Can a Call recorded for Training Purposes be used as evidence Legally?
As a leading CIBIL Consultant in India, I have to daily make calls on behalf of my clients to different Banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, Barclays Bank, AMEX Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, City Bank, Indus Bank and Finance Companies like Fullerton, Bajaj Finance, Phoenix, HDBFC, Capital Trust, Mohindra Finance (List is long running into more than 100 Finance companies and Banks both PSU and Private Banks).
As I am well equipped with the Personal and Private information of my clients it does not take much time to pass through the Identification Parade. Immediately after the computerized ID confirmation I often listen to the female voice “This call may be recorded for Training Purposes”. There is no option to say “Yes” or “No” to record the conversation and all the Banks and Financial Institutions excepting a few PSU Banks, force this recording on their clients.
After working as CIBIL Consultant offline and online for the last more than 4-5 years I have reached a conclusion that such call recordings are fraught with danger and I suggest the following not only to the callers but the customer care executives who answer such calls:
- The Called Party that is PSU Bank, Private Bank or Financial Institution who force call recordings on their clients must take their consent by pressing 1 for Yes and 2 for No as I have found that such call recordings are being used by the Banks and Financial institution to close the status of the complaint of the client whereas complaint registration and resolution is a legal process.
- Banks, especially Private Sector Banks and Financial Institutions in the name of Training record the calls and in subsequent talks they refer to such recordings as a legal evidence whereas the clients are not provided any clips of audio recordings.
- In my opinion, call-recordings should be resorted to after taking the clients consent by asking them to press 1 for Yes and 2 for No and in case the client gives consent for call recordings then it should be mandatory for the Banks and Financial Institutions to provide audio clips of such call recordings through whats app/SMS/email on the registered Mobile Numbers and/or registered email IDs.
- Such Call recordings should not be used as “Satisfaction of Complaints and Disputes” raised by the clients as I have found that almost all Private Banks like ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Bank, Barclays Bank, AMEX Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, City Bank, Indus Bank and Finance Companies like Fullerton, Bajaj Finance, Phoenix, HDBFC, Capital Trust, Mohindra Finance (List is long running into more than 100 Finance companies and Banks both PSU and Private Banks) avoid taking responsibilities and never reply to the complaints properly.
- Clients must be given proper Service Request Number whenever a client contacts the Customer Care Number of such institutions which should be communicated via SMS or email.
- I have found that almost all the Private Banks and Finance Companies never reply the emails or complaints raised through web forms in reply mode. Every time the client is to raise the same issue time and again as the original issue gets lost in subsequent emails received from different quarters. I have seen that sometimes the same issue is dealt with by 7-8 different persons of the same Bank or Financial Institution and their replies are entirely different.
- It is also found that some of the Private Banks like Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank cannot be contacted through emails which are not registered with the respective Banks. Sometimes, either the emails of the clients are not registered or are wrongly misspelled. In such cases, the Banks refuse to take the complaint about already closed/settled/written off loan accounts and credit cards accounts of the clients despite the fact that the client has submitted his/her original scans of PAN and Aadhar Cards.
- PSU Banks, Private Banks, and Financial Institutions do not provide online access to their Loan and Credit Card Accounts which are closed in their Books of Accounts but are reported to Credit Bureaus like CIBIL, Experian and Equifax as “Settled” or “Written Off”. Keeping in view the extended Role of CIBIL Reports in future more and more public is coming forward to get CIBIL Clearance in respect of their existing Default, Settled or Written Off loan accounts and Credit Cards.
- Sometimes, due to misreporting of PAN Number, Aadhar Numbers and other ID proofs like Passports the loan account of strangers creep into the CIBIL Reports of honest borrowers. Such honest borrowers are not the customers or the borrowers of banks whose loan accounts belonging to others are reported in their Credit Reports. Such borrowers, being non-customers of the reporting Banks find it very difficult to contact the Private Banks and Finance Companies who don’t take calls from Non-Customers as they don’t possess any credentials with such Banks. In such cases, only CIBIL writes to the misreporting banks to clarify the position but banks ignore the calls from CIBIL and in many genuine cases I had to solve the CIBIL Cases through Ministry of Finance (Banking Division).
- Last but not the least, in India all the borrowers do not have Mobile Sets or Mobile Numbers and for all Banking Purposes, they provide Mobile Numbers of their Close Relatives and any Call or SMS from the Bank lands at the Mobile Numbers not owned by the borrowers. Such poor and illiterate customers neither have mobiles nor email IDs and I have found that Banks and Finance institutions are filling the email ID as firstname.lastname@example.org in the email ID of such pitiable customers who can not have access to Banking Channels once their Loan Account or Credit Card is reported as “Default”,”Settled” or “Written Off” account and he or she will have to live with this tag of Defaulter Till Death even if he or she has good intention to remove the Defaulter Tag.
Why this Article?
This article is written based on years of research and practical experience of Getting the CIBIL Reports Rectified by CIBIL Consultants so as to make a hammering effect on all the Parties to Credit Reports like Banks, Finance Companies, Credit Bureaus, Recovery Agencies, Reconstructions of Assets Service Providers. In case a suitable platform is built up for auto rectification of CIBIL Reports without any manual effort or intervention, I am sure that in the near future the Banks and Finance Companies will be able to minimize their Non-Performing Assets substantially.