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Levying of Charges without Adequate Prior Notice to the Customer

Location/place: Mumbai, Malad, Mindspace

Name of company/service: HDFC Bank

I submitted a Suggestion/Feedback e-mail through your website w.r.t. AMB and AQB charges that were levied against my account without my intimation, on 18/06/2012.

The e-mail that I received today (below) does not at all pertain to the e-mail I sent. It has absolutely no reference to what I had written on the 18th of June. I did not ask for a confirmation of account closure, as stated in he e-mail below. Moreover, no one by the name of Swapna Kakatkar contacted me on the 18th of June. I received a call today from HDFC asking me about my complaint. I do not know what’s going on. I feel that I am being made to run around. I request you to refer to my original email/query again.

In brief, I would like to tell you what happened. A total amount of Rs. 4,138.52 was deducted from my account in June 2012 towards AMB and AQB charges. When I approached the branch i.e. Mindspace, Malad; I was informed by Ankeeta Rathi (Branch Operations Manager) that the account was converted to a Savings account as there was no Salary credited into the account for some time; and hence the charges as the minimum balance to be maintained monthly is Rs. 10,000. I wasn’t informed of this conversion.

When I objected, Ankeeta told me that a letter was sent by HDFC to my residential address in 2009, informing me that the account was converted. I have not received any letter w.r.t. this. Moreover, when I told her that I would close the account if this is not sorted, she blatantly told me that I could go ahead and close the account. She also told me that it was not necessary for the bank to send me the letter as it is written in the Terms & Conditions booklet which I received at the time of opening the account, that after 3 months of salary not being credited into the account, the account automatically gets converted to a Savings account.

I asked for an Account Closure form and submitted the request for closure as I was very unhappy with the experience that HDFC provided me. I have been a customer of the bank since 2005 and have kept this account because I liked the services offered by HDFC, although the account was non-operational.

I received a letter dated 19/06/2012 with a Demand Draft of Rs.107.33 confirming that my account is closed. What has upset me is that there was no attempt made to retain me as a customer of HDFC. Is this how HDFC values and treats their customers?

I would really like to highlight the customer service and leadership skills of Ankeeta Rathi. Being a Branch Operations Manager, she was not at all service-oriented. Her tone was curt, rude and unhelpful. She did not demonstrate Ownership or Willingness to help at all. Her body language also showed disinterest. She was not at all empathetic towards me or my situation and this really made me feel that she did not care. Is this the kind of example that the leaders of HDFC set for their employees and reportees? Is this how Ankeeta grooms the staff in the Mindspace, Malad branch? Is it OK for employees of HDFC to blame things on policy and procedure (Terms & Conditions) and shove things under the carpet?

It has been very annoying and inconvenient for me as I had made provisions of the money in my account towards my EMIs and other committments. Now, I do not know what to do and this has caused grievances to my financial planning and budget.

I request you to please look into this matter and reverse the charges levied through a Demand Draft or by some other means (since the account is closed). I have also submitted a complaint through your PhoneBanking officer. The complaint number is MUMC0612139616.

Moreover, I have also submitted a complaint with the Banking Ombudsman and hope that this issue will be resolved.

Looking forward to a favorable response from you as I am very upset with this experience

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