Are banks never happy to get your money?
Judging by the sourpuss face on the local branch manager in Colva ICICI bank it would seem not today.
I went into my local branch of ICICI last Saturday with a $100 bill and I wanted to change it for rupees. “Oh” says Mrs Sourpuss – she is usually a very snooty woman too – ” We don’t do exchange on Saturdays! Come back Monday.”
I note she did not apologise in any way for the fact either but I am resigned to her attitude from previous visits so I say OK I will return.
I then proceed to walk into the branch on Monday afternoon at 3.30pm. “Oh no,” say the staff there (they also have no customer service training or manners I observe) “we don’t do foreign exchange after 3pm!! “
Personally I cannot understand why that is the case. Surely when the bank is open it offers full service? However, I accept it is undoubtedly my mistake for being so stupid and expecting them to advise me of this when I first went in last Saturday. But heh, smile on.
So finally today (it being Friday and knowing that tomorrow is another Saturday and therefore they WILL NOT change my money ) I walk back into the branch at 1215 and ask to exchange the bill.
Then a bit of a chat interchange in Konkani (local lingo in Goa) goes on between 2 staff and then Mrs Charm Sourpuss herself the manager comes out of her office. “Ah” she says, “Do you have an account with us?” ” Of course I have”, I state. She really should remember me since I am her customer and she keeps suggesting I close the account instead of leaving it open with 800 rupees in!
I then ask her if this ICICI branch does actually handle money exchange and she says “Yes, only for our own customers though!” So that is a new one on me!
And then – blow me down – she suggests I pay this money into my account!! Duh, I need the cash now and don’t see the point in putting it in and then taking it out again. Although this is probably a very clever ruse for them to make commissions from me 2 or 3 ways! Am not falling for that one though – anyway I don’t have my bank card or cheque book with me as I was planning on doing a straight Forex.
“OK hang on” she says “Someone will handle this for you.” Then she proceeds to get a guy from the back room to come and after more Konkani chatter he prints off a form for me to fill in and sign. Then he takes a copy of my passport and Visa ( I never had to do that before when it was cash transaction but heh!) and after 20minutes I actually get the bill exchanged.
The ICICI bank rate is 56.84 rupees to the Dollar with a deduction of 31 rupees – for some sort of services rendered no doubt!
Checking online after the http://www.xe.com half an hour later, it shows an exchange rate of 58.84 and http://www.oanda.com shows 59.25 so either way I have lost out on the real rate according to what the bank wants to give me. Unless of course within that half hour everything changed!
Next time it might be better to go to the USA and spend the money there- at least I may get more value- certainly it would be a little jaunt. In addition I would bank on it being a whole better deal as well as a nicer customer service experience.