As a long-standing Titanium card privileged account holder with RAKBANK, I have a very good payment history. Over the years, I have always settled my dues every month, in full, and well before the due date.
While making a payment in January this year, I had erroneously dated a cheque as ‘2017’. By the time this was discovered, the statement for February was released and I was charged 1) Late payment fee 2) VAT on late payment fee and 3) Finance charges.
Considering that I had paid the cheque well before the due date, and had received no notification from RAKBANK about the error in the cheque, nor was the cheque sent to the drawee bank for collection, I visited the RAKBANK branch in Mussafah, Abu Dhabi, and spoke with the customer service representatives. I was assured that this was a common mistake encountered at the start of every year, and in more than 90 per cent of the cases, all charges would be reversed. I was advised to pay in full, and then apply for reversal of the three charges through the customer service, which I did immediately. My request was initially rejected, after which, I reapplied. It was then that the interest and VAT on interest charges were reversed, but despite several appeals, the finance charges remain.
Given that the original fault of the wrong date is mine, I find it extremely strange that three charges were levied against a single missed payment, of which two charges are reversed for reasons that were taken into consideration, but the same reasons don’t hold good for the third charge against the same missed payment. It should also be noted that:
• As is the norm, I received a message from RAKBANK that a cheque had been received. However, I did not receive any message - as is also the norm - that the cheque had been sent for collection or returned.
• The cheque was never presented to the drawee bank, otherwise, the error would have been discovered and rectified sooner.
• The cheque was deposited into the bank much before the due date.
• Despite calls to the customer service after being informed that a payment had been missed, I was never told what the problem was with the cheque, until I discovered the erroneous year on the date of the cheque. Till then, I was sure I had paid well before the due date.
• Despite subsequently making full payment, the erroneous cheque, to date, has not been returned to me.
All the customer service personnel I have spoken with, agree with my reasoning. However, my requests for somebody from the credit card department to call me to discuss this issue have gone unheeded, though they have no problem calling customers at any time to offer all sorts of products.
I am hoping Gulf News will have better luck than I, as a ‘supposedly privileged customer’ in eliciting a positive response from RAKBANK.
From Mr Supreeth Anand Attavar
The management or RAKBANK responds:
Thank you for your email regarding concerns raised by Mr Attavar. Please note that as per banks’ standards and best practice in the UAE banking industry, the Bank is limited with respect to disclosing or providing details and/or specific information about their customers to any third party to maintain the confidentiality of their data and personal information.
We have contacted the customer and clarified that finance charges as per our published service and price guide were levied since the credit card outstanding balance was not paid in full on the payment due date.
These charges have since been reversed as a service gesture and Mr Attavar has been informed about the same.
Mr Attavar responds:
A RAKBANK representative called me and mentioned the finance charges were being reversed and it would reflect in my next statement. I can only personally verify it then, but am happy to take their word for it. The intervention of Gulf News has resulted in a favourable outcome, and I thank the newspaper for the same.
(Process initiation: May 27. Response from organisation: May 30. Process completion: June 3.)
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