Charging disproportionate and multiple penalties for a single transaction

This query is : Resolved 

21 February 2009

I hold a Barclays credit card.
My credit card statement for the month of January reflected a balance of Rs.180.00 to be repaid on the due date of 22nd January 2009.
I had repaid the above amount on the due dates vide my cheque drawn on ICICI Bank. However, due to some problem in fund transfer between my linked accounts, the cheque got returned due to “Insufficient funds”.
The Barclays credit card alerted me via SMS about the Cheque return and as soon as the SMS was received on 27th January 2009, I had repaid the entire amount due to the credit card thro’ Visa Money Transfer.
Now the Barclays Credit Card had sent me card statement for month of February 2009, charging me a sum of Rs.1235.96 towards penalties. The statement contains no transactions but only penalties towards Cheque return Fee and Late payment Fee as below:

(i) Returned Cheque Fee Rs.500.00
Service Tax at 12.36% Rs.61.80

(ii) Late Payment Fee Rs.600.00
Service Tax at 12 % Rs.74.16

Total Rs.1235.96

I had contacted the customer care service of the Barclays credit card over phone and via e-mail requesting them to waive or withdraw at least the late payment fee since I was a prompt payer of my dues and had never defaulted before. The Barclays credit card had refused to help me and waive or withdraw any of the charges stating that they had levied the charges as per the rules.

I feel frustrated and helpless since I had to pay penalty in excess of seven times of my transacted amount. This is besides the cheque return fee charged by my bankers viz., icici bank.

Can anyone help me in this to proceed further?

What the RBI and the laws of the land can do in this issue?

Shall I pay the card the penalties demanded in part or full (under protest) or stop payment to the card and proceed with arbitration in a legal forum?

Please Help!
Thanks to everyone in Advance!!

Rajesh Kumar (Expert)
21 February 2009

The amount chaged on the card is fees, you agreed to pay in the very first instance, and hence it is your duty to pay the amount.
You should talk to them saying that you are ready to pay, but if you will be asked to pay, you will get the card cancelled. On this threat, they generally waive the charges. If they do not waive the charges, pay and get the card cancelled.

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