Wednesday, November 22, 2006


So, when I use this word, who are you reminded of?

Mahmud Ghajini? or perhaps Alexander? Or perhaps king William?

I am reminded of the Call center lady who calls me up everyday in the faintest of the hope that I would take a personal loan, home loan or perhaps my 5th credit card.

"Good morning sir. I am calling from ICICI regarding personal loans"
"Sorry not interested" [ click ]

"Good afternoon sir. This is regarding personal loans sir. I am calling from ICICI bank"
"You just called me before sometime" [ click ]
"Good evening sir. Would you be interested in taking a personal loan from ICICI"
"I just told you not to disturb me a few hours ago" [ click ]

After being mauled with these questions over the past few months, I have now decided to have some fun.

So, today when the HDFC call center lady called me up:

CC Lady: "Good morning sir. I am calling from HDFC bank. We have an excellent offer for you sir. This is regarding a home loan which we are giving without any collateral"
Me : "Hmm, thats great , so does that mean I dont have to repay the loan?"
CCL : "Oh no sir. :). You have to repay the loan sir. But we dont take a collateral for the loan sir"
Me : "What is a collateral?"
CCL : "Sir in case you donot pay the loan amount we usually have an agreement to take into custody some of your existing property. We will not ask for any such thing now sir"
Me : "Then what will you do if I run off with your loan?"
CCL : "No sir. How will you do that"
Me : "You want a demonstration?"
CCL : "No sir. I meant we trust that you will not do that?"
Me : "Do you trust me?"
CCL : "Sir, no sir, the bank trusts you"
Me : "No I asked if YOU trust me"
CCL : "Sir I am confused. I dont know you sir"
Me : "Then what will you do if I run off with your loan?"
CCL : "Sir, the bank will lodge a police complaint against you in that case"
Me : "But what if the police never catch me. What will happen to you then? Will the bank not blame you for making me take this loan?"
CCL : "Sir it does not matter to me if you take loan or run away with the money. Nothing will happen to me"
Me : "Then why did you make the phone call in the first place"
CCL : [ click ]

Next day it was the turn of the Personal Loan woman from the ICICI bank:

CCL : "Good afternoon sir. I am calling from ICICI bank. This is regarding personal loan sir."
Me : "So what exactly is a personal loan?"
CCL : "Sir, you can use it for your personal purposes"
Me : "So how personal is it?"
CCL : "Sir? huh?"
Me : "What personal purposes exactly are you referring to?"
CCL : "Sir, you can buy anything with that money sir"
Me : "Hmm, I am looking at buying a helicopter. How much money do you give?"
CCL : "Sir, helicopter?...uh...wait a minute is not given in the list...(oops). Sir you can buy whatever you want sir. "
Me : "Ok give me 2 crores"
CCL : " Sir we can only give upto Rs. 1 lakh sir"
Me : "What? with 1 lakh I cant even fill up the gas in the helicopter"
CCL : "Sir, remaining amount you have to put in sir"
Me : "You just said that I can buy whatever I want. I want to buy a helicopter. You better provide me the loan needed for that or else I am suing you"
CCL : [ click ]

Then it was Citibanks turn :

CCL : "Good evening sir. I am calling from Citibank. We are issuing you a free Gold Credit card because you are our esteemed customer. Lifetime membership free sir"
Me : "How much carat gold are we talking about here? 24?"
CCL : "Sir, not that gold sir. Gold Card"
Me : "Ya, how much does it weigh?"
CCL : "Sir, you undestood wrongly. This is a credit card which is called Gold credit card"
Me : "Why do you call it Gold card if it is not made of Gold?"
CCL : "Sir one minute sir"
CCL : "Sir Gold card is called Gold because it is very valuable sir"
Me : "How is it valuable?"
CCL : "Sir using this card you can buy anything sir"
Me : "Hmm. So can I buy a shirt?"
CCL : "Of course sir"
Me : "A Pant?"
CCL : "Yes sir"
Me : "Both shirt and pant?"
CCL : "Yes sir"
Me : "How about vegetables?"
CCL : "Sir you can buy whatever you want sir."
Me : "A chair?"
CCL : "Yes sir"
Me : "Dining table" ?...
CCL :"Yes sir"
Me : "TV"
CCL : "Yes sir, yes sir yes sir. You can buy whatever you want sir"
Me : "Hmm, thats interesting. I am not interested. "
[ click ]

Finally I thought I was rid of the problem. Today morning I receieved a call:

Automated Voice at the other end:
"Hiiiiii . A very good day to you. This is the automated message from ICICI that allows you to choose from a set of options that we have to offer you. For personal loan please click 1. For home loan please click 2..."


Jokes apart, Man there should be some way we can specify to these banks not to bug us with these calls. I dont know how and why our phone numbers are shared within these banks and they make these cranky calls.

I think banks would get higher profits if they donot spend so much money on these phone calls.

Secondly , out of a humanitarian concern for these Call Center people I really do hope these things are not done. I am really sad about the thing people have to do or are made to do. I know that it provides employment to many people. I really wish I could suggest some brilliant ways to make use of the human capital. But is this true employment? Educated people made to call someone and ask if the want loans/credit cards? Is our country letting the brains rot? I am reminded of egyptian slaves. It is said that the Pharaohs had discoverd the secrets of the steam engine but kept it a secret from these slaves, lest they become lazy. They did not want the job done with the steam engine but rather preferred that slaves do the job.

And ya, last but definitely not the least:
ICICI/HDFC/Citibank --> I already have a home loan. I have 4 credit cards, 3 debit cards. I have a TV, Fridge and am not planning to marry in the next couple of years. With no offence to the poor people who call me, but with full offense to these corportates, please bugger off and dont disturb me.