Credit card annual fee

I had a salary account with Standard Charted bank (SCB) from my previous employer and the bank has issued a lifetime free credit card. Later they upgraded the card to Platinum and started charging Dh500 as annual charges. From my December month statement generated on December 9, the bank has deducted the annual charge of Dh500 on November 27. I immediately called the customer care and informed to reverse the annual charge, and said if you are charging Dh500, I don’t want to continue with the service.

Meantime, I had two running card loans from the same card. In September I called the customer care of SCB and said to close the running loan by using balance transfer from my Dubai First credit card. They informed me the total loan amount including the loan closure charges, so the amount of Dh13,140 credited to SCB card on September 10 from Dubai First. But they didn’t close the loans, later on in December during the call they said both loans are not closed but the equated monthly instalments (EMIs) are being deducted from the excess amount credited from Dubai First and the annual fee was also deducted.

The customer care agent raised the complaint for the annual fee reversal and in a couple of days I got a call from the card section. He’s given me two options for the card annual charge reversal. First, I have to make a card transaction of Dh5,000 within two months; second, I have to take a 6-month card loan. If I agree with any one option they are able to reverse the amount. I said I don’t want to take another liability and don’t agree to either option. I asked them to send the mail with these options, but they refused. He told me to contact the customer care. On calling the customer care, they told me that the supervisor will give a call for further explanation. The next day, another agent called and said the annual charge amount deducted was on the year 2014-2015, and if you don’t want to continue the card I could have called and updated the bank one week before the renewal date. Later I came to know it was a false statement.

The next day, I got a call from the card section and he said the annual charge was already deducted and the card has several good features so to continue with the card, and if they want to reverse the annual charge I have to take a 6-month loan with an amount of minimum Dh15,000. I sent a complaint mail from my online SCB account, but no reply.

From Mr Jins Thomas

Abu Dhabi

The management of Standard Chartered responds: Upon receiving the complaint, Standard Chartered Customer Care Unit contacted the client and informed him of the policy. The annual fees levied on the card are valid as per the terms and conditions of the card that the client has signed and agreed on when acquiring the card.

Mr Thomas responds: Thanks for the reply. I received a call from SCB, but the story they gave me is different. The card, which I received is an upgraded card and I didn’t give any signature for this card. I will be waiting for the confirmation for making an official complaint. Thanks again for initiating my concerns to the management.

Editor’s note: We have forwarded the follow up letter to SCB for further comment. SCB states that they would stick to their original response.

(Process initiation: January 21. Response from organisation: January 26. Process completion: February 3.)

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