The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission directed a private bank to pay a compensation of Rs. 3 lakh to a senior citizen who received repeated promotional calls and e-mails pressurising him to use their credit card.

The petitioner, S. Ramu of Adyar, said he was a customer of HDFC Bank and held its credit card. The bank had provided their Health Plus credit card with two add-on cards for family members, valid until September 2011. Without his consent, the bank had upgraded his credit card to the ‘platinum plus’ category in August 2009.

From October 2010, the bank started making promotional phone calls and sending e-mails to Mr. Ramu, persuading him to use their credit card, even during late hours. He also received hundreds of calls from the marketing offices and credit card divisions on his mobile number despite registering for the ‘do not call’ service.

Annoyed, Mr. Ramu had sent a notice to HDFC Bank, Besant Nagar, and its credit card division in Mumbai on August 16, 2011. He filed a petition for compensation of Rs. 50 lakh.

The bank denied the allegations and said the card was replaced with the consent of Mr. Ramu. It also denied making calls at odd hours.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the bench comprising its president Justice R. Regupathi and Judicial Member K. Annamalai observed that the bank’s actions amounted to violation of privacy, and was against RBI guidelines and TRAI Rules.

The bench also condemned and termed as ‘unfair trade practice’ the calls made to the customer despite him being registered under the ‘do not call’ service.

More In: Chennai | Society