Charges Debited into the Credit Card Account
Mr M is a holder of an Infinite Credit Card issued by AA Bank. One of the privileges of the Infinite Card is a free membership to a Priority Pass Card which allows the cardholder access to airport lounges worldwide. Mr M had used the Priority Pass Card for free access at airport lounges. Mr M received the credit card statement in March 2017 and discovered several charges totalling RM983.61 were debited into his credit card due to the excess usage of the Priority Pass Card from October 2016 to November 2016. Mr M was unaware of the changes in the terms and conditions on the Priority Pass Card where a subsequent charge of USD27.00 per entry is imposed after two complimentary visits to the airport lounge has been utilised. Furthermore, he was not required to sign on any sales slip on the charges for utilisation of the airport lounge on the respective dates. Mr M alleged that he was not notified of the changes in the terms and conditions by Bank AA and that the bank had failed to inform him of the charges after he had utilised the 2 complimentary access to the airport lounges in May 2016. Thus, Mr M contended that he was misled into using the Priority Pass Card continuously thinking that his multiple visits to the airport lounges were free throughout 2016. Mr M further contended that there is neither a sms reminder nor a call from the bank to alert him of the charges until he received his credit card statement on 13/03/2017. The charges were billed in one lump sum on 13/03/2017 which was 4 months after the dates when utilised the airport lounge. If the bank had billed the charges immediately upon utilisation of the airport lounge for the third time, he would have avoided using the Priority Pass Card.
Investigation and Findings
Mr M was issued an Infinite credit card with Priority Pass privilege. Prior to 2013, the Priority Pass cardholders enjoy free unlimited access to the airport lounges. In 2013, the terms and conditions of the Priority Pass has been revised whereby the cardholders would enjoy 2 complementary access to the airport lounge annually and a fee of USD27.00 is chargeable for any subsequent visits. AA Bank contended that it had notified Mr M of the revision in the terms and conditions in 2013 via written notice. Mr M did not receive the said notice from AA Bank.
From AA Bank’s record, Mr M had utilised two complimentary visits to the lounge in May 2016. The subsequent eight visits from 26/10/2016 to 13/11/2016 were chargeable according to the terms and conditions of the Priority Pass Card. The total charge imposed is RM983.61.
On reviewing the case, the Case Manager noted that Mr M had only used the Priority Pass Card actively in 2016 and that the charges were debited into Mr M’s credit card account in one lump sum in March 2017. Although the bank had notified Mr M of the change in the terms and conditions of Priority Pass Card in 2013, the Case Manager opine that the notice is not sufficient to put Mr M on alert of the fee chargeable in respect of his eight (8) visits to the airport lounge. The bank should take pro-active steps to notify Mr M through sms alerts, phone call or a written notice of the impending charges after he exceeded the number of complementary visits to the airport lounge in May 2016. This is to avoid unnecessary surprises in terms of the charges debited into the card members’ account.
The Case Manager recommended that AA Bank waive the charges amounting to RM983.61 together with finance and late charges on the said amount. The recommendation was accepted by both Mr M and AA Bank.