Failed transactions, failed service providers
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.