Has Banking with SBI always been this horrible?

Has it always been this frustrating and infuriating to get small bits of information out of State Bank of India(from here onwards, referred as SBI)? Something that you think their upper management would definitely be aware of if they’re running the largest bank in India!

My father retired from SBI a few years back, and I have always thought of SBI as an awesome bank, because we never had any major problems there.

But things are gradually changing, and the rose-tinted glasses are coming off.

I tried all the numbers (Image 1) I could find from the internet (google & SBI’s websites) to get some help from SBI. Finally one of the customer care numbers worked. But a 30 minute long conversation took me on a scenic ride and then abandoned me at my starting point i.e. I never got my answer 😂

Image 1: Call log: My efforts of finding an operational phone number, and then my futile attempts at trying to get answers to my simple questions from their customer support executives.


Image 2: An email I received from some random address with SBI’s domain asking for my identification documents. This is not supposed to be taken lightly at a time when Identity theft is so rampant in the society.  

Then there is this email (Image 2) I received from an address on SBI’s domain (sbi.co.in), asking for confidential information over plain-text email.

  1. This particular email (picture above) that I received from “SBI”, asking me to send information about my Visa/Residence permit, is it a genuine request or a phishing email?
  2. Depending on the answer I had 2 alternative questions:
  3. If this is genuine, then where do I send the information to, the email only says (send it to your home branch, how am I supposed to know that)?
  4. If you don’t know then I need the phone no. of the NRI division of the Lucknow main branch (my “home” branch) so I can figure it out myself.

That’s it. Simple! Right??? … NOT!

It took me about 45 minutes in total, and I gave up after that. None of the phone numbers for Lucknow on SBI’s website1, website2 or Google worked.

So after a 30 minute long phone call (It was long phone call with 3 redirects!) with SBI’s customer care center (marked as 1 in Image 1, it had also disconnected abruptly on an earlier occasion).

Having to reiterate my problems every single time was the most fun part. Then I thought I have finally received the phone number of the NRI cell in SBI Lucknow (marked as 2 in the Image 1).

I thought “This is it! I’ll finally get my questions answered” . To my surprise there was a voice from Telephone exchange informing me “This number has been changed, kindly…”.

Find a new Bank in India” just made #2 on my “Things to do when I visit India” list. Of course #1 is “Eat loads of Biryani!” 😄