Inefficiency, negligence, mismanagement and lack of coordination still remain the hallmark of our fast-expanding banking sector in the country that are causing embarrassment to the customers of the banks. In December 2017,
I reported the hat-trick of headaches caused by the UBL’s flawed internet banking system which not only delayed my commercial event in Karachi, but also deprived me of the chance of earning a good amount of revenue.
On April 3, 2018, the United Bank branch in Khayaban-e-Shamsheer, DHA Phase-V, Karachi, suddenly emptied my bank account taking the plea that the credit that the UBL reversed into my bank account in Feb-2018 against my complaint was the result of mistake by the UBL staff. The UBL branch emptied my bank account just four days before my next corporate and social event in Islamabad (on April 7) at Hotel Crown Plaza. In simple words, the follies and flawed banking of the UBL has damaged my two corporate and social events – one in Karachi and the other in Islamabad, causing me a huge financial loss, immeasurable stress and mental torture as well.
My trouble with UBL begins from second week of December 2017. On Dec 9, 2017, I lodged a complaint with the UBL Customer Service department about three failed internet sessions. The CS department of UBL issued a complaint No. 13121709316 and assured me that the complaint will be resolved within the timeframe the department had mentioned in its email. By mid-Feb 2018, I got an SMS from the UBL pertaining to the reverse-credit into my bank account. On Feb 17, 2018, I immediately sent another email to the customer-service department of the UBL and pointed out that the payment that had been reversed into my bank account against my claim was much more than the claim. I requested the CS department to point out the exact amount of my claim and also clarify as to why the amount of reversed credit was much more than the claim. My purpose of sending this message was to make sure that this was not the result of any mistake by the UBL staff.
On Feb 19, 2018, I received final email from the UBL in which the CS department stated that “dear customer your complaint for ATM transaction dispute with reference No. 13121709316 has been closed after due processing. Please contact the helpline for details. Soon after this email, I also got a phone-call from the helpline in which the UBL staffer said that your complaint has been settled and closed now. When I told that the amount was more than the claim, the UBL staff member said that the amount has been credited into your account against your claim.
In addition to contact the customers-service department, I also made three/four calls on the helpline of the bank to verify the factual position about the excess payment against my claim and the helpline staff also maintained that the payment was made against your claim. Not a single time, neither the helpline staff nor the customer service department pointed out that the reverse credit was the outcome of the mistake of the UBL staff.
So after confirming from the helpline and CS department, I got the impression that the UBL has compensated me by making excess payment as the three-consecutive failed inter-net sessions of payment to Facebook delayed the promotion of my event and also caused negative impact on our anticipated income from that event in Karachi.
However, my this feeling proved short-lived and on April 3, 2018, a female staff member of the UBL branch in Khayaban-e-Shamsheer DHA Phase-V, Karachi, contacted me, for the first time and two months after reverse-payment that the payment was the outcome of mistake and kindly deposit the money bank into your account that you have utilized. I told her that the helpline and customer service department of the UBL have closed my complaint after due process and none of them pointed out that it was a mistake. She said that neither the helpline nor the customer service department knew about the factual position of the payment and that the UBL is going to terminate the banker who made this reverse-payment by mistake.
Now the question is that the UBL is one of the largest commercial banks in Pakistan and what is the purpose of running the helpline and customer service department, if they know nothing about the nature of the complaint that they are handling for more than two months.
Finally, I have taken up this issue with my lawyer, who is filing a damage suit against the bank for damaging my two corporate and social events and causing me unwanted embarrassment without my fault. For how long, we, the customers of banks, would continue to suffer at the hands of incompetent, inexperienced and non-serious bankers?