An open letter to Pramit Jhaveri - Citibank India - No Resolution, Customer care sucks & they lie, a lot.

Dear Mr Pramit Jhaveri ,

Last October an incident happened with me , on a fuzzy evening I went to the nearest ATM near my home - Deutsche Bank ATM where I provided my card to my cousin who went inside ATM to take money as I was on a concall with my office & guided some poor chap who required my help . Since you cant enter an ATM while talking on phone, I remained outside.

Turns out that there was no guard / money at ATM ,the machine gave an error after pin was entered and never dispensed the money. Also, there was one more guy who had the same experience.

Well, I finished call put my phone in my pocket & strolled to nearby Axis Bank ATM where we withdrew 1000/- INR and went home. Turns out some nasty surprises were waiting for me. I got a message from Citibank that 10K have been withdrawn from my account , flabbergasted I reported the incident to Citi on 7th October.

What happened next ? Ah tell a long story short -

  1. Citi reversed my money in 2 days (that was fast) & said they are investigating the issue.
  2. Then they said the transaction was valid & reversed it again. 
  3. I disputed & said show me the CCTV footage -> no response.
  4. Called their Citiphone officers (sic) muliple times & they said to check with Deutsche Bank, I commented why they were not taking end to end responsibility, they said its out of their scope.
  5. Then I checked with Deutsche Bank and they said they will not entertain my request for CCTV footage.
  6. Citiphone officer advices me to lodge FIR & I duly oblige.
  7. Dec 2013 - Citi reverses money again & as per Simmy Sebastian (Citi escalation executive) on email, money is debited to my account & investigation continues.
  8. 5 months later (28 March 2014) Citi reverses money again :D with NO CONCLUSIVE INVESTIGATION & charged an overdraft of 3899/-.

Well Done Citi..

Now this pissed me off. I just survived humiliation at paying a bill because I thought there was money in my account when there was not. After fighting 38 minutes (at dead of night) with Citi IVR and their agent Chirag, I finally wrote an email to you , the acting Citibank CEO/hotshots describing the whole affair.

Here is the full email (which I expect you should have gone through by now, if not..then my faith is dwindling) -

(I have redacted my email address from all of the following email communication)
---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Rishabh Dangwal <>Date: Sat, Mar 29, 2014 at 2:06 AMSubject: Attention !! // 020-486-450 // New Ref# SDN14026864 // Citi Transaction & Customer Service Failure at Grassroot level // WORST SERVICE & FEEDBACK.To: "" <>,,,, Executive Response <>, "" <>, vikram.saras@citi.comCc: "" <>, "" <>,,,, Rishabh Dangwal <>

Mr Pramit / Mr Ashish / Mr Anand / Mr Vikram,
Let me bring incident 020-486-450 (New ref# SDN14026864 ) to your attention where Citibank has shamelessly ripped off all the rules of customer service. We all hate typing emails at 2 AM at night, ain't it ?
Short Summary : 
  1. On 7th October 2013 , a mis-transaction of 10000/- was done on my Debit Card at Deutsche Bank ATM for which Citi was *UNABLE* to provide any conclusive feedback for 5 straight months
  1. I was provided an immediate credit & it was agreed on email with Simmy Sebastian (Email attached) that Citi will provide me CCTV footage of ATM as an evidence before reversing any credit.  
  1. As discussed with *countless* Citiphone Officers (sic) they recommended to get in touch with Deutsche Bank (which I did) , raise FIR with police (which I did, again) but everything went futile & today (28 March 2014), Citi has reversed the transaction *WITHOUT INFORMING ME IN ANY FORMAL MANNER* & *WITHOUT PROVIDING ME CCTV FOOTAGE OF THE TIME OF INCIDENT*, & even penalized an overdraft of 3899/- .

Now points of concern are -
  • Citi *NEVER* informed me that they are closing investigation at their end and reversing credit, I barely survived humiliation when I thought I had money in my bank account when there was none, thanks to Citi as transaction was reversed.
  • FIR has been raised with police, CCTV Footage acts as an evidence in this regard. Citi didnt provided it & concluded it, then shall I sue Citi for causing hindrance in investigation ?
  • Citi failed to provide me the CCTV Footage & failed to meet the commitments & left me in a dire financial situation without explanation & information.
  • One sided followups were being done with NO PROACTIVE UPDATES on this matter.

I will be escalating the matter to RBI Ombudsman for failure of Citi to provide a conclusive feedback & failing at all echelons of customer service, its a huge disappointment at all grounds. I should infact also inform my colleagues at Orange Business Services (France Telecom) to migrate their accounts , its bad PR & its well justified if you ask me.
Right now, I had a word with Chirag Jain (Citiphone officer) at dead of night & in a 38 minute call I was unable to get to a senior person who can take responsibility & can be accounted for some justified action .  
Infact I am so frustrated with onesided followups that once its solved, I would close my account with Citi & encourage my finance head at Orange Business Services to do the same, somehow I believe from this incident that how broken is the customer service at a world renowned bank like Citi.
PS : I know you all might be busy, so I have finally decided to blog about it at Prohack ( where I can make note of the progress which Citi makes once an issue is reported to head honchos of a company. If this doesn't works out right now, I would then know if I can trust Citi again or not. 
I am attaching all the relevant documents of 
  1. Followups done with Citi
  1. Agreement done with Citi wrt CCTV footage
  1. FIR
  1. Followup with Deutsche Bank 
as a proof and testament of my words, lets see if Citi can finally provide me resolution.
I still want to believe & hope Citi stands for its customer values, requesting your urgent attention & complete cooperation in sorting this matter out.
Best Regards, ,

Rishabh DangwalNetwork Security Specialist 
Orange Business Services (France Telecom)RHCE | CCNA | ITIL | CEHWebsite: , "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes ?''

Trust me, if this isnt sorted out now, then I would recommend to NEVER TO OPEN an account with Citi since if a CEO cant sort a mess out, then of course a customer service is no good.
More over , its a huge fail in customer service that a guy is forced to address his concerns to CEO of Citi because the lower rungs of service and escalation fail to provide *any viable resolution*.

The best part Mr Pramit ?
Well..that ATM closed out, & I pointed it to Simmy/lots of other Citiphone folks that at max 2 months of video is stored in the ATM CCTV hard drive, and if you dont act fast, *YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET THE CCTV FOOTAGE*. Turns out they are not having any and are now bullying me by keeping me in dark.

Well Mr Pramit, if Citi can charge me to withdraw money from any other ATM, then I expect some services from Citi that safeguards my interests. It makes me shudder how one-sided this whole affair has been, if only you have an idea, a complete fail of all the echelons.  If Citi can provide me CCTV footage since its a criminal case & stop taking independent conclusive actions without informing customer. Its a breach of customer trust and is an epic fail in code of conduct.

I still believe you guys have sensible online services, but customer service is one area in which Citibank India fails spectacularly.

I hope something could be done on it ? Aint it? Noone wants to type an email at 2 AM at night and blog at 2:40 AM about his horrible experience. If Citi wants that , then no thanks, I will close my account as soon as its sorted and will encourage my colleagues to do the same.
What a waste..

Rant aside..

I do hope something can be done in this regard. Wave your magic wand sire, I will be waiting for some concrete action..

Best Regards

Rishabh Dangwal

Update 29 March 2014 12:07 PM IST :
One long time blog reader & friend suggested to get it reported to RBI. Duly acknowledged, complaint have been raised with RBI.

Update 29 March 2014 04:05 PM IST :
Had a word with Citi CCE -Navneet/S Mahesh who confirmed that they will have some response by Friday 4 April 7 PM IST . Also confirmed if Overdraft will be reversed and money will be credited back on my account, he was affirmative. Mahesh Confirmed that he will have some update on CCTV and promised a call back by 31 March NBH. Provided this Blogpost URL as a timeline of incident.

Update 29 March 2014 04:50 PM IST :
Consumer complaint 82619.1.2014 lodged against Citi Bank .

Update 30 March 2014 08:25 PM IST :
47 minute call was finished with Citi Helpdesk with approximately 20 minutes of being on hold, excluding 2 minutes of fighting with IVR.
After 5 tries by Merin (Citi service desk) , her manager Manisha Sitaram (on duty floor manager) came on call.

  • Asked her about the status of investigation -> she was clueless.
  • Asked her why a callback was not arranged bacl -> She was clueless.
  • Asked her what the heck Chirag Jain (on duty floor manager) & S Mahesh (on duty floor manager) doing -> They were on leave / not available

Asked her to make note of 5 questions -

  1. Why Citibank did not provided me CCTV footage & why transaction was reversed.
  2. Why Citibank reversed transaction & did not intimate me , although it was agreed with Simmy Sebastian (Citi Executive response desk, Mumbai) that he will check & update regarding CCTV footage.
  3. Why is this incident being dragged on for 5 months.
  4. What is the status of followups being done for CCTV Footage with Deutsche Bank.
  5. Will Citibank credit money back (along with overdraft) since they have not provided any CCTV footage & they have no right to do it.

Provided her the URL of this blogpost , details of Simmy Sebastian, current executive incident owner Laxmiprabha Kotian at Citi end & asked her to arrange a call back by 31'st March 5 PM IST during NBH.

Lets see how Citi takes this incident up.

Update 30 March 2014 08:50 PM IST :
Shot an email to Citi again since they failed to acknowledge anything.

---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Rishabh Dangwal <>Date: Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 8:53 PMSubject: Re: Attention !! // 020-486-450 // New Ref# SDN14026864 // Citi Transaction & Customer Service Failure at Grassroot level // WORST SERVICE & FEEDBACK.To: "" <>,,,, Executive Response <>, "" <>,, arghya.dasgupta@citi.comCc: "" <>, "" <>,,,, Rishabh Dangwal <>

Good Evening Gentlemen,
Seems like 40+ minutes calls , 5 months old pending incidents ( & still counting) , no call backs, one sided followups from customer end and unexpected/surprise charge-backs are becoming the new hallmarks of 201 years of Citi in India.
Is there anyone even working on the matter ? I am still waiting for an acknowledgement from your end.
Meanwhile the incident history is now live at  (just in case your executives/underlings are not providing your proactive updates) & you can have a look at the glorious way the incident is being handled by Citi. 
Awaiting some action on the matter since its now long overdue.
Best Regards, ,

Rishabh DangwalNetwork Security SpecialistOrange Business Services (France Telecom)RHCE | CCNA | ITIL | CEHWebsite: , "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes ?''

Update 30 March 2014 09:13 - 09:30 PM IST :
Finally got a revert from Citibank Vice president Jinit Thakkar, although it was on a separate email chain.

On Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 9:13 PM, Thakkar, Jinit <> wrote:
Dear Mr. Dangwal,
This refers to you email of March 30th 2014.
We acknowledge receipt of your email.
Due to an extended holiday, on occasion of Gudi Padwa, we will respond to you by Tuesday, April 1st 2014.
Would appreciate your understanding till then.
Jinit Thakkar
Head- Executive Response Unit
Pat went the response.

---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Rishabh Dangwal <>Date: Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 9:30 PMSubject: Re: your email dated March 30' 2014 / SDN14026864 / old ref#020-486-450To: "Thakkar, Jinit" <>Cc: Executive Response <>, "" <>, "" <>,,,, "" <>,, "" <>,,

Hello Jinit,
Lets not start one more email chain on this issue since there are already plenty , I will be looping you in the main email chain & I expect a revert on the same one. 

Please let me know if Citi will provide me some conclusive feedback by 1 April or will it be the same 5 month old weasel words/updates of "under investigation"/"being looked by internal team"/"awaiting confirmation from internal team" since Simmy / folks left the investigation in lurch & have wasted a lot of my research time in followups with Citi, mental harassment aside. 

Awaiting a LEAN & concrete feedback from Citi.
Best Regards

Rishabh DangwalNetwork Security SpecialistOrange Business Services (France Telecom)RHCE | CCNA | ITIL | CEHWebsite: , "Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes ?''

Update 30 March 2014 09:43 PM IST :
Looks like even the Citi India Vice president Jinit Thakkar have got a taste of bad customer service, from folks at Samsung, had a #facepalm moment.

An amusing read at -

Somehow, it feels like a guilty pleasure. FYI details are - Jinit Thakkar Asst Vice President , Citibank India, mob : 9820401881 

Update 31 March 2014 12:43 PM IST :
Had a word with Manisha Shriram / Jinit Thakkar from Chennai, they required 1 more day to investigate the issue since its holiday at Mumbai. Also, internally escalated the matter to Orange / France Telecom Finance department.

Update 31 March 2014 06:00 PM IST :
Finally got the call from Simmy Sebastian (executive response unit), to cut a long story short-
  1. As per him he has retrieved the clippings.
  2. He has seen that cash is being dispensed.
  3. He asked if I was informed about cash reversal -> negative
  4. He asked if I had communication from Keerti -> positive
  5. Asked him to drop an email about it, he asked for 1 more day to have a conclusive feedback.
  6. Asked him if anything is required from my end , he said nothing else is required.
  7. He said he will provide a final stand on this regard by tomorrow.
Final Update : 

I am updating this in feb 2016, as I think it was long over due. Simmy called me and sent across the footage of ATM in a PKZIP encrypted file. Checked the footage and found out the ATM was misbehaving and another guy took out money. 

Bottom Line : 
No refund from Bank (Thank you Citibank :X ) . No action from Delhi Police. The ATM was tore down to make place for a new clinic. 

Welcome to India. 


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