I have had a couple of life insurance policies with Bajaj Allianz for almost 12 years now, and it has never been a pleasant experience dealing with them ... but recent changes they have introduced take the cake.
The basic attitude seems to be - treat your customers like crooks. They have absolutely no qualm's violating the customers privacy in the name of protecting their interest.
The incident prompting this post goes somewhat like this :
Since it is the time to file tax returns, I was at the local Bajaj Allianz branch in Bangalore to get a statement on amounts paid for last financial year and also pay the next quarterly premiums.
While waiting for the counter to be free (45 mins, sigh), I was observing a customer and her advocate harangued & shouted at by the staff, manhandled by the security 'guard' on instruction of the branch manager and finally thrown out of the branch : after making them wait for an hour - all because they insisted on closing some policy (or some such) ... came across these details given the raised voices with which the staff was publically responding to the customer - so much for discretion while dealing with customer details.
Though I did not interfere, it did leave a very bad taste in my mouth.
And finally, it was my turn - gave policy numbers, intimation letters and cheque to the cashier : and suddenly I see the cashier bring a black object near my face - was quite surprised at this, and quizzed him about what was happening.
His response ? "I am taking your picture
" ... what the hell ?!
Apparently violating customer privacy, or having minimum decency of asking permission before taking a picture is not something the company officials think is important.
I refused permission to take my photo and offered to show a valid photo-id in case he wanted to validate it was my account (I offered driving license and passport - both which carry my picture) - and his response was "I cant give you the statement without allowing me to take your photo
On insisting on talking to his supervisor, he directed me to the manager - her arguments were weird, nonsensical and plain fantastical on why they need to take the photo : Govt issued photo-id is not valid apparently, since I might look like my sister - go figure, considering she is 4 years younger, and I am a guy :-)
Bottomline was, apparently their 'head office' has issued instructions some 4 months back asking all branches to do this. In the name of protecting my privacy, they want to violate my privacy !
On asking her details about who authorized this rule, she was clueless - since, AFAIK, the insurance regulatory body has not issued anything of this sort (pls correct me if I am wrong).
If you think they were really looking out for the customer, you will like what came next.
Before leaving the branch, I asked the cashier for other details about my policies (when they will mature, when was the last payment made, when was the next one due, etc) - and he very readily gave them to me.
So this entire exercise of protecting customer interests is just hogwash ... why they need to harvest these details is something I am not sure of ....
What was really contrasting was that I had just gotten statements
from my Bank before - and did not even need to
furnish a photo-id proof (they could validate who I was based on KYC
details they have).
Allianz Bajaj Life Insurance really needs to get its act together ... forget customer friendly - they need to start treating customers with more dignity !
Personally, I wont be dealing with them in future.