I have been banking with Mashreq for the past 15 years. Some two years ago, according to them, I apparently opted for card purchase protection. I do not have any memory of this, and I never even applied for it when I got my other two bank cards. However, they insist that I took this cover, which is based on outstanding balance. Now, I have asked them the following questions and instead of giving a proper reply, they do not want to communicate with me and moreover, want to deprive me of my hard-earned money that they have been taking out of my account without my knowledge.

My questions:

What is the meaning of ‘outstanding’, when it comes to credit card monthly payment? Anyone would understand that if I pay my bill in full, I don’t need to pay any outstanding amount. However, this is where bank has twisted the fact, saying that outstanding also means the Easy Payment Plan (EPP). Now, nowhere in the bank’s own terms and conditions, is it mentioned what outstanding means and without explaining and informing such details, the bank has kept on charging me money every month for the past two years.

My only error was that I didn’t check my statements properly, as I trusted the bank, however the bank didn’t explain the proper terms and conditions to me.

I want to take this issue up with them. How can a bank just accept phone confirmation for a product, which is not even properly explained and not followed by any written consent or explanation of the terms and conditions? How is this fair? Can they take money from my account just because they want it?

I am a customer who has never delayed any payment by even one day in 15 years — a gold customer — and is this the way a good customer is regarded and treated?

Moreover, I converted my balance to EPP and informed the bank about this two days before the due date. The conversion officer confirmed that first, there would be no interest charged and if any charge does apply, I would just have to make a phone call and it would be reversed. This was not true.

I have been writing to the bank for a long time now and have wanted to speak to their senior management regarding this issue, but the bank doesn’t bother to respond.

From Mr Mohammad Ali


The management of Mashreq responds:

Thank you for sharing Mr Ali’s concern with us.

We have reviewed the concerns raised by Mr Ali regarding the Pay Protect charges toward his credit card.

Our investigation reveals that Mr Ali was enrolled on the Pay Protect insurance in January 2016 with his consent on recorded call after answering the successful verification parameters and we did not find any miscommunication or miss-selling on the call.

He is enrolled for e-statements and statements are being sent to him regularly without fail.

We did not receive any cancellation request from his end in past one year and he was entitled to receive the benefits under Pay Protect in case of any unforeseen incident, which are covered under the insurance.

Mr Ali had approached us on December 8, 2017, for the cancellation of this benefit and based on his request, the above benefit has been deactivated and henceforth the charges will not levy on his credit card. We have contacted Mr Ali and explained to him how the facility was enrolled and have given him the clarification about the Pay Protect charges, which are valid and cannot be reversed.

We would also like to confirm that Mr Ali has requested for an easy payment plan on a non-working day and he was not given any commitment for the reversal of purchase interest. However, as a goodwill gesture, we have already credited the salaam points on January 8, 2018 equivalent to the purchase interest amount levied on his card.

We take this opportunity to thank Gulf News once again for bringing a customer issue to our notice.

(Process initiation: January 16. Response from organisation: January 17. Process completion: January 30.)

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.