Most of you must have already heard horror stories about people taking a Home loan from SBI and then end up cursing the day they took the decision. I have known people who have promptly moved their home loan applications to another bank so that they could relieve themselves from the nightmare of dealing with The Great State Bank if India.

My nightmare is not about a home loan because I was forewarned and did not touch SBI even with a barge pole. This nightmare is a much basic one and now I know why I have seen so many people shout at the employees of SBI. I am soon going to be one of them.

Geet has a Savings and a PPF account in the Sector -3, Rohini branch, Delhi (IFS code – SBIN0011357) of this amazing bank. Since we have moved to a place quite far away from Rohini, we decided to move the accounts to a branch which is very close to our home. We went to the Rohini branch and submitted a handwritten application. And then we waited and waited and waited.

As far as I know and as far as my experience with other banks go, there is a computer network in all banks and the employee goes to a specific screen on his system and changes the branch code there and voila! your branch is changed. Then the customer must go in the new branch and confirm. Thats it. But things don’t happen this way in SBI.

After almost 20 days of submitting the application, I went confidently into the branch close to my house to confirm that both the accounts have been moved and I was told that they are still in Rohini. Now, even if someone finds it difficult to locate an alphabet on the keyboard (as most of SBI employees do), I do not believe that the employee will take 20 days to press a few keys and move the account.

I came back home and called up the Rohini branch.

a) They had no idea that such an application existed.

b) They were very cool about the fact that the accounts have not been moved. “Why don’t you come to the branch and resubmit the application” – the guy at the other end said. “I have many other things to do in my life. Make sure they are transferred and I will call again” – I shouted back.

I called back again after 4 days.

“Sorry the staff is not available due to Diwali.”

“But today is not Diwali.”

“They will be available on Friday.”

I called back again on Friday.

“Sorry but madam has not reached yet. She will look into it.”

“When does your office open?”

“10”

“And she is not in even by 11?”

“Uh-uh”

“So you guys are treating it as a Sarkari Daftar (Government office)?”

I then called up after 11. A lady picked up the phone. I explained her the situation and asked her to check in her system whether the accounts have been moved or not.

“Sorry I don’t have a system.”

“Can someone else check it?”

“Can you come in the branch?”

“I don’t think so. I submitted the application 1 month back. It surely does not take that long to move an account from one branch to another. Please check it.”

She then talked to someone and the call was disconnected. I called again. I called nine times (yes, I counted) before a guy picked up the phone.

“Sorry sir, no one is available right now.”

“Connect me to your manager.”

“Manager is not there, he has been transferred.”

“Your bank is working without a manager?”

“Yes.”

I do not have any inclination of continuing with this godforsaken bank. And before I forget, after your account is moved to another branch (if it is ever moved), you have to fill the application in that branch as well. It is as good as opening a new account. Yeah, it is completely sarkari and disgusting.

The staff was completely ill-prepared and lazy and was not able to help me at all. They basically want people to run around them like dogs and lick their feet so that the employees might take pity at them and do the work.

Two other really bad incidents with SBI –

a) Geet applied for a cheque book and gave an application in the Rohini branch. The cheque book came and all the cheques carried her maiden name which was changed in the bank records almost a year back. SBI is basically fine with wasting everyone’s time and their own resources too.

b) My mother-in-law had to go to the Rohini branch 4 times to get an entry in her passbook as no one was available at the window. She is 65.

The Citizen Charter of SBI states that –

a satisfied customer is the most important factor for growth of its business.

Seriously SBI? No Shit! I have seen too many people abusing your staff for testing their patience to believe that your employees have no idea that they are not supposed to treat everyone as scum.

I will keep harassing the staff at Rohini over the phone to get my accounts transferred. I hope I will not be too much trouble.Β  I also have raised an online complaint at your website if you care to know.