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Banks - Beyond beleif!!

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Banks - Beyond beleif!!

I just checked my online banking to find that the bank has charged me a total of £120 in charges for the month of April! £30 of which they did warn me about. The other £90 was completely unnotified. This I asume was for accidently going overdrawn a small amont a few times. This happens because when I use my debit card the money does not come out of the account for several days which tricks me into thinking I have more money than I do when I check the account balance. I will happily name and shame the bank. For any of you like me who are from NI it is Ulster Bank.
I have gotten myself a copy of "The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999" and highlighted the section that states the list of terms which may be considered unfair including "requiring any consumer who fails to fulfil his obligation to pay a disproportionately high sum in compensation"
I will be bringing this along with my chequebook and debit card to the bank in the morning and demanding a refund and immediate account closure. Think this will work?
36 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

I already read a few articles like this. I am hoping that as long as both the bank and myself know that I can still claim that they will refund at least the £90 tomorrow as I don't want to go through this hassle. However I will if I have to.
firefly2
Grafter
Posts: 265
Registered: 16-11-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

money savings expert.com is martin lewis who is on TV. he sometimes has a form that you can copy for the wording. he sends  regular e-mails too you if you register. worth looking as he covers lots of things. good luck with the bank....  it really sounds over the top.  Sad firefly2
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,149
Thanks: 51
Fixes: 2
Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

I guess the following has been around a couple of years now, it's worth remembering it was (allegedly) written by a 98 year old, but wouldn't you like to have sent it?
A 98 year old woman wrote this to her bank.
The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in The Times.
Dear Sir,
I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three 'nanoseconds' must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight Years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, And  also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.
My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood Person.
My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no longer be
automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate. Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.
Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Solicitor, and the mandatory details of his/ her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof. In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:
1-- To make an appointment to see me.
2-- To query a missing payment.
3-- To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4-- To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5-- To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6-- To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7-- To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer
Is required. A password will be communicated to you at a later date to the
Authorized Contact.)
8-- To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 8
9-- To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then be put
On hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call. Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.
May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.
Your Humble Client
(Remember: This was written by a 98 year old woman; ) DOESN'T SHE MAKE YOU PROUD!!?
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
nadger
Rising Star
Posts: 4,498
Thanks: 46
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

The mind boggles at the thought of a 98 year old having a mortgage Shocked
I seem to recall, from a while back, having read something about the Ulster Bank ( see OP's post) being a law unto themselves. You'd thing their T&C would forbid adding further charges when the initial overdrawn situation was created by adding charges.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

The OFT has been taking a test case on bank charges.  There's some news about it here:
http://www.clickdocs.co.uk/news/view.asp?ID=630
Ulster Bank is part of the Nat West group, so presumably they have the same procedures.
I know that, when my son went overdrawn in his first couple of weeks of work, we went and spoke to the bank, and they offered to drastically reduce them, and talk to him about how he could prevent it in future, (by setting up a spending money account) as well as his main one, so that he could transfer his spendable cash once a month, and not miss any standing orders.
John
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

Suggestion Sean Branagh, why don't you set up an overdraft facility so if you do go overdrawn you will only be charged interest and not incur any bank charges.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

Quote from: itsme
Suggestion Sean Branagh, why don't you set up an overdraft facility so if you do go overdrawn you will only be charged interest and not incur any bank charges.

This is a fair suggestion but not really the issue. I am not complaing about being charged as I did go overdrawn. It is the amount I was charged and the fact that I was not given warning that is the issue.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

OK, so did not get time from work today to call to the bank so I phoned them instead. I was very polite on the phone as my experince in custommer service has taught me that this is the best way at least to start. Also because I could not hold the lady on the phone personally responsible. She was very friendly and at least appeared to be very sympathetic. She definitely appeared to be a little speechless when I started quoting the law!
She said that the issue would have to be passed to somewhere higher than the branch and that she would do this personally. She said it would take a few days and took my mobile number to contact me with the result. I will gave them a few days to see what happens. If they do not contact me or the outcome is not what I am looking for then it will be time to get nasty. I have already made it clear to them that I will be closing the account as soon as the issue is resolved. She asked me if the charges are refunded would I still want to close the account. I said I would because charges this high should never have been applied in the first place. I made it clear that I also have a current account with Abbey who do not treat their custommers in this way and unlike Ulster Bank when I use my Abbey debit card the transaction is reflected in my balance instantly. The fact that it is not with Ulster Bank is the reason for me accidently going overdrawn in the first place. Lets wait and see, fingers crossed!
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,729
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

Did Abby not come out the worst of the worst in a recent survey?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

I think I'd have said that whether I leave or not depends on how well they respond to my complaint.  Roll eyes
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,100
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

Quote from: Sean
This is a fair suggestion but not really the issue. I am not complaing about being charged as I did go overdrawn. It is the amount I was charged and the fact that I was not given warning that is the issue.

Although I don't agree with the high level of charges I also fee sad when I read this type of thread. Why you may ask? Simple put, the complaints always seem to stem from when people use the banks money without permission or warning. There are many reasons why this happens, but if they refuse payment through lack of funds, they get complaints, if they pay the get complaints and if they charge they get complaints.
With regard to debit card transactions, it may not be your bank that is at fault because they can only process it when they receive. A lot depends on which bank supplies the actual machine that is used to process the transaction.
Finally with regard to charges, I can foresee that in the near future all banks will introduce admin charges on all accounts to recoup the losses from the refunded charges.
PS I do hope you are successful with your claim.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

Quote from: Spider
Quote from: Sean
This is a fair suggestion but not really the issue. I am not complaing about being charged as I did go overdrawn. It is the amount I was charged and the fact that I was not given warning that is the issue.

Although I don't agree with the high level of charges I also fee sad when I read this type of thread. Why you may ask? Simple put, the complaints always seem to stem from when people use the banks money without permission or warning. There are many reasons why this happens, but if they refuse payment through lack of funds, they get complaints, if they pay the get complaints and if they charge they get complaints.
With regard to debit card transactions, it may not be your bank that is at fault because they can only process it when they receive. A lot depends on which bank supplies the actual machine that is used to process the transaction.


If you are suggeting that it is fair for the bank to give me no warning because I gave them no warning then this is absolutely ridiculous. I am charged £90 without warning in a deliberate planned act by the bank which could leave me with serious short term financial problems. When I accidentily use a much smaller amount of their money I really don't think the bank is going to have any financial difficulties!
As for the debit cards it has everything to do with the bank as absoutly every transaction on my Abbey card has been reflected on the account instantly and absoutly every transaction on my Ulster Bank card has taken several days to reflect on the balance. As a creature of habbit like everyone most of the transactions have been in the same places using the same chip and pin machines.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,236
Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Banks - Beyond beleif!!

Quote from: chillypenguin
Did Abby not come out the worst of the worst in a recent survey?

If this is the case then could someone please tell me who came out on top so I can open an account! Grin
Over the years I have had current accounts with 3 banks, Bank of Ireland, Abbey and Ulster Bank. In my experience Abbey are fantastic compared with the others I have been with.