Reversing over limit charges

I have been banking with Emirates NBD since I came to Dubai in November 2004, and enjoyed a credit limit of Dh48,000 in the past until I changed my job last year in July. I had to surrender my cards because I was 62 years old and I allowed them to cancel it. I have always made regular payments with an auto-debit every month and have never defaulted.

Thereafter, I was asked to set up a revolving term deposit of Dh12,500 to set up a limit of Dh10,000 on a new card in October 2013. I agreed and have been using Mastercard since then. This also has an auto-debit for full dues every month.

When I was on leave between November 30, 2014 and December 12, 2014 a vendor debited my account for Dh1,000 on December 7, and the bank levied an over limit fee of Dh199 on December 8, since my total spending had reached around Dh11,600. I would have expected them to reject this vendor, but they conveniently approved and debited my account for their financial benefit. They have no right to extend more credit or debit my account without taking my approval.

I registered a request through their call centre on December 17, to reverse this debit. Since nothing happened, I called them again. The call centre person told me that the bank tried to call me in vain. My mobile number has not changed since I entered Dubai in 2004. If they have called and did not get me, they could have sent an email - which they conveniently did not do. This has caused a lot of stress for me and I am unable to trust the bank anymore.

From Mr Narayan Anantha Krishnan


The management of Emirates NBD responds:

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

We would like to clarify that in order to assist our customers with good credit behaviour in emergency situations, an enhancement has been made in the authorisation tolerance limit for selective cardholders while completing transactions that are slightly over the limit. The limit enhancement is a practice across the local market and the same is covered in the Credit Card Terms & Conditions available in our official website.

Furthermore, in order to help our customers avoid exceeding the credit limit, the bank sends all credit card holders SMS notifications with the available balance after each transaction performed on their credit cards.

In light of the above, the over limit charges which have been levied on Mr Anantha Krishnan’s account are applicable. However, in value of his relationship with Emirates NBD and since it is the first time for him to exceed the limit, the over limit charges levied on his credit card will be reversed.

Mr Krishnan responds:

My letter had the desired effect. The bank reversed Dh199 in my account. Thank you Gulf News.

(Process initiation: December 31. Response from organisation: January 4. Reader confirmation: January 5.)

Upgrading account

Last year, I opened an account with Mashreq bank despite having had a premium account with a lot of benefits with my previous bank. The reason for doing so was because of better benefits with a Mashreq Gold account.

Based on a review of my profile and employment letter, the bank confirmed that I meet the criteria for a Mashreq Gold account, which carries a lot of privileges and benefits for the account holder. I completed the formalities and got the approval in place and the Gold account was opened.

After four months, I realised that my account was degraded to a normal account. I reported this to my relationship manager (RM) and he apologised for the inconvenience caused due to irregularity in the system. He promptly took action and got the account back to Gold status. Then, again, after another four months, the account was degraded. When I reported this to my RM again he told me not to worry and that it will be fixed as it had been previously. However, he later stopped responding to my calls and messages. So, I raised the complaint with the system and they got back to me saying that I do not qualify for the Gold account. I then went to my branch and brought this to the attention of the branch manager, to which he promised to investigate and call back. He didn’t.

As far as I am concerned, nothing has changed in my profile from when I opened the account, just as the criteria for the Gold account hasn’t changed, hence, there is no reason for my account to be downgraded.

As a result of this forced degradation, I have lost a lot of privileges that I had with my previous bank.

From Mr Prakash Dadlani

Abu Dhabi

The management of Mashreq responds:

Mr Dadlani has complained with regards to the Mashreq Gold tagging process, in which he was boarded as a Gold customer in November 2013, on the basis of an exception approval against the regular policy. For a Gold relationship, bank’s policy states that the customer should transfer a monthly salary of Dh35,000 to Mashreq account. However, Mr Dadlani’s basic salary and housing allowance clubbed together makes him eligible for the Gold criteria. His house rent allowance is received per annum, therefore, his monthly salary transferred to his account is less than the eligibility criteria. An exception approval was requested to consider the customer for the Gold category based on the net salary. The system is designed to tag customers based on the salary transfer criteria, which technically Mr Dadlani does not meet. On the basis of this criteria, the account was downgraded. He has been re-tagged as a Gold relationship and a relationship manager has also been assigned to him. We have spoken to him and explained the rationale behind the account downgrade and confirmed that such an incident will not occur again unless his salary or bank’s criteria changes. Mr Dadlani has no further concern. Thank you once again in seeking clarification in the matter.

Mr Dadlani responds:

Thank you Gulf News for taking up my complaint with Mashreq. They have resolved my issue by upgrading my account back to Gold. They further called me to confirm that the issue had actually been resolved. I highly appreciate your help on my case. Gulf News plays a very vital role in resolving customer complaints, which otherwise becomes difficult to manage.

(Process initiation: December 24. Response from organisation: December 29. Reader confirmation: January 1.)

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