Failed trans­ac­tions, failed ser­vice providers

Consumer Voice - - Editor's Voice - Padma Edi­tor


While this ap­pli­ca­tion came in handy dur­ing last year’s de­mon­eti­sa­tion shock, I now use it only to book an Uber to avoid tip­ping all the change to the driv­ers. (Why Uber driv­ers never seem to have any change on them or why Uber does not have di­rect pay­ment mech­a­nism is puz­zling and yet an­other story.) So, the prob­lem be­gan when I trans­ferred money from my bank to Paytm wal­let through IMPS. The money was deb­ited from my bank, but never got cred­ited to the wal­let. I tried reach­ing out to cus­tomer care. Hunt­ing for their num­ber on the ap­pli­ca­tion took over 10 min­utes. (The phone num­bers are at the bot­tom of the app. Many of you would not have scrolled the Paytm home screen un­til the bot­tom.) An­other five min­utes went in choos­ing the rel­e­vant op­tion (failed trans­ac­tion) in the au­to­mated call sys­tem. The mo­ment I se­lected the op­tion, it asked for a trans­ac­tion ID, which meant I had to go back to the wal­let and find one. There went an­other five min­utes in dis­con­nect­ing, hunt­ing for trans­ac­tion ID in the or­ders sec­tion, etc. Well, to my sur­prise, the vis­i­ble last trans­ac­tion was from a week ago. Which meant their sys­tem had not gen­er­ated the failed trans­ac­tion ID, leav­ing me with no way to file a com­plaint over the call. I made an­other call, spent an­other five min­utes go­ing through all the op­tions to reach a hu­man cus­tomer care ex­ec­u­tive, but the ef­fort was in vain. I then re­solved to write to them. Scrolled through email IDs, found one, wrote, and it bounced back. Five more min­utes gone. Hunted for an­other ID, sent the mail, and this time it thank­fully reached the des­ti­na­tion (I re­ceived a robotic con­fir­ma­tion). As of now, the money has not yet been cred­ited ei­ther in my bank or in the wal­let.

Over thirty min­utes of my es­sen­tial work hours went chas­ing my own monies for a sup­posed con­ve­nience that Paytm claims to pro­vide as a ser­vice provider. How I ended up book­ing a cab on cash, start­ing the day late in a foul mood can­not be ex­plained. Be­ing as­so­ci­ated with Con­sumer Voice, I know of all the reme­dies avail­able to get such is­sues re­solved. How­ever, that would mean more bit­ter­ness and many more work hours. So, here I am, re­ly­ing on tech­nol­ogy and ro­bots, etc., to man­age the re­fund. At some point, though, I will lodge a for­mal com­plaint with my bank as well as write to the lead­er­ship at Paytm since I see that as my re­spon­si­bil­ity.

PNB and RuPay

While the bank is al­ready deal­ing with their own is­sues and me­dia lime­light, here is an­other one for them.

To be­gin with, one out of four or so re­tail­ers does not seem to have RuPay-com­pat­i­ble card-swip­ing ma­chines – they in­vari­ably ask for Visa or Mastercard, if not Amex. The oth­ers who ac­cept RuPay cards of­ten com­plain about their higher rates of failed or de­clined trans­ac­tions as com­pared to other ser­vice providers. At least the ones I of­ten deal with say so. Last month, four trans­ac­tions from my RuPay card failed. Money has been deb­ited from my ac­count, but is yet to be re­funded. Re­tail­ers have shown their day-end clos­ing re­ceipts which clearly state that they never re­ceived money from my bank. Yes, I know that I will now have to call the bank, share failed trans­ac­tion IDs, lodge a for­mal com­plaint, and spend time on a task that does not fit into my long to-do lists. How­ever, I will have to do all of that if I have to claim my money back.

Last mes­sage from the bank (pre­sum­ably meant for all its cus­tomers): ‘Due to upgra­da­tion ac­tiv­ity, PNB debit card ser­vices may be im­pacted in­ter­mit­tently (from ... to ...).’

Any­way, wish­ing you all a Happy Holi and a hap­pier Dig­i­tal In­dia.

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