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Readers' bank issues resolved: Deferment fee, credit card charges

Editor’s note: If you have a similar consumer complaint and wish to raise it, write to us at readers@gulfnews.com

Gulf News

Deferment fee

I finished my personal loan payments with Emirates NBD in June 2011, but I still had to pay Dh2,218.41 as interest in August 2011 of the two deferments I took in 2007. I visited the main branch twice, but the staff replied that I had to pay. My main concern is when I took the deferment (twice) the staff members who processed my request never informed me about these charges on both occasions, otherwise I would have arranged for this amount from other sources.

My monthly instalment was Dh2,664 and a deferment twice meant that I had to pay an interest of Dh2,218.41 for Dh5,328 and the processing charges of Dh100 each time. This means I am paying more than 40 per cent as interest and it’s a huge amount for me. When I told this to my friend, who also took a deferment, he immediately visited the bank regarding this issue and the staff told him that there are no such charges. That means their staff are also as unaware just like me.

This is unacceptable. I have been banking with Emirates NBD for more than six years now and never had any complaint about them except this. So the only thing that came to mind is to seek help from Gulf News.
From Mr Sameer Kulkarni
Sharjah

The management of Emirates NBD responds:
We are pleased to inform you that the concerned department contacted Mr Kulkarni and provided him with the necessary explanation and clarification relating to his enquiry. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you and the customer for providing us with your feedback and regret the inconvenience caused. Many thanks for your continuous support and valued efforts.

Credit card charges

I have had a Citibank Gold credit card since 1997. I was using the card with caution and paying regularly. Recently, I was away on a holiday and there was an outstanding of Dh100 which was due for a week. When I tried to use the card in Switzerland, I was told that the credit amount was reduced about nine-fold. On returning, I paid the due amount and more and called Citibank’s customer care department several times to cancel my card. Nothing happened except assurances.

Even the customer retaining department did not bother despite my specific request to the helpline personnel. All of a sudden I got a notification that my card had been renewed and an amount of Dh100 was due.

Since I was on holiday it was not paid. The next month, it became Dh290 plus and in the third month it became nearly Dh500. When contacted, I was offered a personal loan at 26 per cent per annum to help pay the dues. How can a mere Dh100 become a credit of Dh500 in 60 days? How can an institution charge 26 per cent interest per annum?

However, I have paid the due amount. I requested them to cancel my card which was renewed despite my request not to renew. I will be taking the issue to international forums just to help the common man understand the fleecing policy of some banks.
From Mr Kenneth Saldanha
Dubai

The management of Citibank responds:

Please note that we have reached out to Mr Saldanha and his enquiries/issues have all been duly addressed and resolved.

1. Card Limit Decrease happened two years ago in line with the card’s utilisation which is in line with our credit criteria and since the card was inactive for long, we requested the customer to provide documents for a possible restoration of the card limit.

2. Customer was informed that there were no calls found from any of his contact numbers available on our system (as well as the number he provided), requesting for closure of his credit card.

3. AMF of Dh150 charged in June 2011 statement has been waived off as a service gesture.

4. Accumulated charges due to AMF have been reversed based on our reversal empowerment matrix. Many thanks again for all your help.

Mr Saldanha responds:

Thank you, Gulf News, for your coordination in resolving the issue.

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