L&T Finance, Bangalore, sells personalized financial solutions, like LIC's life insurance policies to retail customers and a very pushy marketing person managed to hound us since last year until we finally succumbed into buying a Jeevan Anand insurance policy. Little did we know that instead of 'Anand' (joy) it would be the beginning of a period of "Dukh" (sadness) -- after the INR 54,157/- cheque was encashed by them, the sales agent says there would be a medical test and their office would call us to schedule it. WTH?

Thereafter, S.I.L.E.N.C.E.

The silence lasted for two months as the sales agent at the Bangalore office would not take our calls nor did he call us back with details of when the medical test would be scheduled -- So why did the sales guy NOT mention an important detail like a "medical test" BEFORE taking the INR. 54,157/- cheque when he knew it was a senior citizen taking the policy, nor was this mentioned during the zillion phone calls when he wanted to sell the policy?

More S.I.L.E.N.C.E.

After some hassle, we got the Bangalore office number and it was our duty to keep calling them to find out the status of our policy. Finally, we heard that the sales agent had left their employment, talk to a manager --Err..what happened to the INR. 54,157/- cheque that L&T had encashed on 02-Feb-2011 --were they going to return the money to us or grant the Jeevan Anand policy? Nobody at the L&T Finance office in Bangalore knew who was handling the case, atleast that is what we were told upon repeatedly calling them, being shunted around to speak to different employees, and after many weeks of excuses and false assurances it took them only TWO months to schedule the first medical test.

Medical done, we still had no idea if they were actually going to issue a policy, or not. More silence followed and a week of calling them incessantly (the bane of mobile phones and people not picking your calls) were told that the medical test results would go to the L&T Hyderabad office which would make a decision. Upon more calls from us (the L&T Finance Bangalore employees just dont bother to inform us of the policy status) we were told that there would be another medical test....wait, did the Bangalore office realize this TWO months after the first medical test? That they would need to reschedule the second medical test and we were supposed to await a call (which would never come) informing us when to go for the test.

Days have passed, but there was no call, only S.I.L.E.N.C.E for company.

As usual, we called the local L&T Finance employee -- if they dont wish to schedule the second medical test and make a decision regarding the health eligibility, the least they could do was to return the money. Instead, we were given the excuse that it was the Hyderabad office making the decision and their local Bangalore office was just collecting documents and couriering it to Hyderabad for final decisions.

L&T Finance, if you dont intend to give the LIC Jeevan Anand policy, the least you can do is return the 54,157/- Rupees that you encashed FOUR months ago. Is this the way you treat senior citizens, by keeping their money in limbo, without interest for FOUR months while you take your own sweet time to make a decision? Is this is the "emphasis on systematic and planned investments" service L&T Finance provides? Why do the L&T Finance sales agent NOT mention important deal-breakers like a "medical tests" BEFORE encashing the INR.54,157/- cheque or during the zillion phone calls when they hound you to sell their insurance policies --or is that also a part of the "continuous monitoring and active re-balancing depending on changing needs and market dynamics" service that LT sales agents use to divest the senior citizens of their life-savings? I wonder how many other senior citizens have paid you their hard-earned money for which you dont pay any interest whatsoever, while taking half a year to make a simple decision.

I had always thought that L&T was a respectable brand name and enjoyed so much goodwill that I would have trusted them blindly BUT the L&T Finance employees have managed to destroy the enormous goodwill that the company enjoyed. Being a Finance company they would know that had this amount been invested in the simplest investment plan in any government bank's fixed deposit scheme, it would have earned around 10% interest for the last half year. Shame on you L&T Finance --do the math and return INR. 54,157/- with interest if you are not interested in allotting the Jeevan Anand policy immediately!

UPDATE [2011may28]:: Others personal experience and public opinions on LIC's Jeevan Anand policy:

[0] http://www.vinayahs.com/archives/2011/01/18/how-to-surrender-and-close-your-lic-jeevan-anand-life-insurance-policy/
[1] http://hubpages.com/hub/MY-VIEW-ON-LICS-JEEVAN-ANAND
[2] http://www.mouthshut.com/product-reviews/Jeevan-Anand-925037407
[3] http://ritusays.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/lic-life-insurance-corporation-of-india-jeevan-anand-endowment-assurance-and-life-insurance-policy/
[4] http://www.r2iclubforums.com/forums/showthread.php/20963-LIC-Jeevan-Anand-1

UPDATE [2011jun30]:: Soon after this blog was published, the L&T company representative contacted us and quickly arranged for the second test but a few days after that they were still unable to tell if LIC would issue the policy or not. The LIC agent also contacted us and they came up with a new scheme to enroll in (read, which entails us spending more on premiums with very little to show in terms of returns). In all it sounded like a terrible bargain and we insisted they return the 54,157/- Rupees without interest. There was some back-and-forth and we finally decided that if they didnt return the money (we were not even asking for the 6 months of interest at 10%), we would go the legal route where we would claim interest and harassment damages. LIC decided to return the money and we got the check this week. End of story.