First, let me address the issue of wrong over-limit charges I have recently received. I have been charged an over-limit fee of Dh175 twice, in the same month — on December 15 and 24, 2016.

My minimum payment of five per cent (approximately Dh1,400), which was due on December 11, 2016, was delayed, and a penalty of Dh200 on December 14, 2016, for the same, was imposed on my account, making it exceed the credit limit of Dh28,000. Immediately, the bank charged me on December 15, 2016, an over-limit fee of Dh175. I totally agree with this and was willing to pay both the charges.

But on December 24, 2016, again, the bank charged me another over-limit fee of Dh175, which I do not agree with, as this is not correct as per international standards. I cleared the entire outstanding amount of Dh3,050, including the amount for January 2017 before the next due date, on January 8, 2017.

I would also like to address the incorrect finance charges I am facing.

I was charged Dh1,132.95 on January 17, 2017, as finance charges, which is incorrect. My credit card account has a balance of Dh29,000 (approximately). If you calculate three per cent interest as finance charges, it should not exceed Dh870 for the month. I haven’t got a clear answer from the bank officials till date, as to how they arrived at this enormous charge of Dh1,132.95.

Finally, a representative called me from HSBC when my December 2016 payments were delayed. I explained to her the reasons for the delay. She understood my reasoning and considering my long-term relations with HSBC, she promised me that all charges with regard to this issue would be completely waived, once I settled all my outstanding amounts. As I understand this is absolutely at the discretion of the bank, I have no issues if they do not keep their promises.

But definitely, I need a refund for the incorrect charges — an over-limit charge of Dh175 and finance charges of Dh300 (approximately). Kindly help me sort out this issue with HSBC.

From Mr George Skaria


The management of HSBC responds:

We would like to inform Gulf News that we have taken this forward with Mr Skaria and have addressed his concerns directly. Many thanks, for sharing this customer case with us.

Mr Skaria responds:

Thank you for taking up my case with HSBC regarding the charging of over-limit fees and finance charges.

With regards to the excess over-limit charges, HSBC is charging me a finance charge daily for the amount outstanding in my statement. The reason why the account went above the limit is not because of any purchase I made, but because of the late fee of Dh200 they imposed. Immediately, they charged me an over-limit fee of Dh175. This is a penalty for not making a payment or not having enough funds in the account.

The bank cannot charge this every day, according to their convenience. Either the bank can charge me immediately when the account goes above the limit or on the day the statement gets generated or at the end of every month till the account gets regularised.

With regards to the finance charges, HSBC can only charge me at 2.99 per cent interest as finance charges as per our agreed terms and conditions.

Again, they cannot charge any interest they like, as finance charges. I can understand if the Central Bank changes the rate of interest and approves a higher rate of interest.

Finally, regarding my conversation with the HSBC collection staff — there is a clear conversation with their collection staff that all charges related to the above issue would be waived. If they don’t trust their staff or do not believe my word, I suggest they listen to that recorded conversation again for confirmation.

Please look into the case once again and help me get a just and fair decision at the earliest.

HSBC responds:

We would like to inform Gulf News that we have already communicated with Mr Skaria and addressed the concerns he raised, with him directly. Many thanks again for sharing this customer case with us.

(Process initiation: January 25, 2017. Response from organization: February 2, 2017. Process completion: March 5, 2017.)

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