Charged for a free transaction

Reader ends up paying more than he bargained for in a test remittance transaction

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Gulf News

I would like to file a complaint against FGB. On June 24, I subscribed to the FGB Accelerator programme. It has three tiers — Booster, Booster Plus and Turbo Booster. I subscribed for Booster Plus. With Booster Plus, FGB advertises that in a month, four international remittances can be made for free.

In order to benefit from this feature, I added three accounts I had in India. Since I had four international remittances for free in a month, I initiated a test transaction per account — so three international transactions in total — on June 29 to see if I had added the correct accounts or not.

Transaction amounts were very less (Dh1, Dh1.10 and Dh100), as I was doing a test transaction. But to my horror, FGB deducted Dh180 for each transaction.

I raised a complaint with FGB the very next day, regarding this issue. They told me that within four working days, it would be resolved. On July 9, they informed me that they had reversed Dh80 charged but the Dh100 charge was not from their end, rather it was from the correspondent bank.

I asked them if I asked for a reversal from the banks to which, I had transferred the amount, would they do so? Then came the big reveal — they cannot reverse the amount. So, in a nutshell, the charge is because of the way FGB transfers the amount — that charge will always remain.

My question to them is — why are they misleading customers, stating that international remittance is free, when in any case, at least Dh100 will be charged? If they mention this clearly to customers, then no one will transfer the amount. Even if some customers do transfer, they will be aware about the charges that will be debited from their account!

The bank has mentioned in its notes that “Beneficiary/correspondent bank charges may apply” but not that Dh100 will be charged to the customer as correspondent bank charges. I did the test transfers because of four free international remittances. In total, I transferred Dh102.10, but the total amount debited from my account was Dh402.10.

I request Gulf News to help me get my money back.

From Mr Prateek Patodi

Dubai

The management of FGB responds:

FGB is grateful for all customer feedback to which we give careful consideration as we strive to consistently deliver the highest standards of service. The bank has been in contact with Mr Patodi, and the matter has been resolved.

Mr Patodi responds:

I have not got any proper reply from the bank, apart from “the charge cannot be reversed”. So for me, this is still an issue.

Editor’s note: The reader’s response was sent to the management of FGB. However, they stand by their initial response.

(Process initiation: August 2. Response from organisation: August 14. Process completion: September 26).

Editor’s note: Do you have similar issues that you would like to raise with us? You can write to us at readers@gulfnews.com.

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