Monday, 16 September 2013

Credit cards Do's & Dont's

Credit Cards to be handled with Care, Do’s & Don’t’ 

Credit cards are one of the most important financial inventions in modern times. But this boon can be a real bane to your finances if not used with care. Here are the Dos & Don’ts.                               

USING CREDIT CARDS FOR DAY-TO-DAY EXPENSES: Almost everyone uses credit cards to buy their day-to-day items. But if one uses it regularly may result in overspending & crossing your monthly budget. So, always draw up your budget for such purchases & use your credit card within this limit. Beyond this point, it is advisable to use debit cards or cash.

USING CREDIT CARDS FOR CASH ADVANCE: Though drawing money by using your credit card through the ATM machine is the easiest way to combat cash shortage, many of us do not foresee the impact it causes on the finances. The rate of interest charged on the advances amount is exorbitant (at 2.5 to 3.5% per month).Not only that, the interest rate gets charged from the first day itself. Besides, you end up paying a flat transaction charge as well. Also, credit cards come with a free credit period of 20 to 50 days. You will be charged late payment fee & high interest of 2.5 to 3.5% per month plus taxes on these charges, if you fail to pay the credit card dues within time. Therefore, restrict yourself from using the credit card on these situations if are not able to generate cash flows to make these payments.

USING CREDIT CARDS FOR TRAVEL ABROAD: There is a charge in foreign currency if you choose to use your credit card (globally-compatible) for foreign currency transactions. You can also be affected by currency fluctuations which affect total amount payable. If you use a prepaid travel card instead, it will stand you in good stead.

USING CREDIT CARDS TO EARN REWARD POINTS: Credit cards entice you to spend more on the credit cards by giving reward points for your credit purchases. Many a time, the items offered are of little or no use or the price is higher than market price. Hence make it a point not to use the credit card just to earn brownie points, which is not healthy.                               

USING CREDIT CARDS IN UNSECURED WEBSITES: While online shopping is popular, there are grey areas to tread. Do not share confidential information on websites which are not secure. Always check for security levels before making credit card payments in such cases.

USING CREDIT CARDS WHEN SPENDING LIMIT IS CROSSED: Stop using the credit card when you are close to exhausting the spending limit. This gives you a good credit rating for renewal purposes as also keeps a check on your expenses.

USING CREDITS DURING DISCOUNT SALE: Don’t allow yourself to be carried away by such offers. Purchase only those which you actually need, not just because the discount offer is huge, say at 90%. Otherwise, you may exceed your budget & spend more than you can afford. USING MULTIPLE CREDIT CARDS: Always keep track of the billing cycle & due date of payment. Do not use the credit card close to its billing cycle. Use the credit card which is farther off the billing date. This way you will get more credit period & handle your finances better.

Friday, 28 October 2011


Consumer Advisory - NCH


RBI Advisory: Security Enrollment For All Bank Users. Do Not Pay Money to receive Large Funds from Abroad: RBI Advisory
The Reserve Bank has time and again issued an advisory cautioning the members of public against responding in any manner to offers of moneys from abroad. It has stated that such offers are fraudulent and has advised the public to immediately register a complaint with the local police/ cyber crime authorities when they receive such offers or become a victim of any such fraud.

Members of public have also been cautioned
against making any remittance towards participation in such schemes/offers from unknown entities since such remittances are illegal and any resident in India collecting and effecting/remitting such payments directly/indirectly outside India is liable to be proceeded against for contravention of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999. They are also liable for violation of regulations relating to Know Your Customer (KYC) norms/Anti Money Laundering (AML) standards. The Reserve Bank has further stated that it does not undertake any type of money arrangement, by whatever name called, and it does not take any responsibility for recovering moneys remitted in response to such bogus communication.

For any further clarification
in the matter, the Reserve Bank has advised the public to contact the officials of the Foreign Exchange Department at its various Regional Offices or at its Central Office, Foreign Exchange Department on telephone numbers 022- 22610589 / 22610618 or 2260 1000 extn. 2772 / 2732 during office hours (9.45 hours to 17.45 hours Monday to Friday) or seek clarification by e-mail . The public may also refer to the cautionary advices hosted on the home page of the RBI website ( as a ticker for more information. The Reserve Bank has stated that it has urged the Indian Banks’ Association and banks to educate their customers to be extra vigilant with regard to such fictitious offers. Banks have also been advised to take up with law enforcing agencies whenever accounts of their customers are misused for such fraudulent activities.

How do the Fraudsters operate?

The Reserve Bank of India has, on several occasions in the past, cautioned the members of public not to fall prey to fictitious offers / lottery winnings / remittance of cheap funds in foreign currency from abroad by so-called foreign entities/ individuals or to Indian residents acting as representatives of such entities/individuals. Describing the manner in which the fraudsters operate, the Reserve Bank has stated that the fraudsters send attractive offers to gullible public through letters, e-mails, mobile phones, SMSs, etc. To lend credence to such offers, the communication is often sent on/ from letterheads /websites that appear to be like that of some public authorities like the Reserve Bank of India. The offers are apparently signed by top executives/senior officials of such authorities. However, only the names of the officials may be correct but their signatures are faked. The offer document would contain contact details of a so-called RBI officer working in some department in the Reserve Bank/Public Authorities.

The fraudsters initially ask potential victims
to deposit small sums of money for different official sounding reasons, such as, processing fees/ transaction fees/tax clearance charges/conversion charges, clearing fees, etc. The victims are asked to deposit the money in certain accounts in banks. The fraudsters often have multiple accounts in the name of individuals or proprietary concerns in different bank branches for collecting such charges.

Often gullible genuine account holders
are persuaded by the fraudsters to lend their accounts for such fraudulent activities on the promise of receiving some commission. Once the initial amount is deposited, demands for more money follow with more official sounding reasons. After accumulating a sizeable amount in these accounts, the fraudsters withdraw or transfer the money abroad and vanish leaving the victims in a lurch. Many residents have already become victims and have lost huge sums of money by falling for such fictitious offers


Rs 1000 COIN, A SOLUTION AGAINST FAKE CURRENCY It is no secret huge amount of Rs 1000 counterfeit notes are in circulation. For an ordinary person it is an uphill task to distinguish which note is original and which is fake. It is more remunerative for people in fake currency to print Rs 1000 denomination notes as it fetches them maximum value for the action.

Today on 12th August 2011 parliament by passing Coinage Bill 2009 allowing for the first time minting of Rs 1000 denominated coin, have pushed the criminals in fake currency out of business. This will be a big relief for consumers. This action shows Government means business to curb the menace which is long overdue and just not removing chavani coin.

Circulation of fake currency is so rampant in the country that even ATMs vending machine also deliver counterfeit notes. Even RBI has to warn that fake notes have been detected in the 2AQ and 8AC series. This clarification become necessary after a builder in Chennai received fake notes from SBI ATM machine. Another person PSU employee Sherwin Pinto received one fake note out of Rs 8000 he withdrew from ATM in Mumbai when he deposit the same in another nationalized bank cashier at counter return the same as fake. Sherwin tried his level best to argue with bankers that this particular fake note is part of Rs 8000 he withdrew.

Sherwin Pinto was asked to prove what is impossible, provide proofs that fake note indeed were dispensed by ATM Machine. Not to bow down he approached the Banking Ombudsman only to be told that this dispute of this nature did not come within the rules framed under the Banking Ombudsman Act and they had no jurisdiction to handle this matter. Alas his money and efforts goes in vain.

It should also be understood that knowingly fake currency should not be passed otherwise it become cognizable offence in law that could lead a person to imprisonment. Reserve Bank of India had issued Master Circular DCM (FNVD) no. G-1/6.01.05/ 2007-08 dated July 2, 2007 and updating the same from time to time; relating to mandatory stamping and impounding of the counterfeit banknote after due detection process.

As the process of minting Rs 1000 coin will take some time, people with very ease can detect a fake note even without magnifying glasses, with just 3 simple steps:

• Hold the Rs1000 note against the light, the portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, the multi- directional lines and an electrotype mark showing the denominational number “1000” appear in this section.

• To be sure focus on 3mm wide security thread with inscriptions “Bharat” “1000” and “RBI” and color shift from green to blue when viewed from different angles. It will fluoresce in yellow on the reverse and the text will fluoresce on the obverse under ultraviolet light. The tread is visible as a continuous line from behind when held up against light.

• You will notice year of printing on back of original Rs 1000 currency note.

Weights & Measures :

Highlights of new Weights & Measures Act and Rules...
From 1st April 2011, the Legal Metrology Act 2009 had repealed the Standards of Weights and Measures Act, 1976 and the Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Act, 1985.

As per the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 which repealed the Standards of Weights and Measures Rules, 1977, few
pro-consumer changes are as follows:

1) “Retail sale price” means the maximum price at which the commodity in packaged form may be sold to the consumer and the price shall be printed on the package in the manner given below; 'Maximum or Max. retail price......inclusive of all taxes or in the form MRP Rs.........incl., of all taxes after taking into account the fraction of less than fifty paisa to be rounded off to the preceding rupees and fraction of above 50 paise and up to 95 paise to the rounded off to fifty paise. No retail dealer or other person including manufacturer, packer, importer and wholesale dealer shall make any sale of any commodity in packed form at a price exceeding the retail sale price thereof. Rounding of paise and ‘importer’ was not there in the Standards of Weights and Measures Rules, 1977.

2) Any advertisement mentioning the retail sale price of the pre-packaged commodity shall contain a declaration as to the net quantity or number of the commodity contained in the package. The font size of the net quantity in the advertisement shall be same as that of retail sale price. It is a new addition.

3) It is mandatory to declare the name and address of the “importer of foreign goods” on the packet. In the Standards of Weights and Measures Rules, 1977, it was not mandatory.

4) Stickers not to be used even for making non - mandatory declarations on the package i.e. no sticker is allowed on the packet. In the Standards of Weights and Measures Rules, 1977,
stickers were allowed for making any declarations other than mandatory.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

16th October - World Food Day

World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. It is also the Food Engineer day.

The World Food Day theme for 2011 is "Food prices - from crisis to stability".

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Your Dream Home - Real Estate

A Consumer has very little knowledge of real estate business whether in the public sector or private sector, so, they are victimized due to their lack of knowledge. These are some important points to be checked before finalizing any deal:
  • When buying property from existing owner, check clear title of deed, certificate of non-incumbency i.e. free from any dispute, all dues including municipal taxes, electricity, water etc paid.
  •  Do extensive survey about the market rates and negotiate.
  • Ascertain and Conform the target competition date.
  • Ascertain the date of possession when the property when the property will be handled over to the buyer.
  • When buying property from the developer/builder check carpet area, built up area and super built up area, payment terms, possession schedule, penalty clause etc.
  • Check if any loans are offered by banks for the property.
  • Study complete technical specifications of the design, material and other promised amenities.
  • Ensure that the design offered is earthquake resistant, floods and other natural calamities. 
  • Verify whether the concerned realtor has obtained certificate of C.L.U. from the competent authority.
  • The consumer should ensure that he get proper receipts for full or pat payments made to the realtor, apart from obtaining a written agreement from him. This written agreement will shield him at all times against exploitation by the realtor.
  • Charging of more money than agreed.
  • Delayed in handling over possession even after making full and final payments.
  • Wrong measurements and usage of sub-standard materials.
  • Consumer can file his case in Dist. Consumer Forum within two years of the purchase. If there is delay due to valid reasons, the consumer may file a “Delay Condone” request to the forum.
  • The consumer may also file a request to the consumer forum for the hearing or decision in case he feels that the same is getting for any reasons.
  • In normal cases the forum gives decision within 3 months from the date of notice and in technical cases they will take five month from the date of notice. The forum consumer can file for execution of the judgment, after the expiry of time stipulated.
The committee constituted by Ministry Of Urban Development has already recommended Government of India to consider setting up of Regulatory Authority in the Real Estate.


 Toll-Free Number: 1800-11-4000 (MTNL / BSNL)
011-27662955-58 (Other Service Provider, Normal Call Charges Applicable)

Insurance: Make it a policy to know your policy

"Insurance" is the payment of a small predictable amount of money to protect against a larger unpredictable expense. The insurance Sector in India has come a full circle from being an open competitive market to nationalization and back to a liberalized market again.

To cater to different needs of a consumer, various types of insurance policies have been devised. They are primarily divided into :

●Life Insurance:
·         Term policy
·         Endowment policy
·         ULIP policy And many more
●General Insurance:

·         Motor Vehicle
·         Mediclaim
●  House insurance
●  Office furniture and equipments And many more

National consumer helpline issued some important advisories for consumers which need to follows to become a smart insurer. These are:
  • Seek complete details of the policy from the agent before signing any proposal form. No blank form should be signed.
  • Read carefully all terminology and terms and condition of the policy. You have the right to get it cancelled within 30 days of receipt of the policy in case of any unfavorable terms.
  • Maintain carefully all the receipts issued by the insurance company.
  • Pay the premium regularly and surrender your policy on time, Pay your premium at least for three years to avoid forfeiture of the policy. 
  • Keep your spouse or nominee well informed about the policies taken and the procedure of filing the claim.
  • Submit all required documents to the insurance company in case of any claim.
  • Delay in change of address in case of existing policy.
  • Delayed payment on “money back policy”.
  • Match the term to your needs. Make sure your dependents are covered until they can provide for themselves, or that your spouse is covered until retirement income becomes available.
  • Buy when you are healthy, and try to match your terms to when you will still be healthy. When you get into your 50s and 60s, it may be harder to find affordable term life insurance.
  • Don't lie on your policy; as life insurance companies will investigate before paying. If you do not admit to a habit, behavior or health risk on your application, your beneficiaries may not receive the money after you pass away. That is the whole point of your life insurance policy, to leave money for those left behind, and it would be a shame if they didn't receive what you had paid for because you were not truthful on your application.
  • Complaints could be got redressed through your Insurance Company, Insurance Ombudsman, IRDA.

    Competition amongst Insurance companies has resulted into many complaints from the consumers also. To redress these complaints Insurance Regulatory Development Authority which is the statutory authority has been exercising its powers to rein in the erring company. Keeping this in mind, an Insurance Ombudsman has also been instituted.

     Toll-Free Number:  1800-11-4000(MTNL/BSNL)
    011-27662955-58 (Other Service Providers,Normal Call Charges Applicable)

Guidelines to make you a happy Banking customer

Bank plays an important role in promoting economic development of the country. In this complex world, banking has become an integral part in the life of every human being. It’s very hard to manage your funds without a bank account.
National consumer helpline has issued some important advisories for consumers which should be followed for a safe and secure banking experience.

• Do not hand over your Debit/credit /ATM card to anybody, even a bank officer.
• Be vigilant while your card is being swiped because its details can be downloaded on a computer during the process.
• Do not reveal your card number on unsecured websites.
• Always check the record of your transactions and check the account statements regularly. Instead of “Periodically check your accounts”
• When canceling a card, ensure the magnetic strip is destroyed/ damaged.
• Check the credibility of your bank agent.
• Signature is the only proof of card ownership; the shop/mall staff can spot a stolen or cloned card.
Never reply to e-mails asking for your password or PIN.
Count the number of cheque leaves whenever you receive a new cheque book.
• If your card application is rejected, you have the right to ask for the reason thereof from the issuing bank in writing. You should also ensure that the documents submitted by you are returned back.
• Cards are not repairable. Beware of Agents who promise to get it repaired and dupe consumers.
• Pay for credit card bills only through account payee cheques in favour of credit card issuer mentioning credit card no. Do not pay cash.
• Write your name/address on the reverse side of the cheque.
•  Merchant Establishments are not permitted to pass on the Merchant’s transaction fee to the cardholder as a”Service Charge”. Service Fee” or”Surcharge”.
• The most important thing to remember is to never ever give out your online banking user ID and password to anyone. Even if a bank employee asks for it you must never do so.
• Do not use online banking in internet caf├ęs, libraries and other public premises to avoid your account number and password from being stolen by video or the monitoring of your keyboard strokes. Always use your personal computer for executing online banking services.

                        TOLL-FREE NUMBER: 1800-11-400 (MTNL / BSNL)
                        011-27662955-58( Other Service Provider, Normal call Charges Applicable)

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Be a Smart Telecom Subscriber

 India is the second-biggest market for wireless services, lagging only China which has more than 600 million users but also overtaking the USA in the recent years.  The telecom subscriber’s base has increased by about 43% in the recent research.

The fast growth of Telecom industry also has its impact on increase in the number of complains.
National Consumer Helpline issued some important advisories for consumers which need to follow to become a smart telecom subscriber. These are:

• Study and compare tariff plans by different service providers. Also compare plans by one service provider. Subscribe to the plan most suiting to your usage requirement.
• Value added service cannot be activated without your explicit consent.
• If your telephone remains dead for more than 3 working days, the rental rebate for 7 days is to be allowed automatically by the service provider. Log a complaint if rebate is not given.
• Network coverage and call drops.
• Non-refund of security amount.
• The connection is to be disconnected within 24 hrs of receipt of your request and the security amount is to be refunded by the service provider within 60 days failing which interest is to be paid by the Service Provider @ 10%p.a.
•  Pay all dues/bills before “pay by date” to avoid disconnection.
•  Do not keep quiet if you feel not getting proper service or being cheated, howsoever small the amount involved.
•  A new connection is required to be activated within 7 days. A abridge version of manual containing required contact details of the service should be demanded free of cost at the time of getting the connection.
•  The companies on their own cannot activate any service which is on chargeable basis.
•  Any plan subscriber by the customer is to be available for a minimum period of six months or till the validity of the plan. The customer can change plan at any time of the choice.
•  In case, you do not wish to get disturb from unsolicited communication, please register your details with Do Not Cal Registry of your service provider.
•  In case of logging any complaint against your company, please do not forget to ask for the unique complaint number as the same is mandatory for companies to provide.
•  The hierarchy of the complaint handling system in telecom has been structured as, i)24*7 Toll free Call centre, ii) Nodal Officer and iii)Appellate Authorities.

Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India has been proactively and relentlessly working towards the issues of consumer concern and also growth of telecom industry. 


Toll-free Number: 1800-11-4000 (MTNL/BSNL)
011-27662955-58 (Other Service Provider, Normal Call Applicable)