So here’s something interesting that happened to me yesterday. I’m a postpay subscriber of a renowned mobile phone services company and my bill payment was due. I decided to pay the bill online although I was pretty skeptical about it. Unfortunately in Pakistan you can’t depend on online transactions because somehow they always get messed up. But I still took a chance with it because otherwise what’s the point of having online banking, right? This is what happened.
I paid my bill online and received 2 emails from the bank. One telling me that my transaction had been registered and the other telling me it had been processed. I breathed a sigh of relief but then almost 7 hours after making that payment I received an SMS from the phone company saying that my bill payment was overdue. I was like “Excuse me?” When I checked I found that my number had been blocked. I was furious and I was most certainly not looking forwarding to getting tangled over this issue with both the phone company or the bank. Why? Because I knew what would happen when I’d call the phone company; they’d say they didn’t receive the transaction from the bank and that I should check with the bank. Firstly, I have a problem with that right there! If there’s a communication problem between the bank and the phone company, how’s that my problem? Why should I call the bank and ask them to check? I completely disagree with the notion of dumping this internal problem on the customer, which in my case happens every time. So any way, I called the phone company and as expected, they told me they hadn’t received the payment and that I should check with the bank. I told them that they should have a way of doing that themselves but they gave me a lame excuse that they have no way of doing that. To me that shows unwillingness to solve a problem. You can always redesign your process/flow to handle this. Anyway, the more interesting thing is, when they told me to call the bank, I said I can’t because you’ve blocked my number. So now the CRO was a little confused and the only solution she had was to activate my number so that I could contact the bank. She told me she’d activated my number for 2 days.
I then called the bank and they told me that usually payments get processed within 24-48 hours and since I’d made the payment 24 hours ago he implied that I should wait another 24 hours. Nevertheless, he forwarded my request to their tech team and told me that my issue would be resolved within 3-4 working days. Yes 3-4 working days, of which my number would be active for only the first 2 if they don’t fix the problem earlier. See what I’m getting at?
Here are my questions:
Why did I receive confirmation from the bank about successful transaction when actually it hadn’t been processed at all?
Why didn’t any of the bank’s emails say that the transaction would take 24-48 hours to get processed?
Why is the customer responsible for corresponding between bank and phone company over their internal communication problem?
Why was my number blocked in the first place if I was supposed to do the above?
Will the phone company charge me for the 2 days they’ve activated my number when it should actually be blocked? I don’t think they should because technically it’s not my fault that my payment didn’t get processed. It’s completely unfair to charge me, the customer, for a job that they should be doing, i.e. coordinate with the bank.
There, now I think I’ve poked enough holes in this process to make you see the point and at the same time vent my frustration 🙂