A consumer forum has directed SBI Card and Payment Services Ltd to pay Rs. 12,000 as compensation to a customer for putting her name in CIBIL's defaulters list despite an assurance that the annual fees of her credit card would be free for lifetime.
The firm, a joint venture of State Bank of India and GE Capital, has been directed by the North District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum to pay the compensation to the Delhi- based customer for "lowering" her financial credibility due to which she was denied loan by another bank.
"Though the complainant (doctor) was issued 'Free SBI Doctors' credit card' and was under no obligation to pay any amount to the opposite party (SBI Card and Payment Services Ltd), nevertheless it showed that Rs. 3,590 was due...Because of this negligent act, complainant was denied a car loan by HDFC Bank since her name appeared in the list of defaulters...
"We hold opposite party deficient in service on account of which financial credibility of complainant had been lowered in the eyes of other banks to which she had applied for car loan," a bench presided by Babu Lal said.
The complainant, Dr Sara Varughese, had alleged that the subsidiary firm of SBI had assured her the credit card issued to her would be free for lifetime, but when her card was renewed an annual fee was charged from her.
Her request for cancelling the card was not accepted and payment of the annual fees was demanded even though she had stopped using it, she had alleged.
When her application for a car loan was rejected by HDFC Bank, she found out that her name had been added to the list of defaulters maintained by Credit Information Bureau (India) Ltd (CIBIL) for non-payment of the annual fees, she said.
The credit card firm in its defence contended that the annual fees was charged inadvertently due to some technical glitch when the doctor's credit card was renewed, and the error was corrected after it was detected.
The forum rejected the contention saying no proof was shown by the firm that there was a technical snag.