I have HDFC Bank Credit Card No. 5176 5210 0365 6446 (earlier Card No. 5176521002431254). My wife holds a co-card for this credit card.
On 19.12.06, Smart Pay Facility was activated on this card for my and my wife’s ICICI Insurance Policies (01405598 and 01206352). The same was confirmed by HDFC Bank Card Division through their letter dated 19.12.06.
On 03/03/07, The HDFC Bank paid premium to some other policy (No. 0140698) of ICICI and sent the bill to me. Later, on verification with the ICICI Bank I came to know that the premium has not been paid for my policy by my credit card company and there is no insurance policy with ICICI of the No. to which HDFC Bank claims to have paid the premium.
On 29/04/07, I sent a letter to the HDFC Credit Card Division to reverse the faulty billing and reverse all the late payment charges and interest charged for this transaction on my credit card due to the faulty billing. . For nearly two months every one from HDFC call center kept on arguing that they have made payment to correct policy and I need to sort out the matter with the ICICI Insurance. After repeatedly giving them the reference to the letter by which Smart Pay Facility was activated, the call center team behaves politely. But every time I called the call center, I was told to wait. I have received two letters from Credit Cards Division of HDFC Bank telling me that they are looking in to the matter.
I my letter dated 29/04/07 I requested HDFC Bank Card Division to stop all smart pay facility on my card also. In response to this, the bank stopped smart pay facility on my card but some for one else’s policy, a third policy on which neither the smart pay facility has been activated nor the payment has been made (ICICI policy No.01406598).
On July 18th: Mr. Amit Bhardwaj, Assistant Manager, Collection Dept called and told that my card is inactive. It has been decided to reverse the transaction. However, to reverse the transaction the card needs to be activated and for that I need to pay Rs. 490/- which will be credited to my account. I was told to make the payment the same day, else he will declare me defaulter and I will have to handle court case and police will come to my place. Hoping that things will get sorted out if I pay Rs. 490, I paid the amount vide their receipt No. F 44440009 dated July 18, 07.
On August 12th, Sunday some one again called me asking for immediate payment for the full amount.
On August 17th some one called me telling that I should pay up the full amount immediately, else they will send some one to my house the next day and I will have to face the consequence (Kal jo apke ghar pe jo tamasha hoga, aap dekhna). I complained about this immediately to Ms. Alka Paul, the senior most official available in their call center about this and as usual, she was polite and assured me that she will ensure that no body visits my home.
On August 25, 2007 Mr. Sameer Bhargava of Escalation Department called me to inform that no body will call me for payment till the dispute is settled.
On September 15, 2007, I have received a bill date 08/09/07 with late fee and financial charges with a comment that my credit history will be shared with the RBI approved credit bureaus.
I have also received a legal NOTICE dated 08/09/07 from Debt Management and Legal Support – Credit Cards of HDFC Bank that the Bank has placed a “Hold on Funds” I my account No. 0321000028806 with HDFC Bank’s branch at C-5, Safdarjung Development Area, Commercial Complex, New Delhi – 110 016 by exercising the Bankers liern and Right of Setoff’ option to the extent of the balance available in my account as on 08/09/07. I have been told to “remit the sum outstanding on my Credit Card A/C with in 7 days of receipt of this notice” failing which the balance amount will be adjusted from my account.
The decision of the HDFC Bank Card team and its Legal Support team to send me a legal notice is tantamount to institutional financial terrorism/ arm-twisting.
Why does the Bank feels that I am liable to pay the minimum amount due indefinitely if it refuses to reverse the faulty transaction? I have already paid nearly 1400/- over and above the due amount excluding the faulty transaction and associated charges on the faulty transaction.
They are not acknowledging the mail now. I think I am left with no option but to take them to consumer court and demand for compensation for my telephone bills, time wasted and interest on the amount held by them besides penalty for harassment.