The electricity company, my bank and me...Pas de Troix,or How I Pass (or Piss) My Time
My name is Deepa Mohan and I had an ECS mandate for my BESCOM bill payments on the following account
The whole objective of the ECS payment is to ensure that payments go on time and I do not suffer disconnection while I am out of town.
Last year, by August or September, apparently, my ECS mandate period lapsed. There was no information from the bank to me in this regard. I was abroad. The ECS payment was dishonoured for two consecutive months (I had enough funds in the bank but I was not informed) and the electricity was cut, and I had to go through a very lengthy and involved process to get my electricity re-connected, undergoing a lot of hardship.
Sorting out the problem, I then started an ECS mandate on the IDBI Bank a/c no
I got the mandate registered on 6 December 2014, and I have the document with the bank’s seal and a bank officer’s signature on it.
I paid that month’s electricity dues by cash. I also had to pay a Security Deposit of Rs.1600 as I had “defaulted”, though this was in no way my fault. However, I did not make a complaint, thinking that I had sorted out the issue.
In spite of this, I have again found that for January 2015, the bank has refused to honour the ECS, and the message has been given to BESCOM: “Mandate not received from customer”. Once again, the bank did not inform me that they had dishonoured the payments even though there were enough funds.
It was by sheer chance that I found out about this, because of a large bill that BESCOM sent me. I went to the BESCOM office and found out that the bank had refused to honour the ECS. I then went to the JP Nagar Branch of IDBI where the bank officer once again told me that the bank does not inform the customer when the ECS mandate is dishonoured.
I once again drew up a mandate and had it signed by (illegible) with the bank’s seal on the document, countersigned by me, on 9/2/15.
I have once again had to pay the January and February bills by cash, else my electricity would have been disconnected.
Could you tell me why I have been subjected to this trouble each time?
I can understand that if a cheque is dishonoured due to paucity of funds, the bank will not intimate the customer but only the payee. But when the bank is dishonouring an ECS mandate, should it not inform the customer, especially when there is no paucity of funds, and when not informing will mean the very difficulty that the customer wants to avoid by the ECS…the disconnection of the electric supply, and the need to go to the BESCOM office to stand in the queue and pay by cash?
The first time, the mandate had expired. The second time, the mandate was very much in force. And yet I was made to undergo this difficulty. I am unable to understand what has happened to the mandate registered by me on 6.12.2014 (for a period of 10 years)? Could you please explain why I had to register one more mandate on 9.2.2015?
What is the guarantee that the bank will now honour my ECS mandate and not repeat theearlier response? I will be travelling a lot and will not be able to check if the bank has made the payment or not. I often travel in places where even mobile connectivity is not there, and when I go abroad, very often, my mobile service provider charges me for International Roaming but does not provide the service (which includes SMS).
I am seriously worried about this lacuna in the customer service of the bank, and would like a prompt response on this, and an assurance that all my ECS mandates will be properly honoured in future.
I also wish to request that if and when an ECS mandate is dishonoured, ALL customers be informed about it, with the reason for such action. If this has not been done until now, it is high time to start.
Looking forward to a prompt response, With regards, Deepa Mohan