How Ashal & Banking Ombudsman helped get my money back from a failed credit card payment

This is an account of how a member of Facebook group Asan Ideas for Wealth(AIFW), – let us call her Jenna – got her money back after a failed credit card payment with the help group admin Ashal Jauhari and the banking ombudsman. Although the circumstance of the failed transaction discussed below is not common, the way banking or credit services often respond with a “nothing further can be done” is something we have all experienced from time to time.  As customers we have rights and the banking ombudsman helps uphold them (if deserving). We just need to purse the matter patiently. This is how Jenna got her money back with the help of Ashal and the banking ombudsman.
Failed transactions are quite common in online banking and credit space. Usually, the two ends of the transactions are valid. That is, one end is your bank account and the other is the shop (payee) and in between is the payment gateway. Once you click on “submit” for a second or two there is a bit of suspense as the payment gateway transfers you from the bank site to the shop site and you get a “sale confirmed” page. Sometimes this does not happen. There is a debit in your account, but you do not get a confirmation. Typically this sort of situation will auto-correct in a couple of days – either you will get the money credited back or you will get the sale confirmation after the payment gateway logs are checked. If I am not wrong, this is possible without human intervention.
Jenna, however, did something silly. She paid her credit card bill from her ICICI SB account. The problem? Usually, that is not a big deal, but in Jenna’s case, she paid a credit card which was no longer valid! It was a blocked card.
The smooth reversals or approvals for failed transactions mentioned above did not apply here because the payment was sent to a credit card account which no longer existed. Ideally, the transaction should have been reversed and the money credited back to her ICICI account, but that did not happen.
An amount of Rs.  8680.00 was transferred to the blocked HSBC card on 4 June 2017 from her ICICI account. Realising her mistake she raised a complaint request with both ICICI (savings bank) and the HSBC bank for the reversal of the amount. After many calls & discussion with customer care of both HSBC & ICICI as visits to both banks with all relevant documents, nothing happened.
ICICI provided with the payment transfer ID and confirmed the payment is already transferred to HSBC and they cannot do anything about it apart from sending a request to HSBC. So Jenna made a written request to ICICI and they gave her the acknowledgement of receipt and that they will send an email request to HSBC.
Then with several email exchanges to HSBC: info [at] hsbc.co.in, complaints.india [at] hsbc.co.in and escalation to the nodal officer nodalofficerinm[at] hsbc.co.in there was no progress. HSBC was trying to wash their hands off the payment as the card was already cancelled.
At this point, Jenna contacted Ashal and he suggested that the Banking Ombudsman be approached. She sent an email to their Bangalore branch  – bobangalore [at] rbi.org.in – with all details, supporting evidence and previous communication to HSBC. Read the FAQ about the banking ombudsman
Her last communication with HSBC was on Jul 28th and she sent a reminder to the Ombudsman on the 8th Aug 2017. After that, the HSBC team informed her that they would start an investigation and will soon let her know also requested an updated ICICI SB bank statement.
On Oct 5th, 2017, a month or so after contacting the Banking Ombudsman and four months after she made the wrong payment, the money was reversed. Jenna is most thankful for Ashals timely guidance and support.
This might seem an insipid story, but there are some important lessons here.

ashal

Ashal could have sided with the financial services community and earned fame and fortune. Instead, he stood by my side in AIFW in support of fee-only financial planners and the creations of fee-only India. That made a huge difference!  From being active on the moneycontrol forum, he moved on to the Jagoinvestor forum (where I first interacted with him). When he stopped answering questions there, the forum was closed! Now he has recently diversified (his words) into quora too. If you are not on Facebook, get an account only for being part of Asan Ideas of Wealth.

  • A wrong payment revealed a huge bug in our online transaction system. A payment to a cancelled card should have been reversed immediately.
  • The bank refused to implement what should have been a straightforward reversal.
  • The Banking Ombudsman is powerful. They can jerk banks into action.

Yes, what Jenna did was wrong, but that does not mean she should be denied her money! She needn’t have to go to the Banking Ombudsman for such a trivial matter!

The same could happen to any of us and much bigger sum could be at stake and it need involve a mistake from our side. During such times, it is important to persevere methodically, keep all documentation safe, threaten the service provider about complaints to the Ombudsman or regulator and make it if necessary.

Do you have such a story to share? Please do so in the comments section.

A merry Christmas to you all. Did you check out the last couple of posts?

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Do check out my books


You Can Be Rich Too with Goal-Based Investing

You can be rich 243x300 - How Ashal & Banking Ombudsman helped get my money back from a failed credit card payment My first book is now available at a 35% discount for Rs. 258. It comes with nine online calculators. Get it now.  The kindle edition is only Rs. 199.

Gamechanger: Forget Startups, Join Corporate & Still Live the Rich Life You Want

Cover-pink

My second book is now only Rs 199 (Kindle Rs. 99).  Get it or gift it to a young earner

The ultimate guide to travel by Pranav Surya

Travel-Training-Kit-Cover 

This is a deep dive analysis into vacation planning, finding cheap flights, budget accommodation, what to do when travelling, how travelling slowly is better financially and psychologically with links to the web pages and hand-holding at every step.  Get the pdf for ₹199 (instant download)

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2 thoughts on “How Ashal & Banking Ombudsman helped get my money back from a failed credit card payment

  1. True. Ombudsman is really helpful. In my case, SBI ATM did not dispense Rs.20,000/- but my account shows that Rs 20,000/- deduction. As you have mentioned elsewhere above, I too thought that the amount will be reversed. Waited fro two days, went to my SBI branch and they were very uncooperative, and did not even receive my written complaint and asked me to make an online Complaint. Online complaint site of SBI even after many attempts did not book the complaint and IVRS complaint booking did not yield any result. Lickly, I have the receipts form the ATM (You know very well many times you dont get a receipt from ATM, since ATM does not have paper).

    Then, I have made a complaint to Ombudsman/Hyderabad. I also sent copies of the receipts to the manager of SBI (address provided by Ombudsman, that my complaint would be enquired with the Bank). Then after about one month, I have received a call from the Secretary of the Ombudsman that my money will be returned by the bank. When I explained my agony with the SBI, she has explained that the bank filed to explain discrepancies in the ATM transactions of the day. Not only that after another one week she has again ranged me whether my amount has actually came to me or not.

    Such an action from Ombudsman really instill security in the minds of the customers who use ATM/Debit/Credit cards.

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