Opinion | Letters

Consumer issues brought to the fore

Reader concerns raised in a process aimed at encouraging transparency and accountability

  • Manuel Almario Community Editor
  • Published: 17:01 November 13, 2012
  • Gulf News

Interest on deferment

I have already paid Emirates NBD Dh119,957.04 plus Dh200 (for two deferment charges). As per the bank policy, there is an interest on the deferment amount, but both times it was not conveyed to me. Practically, whoever did the deferment process will not know about this hidden interest because even Emirates NBD employees were not aware about it. Furthermore, the agent from the call centre repeatedly advised me that there were no such charges on our recorded conversation on September 4, 2012. I beg for justice; if I can pay Dh120,000, how can I argue for Dh1,300. It’s not a matter of money, but a matter of loyalty.

From Mr Dipak Kumar Laha

Dubai

The management of Emirates NBD responds:

We are pleased to inform you that our Group Service Quality team has investigated Mr Dipak Laha’s query and has provided him with a detailed written explanation pertaining to the charges levied on his loan account. Mr Laha has opted for deferment in the month of July and October 2008 respectively and the interest levied on these deferred instalments has been adjusted in the instalment recovered in August and November 2008. Therefore, the unrecovered principal amounts and relevant interest calculated on them were still outstanding and were recovered as a last payment at the end of the loan tenure. We also wish to clarify that as per the standard process, if a customer defers a monthly instalment, additional interest is calculated on the principal portion of the deferred amount for the remaining tenure period and this amount (unrecovered deferred principal plus interest) is added to the principal amount and recovered by the Bank at the end of the extended loan tenure. We further wish to clarify that the interest to be levied for the deferment is mentioned in the deferment request form. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the customer for providing us with your feedback. Many thanks for your continuous support and valued efforts.

Mr Laha responds:

Many thanks for your kind support that you helped me solve my case. Such a big organisation either has no such standard policy or their employees do not know their policy, since they did not inform me about the charge. I stand my case based on the last recorded conversation with the call centre dated September 4. Please investigate it. I am ready to pay and happily close my case. Please try to understand my side - if I can pay Dh120,000 to the bank, why argue for Dh1,300? Unjustified! They should return the amount charged to customer.

The management of Emirates NBD responds:

Further to our earlier reply, we wish to clarify that the details of the charges were explained by the branch to Mr Laha. However, he was not happy with the explanation and raised a complaint through Emirates NBD call centre. Since the call centre does not have access to the details of the charges, the complaint was routed to the loans department. We further wish to reiterate that the charges are rightly applicable. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the customer for providing us with your feedback. Many thanks for your continuous support and valued efforts.

Finance charges

I am holding a First Gulf Bank (FGB) credit card since May 2006. Recently they have introduced a promotion where we can transfer balance from FGB to other credit cards on zero per cent interest for three months without any charges. The representative from FGB called me, I transferred Dh24,060 to another bank in January 2012 and Dh40,000 in March. I always pay on time the total amount that shows on the monthly statement as total amount due to avoid any financial charges.

In the statement dated April 25, the total amount due was Dh37,311.87. Accordingly, I paid Dh37,360 before the due date. The next month’s statement that was dated May 25, FGB debited Dh718.97 as Finance Charges regardless of me paying the complete due amount on time. In the statement dated May 25, the total amount due was Dh40,640.81 and I paid Dh42,000 before the due date. However, in the statement dated June 25, FGB again charged me Finance Charges of Dh1,118.61. I have raised the complaint to reverse these charges by sending an email to the FGB. They opened the case on July 28. The next day I received a call from an FGB representative saying that the charges that were already charged by the bank cannot be reversed. I request Gulf News to help me get back the unlawful charges of Dh718.97 and Dh1,118.61, a total of Dh1,837.58.

From Mr Aboobacker Mohammad

Abu Dhabi

The management of First Gulf Bank responds:

We would like to assure you that Mr Mohammad was clearly informed and made aware of the terms and conditions of the Balance Transfer Holiday program associated with his First Gulf Bank credit card. An SMS was also sent to the customer after each booking, informing him about the date on which the full payment had to be settled. These terms and conditions are also available on First Gulf Bank website. Since, the full payment was not covered before the due date, interest charges were levied to the card. If Mr Mohammad has any further concerns or clarifications, we request him to contact us and we would be happy to oblige.

Editor’s note: If you have unresolved issues, we might be able to help you. Email us at readers@gulfnews.com

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