Last week STAR NEWS channel covered very interesting topic… which a consumer had reported to the channel. And two months back, I observed exactly the similar case LIVE in a Delhi Consumer Forum.
The question is… if you loose your credit/ATM card and it is used for Shopping by the finder or thief. Then who is liable… the Owner of Card, Shop-Keeper or the Credit Card company.
Let’s start with the Consumer Forum case… the complainant lost his ATM card while travelling. It was late evening time… so the best he could do was register the lost complaint to the ATM company, so that they can block the card… and the misuse can be prevented. He used their customer care number and registered the complaint.
But still it was mis-used and his next statement included huge amounts spent on shopping. He complained to the concerned Private bank… but no one listened to him. Therefore, he filed his complaint with said Consumer Court but unfortunately his case was not accepted in the initial stage.
The Magistrate said what proof he has that he registered the complaint for blocking of the said card. He said… it was over the telephone… but it could not be accepted as it can very well be argued by the Bank that they never received any such call.
This is the point where the Bank’s liability ceases. So firstly, to make the Bank liable… you need to present something solid in writing… which need to be a letter in writing which is FAXED to the bank at the first instance.
But the complainant was a well-informed consumer, he further argued that when an ATM card is liable to be signed and cannot be used without signature, how can a shop-keeper accept a card even when there is a signature mis-match. Therefore, the Shop-Keeper must be held liable. This was a valid point:!:
But still Magistrate relied more on the first point and did not accept the case. Though I am not sure… whether the shop-keeper was made party or not. But in case he was… then there should not be any reason for dismissing the matter. In any case, it was unfortunate for the complainant.
The same thing was shown on the Star News, last week and it was clearly said by senior advocates that Shop-Keeper need to be held liable, as they cannot charge on a card, when there is a signature mis-match:!: