Pay Dues First

Another familiar gripe – A little outstanding amount remaining on the credit card because of bank’s mistake, bank promises to waive off the amount and close the account.

But, surprise! The account has remained open, accruing interest. In a fairly new twist to this scenario, the bank now proceeds to divert payments made to credit card account to the customer’s,loan,account. Result? Outstanding dues in both accounts. Long term result? Credit card applications being rejected, loan applications being rejected.
The customer is not willing to pay the remaining amount because, he thinks, rightly, that he shouldn’t be left holding the baby because the bank screwed things up. And he asks, very sensibly, what are the guarantees that the bank will act towards removing his name from the defaulters’ list? (which, by the way, the bank cannot. Once your name appears on the defaulters’ list, it is there to stay for the next seven years.)

The answer to all this is not calculated to have customers such as the one mentioned above burst into song. The best way to deal with this kind of blatant chicanery is to indeed pay the outstanding amount up first. The more one delays, the more it affects the credit ratings. Once this is done, one should register a complaint on the bank’s website. And if one does not receive a satisfactory response within 2-3 weeks, approach the Banking Ombudsman with your complaint. Details on how to do this are available on the site – www.bankingombudsman.rbi.org.in.

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