Friday, April 1, 2011

Two more crooks - SBI Cards and Heritage Holidays

  • A fundamental principle for efficiency in the system is that property rights should be well-defined and well-protected. If the law fails to define or protect rights of each member, it leads to systemic corruption and motivation to violation of contracts.
  • According to the Ease of Doing Business Index, India ranks 134th overall. Rank of India in case you want to enforce a contract is 182, barely ahead of some war-torn African nations.
Such a revisit to economic theory and then empirical evidence was necessitated not by some pressing issue of national importance but by a crooked scheme by SBICards (a division of State bank of India) and the Heritage Holidays India Pvt. Ltd. Let me explain the matter in brief for your own safety from these crooks.

I was offered the membership of SBI Privilege Circle, which cost me some Rs. 5,500. In lieu of that membership, I was supposed to get a package of one domestic return ticket, one 2.5 days holiday and a wrist-watch. Although I got the wrist watch soon, I decided to give up the domestic ticket option as all the sectors offered were pathetically short and irrelevant (mostly like Jaipur to Delhi, Trichy to Chennai, or Aizawl to Agartala kind).

However, then only I realized that even the holiday is conditions-ridden. When somehow I carved out a time-slot and sent three preferences, they did not reply for over two months. When I started calling the SBI Previlege circle helpline (all toll nos.), after long wait, I was told to call the heritage holidays people. When I called them, I was assured that tickets are in process and the trip is confirmed. One further month later, I started calling them again. After a similar ordeal, I was told that my desired slot is full now and I have to find another set of dates. As last date of offer was approaching soon, I managed even that somehow. However, since then, some weeks have passed without a reply from either of the SBI Cards or the heritage holidays.

Although I have given up the hope of any reply from those bastards now, even if they do, I am sure it will be better not to avail the offer at all. Reason - If I book flights just one week before, airfares would be so high, it is better to finance a full trip on my own. By the way, those hogwashers have the audacity to call me for offering the same scheme again, which effectively means that there is no 'privilege circle' but just a shop of thuggery.

How I wish to have a sound legal and judicial system of contract enforcement in India in order to teach these crooks a lesson. Alas! The law is in a more sorry state than the violators' wish.


Krishna Dutta said...

Thank you for the step you have taken to help others.
I am also victimised by the crooked scheme of SBI card and Heritage Holidays.
I have paid Rs4545.00 and received the Money saver card along with a gift(a wrist watch and a sunglass),three gift coupons and a booklet.The booklet gives details of the outlets which are not at all in Kolkata.Now if I want to take steps against these crooked people,what should we do------------?

Krishna Dutta said...

Crooked Scheme - SBI Card and Heritage Holidays

I am also a victim of this crooked scheme.I have paid Rs 4545.00 and received the money saver card,a gift of wrist watch and a sunglass,few discount coupons and a booklet on outlets.It is surprising and shocking to see that these outlets are not available in Kolkata though it was confirmed over phone that it will be accepted in Big Bazar,Pantaloon like popular outlets.
Now I find that my money is waisted.I do not want stop here.
Whom should I approach to get justice------?

Sid said...

Dear Mr. Dutta, Thanks for sharing your experience. The only way to make these crooks pay is to pull them to consumer courts. Sadly, even the consumer courts are in such bad shape that going to them is a bigger headache.
After considering that, I decided to resort to the only medium we have - an online report for the reference of other innocent customers.


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