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To the Standard Chartered Bank…

Dear Standard Chartered Bank,

You offered me a shining Manhattan Credit Card almost 7 years ago when I was in Bangalore. I was a kid out of my college who was fascinated by plastic money and loved to get them swiped once in a while. Then came Citibank where I had my corporate salary account. I got a complimentary credit card which offered 5 times the limit you offered. But I was a kid. At that time having 2 credit cards in my wallet made me feel even better. Yours was a silver card. And Citibank gave a gold card. I loved both of them.

I stopped using your card after one year. I still use my Citibank credit card which has been upgraded 5 times since I got the first one.  There’s one very simple reason. Let me explain:

On a given month I have a Rs. 10,000 outstanding on both my credit cards. I only have Rs. 10,000 to spare so I make a partial payment of Rs. 5000 to both (though now I understand I should have actually cleared off one of the two to enjoy a month of revolving credit for free. But that is not the point here.). When I get the bill next month, the interest charged on your card is twice that of the interest charged on the Citibank card. No, your rate of interest is not twice that of Citibank. Your interest calculation policy is deceptive.

Your policy says unless I clear off each penny of my outstanding, you will charge an interest on the total outstanding as of the last bill. So even if I paid Rs. 9999.99 and have an outstanding of Rs. 0.01, you would have charged an interest on the total outstanding i.e. Rs. 10,000. Citibank doesn’t do so. They charged interest only on the partial balance.

I call up your customer care to explain. First the gentleman on the other side doesn’t understand a shit about the interest charging methodologies. And then he says he holds 7 credit cards and all of them charge interest on the entire outstanding even if a partial payment is done. To nail it down he says it is a regulatory norm. I ask him to cancel my card. He says request taken. I follow up a few more times. But I don’t get any confirmation. I cut the card in 4 pieces and throw it out of the window.

For two years, you keep sending me a printed bill with Rs. 13 Cr. in my account. I keep throwing it in the dustbin. You suddenly send me a new shining platinum card. But I am no longer that innocent kid. I cut the card into pieces and throw it out immediately.

From then until now, you keep sending me bills. Two bills. One has a credit of Rs.13 and the other says Rs. o.00. So for the last 3 years, you’ve sent both the bills to be without failing. I did some calculations. If it costs Rs. 2 for the bill and another Rs. 5 for the postage, you have spent Rs. 672 over the last five years. And I have not spent a single penny through your cards in that time. You have already spent more in the bills than the interest I ever paid.

It’s time to stop now. Use the money to buy some sense.

At least stop sending those paper bills and save some trees.

Never yours for life!

Amit Srivastava