ICICI Prudential – Calls/Mails for payment that was already done – Customer support fails to update

ICICI – This is one of the few brands – business houses that I respect. I have a long relation with the brand – car loan, credit card, bank…. But when I actually approached their customer support for a simple issue(ICICI Prudential), they failed to act on it. They failed to resolve what seems to be a simple issue.

I have a insurance policy with ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, policy name is LifeTime Gold. Premium is payable half yearly, due dates being 16 Mar and 16 Sep. I usually pay online on their website iciciprulife.com. When I make a payment online, the due date on the home page immediately reflects the next due date. i.e., the moment I pay my premium for 16 Mar 2014, the due date starts displaying the next one 16 Sep 2014. I’ve been paying like this for years now and did not encounter an issue so far.

16 Mar 2014 was the last due date for the policy and I paid it on the same day online as usual. The transaction was successful and Online trasaction acknowledgment appeared, everything appeared normal and I logged out. Everything appeared until I received a call and mail on the next day that my payment is due.

I logged in to check, the transaction history shows the transaction was successful, but the home page which is supposed to show the next due date was still showing the last due date for which payment was already made.

When the payment was made, I received SMS and email from ICICI prudential confirming this. I also recieved an SMS from credit card company that my card was charged. ICICI pru life transaction history shows it was a successful transaction, but the due date on home page is not updated.

I have sent them mail twice and both times they acknowledged the payment was received, but 20 days later I still got a call and mail that the payment is due. Inspite of making the payment in time and even after mailing the details to them, they failed to update their call centres or collection agencies or whatever.

While I am still receiving their calls and mails that the payment is due, the icici pru life website shows the next due date correctly now. I also received payment receipt email normally. What annoys are their reminders for payment which was already done.

You made a payment, but they still call you and mail you to make payment, isn’t good, is it? What if this was a credit card payment and their collection agents knock my door for a payment that was already made?

Technically ICICI Prudential may be a separate company, car loan division, banking, credit cards may be entirely separate divisions, but for me its ICICI brand that made me customer to any of these things. If it was a BLAH BLAH Prudential, I wouldn’t have even considered it.

ICICI – ICICI Prudential – Your customer support turned out to be just another customer care. I wonder what kind of trouble other customers with more serious issues are facing.

 

Below is the journal for any one who may be interested. I spent a few hours composing this journal retrieving information from my call logs, mails and sms messages, still I might have a missed an event.

  • 16 Mar 2014, 10:30 AM – It was the due date and I made the payment at around 10:30 AM. As usual I paid on their website iciciprulife.com using credit card. The transaction was successful and there was an online acknowledgement with transaction number and status as “SUCCESS”.
  • 16 Mar 2014, 10:34 AM – SMS from AM-ICICIP which reads “Thank you for payment of Rs._____, for policy no_____ it will be applied to your policy on the premium due date or payment date which ever is later.
    • Received “Premium Payment Acknowledgement” mail from lifeline@iciciprulife.com at the same time.
    • 10:37 AM – SMS from my credit card company that my credit card was charged.
  • 16 Mar 2014, 06:02 PM – SMS from AM-IPRULI which was a reminder for payment, the message ends with “…Pl ignore if already paid”. I considered it to be a routine message.
    • But I did login to check the payment once again. My experience from past payments on the website is that the due date displayed on the home page changes to the next due date immediately after payment. But the due date here was still showing as 16 Mar 2014. I checked the transaction history details on the site and it rightly displays that the transaction was successful. But the home page is not yet updated.
  • 17 Mar 2014, 03:40 PM – Call from 044-660..00 – The lady on call mentioned it’s a service call from ICICI Prudential. She asked If  the payment was made or yet to be made. I said it is paid already on 16th on their website. She asked if I have any transaction ID to which I said “I do not have it right now” (Who will expect such a call and remember to carry the transaction ID. I’ve been paying online to this policy online for years now and never faced such call). She said ok and hung up the call. There was no further conversation.
  • 17 Mar 2014, 09:20 PM – Mail from communication@iciciprulife.com with subject “Our recent conversation regarding ICICIPru policy” – The mail states “During this call, we informed you that payment of Rs.____ for your……was due”.
    • I was really shocked at this. During the call, the lady only asked if the payment was already made or yet to be made. She said ok and hung up the call when I said the payment was already done, but I do not have the transaction id right now. There was no conversation that my payment was due. Had she told me that it was due and my transaction ID was required, I’d have asked her to wait so that I can switch on my pc and give her the transaction ID.
    • The mail also asks me to make the payments in time to enjoy the benefits of policy, annoying.
    • I replied to this mail at 9:50 PM saying the mail is misleading and the conversation that happened was different. The mail bounced though.
    • The call and mail only show how their call centres work. They make a call, ask something and record what is easier for them to report.
  • 17 Mar 2014, 09:46 PM – I sent a mail to lifeline@iciciprulife.com with subject “Payment not updated” – I included payment details and informed them that I received the mail as if the payment is pending and asked them to look into this.
    • As of sending the mail, the home page was still showing my payment as due(after around 36 hours of payment) and the transaction history page shows the payment was made. I included this information in the mail as well.
    • Received an automated acknowledgement few minutes later.
  • 18 Mar 2014, 10:44 AM – Received a reply to the above mail – The mail says the payment was received and the same is subject to realization.
    • The mail looked more like a routine reply rather than a reply to my specific case. I think “subject to realization” applies to cheque payments and not to a successful online credit card transaction which has taken place 48 hours back. Moreover the transaction history page on their website itself says “SUCCESS”.
  • 18 Mar 2014, 04:21 PM – Replied to the their mail – Asked them to read the actual content of the mail instead of giving a routine reply. I also mentioned that the main issue was the Payment was not updated and is not being shown on the home page.
    • Same day, I also received an SMS which says the Premium Receipt has been dispatched by India Post. I’m yet to receive it as of writing this post. If I remember properly, the due date on the home page is also updated by this time. But I believe this is not something done based on my interaction, the update is more likely a result of their some other process.
  • 20 Mar 2014, 04:29 PM – Received reply to the above mail – Mail says the payment has been received and applied to my policy and apologizes for unnecessary mails and reminders received by me.
    • I left it here as the home page also reflected the next due date by this time. BUT.
  • 04 Apr 2014, 05:49 PM – Call from 022-6132..06 – I could not take this call because I was in middle of something. But I believe this missed call in my call log is from ICICI prudential because of the mail that followed.
  • 05 Apr 2014, 01:33 AM – Mail from communication@iciciprulife.com with the subject “We tried contacting you” – Mail reads something like this “We tried contacting you on …. that is registered with us but were unable to reach you… the premium payment of your policy is due…please ensure payments in time…”

So, thats the journal so far. 20 days after payment, two mails to them, two replies from them acknowledging they received the payments, they still call me and mail me saying my payment is due. I hope other customers are not facing this so called “customer care” in more serious issues.

Posted composed on 05 Apr 2014.

Note: The post will be updated as things move.

  •  05 Apr 2014, 11:52 PM – Sent a mail to lifeline@iciciprulife.com – Including payment information and reference numbers of previous mails, I’ve sent a mail to them again asking them to correct this situation.
  • 06 Apr 2014, 12:10 AM – Tweeted this post to @ICICIPruLife
  • 06 Apr 2014, 05:26 PM – Reply from lifeline@iciciprulife.com – Similar reply as I received last time, i.e., “we have received your payment and it has been applied to your policy….apologies for unnecessary mails and reminders…we hope we provided a satisfactory response”. Nope, thats not satisfactory at all, just looked like an eye wash email that I received last time. Anyway, if they have actually did anything based on the email, I should not receive a call/mail again in this regards, will see.
    • Another discrepancy I noticed today is that the “Renewal Premium Receipt” mentions the Receipt Date as 17 Mar where the payment was done on 16 Mar. The date mentioned on acknowledgment  and transaction history on website correctly show 16 Mar.
  • 07 Apr 2014, 12:32 PM – Twitter reply from @iciciprulife – Apologies for inconvinience…please give us policy details…we will get this corrected on priority…
  • 07 Apr 2014, 08:58 PM – I have sent the policy number as requested in the above tweet and also the communication id for my last email communication with them.
  • 08 Apr 2014, 12:49 PM – Mail from s__@iciprulife.com(hiding mail id since it is not in public domain) – The mail( probably from @iciciprulife twitter team) “This is in reference to your policy held with ICICI Prudential…we are currently reviewing the details at our end and will revert shortly…incase yo uneed any further assistance…”. The mail is very vague, not sure whether they are reviewing the details in regards to the complaint or something else.
  • 09 Apr 2014, 10:15 Am – Call from 0224205..84 in response to the twitter details I’ve sent. They called me as they have my number from policy details, but they don’t have a clue of the original tweet and the issue. So, I had to explain, 4th time (thrice already on mails)
  • 12 Apr 2014,  04:51 PM – Mail from Indu(in..xxx@iciciprulife.com), again the same blah blah that they are in receipt of the renewal payment. The mail also mentions “Further, regarding the reminder communications received by you, we wish to inform you that we have initiated the process with the concerned department for further evaluation. We shall update you on the same. We hope the above clarification addresses your concern”. No, there was no clarification and this doesn’t address the concern.

No further communication from icici after the above, but thankfully I haven’t received any further payment due reminders. In this month long communication, I do not think iciciprulife has worked on resolving the issue. Yeah, they have communicated/responded with some routine kinda mails, but did they work to resolve the issue? I do not think so. I’m not receiving the reminders now, I attribute this to their system updates or synchronization, but I do not think the customer support worked on stopping the reminder nuisance. Had I not communicated with them regarding the issue, even then the reminders would have stopped at some point and that is what happened here.

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