My PayTM Misadventure


At around 830 pm on Monday, Nov. 21, my phone was stolen from me. The incident occurred at the crowded Saket Metro bus stop, while I was inside a feeder bus and the thief outside a window. By the time I could get off the bus and chase him, he had disappeared in the crowd. I looked around for a while before returning home, determined to do all I legally and possibly could in such a case, but feeling hopeless and dejected.

Primary concern, ensuring security

I filed an e-FIR, used Android Device Manager to try and locate the phone, placed a request to erase data with the Manager as well as my office IT service center. I knew that I had logged out of banking apps and they could not be accessed without MPins, but the PayTM app had login details saved. So I tried to lock my PayTM account via their website. Shocker: to verify my login they needed me to enter, apart from my e-mail/phone number and password, an OTP which I could only receive via SMS or call. I wondered why they could not e-mail me the OTP as well, which is standard practice in 2-factor authentication. I then used their customer care page to request a block on my account. I received an acknowledgement of this request almost instantly, (940 pm, Nov. 21, query #10133775). However, I received no reply, so I took to Twitter (1159 pm, Nov. 21):

Next morning, I see no response to my e-mail, but see this response to the tweet (735 am, Nov. 22):

So I sent them another e-mail request which was again acknowledged (0904 am, Nov. 22, query #10152004). Again, no reply, even by the evening, so I reply to their tweet:

This tweet, unsurprisingly, did not get any response. In the meanwhile, I had not only got a replacement SIM card from Airtel, but also had the SIM cards activated within the estimated time of 4-6 hours, despite being told that there may be a further delay as my number had been barred due to filing the FIR. I was thus able to receive the OTP now via the on call option (SMS services took a further 24 hours, as estimated, to get reactivated), and logged into PayTM.

It took me less than five minutes to change my password, and also log myself out of all devices. But I had to wait nearly a full day to do it because of the infuriating lack of response from PayTM. Compare this with the speed of transactions on PayTM. If you had to wait 22 hours for your PayTM wallet to be recharged, or if PayTM took 22 hours to pay your Uber cab fare, they would not remain in business very long, would they? So why do they assume they can take their own sweet time about customer service?

I quickly used up the balance in my PayTM wallet in order to close the account. I waited for a day to ensure those transactions did come through, and then tried closing my account this evening. Surprise, surprise. There is no option on the site to close your account, not even among their myriad customer care options. My requesting customer care to do so got me the no-less-surprising response that “Paytm account cannot be deleted, but we can block it for you please help us with the mail form your registered email id stating the same.” Bank accounts can be closed, social media accounts can be deleted (I just deleted my WhatsApp account this evening, in under 5 minutes), but a PayTM account cannot be deleted. Why is this so?

Again, for a digital service, PayTM’s frankly ridiculous, repetitive insistence on e-mail confirmation is nothing short of painful, especially given that there is NO guarantee your e-mail will actually merit a response from them, as so amply demonstrated by this experience.

Update: @Paytmcare chose to respond to this story via both tweet (0242am, Nov. 24) and e-mail (0615am, Nov. 24). The tweet asked me to check my email with reference to the request for closing my account (query #10291894). Only, their reply was to my e-mail of Nov. 22 (query #10152004). Not only did they get this mixed up, their response was on how I could get a new mobile number updated in my account while my old number was inaccessible – whereas my query had been about blocking my account. At this point, I could only conclude that PayTM’s customer care is, in addition to being poorly managed, is also poorly trained to respond to customer queries. And yes, PayTM has not yet confirmed that my account has been blocked, as of 0925am, Nov. 25.

For those interested, I have Storified the full exchange with @Paytmcare on Twitter, and my tweetstorm on the overall experience, here:

P.S. the image for this post is a fully deliberate reminder of the fact that PayTM chose to be cheerleaders for the disastrous #demonetization in India.


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10 thoughts on “My PayTM Misadventure”

  1. I can clearly your objective is to just blame and complaint.

    1. In the paytm website they have 24/7 customer care phone number, which is obviously visible in their home page. Is there a reason why you opted for email & twitter instead of calling them up?

    2. The simple solution in this case would be to call up your mobile service provider and block your sim card until you get a new one. Is there a reason why you didn’t go for that option.

    Modi haters like you only can hookup stories like this to blame him and complaint about every single measure.

  2. Beside this PAYTM is being used in snatching money from innocent people who ignorantly share details of their debit card with frauds. There is feature called “transfer to bank” for which user needs to pay 4% of amount and fraud can easily transfer the money by using this facility and site will also make good money. Now the limit has also increased so you can imagine

  3. Why should they care for customer care when the boss is on top of the world – “I Don’t Need to Sleep, I am Living a Dream.” Paytm is busy minting and building software to eliminate PoS with an in app feature, they don’t have time for closing a few Paytm accounts (you need to be careful with your phone) when they are making lakhs of new users per day.

    1. They are very poor in responding to complaints/queries.Also,it is not clear how one can remove a merchant outlet you permit to link to paytm.In the event of a conflict,you have no idea how long it is going to take to get a resolution,given how poor their customer care is Urvi

  4. PayTM and all digital online money transactions will love Modi because of the enormous business they are going to get with this ill organized demonetization move. Other danger of going cash less that not many people aware of now is going digital open up the state of Indian economy to the financial giants like Visa and MasterCard thus making them manipulate Indian economy by what they know.

  5. I have a PayTM account from which I tried to pay 4 small amounts (adding up to Rs 1400) to a friend. The transactions did not go through and was designated “pending”.

    I wrote to them three times over 5 days asking them to either complete the transaction or cancel it so that the amount will become available to me.

    I have still to receive any reply from them and the amount is still blocked. The amounts are small but how can anyone have any confidence in such a set up ??


      1. Actually you’re lucky.There’s no gainsaying which way the opposite party will take your tweet.Consumer court or a consumer help in is a good bet too

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