When you make a purchase on your credit/debit card, do you always cross-check the amount on the charge slip before signing?
Ram Prasad, a reader, describes how on two occasions he found that he had been overcharged by a large drugs and cosmetics store. When he brought this to their notice, they promptly apologised but, instead of returning the excess amount charged, they urged him to "buy something else" for that amount. On both occasions, he obliged.
But the last straw was when he noticed that his daughter had also been overcharged by the same retailer and by as much as Rs. 2,000. This time, when he insisted that the shopkeeper return the excess amount charged to the credit card, he was apparently told that he had to wait for a couple of days.
"When I protested, the retailer had the gumption to argue that my daughter was as much at fault for having signed the charge slip without checking," said Prasad.
Eventually, the shopkeeper promised to deliver the cash at his residence the next day but did not keep his promise. Prasad and his daughter were forced to make another trip to the retailer and this time he threatened to lodge a police complaint and also go to the consumer court. Finally, the retailer returned the excess amount and also gave an expensive gift hamper as an apology.
Here's another case of misuse of credit card.
Kartik Menon: Last month in my credit card bill, I found that I had been charged Rs. 400 more for a dinner that I had had at a five-star restaurant. When I made enquiries, I came to know that the restaurant had added a tip of Rs. 400 to the total amount. I had not added this amount as I had tipped the waiter in cash. Now the bank is insisting that I pay the amount. What do I do?
Answer: Please write to your credit card company and also send a formal complaint to the restaurant (with a copy to your bank) and ask them to rectify the bill. Hotels and restaurants provide you an option of charging the tip to your credit card. However, they cannot misuse this.
In future, just before you sign the charge slip, strike out the space provided for tips and write the total amount approved by you once again below that.