February 3, 2011

The impatient generation!!

We? Nah. In face we are the transition generation. As teenagers we stood in the queues to pay electricity bill, to get cash from the bank, to get reservation in the train, to buy ticket for movie and what not. By the way in those days not many houses used to have a telephone connection.

At the turn of new century things changed drastically for us. As adults, with the advents of credit cards and internet, we hardly needed to stand in queues for things, especially things mentioned as above. Along with these there have been influx of quite a many private service providers for things affecting our daily lives. You just give a call to customer care and someone comes down to collect cheque for the payment. Businesses now have facility to remind consumer of their due payments or car servicing and things like that. 

So far so good. We are now used to fast and efficient services and rightly so. But looks like things need further improvement if I go by my experience today.

With financial year closing there are quite a few investment policies for which due date is nearing and I thought of paying dues for all of them today. I chose to go offline mode for this.

I started with Bajaj Allianz. To pay the premium all I had to do was to give the cashier my policy no. and then make payment by the credit card. The whole process took not more than 10 min. including waiting time. In fact I always have same good experience with them. 

Next in line was Kotak Mahindra Old Mutual. With places directory app on my android phone I searched for nearest centre of Kotak. Though the listing has a phone no. also , phone was constantly busy. Anyway, based on the addressed I got in the places directory I reached the centre in no time. Shock no. one, they don't issue receipt the same day if the payment is made by cheque or dd (I wonder who makes dd for this purpose) and the bigger shock, they dont accept payment by card. What the hell? A bank as big as Kotak Mahindra does not accept credit card because they don't have the machine. I thought of paying by cash, but there system was down. OMG. #fail. By the way I tried to pay online also, but their system says no due.

Next was ICICI Pru. All these years I have been handing over the cheque for premium to the agent and he has been very good in his services. This year has been different. Again the places directory came handy in finding the office location of ICICI Pru. Once there they asked me to fill a form for making payment by credit card. There way is little different. Even they don't have credit card swiping machine but they can facilitate offline. After taking necessary details they gave me the acknowledgement.

So if big banks like Kotak and icici still don't accept payment by credit card I don't have patience to go and withdraw money from bank and make payment. I am better off using on line mode of payment. I just did for LIC :)

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