RECENTLY, I went to a petrol station to buy RM50 worth of petrol for my car.
The attendant advised me to use my debit card.
I paid RM50 because I needed to use the money in my account to pay for my daughter’s kindergarten registration fees on the same day.
However, when I checked my account later, I was shocked to find that RM200 had been “deducted” from my account and placed under “hold” for three days.
This meant my available balance was reduced.
I called the petrol station and was informed by the owner that this is the policy imposed by banks on motorists who pay using debit cards at outdoor pump terminals.
Is this fair? Why should they impose this condition without the clients’ authorisation?
In my case, I needed the money to pay for my daughter’s kindergarten registration fees on the same day.
And because of that, I may be forced to register her at another kindergarden far away from my house, which may put extra financial burden on me, not to mention undue stress for the next two years.
I spoke to bank officers, who agreed with me that it was not fair, while conceding that they were unable to help.
If a client buys a product for RM50, how can you deduct RM200 “temporarily” from his account?
Isn’t this practice unethical ?
Luckily, I had sufficient ba-lance in my other savings accounts to attend to that urgent matter.
But what if I did not have enough funds and needed the money for an emergency?
This is just one of the many policies banks impose on customers.
Can Bank Negara explain this?
It’s high time the central bank or the Association of Banks Malaysia explained this and assured us that we are not duped.