The dubious debit

It looks like my love-hate relationship with SBI continues this financial year as well.

It started when I noticed a debit in my Savings account when I was checking the balance online.

Hmm!  what did that mean?  The description looked like a cryptic crossword clue.

I raised a service request online saying I wanted to know what that was.

The request was closed the next day saying it was Locker charges.

I have a locker in SBI, but the locker charges had been debited at the start of the financial year (April 1st week).   Why another debit?

On a Saturday, I went over to the Branch.  I had to take a token and wait half an hour for my turn, before meeting the lady in the counter.

"Locker charges", said she.

I tried to tell her that it was already debited once.

"Locker charges has been revised.  This is the recovery of the additional charges"

"When was the locker charges revised?  I did not get any intimation.  How can you do a debit without intimation?"

"Talk to the Manager", was her response.

I looked around the office trying to spot the locker charges, but could not find it.

I waited for a while to meet the Manager, but like any SBI Branch, you have a fat chance if you  "await your turn" (since it never comes).

I came back. I searched the internet for SBI locker charges and got this link with the rates as below

SBI Locker rates from website 14th Jul 2015

My understanding was I had a "Large locker" (I have not tried to measure the dimensions - the next time I should!), which meant the rent recovered on 1st April matched what was specified in the site.  The excess amount made no sense.

I decided to raise another complaint online.

This one took three days before it was resolved with the same explanation.

This time, I called the number of the Branch specified in the SMS and asked to talk to the Manager.

She was more polite than the staff I had met earlier.

"Sir, the locker rates were revised in Nov 2014 and this is a recovery of the additional charges".

"But the website does not indicate any such revision?", said I.

"Of course it does sir.  It will be in - you should not look at any other website".

"What would you give me, if I were to send you the link to the website with the locker rates?  Will you refund the excess?"

"No sir, the rates are revised.  They are also displayed in the Branch".

I did not probe into where exactly were they displayed.

"So, you mention it was revised in Nov 2014.  Why was it not recovered in April 2015 - at the start of the financial year?"

"The standing instruction had not been updated, Sir", said she.  Huh!

"I will send you the link to the SBI website where I found the locker rates.  Can you please check and if the data is incorrect, request that to be corrected?", said I.

I sent an email to the Branch with the details, but not unexpectedly got no response.

I plan to check the locker dimensions during my next visit and if I confirm that the rent recovered is more than that specified in the website, explore a different course of action.

In any case, why should the Bank not intimate increase in locker charges - if not by post, at least by email or SMS?   In fact, for those who have online account, why not a message when logging in?


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