Sunday, March 9, 2014

Visit to Bank Alfalah

Caution! This is a real-life event. Story below is bit lengthy with audios embedded in the text. Be patient whilst reading and listening.

Never thought March 6, 2014 would switch sides so rapidly for me. It was another darn dawn of a day where after doing up with my routine chores I had been handed over an errand by my mom which was the rent deposit to the landlord. Thanks to the slow and lousy virtual banking procedure of my country, I couldn’t do an online transfer sitting at home from the computer.

As usual I ride up to one of the bank Al-Falah branch, park my bike, out-gaze the bank building and notice the iron-caged shutter is halfway up which obviously means my arrival is a little early. I reach for my cellphone from my pant-pocket and look at the time, it’s 8:50 a.m.

Damn! I have to wait outside for a whopping 10 minutes. I situate my butt on my parked bike and wait in despair seeing Al-Falah and other banks’ staff walking-in to secure their attendance right before 9:00 a.m. my clock ticks 9, I move and leap onto the bank gate.

With the iron-caged shutter still halfway up, I ask the guard why are you not opening the gate, he responds, it’s not time yet. I tell him it is 9:00 a.m. Jack! Open the door so I can go inside. He says sir I cannot open it until the staff is free from their morning meeting. I sense my mind send raging signals to my nervous system and in a dominant voice I man-up to the guard and argue as follows “if their meeting finishes after 10:00 a.m. will you still make the customer wait outside?” He responds, yes sir, sometimes their meeting can take up to 2:00 p.m. and if they wish and order the security to keep the gates shut – so shall it be. I really feel disrespected after getting such a verbal insult form a mere security guard. I tell him, to have a solution for this there’s only one way; a complaint letter to bank’s head office. He laughs and says “nothings gonna happen.”  I nod, guard goes inside the bank, walking away a few steps from the bank’s pavement I reach for my Samsung Galaxy Ysmart phone in my pant-pocket and click a picture of the bank’s banner with the intention to lodge a complaint to their reporting office or line manager.

Fast forward, I go to another branch of the same bank close in the vicinity. Get my work done and decide to pay a visit to my first branch this morning and settle some unfinished business. Thanks to technology that we find everything on the tip of our fingers these days.

Riding again to the first branch, I take my cellphone out, take off my helmet and walk towards the gate. This time the iron-caged shutter is finally up and I see the guard standing for security check. When I open the gate to walk-in, he expresses empathy and speaks “sir you’ve come again”. I tell him I’ve come to complain and see the branch manager. I switch on the recorder in my phone and walkup to the counter. I ask the teller, where can I meet your branch manager? He inquires what’s the matter? And below is the audio version of the conversation that took place.

[Unfortunately, had to remove the audio to avoid any unforeseen litigation]

After getting the name of the branch manager I head to work.

Taking my own sweet time to start my daily tasks and browsing through various websites at around 10:00 a.m. my phone Samsung Galaxy Y S3560 buzz. Seeing a local PTCL number, I reckon it has to be from Bank Al-Falah and it sure is – upon answering guess who calls Mr. Shabbir Hussain, the branch manager. He apologizes and assures the déjà vu is highly unlikely with you. And extends an invitation to visit his branch and meet him. Here’s the audio.

[Unfortunately, had to remove the audio to avoid any unforeseen litigation]

I accept his apology and tell him to stick by the timings what you’ve advertized at the main gate. By not opening the gates in time you’re simply piling irate customers to your unsatisfactory list.


In spite of being of timid nature, I don’t understand the force behind which emotionally charged me. I learned a great lesson from this event i.e. addressing what is wrong with the intention to make it right.

The emotional charge is rare with Vincent Michael. Anyway, the courage I took to address the issue to the bank officials turned out fruitful. And in the end I said to myself – it was worth the commotion!

My question to you my dear readers is have you encountered a similar event? If yes, please share your story, I'd love to hear your experience.