Stuck and waiting

I would like to share the experience I am facing at the bank where I have my salary account. I have had it since the past three years. I signed up for personal finance from the same bank as well, after taking a loan. One of the bank’s representatives repeatedly called and convinced me to get a pre-approved credit card, which was free for the first year, with a limit of Dh5,000.

Because of some medical issues, I returned to my home country and was not able to make a minimum payment on that Dh5,000 limit card. Surprisingly, in the month of December 2015, my salary got transferred, but when I tried to withdraw it, I didn’t have any success and my debit card was captured by the ATM machine. Then, I called the call centre to inform them about the incident.

That’s when I came to know there was an account freeze from their collections department. The call centre executive took the card block request but refused to take a new card issue request because of the freeze. They informed me that they did not have enough information and for that, I would need to go in person to their Standard Chartered office in Downtown Dubai.

I went to their office, and at the reception, they didn’t allow me to go inside. They called the concerned department and when a representative came to speak with me, I informed him about everything. He checked my card and informed me that the minimum payment on my Dh5,000 credit card was Dh4,720.

I told the gentleman that only three payments were pending and on this small credit limit, so how is it possible that the minimum payment had come up to Dh4,720? He replied that the concerned representative, who is currently looking after my issue, was not available. I asked him why my account was frozen? After working for an entire month, I finally got my salary and it was being held by the bank — I was not able to move a single dirham. How was I supposed to manage my family’s requirements here in Dubai?

The representative helped me withdraw only Dh1,600 from my account and my account is still frozen. They are not activating it, and they say I need to pay more than Dh3,500 to get my account re-activated.

Only Dh1,600 for an entire month’s expenses is not feasible, and now that January’s salary deposit is coming up, the same thing is going to happen again.

Gulf News, please help.

From Mr Rohit Kumar


The management of Standard Chartered responds:

Upon receiving the complaint, Standard Chartered Customer Care Unit tried to contact the client, however were not able to reach him. The client has been notified, via an official email, about the reasons behind blocking his account and was asked to visit the collection department to clear the outstanding payment.

(Process initiation: February 8. Response from organisation: February 15. Process completion: March 28.)

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