Warning About ICICI Bank

Thumb DownHere’s JuUaAn’s (nightmare) experience after opening an account with ICICI Bank Canada:

I opened an account to take advantage of their 4.5% interest rates at the beginning of July. Little did I know that it was a huge mistake. I want to do a little comparison. I also have an ING account and I’ve only had to call them maybe twice since I opened it a few years ago. These calls were to ask general questions. Now, it’s only been a month and I’ve called ICICI over 10 times already. Why? Because of their terrible system and service level. My first call to them was because the PIN they sent me by mail did not work. The guy said that he had to activate it and so he did. The next call was because my account was not linked. Now why in the world was it not linked??? I just sent them a cheque to open my account! ING is smart enough to link it. The guy told me that it was because I didn’t put the word “link” on my cheque. To boot, this was not stated on the website when I registered. WOW! So I had to link it online myself. An extra step that earned me $0.16 in random cash if I remember correctly. At least I got something for my trouble. Boy was I wrong.

The next thing I wanted to do was setup a recurring transfer indefinitely like an ING ASP. So I logged in and tried to do so but I couldn’t understand this one field that said “Number of Installments”. So I called in again to ask thinking that it’s splitting up my transfers into smaller pieces. The agent confirmed what I thought. I thought to myself, “Boy that’s funny, why would you split up a transfer.” Anyhow, so I spend some time with her on the phone asking if they’re able to set up a recurring transfer monthly for an indefinitely period of time. She says no and then we hang up. So I took a deep breath and said to myself, “Alright, for 4.5% I’m willing to go through some hardship and inconvenience.” I tried setting up a recurring transfer with 1 installment, but it rejected me. It seems that minimum is 2. So then I simply do a one time transfer and made a reminder to myself to do it once a month manually. This was July 17. I set it future-dated to July 31 at the end of the month after I get paid so that I have money in my external to transfer over. I log out.

A few days later, I log into my external account only to find that my balance went into the red by roughly $500!!! The culprit was ICICI. They had taken my money the next day (July 18) despite me setting it to July 31. Now before you think that I made a mistake, I didn’t. I double checked my setup since it was my first time doing so. I went to Future Transfers and it showed July 31. It was foolish of me to not save the reference number when I first set up the transfer. So now, my external bank is in the red, I got charged $35 for NSF, $5 for overdraft, and $0.27 in interest. I lost a total of $40.27!!! So much for the $0.16 I earned earlier.

Now begins my slew of calls to ICICI. I called them every other day (since it takes 2 business days per investigation). I’ve filed a total of 3 investigations with them. All of them coming back saying that it’s not their fault and it wasn’t a system error. They refused to reimburse me $40.27. I was really ticked off with them. I was always adamant that it was their system’s fault. Their investigation team said they have a reference number to prove it. Well so what?! if it’s a system glitch, it thinks I initiated for the 18th when I initiated on the 31st. Of course there’s a reference number!! Anyhow, it took a lot of effort just to talk to a supervisor and all he did was reiterate what the rep already told me. I asked for higher up in the chain of command and said none were available. I asked to speak with the investigation team but I was denied claiming that only internal employees can speak with them. Now I’m left with nowhere to go and $40.27 poorer. It will take months I already threatened to file a complaint with the BBB and remove my money from the account and I’m going to make good on my threats now. I will also go to the Ombudsman with this as well.

Sorry for this long tirade/story. I just thought it would benefit everyone to know all the details about what happened to me. If anyone can offer up some suggestions as to how I can get my money back, please do.

Thank you so much for listening. Hope this helps you to think twice before signing up with just any bank with a high interest rate.

In addition, there are many complaints to ICICI Bank at the Complaints Board. Even in the UK, ICICI Bank fails to be trusted according to the This is Money Blog. I am going to stay away from the ICICI Bank Canada and I would suggest everyone else to do the same. Despite the high interest rate, it’s not worth opening an account with them if you receive poor service and fraudulent acts in return.

Links: Complaints Board | ICICI Bank
Should you trust ICICI Bank? – This is Money Blog

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