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Dear Mr. Banker Please Pay Me To Talk To Me

Now Pay To Speak To A Human At Standard Chartered Bank

I received an SMS a few days ago from one of the banks I have a relationship with in this case Standard Chartered Bank, whose credit card I have been using for more than a decade.

Here is the message typed as it is without any changes

"From 1st Oct'13, calls at Phonebanking serviced on IVR will be free. Agent handled calls up to 2 per month are free. 3rd call onwards there will be a charge of INR 50 per call. For more details, visit -StanChart"

If you read the message it begins as if it is good news for me, and I do not have to pay to call to bank, then it clarifies only if you solve the problem through IVR the call is free. If you wish to speak to a Human being i.e. Homo sapiens you have to pay. Here too the bank is kind enough to offer a FULL two calls FREE that is no charges at all. The moment I want to speak to a human being for a third time vow I need to pay INR 50 per call.  Yes you read it right, if I call to Standard Chartered Bank with which I have a 10 year+ old relationship I need to pay INR 50 per call from third call onward.

Now I am not sure why the bank thinks that I am desperate to speak to their phone banking officers and will be willing to pay them INR 50 per call.

Last I heard only phone sex services charged for inbound call. I am not sure if they are still around; I never had enough money or need to pay for phone sex. I wonder what makes the smart guys at Stan Chart believe, that I would pay to speak to a banker. May be they just want people to stop calling them and use just email or IVR. May be I don't know, I have been calling them for free only for 10 or so years. You I save all my money to go to a Shriek by calling those bankers at Standard Chartered. Here are some of the cases when I call them

  • When my boss Screams at Me
  • When I have fight with my wife
  • When  some body overtakes my car on highway on the wrong side
  • When some body parks in my parking and I can not find a place to park my car
A few more reasons but you get the gist. Oh yes I also call them when my credit card statement has a mistake, when a merchant has charged me twice, or when I get an SMS that my new card has been dispatched but I did not receive it. 

As you can see I don't have much work to do, but to call them, and now I will be sooo happy to call them and pay for the calls.

Or it is an excuse to continue to fiddle with IVR like I have been doing for last some time by the time I have listened to music worth a few hundred rupees I get frustrated and keep the phone. Note in t his case also I never get to speak to a human though I am still paying to my telecom company to listen to music played by my bank.

Any ways those super smart Harvard educated bankers at Standard Chartered bank are free to have their own policies regarding how badly they want my rapidly falling rupee. I am sure this was what they were taught at Harvard Business School; after all they have forgotten more than I have ever learned about customers.

Here is my policy on dealing with them and my open invitation letter to Standard Chartered Bank on my policy to take calls from them:

Dear Standard Chartered Telemarketer: Next time you call me please make sure you transfer 500 RS per call in my account per call. No I will not give you any free calls or IVR luxury; I will not beat around the bush. You want to speak to Prasad the customer of 10 years and sell that new Magnatium or Krptonium world card please pay upfront and then we will be talking.

I think that is fair enough, you charge me to call you, I charge you to call me.

Oh you are worried I will charge you 10 times what you are charging me. Well good point but you see you have valued your time, and I have valued my time. I am actually giving you a steep discount considering the value of my time IMO.

Game? Good call me, but make sure you have given me credit of INR 500 in my credit card account.


  1. Cancel your card and get a nationalised bank card!

  2. This scheme is ridiculous. I agree with all what you say. For all junk replies(mostly templates) then send on email, for the disclaimer they attach in their email, for each promotional SMS they send, for each advertisement they make on my account - they must pay me too.

    Standard chartered is one of the banks that doesn't listen to customer needs. I have multiple instances to support my claim.