Sunday, February 20, 2011

ICIC Bank fined for causing credit card agony

The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum here has directed ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Limited to credit an amount of Rs 19,049.08 in the savings bank account of one of its account holders, Kanayal Khatwani, along with seven per cent interest on the amount from the date the amount was debited from his account. The company has also been ordered to refund him Rs 2,210 illegally recovered from him, along with seven per cent interest from the date of recovery until payment. The forum also directed Healthcops, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd. and ICICI Bank’s credit card division to pay Khatwani, jointly and severally, Rs 2,000 each for mental agony and Rs 2,000 towards litigation cost.
ICICI Bank had issued Khatwani a credit card in February 2005. On February 16, 2007, he was telephonically offered a healthcare policy free for two years, after which it would be chargeable. He accepted the offer and received a health policy from Healthcops, with an insured sum of Rs 3,00,000 and the period of insurance from February 22, 2007 to February 21, 2008. To his surprise, Khatwani received an ICICI credit card statement dated May 21, 2007, showing the total amount due as Rs 2,728.55 and reflecting EMI interest, principal, late payment fee, etc.
After Khatwani protested saying it was breach of the terms of the offer, his health policy was cancelled. But he was yet sent “dues”, inclusive of late fees, interest etc.
Subsequently, an agent visited Khatwani’s house and forced a female family member to pay him Rs 2,210. On November 24, 2007, Khatwani issued a legal notice. In response, the bank sent him a statement in February 2008 showing an unpaid outstanding dues of Rs 17,117.40 in respect of his credit card. The unpaid dues were further raised to Rs 19,049.08 and these were debited from his savings bank account.In July 2008, Khatwani and Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS) filed a case with forum and the latter recently issued the order in favour of Khatwani.

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