Consumers in the 21st century have less protection then they did in the 20th

I read last week  Steve Blank’s article  When Product Features Disappear – Amazon, Apple and Tesla and the Troubled Future for 21st Century Consumers . Today I had experienced from Citibank and I am customer for their credit card and debit card services  for last 12 years.

I submitted a cheque to make my credit card payment on November 3. The cheque was not en-cashed till November 10  and was  informed by the back that no cheque received was  in their side(confirmed on phone and on email). In addition to be advised to make payment, I was communicated that  interest charges might get applied for delay in payment.  It was push back  . I made the payment on  November 14.

I get a message on November  22 they are processing my cheque. As money in bank account has been moved, I called CitiBank and asked to stop cheque  processing. The executive pointed agreed on the earlier communication that cheque has not been received and been asked to make  payment in alternate approach. The executive communicated that they are not in position to stop processing and  asked me to issue stop payment of cheque to my banker. It was push back and no customer service. There was a promise to remove bounce charges in the credit card processing end.

My banker called me and share of cheque and insufficient funds and I shared the story. We did not go ahead with stop payment. The cheque was processed and bounce charges are incurred in both credit card and bank account.

From December 1, the credit card shows issues. Payments are getting denied for my wife and she starts using alternate methods I have same challenge with on-line payments and ended up paying with alternate methods. I called to CitiBank and was pointed that due to cheque bounce, the account has been blocked and was advised to make payment. It was push back again. I shared with him that money was paid on December 14 and the executive asked me to provide proof for payment. The tone was more of “I am solve your problem , created by you“. It took me 20 minutes to explain the executive that it is bank’s problem. The executive is not able to provide time when the card will get activated and proposed to get back 2 days and there are other people waiting on the call. There is no respect to the customer.

Is this the case only with Citibank? NO

BESCOM:  There is a banner that says that payment facility is not available for a couple of days. There comes also banner stating that it works for some areas not other areas. The online bill payment does not work consistently and I am forced to delay payment. User interested and taking effort to pay on time gets penalized for their mistakes.

AirTel Mobile: They increase charge and change the plans without any  written communication. Even after payment, there are reminders to make payments and they do not seem to have means to stop sending this message for already paid users. There is no facility for the customer to pre- issue requests to stop and restart of mobile service in advance on specific days.

AirTel Broadband:  With an account with unlimited download and 512 kbps speed, there are  messages every month via SMS that connection has already used close to the  allowed capability. When asked for proof for limiting capability, the executive does not get back to me.