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Whether we like it or not, India is going digital in a big way. A large part of the push has come from the recent demonetisation effort. The withdrawal of five hundred and one thousand rupee notes had citizens scurrying for a replacement.

It was this void that Paytm diligently filled. With it's easy to use transaction system, it quickly emerged as a champion of the digital India, promoted by the government and people alike, Paytm is now set to scale new heights as it prepares to open its Payment Bank service.

Paytm has overlooked one thing, though, the customer service. To say that the Paytm customer service is lacklustre is an understatement, it's practically non-existent. The telephone lines are driven by an IVR system that barely addresses any grievances. Raising tickets on the app or desktop is no better with many users complaining about being stuck in an endless email loop that just annoys the customer. I have faced this issue; A brain freeze and a wrong number later, I ended up transferring a hefty amount of about four thousand rupees to some fortunate soul. Devastated by my idiocy, I quickly raised a ticket on customer care, my queries were greeted by amateurishly written email that looked suspiciously like spam. When I responded, I was told that there is nothing than can be done and I should contact the number, I had accidentally sent the amount to. After sending a strongly worded reply, I was greeted by an email that basically repeated everything that was in the first mail, asking me to share the exact same information, I had given before.

Not alone

It turns out I am not alone a lot of people have gone through this problem and seemingly there is no fix.

Piyush Mishra who is a journalist based out of Ahmedabad also faced a similar issue.

“I recharged for Rs 395 using #Paytm and paid partly through Paytm money (Rs 110.9) and rest using my debit card (Rs 284.10) yesterday morning. However, the transaction failed. While the Paytm balance remained intact, Rs 284.10 balance from my debit card got deducted. It's been over 36 hours and I haven't got my money back. Have sent countless emails through feedback on Paytm app dnd tweets too but they haven't done anything except for giving a fake assurance on Twitter. No response to feedback mails neither complaints on app. You can also see my Twitter timeline,” he said on a colleague’s Facebook page.

Karan Mehta who is Delhi-based musician and events promoter also had a similar story to tell.

“I lost 3k almost a month back, mailed them twice but got this exact same response. Don't think that money is coming back,” he revealed.

It is just that there is a lack of customer support, in some cases the customer support people are clueless.

Mohit Sachdev a Delhi based entrepreneur brought light to issue quite succinctly.

“They have digested quite a lot of my money and the customer care executive say please check with your subscriber,” he told me on Facebook.

To be fair, there were also many queries that had been successfully resolved and many who stood by the company saying the money will eventually come back.

In some cases, it is not so bad

Vibhu Sharma a Delhi who is the executive assistant to the president of NRAI Riyaz Amalani shared one such positive experience with us.

“It all comes back man, well it has in my case and I wish the best for you. Have had 3 cases, twice with 1500/- and once with 2000/- All 3 times, payment failed. Twice the money came back to the paytm wallet and once came back to the account I was transferring from in a week. But thankfully all in place! Whew,” he claimed.

Our own attempts to contact the company for a statement have been met with silence so far. This disturbing trend of relying on a twitter account and an IVR system to solve problems is worrying, especially now that PayTm is entering the banking domain.