Unforgettable experiance with my first credit card use ------------------------------------------------------ In 1996, holding a credit card was a prestige and all MNC banks used to issue Credit cards only to corporate clients. Not many shops were used to collect payments via Credit card. I was in my first job in Bangalore and as part of company benefits, Engineers were entitled to hold a credit card and the company would pay the annual fee a max of Rs.1000.vMoreover its forced upon employeess who travel frequently. With this pressure, I too was given Standard Chartered VISA card with a credit limit of 52000rs. I received the credit card and felt proud of having one and didn't get an opportunity to use it for first one week. Second week, Myself and a colleague were sent to Delhi for technical training. Due to last moment scheduling in October,Office arranged accomodation for me in 5 Star Hotel Ashoka. Earlier our Senior officers used to be staying in this hotel very frequently. My colleague preferred to visit his cousin and stay with them as it was only a 2 days affair. I did not have any contacts in Delhi. So I preferred the Hotel. To handle emergency, we were given Rs.5000 cash and rest of it, they told us to pay through Credit card and get it re-imbursed. We landed in Delhi on a cold night. After dropping me in Hotel Ashoka, my friend headed to his cousin's place in the same taxi. Hotel Ashoka was a loveliest 5 star hotel. Really enjoyed the stay there and took 2 days training at Oberoi. We were booked on 3rd day's early morning (5.30 a.m) flight to Bangalore. The night before travel, I told the reception to keep my cheque ready as I would be starting early morning by around 4.00 a.m and also booked a cab. The reception staffs were quiet friendly and said, we would service you all 24 hours and no need to worry. Nextday, I got ready by 3.30 a.m and checked-out the room and walked to the front desk. Well dressed, smart front desk male executive greeted me with a pleasant smile and I returned their greetings. Then I politely asked for my bill. I was happy that the bill amount of Rs.14,000 was billed rightly for the period of stay and dinner charges. With a pride, I extended my Standard chartered Credit card to the executive and waited there. The executive used the credit card in the swipe machines and then he went to their admin office.Came out after 5 mins. He gently requested me to accompany him to meet his Manager. I was wondering what's happening here and I was the only lady (Appear as girl due to my physical stature) waiting. There were 5 executives waiting in the admin room. They started questioning me. Manager: " Madam, Pls let us know when did you get this credit card?. Have you used this before?" Me straighting my face with a frank expression: "I got this as part of company policy just a week ago and not yet used." Me with a frown on my face: "Sir, Is there any problem?" Manager: "No Madam,we are trying with your card. Card is not getting authorized by the bank.." Me (Little shaken) : "Pls try once again. Else, Can you please connect me to the SCB Bank's branch Manager?" Manager : "Madam, its early morning 3.45 a.m. Will there be any one in the branch?" Me: "The bank has promised us a 24x7 helpline no to reach incase of any queries. So there should be some one. You can try their BLR no also" Manager : "Yes , Madam" Me (tensed): "I have to catch my plane at 5.30a.m, I have to proceed to the airport. I have only Rs.5000 as cash. I don't know what else to do.." Manager tried contacting the BLR SCB branch and gave details. I talked to the bank executives and they regretted to say that nothing could be done then and they have to discuss with their Manager in the morning. I became nervous and controlling my tension, I used best of my language skills to explain the situation and help me out.The Bank executive did not have the courage to take any bold decision. Looking at my watch and time, I turned to the Hotel Manager now. Me: "Gentlemen, sorry for what has happened. I never imagined I would be in such a troublesome situation. Me and our office trusted the SCB's credit card. I was told that our Senior directors used to stay here for months. Our company details are so...on.." Manager: "Ya.. Madam. We have serviced your seniors. We know them by name." Me: "Thank You.I suggest you to trust our company. The moment I reach BLR, I will talk to the SCB Manager and do the needful. Will talk to you after that about the status.. Worst case, you please re-direct the bills to our office and they will make you the payment." Manager took few minutes and discussed with others. Then thoughtfully approached me. Manager: "O.k Madam. We will accept your suggestion as your company is one of our esteemed client. Sorry for the trouble caused. Have a safe travel!!" Me looked bit relaxed now, passed the credit card details and direct contact details to the Manager. Thanking them, I left the Hotel by 4.30 a.m and reached the airport just in time. (By then I have lost the fun of staying in a 5 star hotel for 2 days). On reaching BLR, I contacted the SCB Manager, explained him the trouble faced. By then he was informed of this complaint by his subordinates. He talked to the Hotel directly and sorted out the bill settlement issue amicably. SCB Manager politely expressed his inability to service me on time and regretted for the in-convenience caused. He told me my credit card was activated fully and I wouldn't face any more issues. Note: Though I had undergone such a troublesome situation with the credit card's first use, I still continue to hold the same card for the polite service SCB extended. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DEAR CREDIT CARD HOLDERS, PLS BEWARE Of YOUR CREDIT LIMIT, CARD AUTHORIZATION STATUS and HELPLINE NOs.