I had received a credit card from Mashreq Bank, valid from September 2012 to September 2015. I never used the card during this period, and after just the first year, I requested them to cancel it, because I had no intention of using the card.

I was told by the bank’s agent, who had approached me in 2012, that the card is free for the first year. But, to my surprise, since 2015, the bank agents have been calling me and sending emails, saying there are outstanding liabilities, which need to be settled. They informed me that the bank would proceed with legal action if the balance was not settled.

I informed the bank, through emails, to cancel and reverse the charges. The last email was received on December 15, 2016. I request Gulf News to kindly support me in resolving this issue and getting a confirmation letter for the cancellation of the card and reversal of charges.

There should be no outstanding balance towards the card, as I have never used it. Additionally, the bank only sent me an email in 2015, highlighting an outstanding amount from 2012. Why was I not contacted earlier?

From Mr Satheesan Perumbily

Abu Dhabi

The management of Mashreq responds:

Thank you for raising Mr Perumbily’s complaint for our review and feedback.

We have investigated the listed concerns and would like to clarify as below:

Mr Perumbily is a Mashreq card customer since 2012. The card was agreed and sold to Mr Perumbily as ‘Free for First Year’ and subsequently with an annual fee of Dh650.

In October 2013, Mr Perumbily was charged with annual fee of Dh650, which he did not pay till date. As per our records, since then and now, our collections team has contacted or tried to reach Mr Perumbily 36 times via calls, text messages, emails and legal notices to pay the overdue.

Also, as per our records, Mr Perumbily has not logged any request for card cancellation, although he confirms that he had asked the collection officer to close his card. Hence, since the card is active in our books, it has continued to attract late payment fee and purchase interest over the years.

Mr Perumbily was also issued a Legal Notice by Mashreq to pay the overdue amount, which he confirms he ignored as he had not used the credit card, although he activated it.

Looking at the entire episode, it is fair to state that the accumulated charges are correct as per the Terms and Conditions agreed by the customer while signing up for the product. What cannot be ignored however, is the fact that he has not used the card in his possession.

Giving the customer the benefit of no usage and as an extreme exception, we are glad to confirm that we will reverse all penalties on the card and close it in our books.

We also agree to waive the Annual Fee levied in 2013, which the customer is liable to pay. A No Liability Letter will be issued in a few days, once the transaction is passed in our system.

Central Bank and Credit Bureau have been contacted and Mr Perumbily’s records will be corrected as per their process, which may take up to a week. We have called and informed Mr Perumbily of our decision and he is happy with the quick resolution provided.

We thank Gulf News for their intervention, to help resolve this customer issue.

Mr Perumbily responds:

I received a clearance letter from the bank and as informed, the records in Al Etihad Credit Bureau will be cleared within three to four working days. I am grateful to Gulf News for their timely action in helping me resolve this matter so quickly. I also thank Mashreq staff for their support.

(Process initiation: January 15. Response from organisation: January 18. Reader confirmation: January 19.)

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.