Do not settle for anything, verify lawyers credentials and do not worry read the full mail below and visit the sites I have given and share this knowledge - THIS IS CRUCIAL.
A CREDIT CARD VICTIM
First visit www.bankingombudsman.rbi.org.in
file a case here;Bangalore
C/o Reserve Bank of India
10/3/8, Nrupathunga Road
Mark a copy to : New Delhi
Shri H Kulshreshtha
Reserve Bank of India Building
2nd Floor, 6, Sansad marg
New Delhi - 110001
Tel No. 011-23725219/23710882/23725445
Fax No. 011-23725218
Next go online and file a case online at
http://www.bcsalliance.com/x_creditcardtricks1.html [ full info on credit cards ]
Tactics Credit Card Companies Use to Get You to Pay More
Although the credit card industry earns more than one trillion every year, they aren't satisfied with that, and have adopted dubious tactics to further fatten their wallets. Late and over-the-limit fees now account for more than half of their revenues, so they like to encourage or trick customers into paying some sort of penalty fee. And they are now only getting away with it, but they keep raising their fees up and up -- just a few years ago a penalty fee was about $10. Now the average is $29.00. Consumer groups estimate that soon these fees will average $59.00.
Late and over-the-limit fees are not the only methods companies use to rake in trillions each year. There are also the credit insurance programs, universal default policies, dishonest marketing campaigns and other stupid card tricks. Many of the major issuers -- First USA (now Chase), Chase, Capital One, Providian (now owned by Washington Mutual), Citibank -- have been sued over allegations of unfair billing practices and accused of blatantly using tactics to cheat customers out of money. Some of these tactics are outlined below.
Not posting your payment on the day it's received -- Federal law requires credit card companies to post your payment on the date it is received. If they fail to do so, they cannot assess you late charges or added finance charges. Still, a common tactic most card issuers use is to post only those payments received by 9:00 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. on a given date. Payments received at 9:01 a.m. are posted the next day despite the fact that all the major card issuers have payment processing centers that operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Best way to fight back: Send in your payment at least 10 days before the due date. If you can't do that for one reason or another, arrange to make your payments electronically by signing up at your credit card issuer's website so you can quickly zap a payment to them and they can't claim that they didn't receive your mailed payment until after the due date. It is interesting to note that almost all of the major credit card banks used to allow customers to quickly zap a payment to them via Paypal.com free of charge. Of course, this must have put a big dent in their late fee revenue so some of them stopped allowing this (Providian and First USA to name two).
Tricking you in to paying late -- Federal law requires that credit card issuers mail you your statement at least two weeks before the due date, so companies have to resort to other tactics to get you to pay late. You know that your credit card payment is due on the 25th of the month, or do you? Your issuer might suddenly change it to the 20th of each month to try and get you to mail it in late. If it's received late, they will slap you with a $39.00 late fee. If it's late two or more times, they can legally increase your interest rate dramatically, to as much as 29%. At various times, several credit card issuers have even resorted to not mailing out statements at all to encourage customers to pay late under the theory that "it is a courtesy that we mail statements out, not a requirement." [First USA actually used that as an excuse once and lost many customers as a result.]. Best way to fight back: Always open your monthly statement immediately upon receipt and check the due date. Don't be surprised if it has suddenly moved up five days and you received your statement "late". You might have to immediately write a check and get it in the mail that day to allow at least seven days for it to get to them before the due date. You don't want it to arrive at 9:01 on the due date do you? If it does, you will be assessed a late fee.
Penalizing you for carrying a big balance -- If you carry a high balance on your credit card month-to-month, don't be surprised if you one day notice a small paragraph on your monthly statement that informs you your interest rate is going to increase from 7% to 28% next month. What the credit card company doesn't tell you when you sign up for the card with the low interest rate is that they almost always raise the interest rate dramatically on people who never pay down a high balance on the credit card or carry big balances with other credit card companies. It doesn't matter to them that you have always paid your bills on time and are never late. You can be a customer of theirs for 20 years and never be late or miss a single payment, but one day they will decide that you are no longer a good customer and raise your rate to 28%. [Citibank is notorious for doing this. Every time I see one of their ads in a magazine or TV about how much they love and respect their customers, I want to throw up.]
Credit card holder wins suit worth Re 1 lakh
The Statesman 29.5.07
KOLKATA, May 29: Credit cards may be a status symbol to some but for a vast majority of consumers irregularities in credit card bills can cause a great deal of harassment. The recent victory of a credit card holder against a leading bank will be a boost to such consumers who are regularly harassed by their banks.
A city consumer court has come down heavily on ICICI bank by slapping a fine of Rs 1 lakh, the highest compensation imposed by the court so far for discrepancy in credit card operations. The court of Calcutta District Forum, Unit-II, president Mr TK Ghosh and members Mr H Bhattacharya and Ms R Acharya pulled up the credit card division of the bank for recovering a loan that was never received by the customer. The bank allegedly asked the consumer to repay loan installments along with interest including late fees for a loan amounting to Rs 33,500, supposedly issued by the bank, which was neither solicited nor asked for or received by Mr Kalyan Kumar Sur. The court ordered the bank to pay Mr Sur a litigation cost of Rs 5000 along with compensation worth Rs 1 lakh.
Mr Sur was taken by surprise when his credit card statements suddenly displayed interest charges. He complained that bank did not respond to his repeated e-mails when he asked the latter to provide him with loan details. Instead the bank allegedly harassed him further by sending loan collectors to his residence.
The clause 5.1(b) under Reserve Bank of India’s credit card operation guidelines reads: “Unsolicited loan or other credit facility should not be offered to the credit card customers. In case any credit card facility is extended without the consent of the recipient, the credit sponsoring bank will be liable to pay such penalty as may be considered appropriate.” During the court proceedings the bank failed to substantiate with written documents that it had received a loan request from Mr Sur. When contacted ICICI Bank spokesperson in Mumbai said: “We are aware about this case and the bank might appeal before the state commission against the order passed by the city consumer court.”