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Helpline for Credit Card Customers- A Special Feature

Credit card customers in India are now better off

Credit cards are now available free with lots of features in addition to the payment convenience & credit period. To promote the usage of card, most banks offers certain reward points and cash-back schemes.

However, some people are still skeptical about a credit card’s usefulness. The first thing they think of is the hidden costs attached to it, harassement by the card issuer’s staff on non-payment of bills, and unsolicited calls on their mobiles as their personal information is shared across a database.

‘Hidden fees’ is an issue that keeps oneself from getting into the credit card hassles. All credit cards carry different types of fees, namely joining fee, annual fee, renewal fee, add on fee, card replace fee, photo-card fee etc. Waiver of one fee doesn’t not necessarily mean waiver of other fees.

It is important to note that Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has clarified most of these issues in its guidelines released in November 2005. These guidelines ensure that the systems of the banks / non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) are aligned with the best customer practices.

In the case of issuing cards, RBI says that while issuing cards, the terms and conditions for issue and usage of a credit card should be mentioned in clear and simple language (preferably in English, Hindi and the local language) comprehensible to a card user. The Most Important Terms and Conditions (MITCs) termed as standard set of conditions should be highlighted and advertised/ sent separately to the prospective customer/ customers during marketing, at the time of application, at the acceptance stage (welcome kit) and in important subsequent communications.

Also, it is the responsibility of the card issuers to ensure that there is no delay in sending bills and that there is a sufficient period given to customers before charging the interest on it.

About the hidden charges, RBI clarifies that the bank / NBFC should not levy any charge that was not explicitly indicated to the credit card holder at the time of issue of the card and getting his / her consent. And any changes in the charges should be informed to the customer one month in advance.

It is good news for consumers that the Do Not Call Registry (DNCR) is now in force. The RBI can now take action on the bank / NBFC if found that their DSAs call any of the customers listed in this registry.

Customers can now hope that there will be less harassment by the issuing company - as the RBI has also enforced a clause on fair practices in debt collection and made it mandatory for the card issuers to constitute a grievance redressal officer in their institution. This redressal officer’s contact details are to be printed on the credit card bills.

We are providing with the detailed guidelines of RBI, which can be of great help to the harassed customers. To read the guidelines CLICK HERE


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