Crouching Banks, Hidden Charges
“Wow!! You look really depressed. I could sense the gloom from the hall. What happened?” Inuke asked me.
To be honest, he was the last soul I wanted to see.
“It's that obvious huh?!!!” I replied.
“Obvious is an understatement, you stink of depression. Your vibes can kill a birthday party in City Center..” As expected inuke started roasting me.
“Yo!! I am not in the mood.” I tried shrugging him off.
“Bro, come on... Why sso sseriouss?” inuke imitated Joker but ended up being a weird guy speaking Slytherin.
“Tsk!!!” I sighed. Knowing that he is not going away any time soon. Might as well give this guy a shot to crack the situation. I handed over my bank statement from last month.
Inuke was silent and I enjoyed that while it lasted.
“Hahaha!!! Ho ho ho!!, Dude, you are fucked. Hahaha.” Inuke started losing his balance because of all the laughing.
“Is that all you have to offer?” I asked him.
“Tell me this is a joke. Hahaha.” inuke continued his annoying laughs.
“Haan mera chacha hain bank jo aise joke karega.” I replied.
“You know what this is right?” Inuke pointed to a debit entry in the statement.
“Yeah!!” I replied knowing where the conversation was going. “Charges for not maintaining minimum account balance.”
“Exactly, they are punishing you for not having money. The punishment is debiting money, you don't have. Hahaha.” inuke was laughing hard at the joke that Bank played on me.
This is something that can land anyone in trouble. Banking to my knowledge makes money through interest on credit cards and loans. But they are also making money using the rules against you. While the other two can be managed to a level this one with rule get pretty wild at the time. At times the bank can debit a very absurd amount from your account stating that you violated the agreement. And yes you are in agreement with the bank. Remember the beautiful day you opened an account with the bank thinking you will be using that as a saving account, that day you might have signed a booklet with very fine print and hard-to-read terms and conditions. By signing you are agreeing to all that nonsense that is there in between the lines. Trust me, if people started reading the documents/terms and conditions of the banks… the customers from banks will go away.
Like the ATM withdrawal charges, it seems to be very absurd. You are withdrawing the amount from your account using your card and your time. But still, you will be charged for the withdrawal which varies depending upon the amount you are withdrawing. That doesn't make sense. Does it? The bank will always tell you that you can avoid withdrawing cash and get it from Bank directly. But that's the whole point of having an ATM so that no one has to stand and deal with the miss grumpy bank teller. Similarly, they will charge for transactions depending on the source and destination channel. Netbanking, UPI, Card Swiped, Surcharge, convenience fee, annual fee, monthly rental, SMS charges, E-Statement Charges and whatnot. And like the shit cake it is, there is ‘a cherry on top’ called taxes.
I came across a situation where the person was maintaining a minimum balance (INR 5K)on his account to avoid a penalty, and they charged him anyway. Actually, there was a debit of INR 3 (SMS charges) on that account that was followed by a debit of INR 700 penalty for not maintaining the minimum balance. That debit was monthly, till the account hit negative balance. Poor guy.
This may seem like an extreme case, but on the contrary, it is very common. The bank may seem harsh and doing wrong so, but it is operating within its rights and that is fair. The best way to deal with such cases is to read the document carefully and ask upfront the bank person about the charges and get more clarity on that. Ask them about the hold amount, overdraft and other things that affect your available balance. And please review your existing active accounts.
Hi, I am inuke,
I had been serious about my finances and how I am managing them. Yes, there have been slipups in between but I am fine I guess. Now this post hopefully is one of many from me on the subject of finance. Before I call it a day, Let me thank IndiaUnited and BeAwesome family. They are real good people who are supportive and helpful check these communities out.