Rejecting the bank's contention that the card was delivered to one Sadaqat, the brother of account holder Mohd Gulraiz, the South District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum said no due precaution was taken in delivering the card.
"The credit card was delivered to one Sadaqat, who does not stand proved to be a relative or representative of the complainant (Gulraiz)...
"In the circumstances, we are of the considered view that the bank did not take due precautions resulting in financial loss to complainant and he is liable to be compensated due to deficiency of service on their (HDFC Bank's) part," said the bench presided by M P Mehndiratta.
It also directed HDFC Bank to refund Rs 2,850 (paid by Gulraiz initially) as well as Rs 16,649 transferred from his savings account to settle dues against expenditures on card and to pay him Rs 5,000 as litigation cost.
Gulraiz had said he had a savings account with the Okhla Industrial Area branch of the HDFC Bank which had offered him a lifetime free credit card and on completing paperwork, he was told the card would be delivered in 20 days.
As he had to leave the town, he had given his contact number to the bank, specifically instructing it to deliver the card only to him, Gulraiz had said.
On his return he was informed by the bank that purchases had been made using his card, he said adding he immediately told the bank that the card had not been delivered to him at all.
Despite his informing the bank that the card was not delivered to him, HDFC Bank demanded payment of card dues from him and he started receiving threatening calls, said Gulraiz in his plea adding adding that in order to buy peace of mind he had to pay Rs 2,850.
He further alleged that the bank, which had not responded to the complaints made by him, went on to transfer Rs 16,649 from his savings account to his credit card account.
In its defence, HDFC Bank had contended that the card was delivered to Gulraiz' brother Sadaqat and the complainant had utilised the credit card to purchase goods worth Rs 57,492.
It had further said that as per the credit card agreement the bank was entitled to claim the dues from his savings account and that is why it had transferred Rs 16,649 to his card account.