing call on @AxisBank auto invites fake inquiry calls from local law enforcements

We have been observing that most MTC Buses are now using the 100 feet road in Velachery and have stopped using Velachery Main Road. We have sent the following petition to Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC)/State Transport Department/Traffic Enforcement (Velachery) vide GOVTN/E/2017/00456

As far we have observed most MTC buses are now avoiding the stretch between Vijayanagar Terminus upto Gurunanak college via (Velachery Main Road) and are preferring 100 feet road in both the directions. This area is serving a lot of residential and business houses besides religious establishments and hospitals. What is the workaround proposed by MTC? At least a few small buses should be introduced. Currently because of lack of services autos are striking reign of terror in the area.

Response on 27th April 2017 from MTC:

In this regard it is informed that due to bridge work at Velachery main road the buses which are operated towards Velachery was diverted over 100 ft road by the traffic Police. However the buses which are operated from Velachery towards Saidapet are operated on through of Velachery Main road as one way. Once the bridge work is completed the bus operation will be restored in orginal route course. Also small buses are operated in norrow roads. Where conventional buses cannot be operated to connect main road or nearby terminus. Hence, it is not feasible to operate small buses in this stretch. Lr.No.118/22048/TRG3/MTC/2017. Dated.21.04.2017.

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