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CCHAI alleges that foreign and private banks levy unauthorised fee on card users

Guys, the Credit Card Holders’ Association of India (CCHAI) has alleged that banks have robbed credit card holders of over Rs 6,000 crore between 2001 and 2003. It has filed a complaint with the Monopolistic and Restrictive Trade Practice (MRPT) Commission, which has set August 11 as the date for hearing the case.

“If we win the case, banks will have to refund the extra charges they have levied on cards. We are asking card holders to either approach us with the details of the charges or to approach the MRPT Commission,” said C V Giddappa, secretary, CCHAI.
Balancing of books.

The association conducted a study and arrived at the Rs 6,000 crore figure which, it says, has been illegally collected by banks. The study observed that 9 per cent of a bank’s income termed as other income comes from the credit card business. Nearly three-fourths of that amount is considered illegal and unauthorised charges, they alleged.

“The study has only considered average income from foreign and private banks to calculate the approximate amount of Rs 6,000 crore. The actual figure may be much more. We want a thorough income audit and a refund of the illegitimate income,” Giddappa said.

The study has pointed to some alleged tactics used by banks to extract money from credit card holders. The CCHAI made the following allegations based on the study:

Card holders are not informed about payment due date in the first month. Late fee is then levied.

The outstanding amount in the account exceeds the permitted credit limit, and credit over limitcharges are levied. Thereafter, interest is charged on the entire outstanding amount from the due date.

Some banks charge interest at an accelerated rate, which means that the interest rate increases every month if there is no repayment.

Some banks levy three different types of late payment charges in a single month. They make the card holder pay late charges, late payment charges and late fee.

The ATM transaction fee for credit cards is levied for each and every transaction on a slab basis. It ranges from Rs 250 for Rs 3,000 to Rs 1,250 for Rs 15,000 a day.

Shops sometimes pass on the 2.5% payable to credit card firms to the card holders.

The credit card firms, while reversing wrong entries or disputed transactions, do so at a price. But the charges and service tax already levied continue to be included in the statements. Card holders have to cough up this amount in addition to the charges in the monthly statements.

CCHAI invites people with genuine credit card grievances to contact them on creditcardasson@yahoo.co.in, or phone them on 9341261962/ 22129894/ 22711503.

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