Bank Alfalah Cards SMS facility: Insecure Service, Incompetent Staff!

Thomasina shares his thrilling experience with Bank Alfalah customer service. It pretty much reveals where we stand in terms of customer support and services, and why there is so much that needs to be done to be at par with international standards.

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Before i start explaining my ordeal with Bank Alfalah’s Card SMS service, let me assure you all that i am NOT its customer nor do i ever intend to be one in future. It all started 2 months back when i unexpectedly started receiving SMS alerts from “906” stating details of transactions belonging to some “Mr. Saifullah Malik”. Initially, i thought it was some issue at the bank’s end which would get resolved in a day or 2. Little did i know that this assumption of mine will potentially intensify the misery of dealing with staggering abrupt SMS alerts. Noticing the continuing receipt of alerts, i called up the number listed at the end of their SMS message 111-225-111. After a long wait i finally got lucky and one of the reps took my call. Narrating my ordeal to them, I explained that i am NOT Mr. Saifullah Malik, and the number they have registered for sms is incorrect as it belongs to Me and NOT Mr.Saifullah Malik. I asked them to remove my number from the list and advised them to check with the relevant customer and capture the correct number. During the entire process, after answering a zillion questions, i finally was told that my number has been removed from their list and i won’t be receiving further SMS. The same night i again received a beep on my cell from 906 saying that i have been subscribed to receive SMS alerts!!! The whole aforementioned process of my calling Alfalah Bank reps at their branch offices and Head Office went on for almost 2-3 weeks. Each time i called i was told that my number will be/has been removed and no further sms’s will be forwarded. But guess what! the result was ..ZILCH! Nothing was made right by those incompetent buggars! i finally had to give up as i could no longer afford to waste my precious time, and get stressed out in return. I am LITERALLY SURPRISED at the sense of security Bank Alfalah has demonstrated with their acts of INCOMPETENCY. SMSing private transaction and payment details of their customers to external entities without even bothering to double check and ensure the authenticity of the number provided by customers SHOCKS me out of my guts!! How can a ‘well reputed’ bank (pun intended) have such an unserious and unconcerned attitude towards their customers privacy. Everyone who’s reading this post, i have undergone and am still undergoing severe annoyance caused by Alfalah Bank’s unprofessionalism. For their reputation i honestly wish these guys would ‘SERIOUSLY’ improve security/privacy checks to secure future customers. Ending this note by pasting the SMS alert i recently recieved, I wish all present Bank Alfalah Card holders GOOD LUCK!! “Dear MR.SAIFULLAH MALIK, Your Alfalah card has been charged for PKR 1197.0 at 17:02. You can also pay Electric, Gas and phone bills just call 111225111.”

27 Comments so far

  1. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 3:17 pm

    It’s all about mapping incorrect # with credit card. Anyway I have forwarded the link to my friends at Alfalah.

  2. axiomatic (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 3:23 pm

    I had a terrible experience with Bank Alfalah too. A couple of years back, my wife had to open an account there to receive her salary. They also issued us an ATM card free of cost. It was a big mistake.

    After a couple of months, we needed to draw some cash (I think Rs 5000) in the evening, so I went to an ATM. I could not draw the money, however, after a few days when my wife checked the balance it was short by Rs 5000.

    Their customer service reps are pathetic. After wasting time with them for a week or so and repeating the same info again and again, I had to go to the branch. They told me to write an application (get it written from my wife). They would then send that application to their Lahore office. It will take around 30 days (!) for the ‘error’ to be corrected and reversed (if at all they found an ‘error’)

    Well, the transaction was reversed after about a month and we got the money back in the account. My wife took out all funds (this time by a check) and we have never transacted in that account again.

  3. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 3:23 pm

    Was he unable to visit following link and register his complaint?

  4. ed (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 3:40 pm

    ITs not Just a matter of “mapping” … the issue is ATTITUDE. The attitude of Bank Al Falah towards its services and customer care has NOSE DIVED !!! … literally in a span of an year and a half, this organisation has started looking like a Government office!!! …. I wonder if there was change of faces at the top which marked this “renissance”.

  5. Tamed~. (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 4:25 pm


    Are you an official representative of the said bank here ?

    I had some trouble with this bank as well.

    Three yeras ago before moving to UK, I was their ‘valued customer’, I can remeber that I had to pay them thrice to unsubscribe from their credit card, denied receiving payments two times, & finally I ended up paying twice the due amount.

    As I was in UK, I was not able to represent myself personally & you know it can be difficult if someone else is dealing for you.

    I will never suggest anyone to be their customer.

  6. Adnan (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

    tamed: not anymore.

  7. doKsha (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 5:44 pm

    Bank AL Falak sucksssssssssss BIG TIME.
    ….and guess what ? they’ve handed over their recovery side to GHUNDAAAS

  8. Raja Islam (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 6:17 pm

    Alflalah online help is pathetic
    I tried it lots of time but overall Bank Alflalah is better than other banks like MCB & UBL.

  9. Tamseel Alvi (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 7:40 pm

    have been using alfalah cards for about 2 years now. sometimes they dont get my checks on time even though i have paid at least 10 days before the due date and then i have to pay a penalty. thats happened a couple of times but its much worse with citibank. they shud rather start burgaling our homes instead becuase thats all that they are good with.

    @adnan: i can understand the ghundas that they have hired for recovery. i have heard that alfalah is not the only bank doing it. it seems as if some ppl dont realize that just having their names blacklisted for all forms of credit in the future is enuff. i think the bigger problem is that with so much competition in the banking world, the emphasis on credit risk assesment is not as much as it used to be. they are giving out credit to every tom, dick and harry out there who doenst realize the black hole they are digging for themselves

  10. Farhan (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 7:56 pm

    These AlFalah guys are jerks , they only work for their own Falah baqi sab ka kabara , I had been receiving calls that my car payment is due mixing me with someother Farhan , well I had told them to come and pick it up don’t want the damn car becahra Farhan . Citibank are the worst they even sent me statemnet after I cancelled the card even charged me for services I never asked for and always told me these charges are irreversible . BTW anyone planning to run away with Credit card money , now State Bank is keeping all transactional records and on default no other bank will issue you the card or loan .

  11. axiomatic (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 8:40 pm

    And by the way, if someone from Standard Chartered is reading this, dont be pleased. Your service sucks too despite the fact that you fleece your account holders like leeches.

    Your hotline is a hoaxline and your banking staff is a bunch of clowns. I think SCB banking strategy is to attract customers by hiring beautiful chics who dont know jackass about banking or customer service.

  12. Kashif (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 9:06 pm

    The issue is not only with Bank AlFalah. Most of the “foreign” banks suck (forget desi banks, as they are not worthy of any mention). Having accounts in two of the leading foreign banks, I have first hand knowledge of how pathetic their customer service is. It seems that they have robots in CS dept who blindly dump all incoming mail/call/email to the bin. Some of these banks have outsourced support to third party call centres who are more pain in the back. They are often unaware of their own services/rates etc.

  13. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 9:16 pm

    Axiomatic, LOL!!!! I dont need to watch a comedy show after reading you.

  14. Bolshevik (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 9:50 pm

    And by the way, if someone from Standard Chartered is reading this, dont be pleased. Your service sucks too despite the fact that you fleece your account holders like leeches.

    I agree! They charged me Rs 315 for an ATM card, and Rs 400 for a cheque book. Rs 715 gone! :'(

    Ooper sey they inundate me with stupid mails (snail mail waali) about shit that I couldn’t give a flying patootie about, and yet refuse to mail my cheque book to me. “Please collect it by so-and-so date, or we’ll have to dispose it off,” they say. Tomorrow I plan to go to the branch and tell them off. Idiots.

  15. Mufakkir (unregistered) on July 9th, 2007 @ 10:06 pm

    I sympathize w/ both umar and Mr. Saifullah Malik. Both of you can go tell Shaukat Aziz how much the country is ‘developing’.

    Anyhow umar do you have an SMS counter? Mine shows 26709 just in a year. If Bank Alfalah gets my number and sends 1000 msgs per day, I’ll soon surpass all my friends. (I’m not so ‘farigh’ but Guiness record, yes!) BTW what’s your counter showing?

  16. Nabeel (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 12:01 am

    It is very interesting to read all of these students as a business student and as someone who has many friends either working in banks or planning to work there.

    Which bank would you people consider good,and for what reasons? Name a Pakistani bank (although that is a vanishing breed after privatization) and a multinational bank.

    Have banking services improved over the years or gone down? What is the general trend?

    I have only dealt with HBL so far and have found their customer services to be lacking – a few months ago I went to ask for a printout of my account statement and received the following reply:

    “Sorry I am new to this place and I don’t really know,so could you please wait for Mr. X or wait I’ll ask someone”

    !!! The nerve! I was infuriated! This girl had been chatting to what looked like her boyfriend for about 15-20 minutes before I was able to talk to her and then she tells me she’s incompetent!!

  17. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 12:23 am

    This is something which happened with me in 2005 when I was new in my company and was using someone else extension.

    Call Center Agent(CCA): Hello,AoA
    Me:Walikum salam?
    CCA: Adeel sahab se baat karni hey
    Me: wo tu chor kar chaley gaye..
    CCA: acha, Kab gaye?
    Me: kafi mahiney hogaye
    CCA:aap k pas unka contact hay?
    Me: nahin
    CCA:Acha aap kon bol rahey hain?
    Me: Adnan
    CCA: Adnan Sahab,Standard chartered k nai policy aye hey aap try karna pasand karay gey?
    Me:No thanks.
    CCA:Pls ek baar try karain
    Me:(getting pissed), Bhai nahi karna
    CCA: acha aap kia isi number per hotey hain?
    Me:(Jal kar), Nahin mey ek line man houn aur telephone sahe karney aya houn aur meri salary tu sirf 4,000 hay.
    CCA(Tap kar), Tu pehle batana thaa na!(And the line gets disconnected)

    before you guys call me a tharki, let me tell you that the person on other side was a guy :-). I was just being polite with him.

    my ex boss told me once that he was being bugged by a call center girl from UBL and he had been receiving calls for 5 days. He had totally refused to buy any service of UBL. One day he got a call while he was having lunch, the girl said,”please aap koi tu service try karain”, my boss replied,”jab aap se kahdia k nahi chahye tu kio tang kar rahe hain?”, the girl said “sir pls koi tu try karain”, boss replied,”Do you want to have sex with me”,as boss replied,girl got silent and replied ,”sir aap kia kah rahey hain?” and disconnected the line. After that he never got the call.

    Offcourse his response was very bad but the girl had left no choice other than making him to react like that. A sad tactic but it worked for him.

  18. Imran (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 12:33 am

    ahhh … it feels so good to know that there are more Al-Falah haters out there … no matter how much you abuse them call them names, its not enough …. my salary comes in al-falah account, and the first thing i do is cash it out via cheque and deposit in my Al-Habib account. i found al-habib to be overall good … but still cause of state bank, banking will never be what it should be in pakistan …

  19. Salman A. (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 12:41 am

    adnan, your ex-boss was a jerk, period..

  20. Jaad Syed (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 3:54 am

    @ Farhan !!
    yeah its true !
    and one more pathetic thing that even if u r not a defaulter at any bank , and ur blood relative is, ur brother, sister or father, even then you will not be entertained!!

    Pathtitc policies!
    Lolz @ Adnan !!

    well sometimes a written/ telephonic complaint to HODs works,
    like for example, when ABN Amro started its credit card service, some of there employees used the telephone to make prank calls, the person complained at the same no , and after two days, recorder was installed there to prevent any further such cases,

  21. Fakhar (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

    I have Soneri Bank account and they are very good. Never had any problems with them and there customer services are quite good. Only drawback i found is that they didnt start the online banking services. According to them online services will start by the end of this year. How do you see Soneri Bank … anyone??

  22. Adil (unregistered) on July 10th, 2007 @ 1:20 pm

    Standard Chartered is horrible as well. In fact, I found it worse than Alfalah. Found UBL to be more professional, actually.

    Standard Chartered issued me a Mastercard and then refused to cancel it, piling the charges on and on. It was only after 5 times that I cut the card and returned it (they kept sending new ones) that they got it in their thick heads that I didn’t want it. Also, have been trying to change the incorrect spelling on my credit card for the last 3 years, by writing letters, calling, sending the cut card back but for some reason they don’t want to fix the spelling. One person on their phone even committed to waive my annual fee for their mistake, but the next day other reps denied it and said that person had left. Just imagine!

  23. Saqib Shamim (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

    Bank Al-Falah is the MOST PATHETIC bank in Pakistan !!!

    We’ve been their customer since last 6 months and providing them business of more than a MILLION rupees each month but experienced extremely bad customer services till today. This is not related to any particular branch instead this applies to entire organization and almost all branches as we are conducting business with this worst bank in several cities of Pakistan.

    I don’t think they have any idea how bad their reputation becomes due to un-satisfied customers. Their ONLINE service remains Non-Functional for whole week and no alternatives were provided to customers who wanted to transfer money to other cities. Their service charges are much higher than other banks operating in Pakistan and their staff is Un-Professional and Non-Cooperative. We’ve faced problems in paying Credit Card bills as they simply told us that they haven’t received the checks. We’ve faced problems in WIRE transfers and several employees accounts were simply BLOCKED (without intimation) as their postal service failed to deliver the GREETING LETTERS !!!!!!!

    I’ll never recommend this bank to anyone and urge customers to switch to some good bank if they wanted to avoid mental torture.

    We’ve already decided to switch and this is our last month with Bank Al-Falah !!!

  24. MB (unregistered) on July 11th, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

    I have Soneri experience with me right now & for the time being i am quite satisfied, dont know about its future.

    Also dont know about other banks but few banks are run by jerks it seems.

  25. Muqeem Ahmed (unregistered) on July 13th, 2007 @ 11:16 pm

    Dear Sir,

    Asalmoelykum,,, I am Muqeem Ahmed,,from A.W Engg&
    FabricatoresKarachi,I need making new creidied Card Mobil No is…03222017387…Plz contacte me.

    Khuda Hafiz

  26. Bolshevik (unregistered) on July 14th, 2007 @ 6:55 pm

    @ the guy above: *points-and-laughs* :P~

  27. Kash (unregistered) on July 26th, 2007 @ 6:01 pm

    I think all the banks in Pakistan are bunch of retards who must be running some retard houses instead of Banks.Be its UBL or Citi Bank, trust me guys they have no idea of what they are doing and what it takes to be a Banker!.

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