Wednesday, July 10, 2013

ICICI Bank –Customer Service at its Worst

Recently I experienced one of the worst customer services with ICICI bank. I wanted to install iMobile application on my mobile to make my life simpler. But with the customer service of ICICI it has become a huge task.

I downloaded and installed iMobile application on my mobile. For making it work we need to request for activation code by sending a SMS as given below

“imobile iphone” to 5676766 . This SMS costs Rs 3/SMS.

I sent a SMS as directed. I received an error message “Requested Information could not be retrieved. Please try later”. As the message was not giving me exact issue I sent many messages without knowing it costs Rs 3 per SMS

Finally I called up the 24 hours customer service numbers as given below.
Pune: 9890478000 / 9021667777
I called up 9021667777 first and after authentication I was directed to a customer service agent. Agent was not able to hear anything from my side. This happened for 4-5 times. Every time I had to hang up and call back. Then I tried 9890478000. The authentication did not work for 2-3 times due to system not available. After few tries I was finally able to connect to Customer Service Agent. The agent then directed me to the imobile agent. The lady on the call asked me few questions which I was able to address. She asked me to send SMS to 56767661 instead of the number provided on the application. She informed me that the message costs Rs 3 per SMS. I’d already sent more than 50 SMSs without knowing there is cost associated with it. They should mention this in the application so that user can restrict themselves from sending multiple messages for unknown errors. The lady then tried few things at her end but there was no fruitful outcome. She said customer service agent will connect you to resolve the problem and hung up.

After few days I received the call from ICICI bank asking me if my problem is resolved. I said it is not yet resolved. So the agent asked me to provide local landline number so that he call up on that number. I realized that as he’s calling on mobile, the cost would go up if he’s calling from landline number. So he was saving cost for ICICI. But for customers ICICI has mobile number which actually costs more when calling from landline number. I’m not sure why they do not create a toll free number. I told him I’ve sent enough SMSs already and I’m not going to send any more SMSs. He was not sure what was the problem and informed me he would call back after 30 minutes to give the activation code. I’m still waiting for that call from the agent.

Major issues I see with the process

1. Mobile numbers being used instead of toll free numbers for customer care. It is the cost to the customers.
2. Sending SMS costs Rs 3 per SMS. This information should be provided in the application
3. The error messages do not provide any clarification on the issue. Customers keep on sending messages.
4. What is the reason for activation process? I use HDFC bank application through Wifi without any issues. The process to install and get it working was very simple with HDFC.


  1. I guess I am the lucky one as I never got any bad experience with ICICI. Its surprising that HDFC App works fine and ICICI's doesn't as ICICI is generally ahead of others in technology :-)

  2. @Mahesh, Yes sir, their phone authentication process is the worst I have every seen. Sometimes, before entering complete card numbers, it says 'invalid input'. Really frustrating.

  3. Manish and Pawan,
    Thx for your comments.
    I've sent 2-3 messages again and still the issue is not resolved.I'm not getting error message anymore.I do not receive any response after sending the message. Still waiting for the call back.

  4. I have been opening an NRO account in ICICI as they ask for lesser deposit than HDFC.It has taken me nearly 3 months to open the account.The process is very slow.They never take caution in sending courier overseas.The courier was sent back to India from overseas address since my overseas contact no was not written by ICICI on the courier.And they never informed me also.Also a fee of 300 plus has been detected from my account for resending the card to my overseas address.Even for the second time also,they failed to write my contact no on courier.It took a toll out of me before managing to receive the card via courier at my own efforts.Also the customer care is too frustrating asking every time to call and ask them each and every detail(not collecting all details on phone at one time)The cost per call is also around 1 dollar.It is absolutely ridiculous for an international bank not having a toll free customer service number.Even the internet banking ID was not retrievable using email id online.A request has to placed from the customer side spending a few dollars for the customer care call each time for the mistake the bank does.

  5. To ICICI Bank,

    I am very much unhappy with Bopal Branch of Ahmedabad as there is worthless support system. I was standing in line infront of ATM and one person just came out of office pushed me and enter to ATM and when i protested that it is my turn he hit on my hand and i had swelling. i complained in office and wonderful reply from your branch, they said that he is customer and you are also customer so we can't say anything, what nonsense you people forget what happened in Bangalore at ATM counter. I said i will want to meet manager and what a branch of yours branch manager was not there.

    This happened from 11 AM to 12:15 PM of 27th March 2014 in Bopal branch of Ahmedabad ICICI bank. I could have called police as i have still having swelling and pain on my right hand but i am busy working man i don't want to go behind court for worthless service and that to waste my precious time behind sick person.

    Take this seriously and check that recording before something worthless happens. The person who hit me will be very well punished by god but next time this doesn't happen so see the recording of ATM counter of Bopal - Ahmedabad ICICI branch.

    I am very much in pain and surely will close all my ICICI bank and also ask my relatives to do so.


  6. Closing the accounts is good option as they need minimum balance of Rs 10000 to be kept. Otherwise they charge monthly fees. I might have lost nearly Rs 10000 in these charges itslef from last 5-6 years. SBI has deposit of Rs 1000 only which has to be mentinined and it is really good bank.

  7. ICICI Bank shuffled the roles of some of its top executives after executive director Rajiv Sabharwal, who was leading retail lending, quit to probably head ICICI Home Finance which is being sold to private equity investors. capitalstars

  8. Nice information thanks for sharing it..!it will be helpful for people searching this kind of information..

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