Bank should inform consumer before blocking card

A bank is bound to inform the consumer well in advance before blocking his credit card.

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2011, 16:18 PM IST

New Delhi: 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 misbehaviour
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 uncivilised
behaviour which also constitutes deficiency in service," it

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

"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.