Though I happen to write regularly on personal finance, I must admit that I am no good at managing my own finances. And they say the proof is in the pudding and the pudding here is my credit card dues that I have managed to accumulate the thought of which made me cringe every time the due date for payment neared.
So as my struggles continued for several months, one fine afternoon I got a call from the HDFC credit card department. After the initial pleasantries were exchanged, the female agent started by saying that “Sir, this is regarding your dues and I wanted to offer you a help regarding the same. “Wow,” I thought to myself, how nice of HDFC to help me make my life easier. She went on to say that you’ve been billed finance charges on your account on a regular basis and I can make sure that the charges for this month as well as for the next couple of months can be reverted.”
Okay, now this statement made me thing and I asked her “What’s the catch?” Mujhe kya karna hoga? (What would I need to do?) She said “nothing sir,” you just need to buy XYZ insurance from us against which we can revert the finance charges or whatever late payment fees you have accrued.
All the feelings of love and awe vanished. I told the lady I don’t think I will take it as I am planning to square off the bill this month. That statement was basically the end of the conversation and the phone line went dead. Guess she didn’t like what I said and chose to disconnect the phone without completing the conversation.
So banks these days seem to be coming up with innovative tactics to sell insurance – I mean do whatever it takes to sell the product. In my opinion, insurance is basically a need-based product – one which you acquire to cover the element of risk. It won’t be bought by someone who is already facing a debt situation. If I have received the call, there would be many more who would have also been approached and quite possibly bought the policy no matter what the logic is in the entire process. Question is why should a bank opt to such cheap tactics to peddle their product.