By Zara Maqbool
Last week as I made my regular visit to the bank, one of the branch officers came up and said, “Can you please come on the side? There is an issue that we need to discuss with you.” The way he beckoned me to listen to him immediately raised my defensive bars and I refused to comply. He goes, “its urgent so you need to listen to me and I immediately went in my child state and told him I am not moving from there and he needs to mind his way of speaking to me.”
Before the issue was explained to me both his and my stance seemed to have been pre-defined, he on the offensive and me on the defensive.
After a short while another lady came up and showed me my gas bill of around Rs. Eleven thousand four hundred and told me that in my last visit to the bank I had paid one thousand and four hundred only and not the complete amount. They both then told me they have CCTV footage of me making various transactions but not paying for the bill.
My reaction was not what they had expected as they presented the video to me on their phone. I burst out laughing. Somehow the situation seemed funny to me, especially the way they said, “ Ma’am we have CCTC footage of you.” I felt like a cool criminal and maybe I need to process about this with my therapist.
The first thing I looked out for when I watched myself on their CCTV video was if I looked good on camera. Satisfied with myself I watched the few minutes’ footage of me making various transactions. Some how the footage didn’t make any sense to me and so I told them I would come back later.
Next day I went back with my husband. He was given the same story that the footage doesn’t show that I have given Ten thousand. My stance was that I had gone to make two transactions and I had given the entire sum in one go. My husband’s stance was that contrary to their story that the footage doesn’t show that I am giving the money; he wanted them to prove it in the video where does it show that I wasn’t giving the money. The most important thing was that we had a cash received receipt from the bank.
When their attitude became a little aggressive we did what every Pakistani does in such a situation. Take out your contact list and call out the big boss if you know him or some one who knows the big boss. Well eventually we had to pay the bill as this month’s was also due but we have taken up the case with the bank and we are challenging their statement. What happens is yet to be known.
What I want to highlight here is the attitude of the bank. In anywhere in the world a receipt is enough proof to nullify any other argument. I argued with the bank that we have the receipt and yet we are being challenged. What if next time I don’t pay and I don’t receive the receipt and yet I say I have paid. Will they accept it? The bank officers were not so happy with this logic or the fact that we are taking up this case with the ‘Mohtasib’.
Since some time I have been quite unhappy with the local banks. There is always one window operating that makes you wait for hours and for a working woman and a housewife I don’t have the liberty of waiting for an hour to pay two utility bills. The Internet service of my bank never works and then something like this is just an icing on the cake. Is there any sector that is working to its fullest potential and not deteriorating with time?
But I guess if everything will sort out what will I write my blog about?
Story first published: 10th February 2018