I have been an ICICI bank customer from more than 10 years if I remember correctly. My experience with the bank has been excellent in these years. Therefore, I always preferred ICICI products like Lombard vehicle insurance, mutual fund investment with ICICI Prudential and so on. Similarly, I wanted to have an ICICI credit card. I have credit cards from other brands. Twice, I applied for ICICI credit card but my application was rejected on the ground of my financial status. So, I gave up.
A few months back ICICI issued not one but two credit cards to me. Those were pre-approved credit cards. When I told my friends about this, their opinion was not to take them as ICICI credit cards are not customer friendly. I did not believe them citing my 10 years’ experience with ICICI bank.
► What is my issue with ICICI Credit Card?
But today I think my friends were right. I should have considered their opinion. My issue is like this. I made an international transaction using one of my ICICI bank credit cards. Due to some reason I had to cancel the transaction. I have an email from the merchant, stating that the paid amount has been refunded.
The common practice in case of transaction cancellation is whatever amount was debited from a credit card, the same amount should be refunded back. I can say that based on my usages of other two credit cards. I have made many international payments using those two cards. In case of payment cancellation, I used to get a full refund. I thought the same is applicable to all bank cards.
Here ICICI bank card mischief comes to play. ICICI bank made some 700 Rupees in my canceled international transaction. It made money in Dollar-Rupee conversation at the time of debit and made money again at the time of credit.
► Transaction Cancelation and Refund
Let us understand what ICICI bank did with an example. Consider today Dollar Rupee conversion rate is 70 Rupees. I made an international payment of 100 dollars. The transaction will reflect in my statement as a debit of 7100 Rupees (approx.) Here is the bank is right in making some money by Dollar-Rupee conversion. When the transaction canceled and refund initiated, ICICI bank considers it as a credit, so gives 6900 Rupees (approx.) only. Again, the bank made some money in currency conversion.
That is a wrong practice. If it is a fresh credit, then it makes sense that the bank is making some money in dollar-rupee conversation. However, making money in the transaction, which has been canceled and the paid amount refunded is a wrong practice.
► ICICI Card Customer Care Misbehavior
Today morning I called up ICICI card customer care to get clarity on the refunded amount. Customer support staff behavior was shocking. The customer support person hanged up and forwarded my call to the IVR system again. I could believe this. I cannot imagine how ICICI card customer support would treat me in case of any fraudulent transaction. Therefore, I have decided not to use ICICI bank card.
I am planning to cancel my ICICI card. Also, I wish to report this incident to RBI. Let us see what happens. One thing is for sure although I am not going to use ICICI card for international transactions hereafter.