03 November 2008

"Hello, HDFC Bank Credit Cards Division. This is Shweta here, how may I help you?"

"I have been a customer of HDFC credit card for more than 5 years with a clear repayment history. I was going through this month's statement and I find that there is a late fee component of 450 rupees and finance charges of 500. Considering my past history, I was wondering if you could reverse these amounts"

"Sir, let me check up"

After a few minutes of account verification procedures,

"Sir, I will be able to reverse the latefee. But I can't reverse the finance charges. You will have to pay them"

"But previously when this happened, you had reversed the finance charges also."

"Sir, this means that you habitually default. I am sorry that I can't help you with this"

"No, no, I am not a habitual defaultee. This would have happened two or three times in the last 6 years. In fact, based on my transaction history, the bank even upgraded my credit card to platinum plus."

"I am sorry sir, I can't help you in this. Is there anything else that I can do for you?"

"No, thank you"

"Thank you sir, wish you a good day"

Later, at 8.30 PM on the same day........

"Hello, HDFC Bank credit cards, this is Ajay here. How may I help you?"

"Hi I am holding this card for the last 6 years or so. In this month bill, I see a finance charge entry of around 500. Can you kindly reverse this?"

"Just a minute, sir"

Wait and a pause......

"Your finance charges are reversed sir. However you will have to pay the full bill this month. The reversal will reflect in the next month bill. Is there anything else that I can do for you?"

"No, thanks a lot"

"Thank you sir. Wish you a good day"

Has this happened to you? Men and women deal with the same request differently? My experience is that men are more reasonable when dealing with such requests. Women dealing with such requests? Well, let me put it this way. These days I call HDFC credit card help line only in the evening. The chances of getting a male to listen to your complaints (and getting them satisfactorily addressed) is higher at that time.

Post Script: Both the late fee and finance charges got reversed in the current month bill along with the associated taxes.

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