Monday, October 01, 2007

Credit card capers

I had a 60K limit on my Visa Silver credit card from the second largest bank in India and very recently de to bad financial planning and a lot of stupidity I had an available cash limit of under a couple of thousands and the interest servicing alone was draining me. So I decided to pay the amount in full from my savings and get rid of this debt trap and based on the bill I did so right down to last paisa. My problems with the card then commenced!

When I call up their 24/7 customer care number for some unknown reason every time the officer understood that I wanted to close my card my line invariably gets disconnected. So after several frustrating disconnected calls I finally managed to get through them from the hotline in their branch. Finally I got an assurance that my card will be closed. Happy and flushed with the success of my mission I rested in peace at home. This peace lasted only for a week when my next statement read that I had a couple of hundreds to pay as interest for the intermittent period and the service charge on the same. The same rigmarole continued and after several more frustrating calls that bloated my mobile bills but yielded no result I decided to do something drastic.

At this moment I must rewind back to the month of June, where the world’s local bank had a tiff with me. Their gold card was paid in full and the card expired in normal course in March 2007. I declined the renewal card sent by courier and I was living a life of contentment and bliss knowing that one noose was less around my neck. Good things end invariably and my bliss ended with the receipt of the bill statements for a card I did not possess. The customer care of this bank is so terrible I sometimes wonder if it should be named customer scare. I was informed that my card was duly returned to them and was also destroyed but I was being billed as my relationship was not terminated!!!! What they were telling me was that I had to pay for something I don’t have because I had it some time back.

Left with no solution I searched the net and chanced upon the Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group, based in Chennai. I suppose they may have a chapter in many other cities too. Based on their suggestion I mailed a stinker to the customer care with a copy to the CAG with a mild threat that I would resort to “the available recourse” and waited for a response. Though I had given a deadline of 7 working days in 2 days flat the bank replied with closure formalities and that relationship was formally ended.

So coming back to the first story I decided to call upon the CAG again and guess what? I send a mail in the evening to the bank and by late night I get a SMS that my charges are reversed and my balance is NIL, the next day I get a mail saying that my card relationship has been terminated.

This post is aimed at two things:
1) To place on record my gratitude and appreciation to the Citizen Consumer & Civic Action Group for their wonderful services
2) To tell all those who are stuck with a consumer problem, do approach your nearest cell and watch the results
3) If you have a credit card and believe that it is a smart thing to use the revolving credit, STOP, it is stupid, Trust me.


chronicwriter said...

credit cards come in handy when we make onsite travel.. otherwise it is crap. i agree with you

FireWhisky said...

my dad hates credit cards n aftr reading this i totally understand y... i cnt believe u hd 2 go thru all tat n thanx so much 4 d info on d CAG... i told my dad abt it... his banks been harassin him f late as well... lets hope this helps him...

Zee said...

very cute cartoons!!! :)
but i hate credit cards coz the payment usually causes hell!!!!

Oxymoron said...

I paid 8000 bucks using my credit card to book for my GMAT (which is a sob story in itself!) but the amount that I paid back the bank was close to 19000. I cried tears of blood (sounds better when translated to tamil!!) My hard earned money went down the damn bank drain. I hate credit cards and try with all my being never to use them, but if I do, then I make sure they are paid off even before they are due. I totally understand what you went thru, my condolences and congrats!

Krish Ashok said...

Damn you lucky guy,
Ive got to convince myself to do that. Soon.