Please close card

I am extremely frustrated and would like to write about Emirates NBD’s hidden charges, which I believe are against fair bank practices.

I work for a reputed embassy in Abu Dhabi, and have been using Emirates NBD’s credit card since 2011. Every month, I pay the dues well in advance — even more than the due amount. Last month, I made a transaction in a jewellery shop, in which I saw zero per cent instalment.

I asked the salesperson whether there were any additional charges. He confirmed that there were no hidden charges. Then, I called the bank on August 4. The advisor confirmed there were no hidden charges and no processing fees, and also said this was subject to the bank’s discretion and would take seven working days to process.

My statement generation date is the 9th of every month. Thus, I saw my statement on the 10th, with my total due amount as Dh4,986.88 and a due date of September 2. I got another e-statement on August 20, stating that I must pay Dh4,986.88. I called the call centre, which had given me different information — that my instalment plan was already activated and I would only have to pay Dh3,600. I asked the representative why I didn’t get any update on this?

Also, a few days ago, I received an e-statement, asking me to pay Dh4,986.88, so I will pay as per the e-statement, since it’s legitimate and officially from bank. The bank may play and put a penalty on me, saying that I didn’t pay the due as per the e-statement, and I don’t want to get involved in this. I requested the agent to close the card. He refused and said I can cancel it only by paying Dh250.

In addition to this, there was an ongoing issue of online banking, because of which, I had to go to Emirates NBD four times during hot summer weather, that too in Ramadan. While I went to the branch to sort out my online banking issue, I was humiliated by the branch staff, as they blocked the card and asked me to get a new one. I was going around in circles, with no help at all.

I have raised this issue in the past with Emirates NBD, regarding poor service and unwillingness to help the customer, but they never bothered to look into my complaint, thus forcing me to get rid of the card and close it.

Yesterday, I paid the complete due amount. In order to confirm that I had called the call centre, the automated response stated the bank had received the amount and the balance was Dh-3 (which I paid extra) with zero outstanding.

The cancellation department is unwilling to cancel it, since I need to wait another six months or pay Dh250, which is the pre-closure of instalment plan. When I asked them whether the Central Bank is aware of this, they said it was the bank’s policy. Now, I am indeed in need of Gulf News’ help in order to close my card, as I have paid the total outstanding. In order to close, they are asking me to pay an additional Dh250, which sounds ridiculous.

The bank wants the customer to pay the amount, and though I have paid, they are not willing to close the card. This is unfair as there was nothing written in their terms and conditions, so it is clear that these are hidden charges.

I would be grateful if Gulf News could please look into this issue and sort it out.

From Mr Syed Mukarram

Abu Dhabi

The management of Emirates NBD responds:

We are pleased to inform you that our Group Customer Experience team has been in touch with Mr Mukarram and resolved the matter to his satisfaction.

Also, we wish to clarify that we have investigated the matter with our call centre agent and Mr Mukarram has been informed clearly about the foreclosure fee and has also acknowledged the same.

We also would like to inform you that as a service gesture and a token of appreciation for his relationship with the Bank, we have arranged to reverse the foreclosure fee and cancelled his credit card as appropriate.

We would like to reiterate our commitment to providing superior service to our customers and thank you for your continuous support in providing us with the opportunity to resolve their issues.

(Process initiation: September 15. Response from organisation: September 21. Process completion: October 13.)

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