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Check your bank account statement for vague charges

Tue, Oct 31, 2017, 12:35 PM
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Each and everyone has a bank account these days. Most private and government organisations are transferring employees' salaries to their bank accounts. For traders, bank accounts are compulsory. Account holders should keep an eye on these accounts that have become essential for all and sundry transactions. Otherwise, some vague charges will creep in.

Normally, banks keep debiting service charges from the account holders' balance. Some charges are debited from the accounts, before the tri-monthly statement. Some will be debited sometime before the end of the financial year. But some customers do not check if these charges are correct or whether there are any mistakes in them. Most believe that banks are responsible anyway, so they do not check their accounts regularly. But this negligence will lead to loss sometimes. Actually, a prominent blog writer faced this kind of a problem. He explained this through social media that reaches to lakhs of people. Finally, he was able to make the bank authorities bend.

representational imageA customer Vivesh, was shocked when he examined his account summary one day. The fee for a Demand Draft (DD), which he took on February 29th, 2016, was debited from his account in April, 2017. A sum of Rs. 1,005 was debited towards the charges. When he had taken the DD, the bank staff told him that it was for free. When he noticed that it was not fair to charge for the DD, and that too after more than a year, he called HDFC bank relationship manager and lodged a complaint. He also said that it is not right and asked Vivesh to lodge a formal complaint. The charges were not debited before the closing of 2016 March. They were not debited even before the end of the 2017 financial year. But the charges were made in the beginning of 2018 financial year. This the customer thought was wrong.

Complaint to customer care
Vivesh lodged a formal complaint in the form of an email, to HDFC bank ([email protected]). "I have noticed that a sum of Rs. 1,005 was debited from my balance, on 18-4-2017, towards charges for taking DD, on 29-2-2016. As a customer of the bank, I have the facility to take free DD. The staff told me this, when I took the DD. How can you charge me suddenly, after one year and two months?" he questioned.

After a few days, Vivesh got a call from the bank manager, where he had taken the DD. He justified the debiting of amount towards DD service charges. But Vivesh went on to question, as to why they did do so when he had taken the DD, one year and two months earlier. If not immediately, he should have been charged at least during the financial year. Supposing he had closed his account in the meantime, what would they have done?, he asked. But there was no reply from the bank manager. Later, Vivesh wrote about this in change.org, Twitter, Google plus etc. Then he got a mail from HDFC bank. They suggested him to call them again, in case he is unhappy. With this, Vivesh complained with Grievance Redressal. Two days later, the bank said 'sorry' and credited the Rs. 1,005 to his account.

Check your account
Do not blindly believe that everything is very transparent with banks. Earlier, such things did not happen. However, in the changing scenario, banks are focussing on the income of the customers, leading to such sly manipulations. That is why, check your bank account summary at least every week or once in a month. Report mistakes or vague charges immediately. Do not have more than one bank account. If you are not using any one account, it is better to close it. Because, if you have more accounts, it will be difficult to keep checking them often. It is easy to track one account. Learn whom to approach, in case of trouble, beforehand. The bank websites will have this information.

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