My blog post on September 03, 2013, Is this how a bank should treat a customer? was about squash player Dipika Pallikal having sued Axis Bank Limited seeking Rs. 10 lakhs as compensation for the humiliation and loss of reputation she suffered during one of her overseas trips in 2011 after her debit card declined a transaction despite sufficient balance in her account.
My blog post on September 19, 2013 Axis Bank apologises was about Axis Bank’s apology for their remarks that “The very fact that the complainant is not able to take the slightest disturbance would prove that she lacks the requisite mental toughness of a world champion. She is only making excuses for her non-performance …” The Times of India reported this in detail on September 12, 2013, also stating that “Dipika still intends to pursue a case of ‘deficiency in service’ against the bank ‘on principle.’”
Since then, I had been regularly checking newspapers and internet for updates about the case in the Chennai (South) District Consumer Redressal Forum. For over a year, I did not get any updates. On Saturday last, my Google search led me to an NDTV report dated March 24, 2014 stating that “the consumer court ordered the bank to pay a compensation of Rs. 500,000 to Pallikal as well as Rs. 5,000 towards costs.”
After reading this report, I sent a message to Dipika Pallikal’s lawyer, Sanjay Pinto, to ask whether Axis Bank paid the compensation, or whether they have appealed against the verdict.
Mr. Pinto replied, “The bank paid the compensation ordered by the court. As the matter stands resolved, we do not wish to make any comment.”
I hope this entire episode encourages every consumer in India to fight for her/his rights.
I also hope that every service provider and product supplier realizes that a genuine attempt to resolve a customer’s grievance can save them considerable expense and bad publicity.