I recently transferred around Rs. 500,000 (INR 5 Lakhs or almost $10,000) to a wrong beneficiary via RTGS and got the money back in 4 days of wrong money transfer. Here’s how I did it.
When I initially did the transfer and I knew that I had made a mistake, I was under tremendous stress trying to figure out how to get the money.
This is the process to get your money back in case of transferring to a wrong beneficiary.
Process to Get Money Back After Wrong Money Transfer (NEFT/RTGS)
While this seems like a fairly simple process, let me tell you it is not.
So many things can go wrong between this, so you have to act as fast as possible.
There were no online reliable forums or websites giving advice on how to get the money back in case of wrong transactions with some websites even saying that it was impossible to get the money back once transferred to a wrong beneficiary.
As someone who had Rs.500,000 ( INR 5 Lakhs) Transferred to A Wrong Beneficiary via RTGS and gotten it back, I thought I should write it down so that someone can get benefitted from this.
Before you call me an idiot and say how can someone transfer such a large amount without checking the beneficiary, let me tell you, it was a human error.
No matter how careful you are, sometimes human error occurs and you need to take corrective action.
I used to work in Air India and as per Boeing, 80% of all airplane crashes are due to human error.
So if you ever transferred money to a wrong account or made some kind of mistake, understand that human error happens and always think about what next you can do.
So little bit of context.
I had decided to buy a used car from a company.
I test drove the car, liked the car and booked it by paying a token advance of INR 10,000.
I had added the company as a beneficiary in my bank account and the money was transferred successfully.
Now, here is the twist.
When it was time to take delivery of the car, I went to their showroom and when I was about to make the payment–an HR called me regarding a job opportunity.
Naturally, I was distracted while making the transaction and instead of sending the money to the correct beneficiary, I sent it to another company with whom I had transacted before.
The problem was that this older company had shut down and they were only keeping their bank account active for some reason.
Both companies had an ICICI current account and I made the mistake of transferring to the wrong beneficiary.
Another mistake I made was that I completed the transaction via the mobile app and it is very easy to make a mistake on the mobile app rather than a desktop.
Now here is where all the mess starts.
The moment I transferred the money, I knew that I had screwed up.
I immediately went to a branch of my bank and explained to the lady at the counter about this issue.
She gave me a piece of paper to write letter to bank manager for wrong money transfer to another account.
Im attaching a sample letter to bank manager for wrong money transfer to another account so that if any of you need it, you can use the same.
Sample Letter to bank manager for wrong money transfer to another account (NEFT or RTGS)
The Branch Manager
Account Number: XXXXXX
Subject: Reversal request for Funds Transferred to Unintended Recipeient
I have an account number XXXXX with XXX bank and today while transferring funds of INR XXXX to a recipient, the funds got transferred to a wrong recipient.
The intended recipient account details are as follows:
Bank Account Number
Branch & IFSC Code
The unintended recipient to whom the amount got credited are:
Bank Account Number
Branch & IFSC Code
The transaction ID of this unintended transaction is XXXXXX and in the transfer description, I had mentioned XXXXX text.
Please take this as a formal complaint for the unintended transaction and raise a request to XXXX bank to reverse the fund transfer at the earliest.
After I raised the complaint, the lady signed, sealed the letter and sent an email to the RTGS/NEFT team of the bank.
She also asked me to visit the nearest ICICI bank to try to raise a complaint there.
Even though I got my money back in 4 days, I can safely say that ICICI bank has one of the worst customer care and the people working in this bank behave like that of a typical government employee.
They don’t care about the urgency of a situation nor do they do anything proactively unless you push them to the wall.
Note: I am a customer with ICICI and still saying this after my experience with ICICI bank people and their customer care team.
So back to the story.
After raising the complaint in my bank’s nearby branch, I rushed to the nearest ICICI bank to speak to the manager there.
The manager at ICICI bank JP Nagar (Bangalore) said that there is nothing he can do from his side unless ICICI bank backend team gets a response from my bank.
I again stood there for 30 mins saying that I am an ICICI customer and I want to at least have a complaint on file that wrong transfer has happened, he said there is nothing to do–I can leave.
So I came home and next morning, I visited an ICICI bank which has my current account to check the status of the complaint.
The Operations Manager at HSR Layout branch said that there is nothing he can do and that I should visit my bank’s branch to get an update.
I went to my bank’s branch and the Manager said that they had already sent the email to ICICI bank and I should go to ICICI bank and ask them to hasten the case because the amount was large.
Back to ICICI bank.
Here, I met this operations manager again and said that this is what my bank has said.
Very rudely, he asked me, “So what should I do?”
I told him politely, “Sir, you are the manager, can’t you at least send an email with this complaint number?”
To this he responds, “So now I have to write email also?”
I told him, I will write the email for you, you please send it at least.
So he gave me a piece of paper and I wrote everything and with great difficulty, our branch manager scanned it and sent it to his back end team.
This guy would easily rank as one of the worst bank officers I have ever interacted with, in terms of sheer lack of interest.
I got the number of the operations manager at ICICI bank mumbai to where I had transferred the money and called them.
Initially, when I told the lady this had happened, she asked me the account number of actual intended recipient and I gave it to her.
Next she asked me the account number of the wrong recipient and I gave her that as well.
Now, she says that the intended recipient account number is completely different from the account number I had sent to so there is nothing they can do.
If there were few digits here and there, they could have done something, but this is completely different so there was nothing the bank could do.
I told her, there is no such rule that the number has to be similar, I had raised a complaint and it was forwarded from my bank to her bank.
To which again, she reluctantly said, “Let me check.”
After this, I started contacting my bank and ICICI banks customer helpline number in a bid to escalate the issue but ICICI bank customer care said they will respond to a query in only 48 hours.
My 5 Lakhs was lying in someone else’s account without this bank doing anything.
I asked the ICICI bank lady to at least mark a lien on the amount so that the money cannot be misused.
She says that the account in question has multiple liens marked and that she cannot do the same without approval coming from the backend team.
What was scary was that this particular account had only my funds and some change and at any moment, someone could withdraw the money.
She asks me to wait another 24-48 hours for the bank’s backend team to respond.
Another sleepless night goes by and next morning, I again show up at a different branch of ICICI asking for complaint status.
The lady at this bank gets shocked when I tell the amount and I could see she was tense just like me, she immediately dials the number of the Mumbai branch the same lady I was interacting with picks up the phone.
She starts asking why it is taking so much time, the customer is sitting in front of me and complaining, the lady in the Mumbai office asks her to hand the phone over to me.
When I spoke to her, she was saying, “Why are you going to different branches and raising complaints like this?”
I responded, “Then what else should I do? It’s been more than 24 hours since you got my complaint and nothing has been done.”
She asked me to give the phone back to the lady at the counter and told her that she is escalating the matter.
After this I went home and waited.
For the rest of the day, nothing happened.
Next day, I again called the operations manager in Mumbai and she said that one of the folks at the branch knew the customer of the account well and that he had agreed to give consent to reverse the funds.
She said, she is getting the consent in an hour and will update me.
After a couple of hours, she called me and said that she has received the consent for funds reversal and it is now pending with the RTGS team at ICICI and that reversal should happen by end of the day.
I waited till the end of the day, nothing happened.
Again, next morning I called her and the Operations manager said that the funds were not reversed because there was a spelling mistake in the consent email that the customer had sent.
It was a very minor mistake which they could have ignored, and this lady said that she had complained to the head of the department about such callous behaviour (I don’t know if that was true).
By afternoon, I called her again and she said that the debit had happened and I should get the money in the next 1 hour.
Nothing happens till 6 PM the same day and I am again on a call with my bank customer care and I receive an email that funds have been received.
I sigh a breath of relief and thank my good fortune that I got my money back.
Even though the Operations Manager at Mumbai was not very helpful initially, she left all other work and started working on my case understanding the gravity of the situation.
I really owe her one.
After I got funds, I called her to thank and she said, “Sir at least from now, please be careful.”
I replied, “Madam, I am deleting my mobile banking application right now.” to which she just laughed heartily.
Because I got the funds back, I am writing this long post to let my readers know how I did it.
If someone stumbles on this post, you can learn from my mistake and possibly save a lot of stress and effort.
Few lessons I learned during this whole transferring funds to a wrong account.
ICICI bank has one of the worst customer addressing systems in place, 48 working hours to respond, I would stay away from such a bank.
You need some luck to get money back, it’s as simple as that.
Feel free to share this post with anyone so that they can be aware and avoid such mistakes that can be very difficult to solve.