HDFC Bank charges Rs100 per quarter for accessing ‘by-invite-only’ feature!

Several customers are venting their ire over what they call as 'unethical' banking by HDFC Bank, India's largest private sector lender by assets. Karthik Srinivasan, an old customer of the Bank highlighted the issue in his blog post, which has gone viral on the social media. Karthik and other HDFC Bank customers are opposing the invite only program that they claim, "unethically assumes that you are already in and are willing to pay for it". Unless a customer reads the entire mail and opts out from this offer, she would be charged Rs100 per quarter for availing the Virtual Relationship Manager (VRM) feature.

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UPDATED on 10 Feb 2017 to add response from HDFC Bank to Karthik (in the end)

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Here is what Karthik wrote in his blog post (http://beastoftraal.com/2017/02/01/hdfc-banks-invite-only-program-that-unethically-assumes-you-are-already-in-and-are-willing-to-pay-for-it/)…

My first salary was credited to a HDFC bank account. In New Delhi. I have since had HDFC accounts—salary, personal, home loan, car loan, you name it—for over 2 decades.

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Now, I’m not adding these details to sentimentalize this post. (Oh well, that first salary part is a bit maudlin, I accept!). The point is, there’s way too much banking between me and HDFC that I can’t wash them off if the need arises and move to another bank, without a lot of wasted time and effort.

Let me explain what the problem is, first.I received a mail from HDFC Bank on January 30th. The subject said, “Dear Karthik Srinivasan, Welcome to HDFC Bank Preferred Banking Programme!”

I get at least 2-3 emails from HDFC every week. All of them ensure that they call me a ‘preferred’ banking customer. This has been going on for over 2-3 years, if I recall right. Now, I have no idea what this ‘preferred’ banking entails. I’m totally open to the possibility that I was shown a laundry list of fine print when this account was opened and I may have signed it too.

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Anyway, I opened the mail curiously, to know why I’m being welcomed into something that I’m adequately a part of. This was the entirety of that mail.

Source: Money Life