How I selected a health insurance policy

In this post, Niten Kapoor discusses how he selected a health insurance policy. In my previous article on health insurance, I had invited readers to compare policies as guest posts. Niten agreed to write about how he compared policies and selected one. This is part of Re-assemble – a series on the basics of money management aimed at young earner. Here is a brief summary of all Re-assemble posts. read more

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 Usually, that is not a big deal, but in Jenna’s case, she paid a credit card which was no longer valid!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 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. read more

How I transferred my home loan from LICHFL to SBI and saved 12 Lakhs!

In this edition of “reader story”, Ravi Kiran describes his experience of procuring a home loan from LIC Housing Finance (LICHFL) and then transferring it to SBI, thereby saving over Rs. 12 Lakh in interest.

UPDATE: MD and CEO of MF Utility, V Ramesh will be joining Ashal and me at the PUNE DIY Investor meet on 26th Feb. Registration link below.

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Dear freefincal readers, I am Ravi Kiran, working as School Asst. in Education Dept. Govt. Of Andhra Pradesh…. Would like to share my experience of Housing Loan Process… read more

Reader Story: Are you sure you can be a DIY investor?

This is a guest post by Butun Mohapatra. When he posted his experience with a SEBI registered fee-only financial planner at FB group, Asan Ideas for Wealth, Vivek Vishwanathan suggest that it be published here. Butun immediately agreed and turned in a draft in just a few hours!

Let us find out what Butun wants us introspect if we have what it takes to DIY and why it is important to seek counsel from a SEBI registered fee-only financial planner. The text in brown is mine. read more

Reader Story: Arise, Awake and DIY!

This is a guest post by one of the earliest freefincal readers, Anish Mohan.  In 2001, Anish, a profound believer in Swami Vivekananda abandoned his romance for communism and took up a job in the Indian software industry, where he witnessed the good days of post-liberalisation era, punctuated with events of the 2008 global crash. In this candid and heartfelt memoir, Anish shares the ups and downs of his money-management journey. read more