I took my First Gulf Bank Mastercard in 2008 and availed an easy cash loan of Dh10,000 from this card for a period of 24 months (monthly instalments of Dh500) in November 2008. I have been paying the monthly instalments regularly.
In the beginning, I requested the bank by calling the call centre and through email to cancel all charges like credit shield and accident insurance, which was debited to my account. I was under the impression that the bank would remove the charges from my account, but it did not happen. I have been paying monthly instalments regularly so I didn’t check the statement — for the first year I didn’t even receive the statement.
I withdrew cash (from February 2009 to May 2009) through the credit card, which did not exceedDh1,500, due to some urgent situation, and I strongly believed that I paid the money back. But bank charged the credit shield, accident insurance and its interest to my account every month from the beginning.
As a result after 24 months (December 2010) my card balance remained Dh10,000. Every month I pay Dh500 and the bank debited the interest and other charges around Dh500. Until now I don’t understand how the bank charges interest and the rate of interest and I don’t know where I made the mistake and how it remains Dh10,000. Now I am in a bad situation.
Sine January 2011, I have been visiting First Gulf Bank’s Deira branch collection department to get a genuine settlement and to close the issue but the bank is telling me to pay Dh10,000. My monthly salary is Dh4,500 and I have a loan from another bank.
Every month First Gulf Bank collection department people call me and torture me. Every time they ask me to pay the minimum amount. They asked me to go to the bank to get a settlement by waiving interest and other charges but when I paid the minimum amount they refused and asked me to pay the full amount. Now the bank is asking me to pay around Dh15,000. I already paid the principal amount that I took from the bank.
Now I found that every month, the bank is giving each employee to deal with customers’ issue and their duty is to ask the customers to make the maximum payment. They keep asking me to pay a minimum amount and come to meet that person for the settlement and when I paid the minimum amount they refused to give the settlement. Next month another person does the same thing and this has been happening for the past ten months. If the bank waives the credit shield and other charges then there is no interest to charge in my account. If anything it will not come to Dh15,000.
From Mr Vinod Kumar
The management of First Gulf Bank responds:
We have investigated Mr Vinod Kumar’s complaint. We have always been supportive during the past three years. The facts of the case are as below:
1. Mr Vinod has had an irregular payment history right from the first statement dated November 25, 2008. The delayed payment in the first statement has resulted in late payment charges. This has resulted in fixed monthly instalment plan no longer valid. The statements have been sent on time every month during the past three years. No issues have been raised on the same since then.
2. We have checked our logs and have found no requests made by Mr Vinod for credit shield and accident insurance cancellation.
Mr Vinod approached our collections department in July 2011 and was offered the following options exclusively for him:
- One time settlement with a discount, or
- Pay the total outstanding in six equal monthly instalments without any further interest/charges.
Both these offers were declined by Mr Vinod. He approached us again in October, 2011 requesting for a settlement offer, which was significantly lower than the total outstanding, hence the request was rejected by the bank.