Credit card payment
I was informed at the time of subscribing to Emirates NBD’s ‘Dial-A-Cheque’ loan service that my payment due date is on the 28th of every month.
Since I make regular payments on another credit card from another bank on the eight of every month, I club both payments together, in effect making my Emirates NBD payment almost 20 days in advance.
Both payments are made at the UAE Exchange.
I have progressed with making payments in this manner since the inception of the loan (September 2010 — loan tenure of 36 months) without any late payment reminders or hassles from them.
My woes started when I had gone on holiday for four weeks during August-September 2011.
I came back on September 18 (a few days beyond the date I had originally planned to return).
I knew I still had time to pay my Emirates NBD installment for September, since the cut-off date was only the 28th of the month, although I had passed the date for the payment due on the other bank’s credit card.
As usual, I made both installment payments at the UAE Exchange on September 19 (with another nine days to go before the cut-off date).
I spoke to my other bank and informed them that the reason for the late payment was because I had to extend my stay in India beyond what I had anticipated and that they should consider revoking the late payment fee levied for this installment as a goodwill gesture given my default-free payment history.
This was promptly done and I have had no reminders or calls since then from this bank.
However strangely, I started getting calls from Emirates NBD from October onwards asking me to settle an outstanding of around Dh300.
This struck me as being very strange since I always make my payments well in advance with Emirates NBD.
I thought it was a mistake.
Since the calls were not stopping, we decided to visit Emirates NBD’s call centre.
As I was not free to go personally, I sent my two daughters on my behalf. The response was even stranger. Apparently I, the bank’s client, was being charged a “late fee” by the bank because they did not receive the funds from UAE Exchange on the 19th, but only on October 5, which well surpassed the cut-off date!
Apparently their system of cut-off dates is calculated as follows: 25 days from the date that the last payment was made!
This is the first time I am hearing of such a system and what shocked me is that as a customer, I cannot anticipate a set time during the month by which I have to make my payments!
How inconvenient and disorganised!
It almost seems like the bank is penalising me for making my payments for a particular month in advance!
The staff at the call centre advised us to lodge a formal complaint to get the charges reversed.
We did this and when customer service eventually got back to us, all they had to say was that it was not the bank’s problem to solve, but UAE Exchange’s!
Instead of noticing that we are a valuable customer to the bank during difficult times, they were trying to dump the problem on another party!
They should work a little harder at trying to keep their valued customers rather than disappointing them to the point that they switch to some other bank!
My queries are as follows:
1) Why should the customer have to suffer due to internal issues between a bank and its authorised payment recipients?
It is unfair that customers with a good track record are bullied by banks for issues that they should resolve on their own!
2) Why are customers never informed about important things like changing payment due dates?
It is ridiculous to blame a customer for being late on payments when the due date system is never properly informed to them from the beginning! Moreover, I have always been paying my installments way in advance and have never defaulted on any, regardless of what the cut-off date was with the bank.
3) Who ultimately is responsible for the delay: UAE Exchange, in sending the payment or Emirates NBD, in acknowledging that it was actually received on the 19th?
As clients who do not know or are not informed of the intricacies of the relationships between banks and such parties, we make payments in full faith that the bank will ultimately acknowledge that payment was made on the date it was collected by the authorised party.
In that case, how can they penalise their own client, and then put the blame on someone else?
I hope Gulf News will help look into this matter for us. It is very tiresome having to battle with financial institutions.
From Dr Renuka Gopi
The UAE Exchange customer care department responds:
We sincerely appreciate Gulf News for taking all possible efforts to resolve the issues escalated by their customers.
With regard to this complaint, we would like to inform that we are in touch with our customer and have clarified to her about the status of the payments from our end.
We would like to inform that the customer has done two transactions, one on September 19 and another one on October 4. Both the transactions got successfully transmitted from our end within 24 hours of the acceptance of the payment from our end.
The customer is quite appreciative of our continuous efforts in connecting with her. Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention.
The management of Emirates NBD responds:
We are pleased to inform Gulf News that the department concerned has provided Dr Gopi with a detailed written explanation and necessary clarifications pertaining to the charges and the customer is satisfied with our response.
In brief, we would like to clarify that the late payment fees were charged correctly as the payments related to the October and the November statements were made after the payment due dates of October 31 and December 1 respectively.
We have also clarified to the customer that the credit card payments made at UAE Exchange are posted to the card account within two working days of the payment being made.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Gulf News and the customer for providing us with your feedback.
Many thanks for your continuous support and valued efforts.
Dr Renuka responds:
I just wanted to inform Gulf News that further to your intervention, Emirates NBD has responded favourably to our complaint and have agreed to reverse the late payment fees.
Thanks again for your assistance in the matter.
Editor’s note: This issue was closed in December 2011.
I had a bad experience with ADCB’s credit card. On the payment due date, I asked the bank what was the full amount to be paid, and a representative said it was Dh38,000.
He asked me if I wanted to make some of the transactions into an easy installment, I had to pay only Dh10,000 then and the rest could be paid in six installments.
I agreed and paid only Dh10,000.
Then, a finance charge of more than Dh1,000 was made, and I asked them the reason. They said they couldn’t convert one of the transactions into the easy installment plan. This is why they charged me for the entire amount.
I was not informed about this as well. I tried my best to explain this to them, but nobody listens.
They said they could not reverse this.
From Mansoor Achire
The management of ADCB responds:
Many thanks for Gulf News’ enquiry, based on which we hope to resolve the situation for our customer as soon as possible. It is important to note that customer satisfaction is at the very top of our agenda, which is why we have an established Service Quality Unit that is dedicated to handling all customer enquiries and complaints.
All ADCB customers can contact this unit 24/7 on 800 2030; or call collect +97126210090 from outside the UAE; alternatively, they can visit our website (www.adcb.com) from where they will be able to log their complaints, recommendations or suggestions.
Please be advised that all cases are investigated promptly and thoroughly to reach the best possible resolution for the customer.
In the interests of customer confidentiality and information security, each case’s outcome will be communicated directly and only with the customer and not through mainstream media channels.
Mr Achire responds:
Thank you Gulf News. It helped — they reversed the charges.
Editor’s note: This issue was closed in December 2011.