A True Story – Shock, Twist and Happy Ending after some “Pull”

Sometimes, it’s just nice to tell a story.
The Shock:
In November last year, I woke up and started going through some bills early in the morning. One of them was from a cellphone company “A” that specializes in giving international SIM cards when you travel abroad. I had been to the US of A three weeks prior and had taken an IPhone compatible SIM with a data plan of 10G for about 40 USD. I had used the 3G data plan extensively and I expected to get a bill of about 80-100 USD.
When I saw the bill, I rubbed my eyes. It read Rs. 60,000. I swore under my breath, thinking that this was going to lead to one more of those protracted service-related fights. I then looked again…and my heart stopped beating for just a fraction.
The bill was actually for Rs. 6.48 lakhs…for 3 days of IPhone data usage on the AT & T network in the US of A.
The explanation!
I suddenly felt calm. The amount was so atrociously huge that I was sure no one in his/her right mind would actually contest this. And realizing that I would not have the patience to deal with all the people involved, I had my secretary take care of the entire issue. I’d really like to thank her for a job well done; I had to intervene just once in the end.
We called up company “A”. My secretary told me later that each time she brought up the figure of Rs. 6.48 lakhs, even the usually complacent and lethargic call centre girls would perk up and offer to help. I realize now that a figure of Rs. 60,000 would actually have been quite tough to fight, while the amount of Rs. 6.48 lakhs was so out of the cricket-ground that it actually made life easier.
We finally figured out the screw-up. Somehow, the data plan had not been entered in the computer system and I had been billed on actuals. Within 2-3 weeks, company “A” to its credit accepted the error and sent a letter reversing the bill.
The twist!
My credit card in the meantime was hit by the charge. I put this into dispute. My bank “B” was also very helpful and told me it would take around 6 weeks to investigate. At the end of six weeks, when they got back saying that they hadn’t found anything wrong, we sent them the bill reversal letter and the bank started a second investigation.
Finally it came down to the fact that bank “C” that had raised the charge to my credit card on behalf of company “A”, was not sending a reversal credit note to my bank “B”. To speed things up, company “A” even gave us the letter that they had written to their own bank “C” as proof, but my bank “B” would not budge.
Finally then I had to do something the “Indian” way.
I called someone I knew higher up in my bank “B”, who then spoke to the head of the credit card division, who in turn spoke to the person handling my case, who then called me and apologized and sent an email saying that I would not have to pay anything and that they would sort this out directly with bank “C”.
Happy ending!
It took 3 months and I had to learn to be patient and let it all play out, but it finally did get sorted out!
Some story, huh!

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