Real Experiences: Barclays Priority Circle [of Misery]

by Vinaya HS on December 18, 2008

in Finance

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A reader recently wrote:

I have a friend who needs some guidance on a problem she’s facing with her Barclays Credit Card. Barclays is forcing her to avail a membership called Barclays Priority Circle. They call her several times a day asking her to pay around Rs 9,000 as membership fee and late payment charges.

My friend got her Barclays Credit Card sometime in April/May of this year on her own interest. One fine day, a couple of months later, my friend got a call from Barclays Priority Circle. One guy from Barclays Priority Circle was forcing her to become a Priority Circle member. He said that its free for Barclays Credit Card holders. He called several times and when my friend found that there is no pain in becoming a free member, she accepted the membership. In the next month’s statement they put this membership fee of Rs 6,000 and some surplus tax. After that the whole drama started.

My friend tried to discontinue the credit card, but Barclays claims that they have the call record of the dialogue between my friend and the Barclays official. They also claim that as per their policy she has no option other than to accept the card and pay the fee. She is helpless and feels trapped.

What should she do now?

Since I was held up with other tasks, I couldn’t immediately respond to this query. The reader’s friend wrote back saying:

I have been giving several rounds of phone calls to Customer Care, Barclays Priority Circle, and their Supervisors. I also lodged complaints with Barclays services department.

Finally, I got the phone number of the card division’s head and got a chance to speak to him. I also asked Barclays to send me the tape which had this particular conversation record. But they refused. It was immediately clear that no such membership fee was ever discussed over phone. After several rounds of calls, Barclays verified that the call record which I had with Barclays Priority Circle doesn’t say that I had nodded on the membership fee part. So they are going to reverse the membership fee and all other charges.

Do learn from such situations and be safe.

Moral of the story:

When a financial institution offers you “exclusive,” “privilege,” “priority,” “premium,” “premier,” or “another-similar-word,” access to some [usually useless] service of theirs, run away as fast — and as far away — as you can.

Thanks for reading this article. I'd love to hear your opinion. Please use the comments section below to share your thoughts. I frequently write new articles that also cover several other aspects of personal finance including credit cards, financial goals, health insurance, income tax, life insurance, mutual funds, retirement planning, and much more. You can Subscribe through Email and receive new articles directly in your Inbox or you can Subscribe through the RSS Feed and receive new articles in your feed reader.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Girish December 18, 2008 at 8:00 PM

Credit card executives keep calling now and then.
In a week I think I receive almost 10+ calls and always I refuse
sayint that I don’t want any credit card….

Vinaya H S December 19, 2008 at 7:41 AM

Maybe you should be stricter with these telemarketers and ask them to stop calling you.

Ramakrishna December 22, 2008 at 12:27 PM


Even me also experiencing the same problem from last few months and they have started calling twice or thrice a day from the same bank and saying the same story i told them lot of times i don’t want the card. But no use…,

Even if you tell them strictly don’t call also they won’t listen and more over they will start asking u like wat’s the reason and etc….. Instead of telling not interested just ” tell i am already holding it no thanks”.. Then you won’t receive any more calls with them. Bcoz, it works for me and now a days i am not receiving any more calls from these people.

I hope this will work for some days….. :)


Ajay March 22, 2009 at 3:40 AM

Most of the times I just disconnect the phone when they mention any other bank other than the ones I deal with. If they call back, then I just dont pick the call or press the “Answer” button and keep it aside.

I have even asked them to give me loan at 0% interest :) just because they consider me as “privilaged” member or “exclusive” club and so on. Try this and they will reduce calling you.

Gabu May 29, 2009 at 7:33 PM

Barclay is the maha chor bank. They are known for selling these unwanted membership to everyone …. Few people i know that hold barclay card. One even paid the amt.

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