It was great watching them grow. Slowly, but surely they were gaining in size. Someday, after they grew to a reasonable size, I could trade them for my dream gift. I kept feeding them, checking back regularly to assess whether it was time. To my greatest despair, one fine day they all disappeared. No warnings, no tell tale signs – Just vanished into thin air. My ICICI credit card reward points – All gone in a day! All my hard work, in vain.
Of course, ICICI has a call center and I should be able to get help – All’s not lost, I said to myself, as I dialed their toll free number. The machine greeted me with a big ‘hello’ while it played a soothing music in the background. I could use some of that. So far, so good. The machine informed me that there were a few callers ahead of me, and I would have to hang on for approximately 6 minutes before some human talks to me. No problem, I could hang on. While I was waiting, recorded messages urged me to take a loan, buy insurance, and do a whole lot of other things (banking related, of course). Some even sounded like they were giving away money for free, and what a jack ass I was for not availing their facilities so far. Finally, I heard a faint cluck, and I braced myself in readiness to speak to a ‘representative’. Not so fast. It was the machine lady, who said they were experiencing heavy traffic today, and that I would have to wait a bit longer. My patience started to wear off as I switched to the speaker mode while I continued with my work.
A few minutes later, I grew tired of waiting and disconnected. I called up the number again, and this time, I chose the menu option for ‘Lost Cards’. The machine got back saying that they would not be able to answer my call because of a huge call volume. I realized that they wouldn’t answer me if I selected the service options (specifically ‘Report Loss of Card’ and ‘For other credit card related questions’ menu options). Maybe I should try the ‘Apply for a new credit card’ option; they would surely bite that – who would turn down an opportunity for a sale, right? And so, I dialed that option. It worked! This time, I got straight thru to a human voice. I explained my problem to him, as he listened patiently. Finally after I was done, he told me that I had reached the wrong support department and that he would transfer me to the right one. Before I got a chance to respond, he switched me over to the machine lady. I held on for a few minutes before I disconnected again. I lost faith in Call centers that day.
The next day, I got in touch with the account manager through email. After a few mail exchanges, I got to know that ICICI had tied up with some ‘Mint’ card, that they’d transferred all my points to my new Mint card, and that I should be receiving the card shortly (within a week or 2).
It’s been more that 2 months now, and I am still waiting for my Mint card. Exemplary customer service, I should say.