The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Gujarat State, dismissed the appeal against the order of the
Ahmedabad City Forum, holding Healthcops ICICI Lombard General Insurance Limited, Mumbai, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Limited, and ICICI Bank liable for deficiency in service in a complaint filed by Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), Ahmedabad, and Deepak Khatwani, a customer of ICICI Bank.
The Forum, by its award dated 30 December 2011, had directed ICICI Lombard General Insurance Limited to credit to Khatwani’s savings bank account Rs. 19,049.08 within two months from the date of the order. The company should also pay him 7 per cent interest on the amount from the date of its debit from his SB account to its credit to that account. The company shall also refund to him Rs. 2,210, illegally recovered from him, with 7 per cent interest from the date of recovery until payment.
The Forum had also directed Healthcops ICICI Lombard General Insurance Company Ltd., Mumbai, and ICICI Bank Ltd. Credit Card Division, Ahmedabad, to pay Khatwani, jointly and severally, Rs. 2,000 each for mental agony, i.e. a total of Rs. 6,000 by the three opposite parties, and Rs. 2,000 towards cost.
The complainants’ case was that ICICI Bank, Ahmedabad, had issued a credit card to Khatwani in February 2005. He used it occasionally, made regular payments and there had been no complaints up to February 2007.
On 16 February 2007, Khatwani was telephonically informed that, he being “a valuable ICICI credit card holder, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. was offering him, through the bank, a healthcare policy free for two years, after which it would be chargeable. He accepted the offer and received a health policy from Healthcops ICICI Lombard General Insurance. The policy mentioned, among other things, the sum insured as Rs. 3,00,000 and the period of insurance from 22 February 2007 to 21 February 2008.
But, contrary to the terms of the offer of two years’ free policy, Khatwani received an ICICI Credit Card statement dated 21 May 2007 from ICICI Bank Ltd. showing the total amount due as Rs. 2,728.55 and reflecting EMI interest, EMI principal, service tax, late payment fee, etc.
Khatwani wrote to Healthcops ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd. and ICICI Bank, requesting them to confirm that the policy was free for two years, clear his credit card bills or else cancel his health policy, and to clear his credit card dues. Subsequent to the request, the company cancelled the policy.
What followed this letter was a seemingly unending repetition of the opposite parties’ sending monthly statements and Khatwani receiving and protesting them, as the “dues” mounted, inclusive of late payment fees, interest, etc.