Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Allianz Bajaj life insurance, bad or worst company ?

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mridul,

Greetings from Bajaj Allianz ! We regret that you encountered such an incident with us. We have noted the same and will look into it. Please provide us with your contact details along with the branch name at help.support@bajajallianz.co.in and our concerned team will investigate the matter. Kindly mention reference no. "ORM013107" when you write to us again.

Bajaj Allianz

8/05/2013 11:39:00 AM  

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