New Delhi, Jul 14: A bank is bound to inform the consumer well in advance before blocking his credit card, a district consumer forum has held while directing the ICICI bank to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 to its client for not doing so and putting him in an embarrassing situation. A District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum bench presided by V K Gupta held ICICI bank guilty of deficiency in service and also criticised the private bank for misbehavior of its staff with the consumer.
“The bank was bound to inform the consumer much before blocking the card in question so that he might save himself from humiliation at the hands of the vendor from where he wanted to purchase using his credit card. This is sheer deficiency on the part of ICICI bank,” the bench said. “It may also be stated here that it was very wrong on the part of banking officer to use rude, rough and uncivilized behavior which also constitutes deficiency in service,” it said.
The order came on a complaint filed by Delhi resident G L Aggarwal saying he had an ICICI bank credit card against which an “immediate” bill of Rs 2,065 was raised by the bank. On enquiry from the bank's customer care service, he was informed that the word “immediate” was wrongly printed but he still made the payment through a cheque, he told the forum. However, when he tried to make payment at a petrol pump it was rejected by the swiping machine indicating that the card was blocked.
He further told the forum that on contacting the customer care, the banking officer used derogatory language. The bank in its reply to the complaint denied the allegations stating that the cheque deposited by the complainant did not mention the 16 digit credit card number due to which the card was blocked.
The forum, however, rejected the bank's arguments saying in any case the bank was bound to inform the consumer before blocking the card.
It noted that the bank had put the consumer in an embarrassing situation which caused him mental agony and harassment and awarded a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the complainant.
“The bank shall immediately activate the blocked card of the complainant. It shall also pay Rs 50,000 as compensation for mental agony, harassment and suffering inclusive of litigation charges,” the consumer forum said. PTI