Consumer Issues
Tata Cards allegedly shortchanges a loyal card customer

A loyal Tata Cards customer and a former tata employee was unable to redeem his points due to ‘faulty’ EDC machines at Tata partner outlets. Instead, of solving the problem, Tata Cards deducted his rewards points and shows no signs of engaging with the customer

A Moneylife reader and former Tata Group employee has been using the Tata Credit Card as a primary card for six years and had accumulated significant number of reward points, and therefore wished to redeem some of the points earned. Apparently, there is no online interface for redeeming points for Tata Cards, and it has to be redeemed at a store. So, he tried to redeem at some Tata partner outlets in the Mumbai/Thane region in recent months, but was unable to do so. Some of the stores he visited were Croma (Mulund, Mumbai), Westside (Korum Mall, Thane), Tata DoCoMo brand store (Naupada, Thane) and World of Titan showroom (Naupada, Thane). He thereafter lodged a complaint on 17 March 2012 and was assured that his complaint would be resolved within seven working days. After a few days a representative claimed that that its rewards Electronic Data Capture (EDC) machines at the Tata partner outlets may have been temporarily 'faulty'. How would it be possible that several Tata rewards EDC machines were faulty at the same time? He had been facing the problem of redeeming his reward points since March 2012.

On the Tata Cards website, it was mentioned that it was 'easy' to redeem points. It said, "Swap your Tata Empower Card on a Tata EDC machine only for accrual of the reward points. Redeeming of the points is the easiest in the industry. Just walk to any Tata brand outlet, pick a product or products of your choice and redeem the points instantly. So, no calling to services, no visit to a website and no courier charges. It is simple, just earn it and burn it then and there." Yes, this is what mentioned on its website.

Rewards EDC machines are devices used by retailers when the merchant swipes the credit card through an electronic card reader or terminal in order to display the number of bonus/rewards points accrued and utilise it. The information on the card's magnetic strip is entered into the processor's database electronically and the information is promptly displayed.

Meanwhile, he was intimated by Tata Cards that his reward points accumulated till April 2012 points would 'expire' if not redeemed by 31 May 2012. Since the rewards EDC machines were 'faulty', he could not redeem it. Instead of trying to solve the problem, Tata Cards deducted the points that were to be expired. How could they do this?

Further, the e-statements of May 2012 and June 2012 intimated him of further 'expiry' of points if not redeemed by 30 June 2012 and 31 July 2012 respectively. If there are faulty rewards EDC machines, where's the question of redeeming? If Tata Cards was unwilling to help a loyal customer redeem his points, again, where is the question of redeeming? It is conveniently ignoring customers' grievances while mechanically deducting all the rewards points accrued. What is most pertinent is that it is doing this to a loyal customer who has worked with the Tata Group before. He had complained to all concerned including the head of Tata Cards, but all of them went unanswered. It is not known how many other Tata Cards customers are having the same problem. If you are one, let us know. Moneylife sent emails to Tata Cards to verify the story and received an automated reply from one generic id which replies to all customer complaints.
 

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COMMENTS

Bapoo Malcolm

5 years ago

The major problem is with the boiler room pressures put on the staff to perform. Listed prices are often not charged, usually at Westside Army & Navy outlet, complaints unanswered, vague excuses given. Some outlets are better handled like under Chudasma at Hughes Road. Cannot paint all with the same tar brush.

BUT, the Tata name is taking a beating. Imagine a 65 year old Parsi woman unwilling to touch a Tata product after these experiences! When at one time the joke was that if you saw a Nano, it had to be a Parsi colony.

Bapoo M. Malcolm

Parag Mehta

5 years ago

Hello,

I am a IndusInd Bank credit card customer. I was owning a Deutsche Card since 2007. As long as the portfolio was with Deutsche Bank, services were upto the mark.
Sighting you one of the experiences with IndusInd. I called up their IVR system to have a word with customer care executive. I was held on for 20 minutes or so. Atlast, I just gave up. This happened twice. I have accumulated substantial points on the card.
With Deutsche Bank the service was prompt.

Parag Mehta

Kumar Jagtiani

5 years ago

Tata cards operations represent the dark side of Tatas. Their card operations are typically anti-customer, insensitive, unresponsive, uncommunicative, unapproachable, uncaring, opaque, obtuse and secretive. Probably run by a bunch antagonistic misanthropes who are also socially and commercially challenged.

Having a Tata card is like suffering from an incurable disease.

Kumar Jagtiani

5 years ago

The operations of Tata Credit Cards represents the dark side of the Tata group. The Card operations are most intractable, unapproachable, uncommunicative, insensitive, unresponsive in corporate history probably run by some socially and commercially challenged people having a deep-seated hatred for mankind.

Having a Tata card is like having an incurable disease.

avaneesh gupta

5 years ago

Hi,

It is not only Tatas who are cheating this loyal customer out of his duly accumulated reward points.
I have faced the same problem today with IndusInd Bank Credit card. I have been using a Deutsche Card since 2006 dec and my usage has been reasonably high on this card. Around 18 months back, Deutsche Bank sold their card portfolio to IndusInd Bank and last year, I got a new IndusInd Bank card also. As per my statement dated 18th June 2012. I had 26700 reward points in my card account. As Indusind does not have a decent card redemption scheme, I was not able to redeem these points.
Today when i decided to redeem these points against my card outstanding, I was told by the call centre executive that now I have only 17000 points as some 9000 odd points have expired in last 10 days.
The most shocking aspect is that there is no communication to me of this regard that the points are getting expired so I should hurry to redeem these points. If I convert these expired points to money term, its a loss of around INR 4500 to me as each point is equivalent to 50 paise. The executive further told me that this expiry clause was mentioned in the joining kit of Deutsche Bank when I would have received the card first time.
The last communication which I received from Indusind bank, my current card statement does not mention about expiring points but the bank expects me to remember terms and conditions mentioned in a document sent to me some 5-6 years back.
Can moneylife please explain me where can i take my grievance for redressal as it is not a question of losing INR 4500 but more of taking a stand against a bank which is trying to cheat me in such a shameless manner

Economy & Nation Exclusive
Barclays expects the euro to fall despite move by European leaders

Despite European leaders agreeing to recapitalise banks directly instead of bailing them out vis-a-vis loans, Barclays believes that the Euro currency will be weak and will fall

 

Barclays, a leading British financial institution, believes that the market is expected to remain subdued if not fall despite European leaders buying more time to contain the prevailing European Union (EU) crisis. By agreeing to recapitalise Spanish banks (a first time measure taken by the EU), a landmark move, while at the same time denying ‘seniority’ on its sovereign bonds, Barclays believes the euro will continue to remain weak even though the euro has rallied against the dollar. In a recent report titled “EUR: EU Summit is not a game-changer for the EUR” it said, “We remain bearish on EURUSD (Euro-Dollar), expecting it to grind slowly down to 1.15 over the next 12 months. We therefore suggest investors look to fade this morning’s European currency strength versus the USD and non European commodity currencies such as the AUD (Australian Dollar) and CAD (Canadian Dollar).” The term ‘fade’ used in this context means to lock profit and get out of the investment/position (or go short).

Zerohedge, a popular finance blogger followed by many, has a different perspective of the same situation. According to the blog, it said, “for a real fiscal and monetary policy intervention to take place i.e. a rescue package that lasts at least a few months, as opposed to (today’s) several day max rally: the market has to be tumbling. Everything else is (quarter end) window dressing.” In other words, the markets will have to fall by a significant margin for central bankers to take notice and inject sufficient capital into the system vis-a-vis “quantitative easing”, in order to shore up the financial system. Barclays expects the “European Central Bank (ECB) to keep its monetary policy very loose for some time and to cut rates by 50 basis points (bps) next week, a move which is not fully priced in by the market.” The US Fed has already ‘indicated’ that it might pursue QE3, its third wave of printing dollars.

The only piece of good news in the report was that there could be “sustained support” in market sentiment. “We expect the general improvement in sentiment to have legs because the measures announced to tackle the dislocation in the banking sector,” the report said.

Moneylife had written earlier about the (unhealthy) impact of sentiment on the markets, and that is had to be supported by strong fundamentals, which has not been witnessed yet, as the details of the landmark agreement seems very patchy.

Berlin is still digging its heels and creating conditions for the bailout, which is creating viciously charged political atmosphere, which is another aspect that weakens the case for a sustained market rally in Euro currency. German chancellor Angela Merkel said, “countries must fulfil conditions for bond-buying programmes that the Troika must check”. Ms Merkel has been very vocal against bailing out flailing economies directly unless those economies adhere to strict conditions under the new treaty. Her statement is a testament to her reluctance to stand by the weaker economies.

According to Associated Press sources, the new treaty includes:

•    Bailing out economies directly by a central body, instead of loans through governments that already have too much debt.
•    Lowering the borrowing costs on Italy and Spain, the euro region’s third- and fourth-largest economies.
•    Rescue floundering countries, without forcing them to make painful budget cuts if they’ve already made economic reforms.
•    Tie their budgets, currency and governments more tightly.

The Barclay’s report further believes that the agreement to inject the Spanish banking system with cash will only cause the banks to increase their debt levels, which is not an ideal outcome. It said, “The agreement to allow Spanish banks to be directly recapitalised from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is conditional on a single supervisor for euro are banks being established. This is not expected until the latter half of this year. In the interim, aid to Spanish banks will continue to inflate Spanish sovereign debt levels.” ESM is a bailout fund created by the European Union to bailout banks and such.
 

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Bajaj Auto bike sales down 1.38% in June

Bajaj Auto's total vehicle sales in June stood at 345,162 units compared to 3,66,657 units in the same period a year ago, a decline of 5.86%

New Delhi: The country's second largest two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto reported a 1.38% decrease in its motorcycle sales in June at 318,377 units, reports PTI.

The company had sold 322,827 units in the corresponding month last year, Bajaj Auto (BAL) said in a statement.

BAL said exports also fell by 18.34% during the month at 116,062 units compared to 142,124 units in June 2011.

In the three-wheeler category, the company said its sales stood at 26,785 units against 43,830 units in the same month last year, a dip of 38.89%.

Total vehicle sales of the company last month stood at 345,162 units compared to 366,657 units in the same period a year ago, a decline of 5.86%, the statement said.

Bajaj Auto shares were trading at Rs1,554.80 in morning trade, down 1.09% from its previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
 

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