Sunday, July 09, 2006

A successful complaint

Further to my post about complaints, I thought I'd share part of my recent correspondence with my bank. The following are excerpts from an e-mail I sent to them.

"I opened my [name of bank] account last year using your switching option, and a mistake was made by the team when setting up one of my standing orders. [...] As soon as I realized that you were overpaying (in March 06) I got in touch with the team. By this point the amount overpaid had reached £106.92.

"I have now spoken with four different people [in the switcher team, but I have now been told] that there is no chance of getting the money back because the S.O. was set up [by me] online. However, this is patently untrue. I set up the account [...] as described at the top of this correspondence, and the mistake is [the bank's], not mine. [...].

"I believe I have been supremely patient thus far, and I am appalled that after three months, someone is trying to shift the blame for this [bank name] blunder on to me. I demand a response. I demand my money be recalled. And I demand compensation for the interest lost. If this matter has not been settled to my satisfaction by the end of June, I shall be taking further action via the banking ombudsman and the small-claims court. I look forward to hearing from you."

I thought that was quite a good e-mail. And it worked. I had a letter from them dated 30 June (my deadline date). But they still claimed that it was I who had set up the standing order incorrectly.

I phoned the sender of the letter and calmly explained that this was not the case. I told her that the account may have been set up online, but if so, then it had been done by an employee of the bank. This flummoxed her. She took all the necessary details. Two days later another letter arrived, apologizing and admitting that "it would appear the switcher team did set up the Standing Order [...] incorrectly. [...] this has highlighted a training requirement, which will be addressed."

She went on to say that £10 would be paid to me in lost interest and a further £30 "for the distress and inconvenience we unintenionally caused you".

So, dear readers, there you have it: a good complaint can yield results. This is my good news of the week!


Blogger the cappuccino kid said...

how strange is it, that when you threaten any sort of legal action, because you know you are right, they suddenley change their minds, and find that it WAS their mstake.
the wife ordered a dress for a formal ball we were supposed to go to, and ordered it over the net using world pay. it promised delivery within a week, however, 7 days later it was'nt here. she mailed them to say she needed it for that weekend, and got no answer.
she informed them that she wanted to cancel her order, which she was fully entitled to do according to the web site, and asked for a full refund. long story short, after two months of e-mails from the wife, and no money back, i sent one informing them that unless it was paid back into our account within five days, we would take them to court for the original money, the cost of the dress that she had to buy (not really) to replace the lost order, and any other costs that we might run up. ie; lawyers etc.
two days later we had the £109 in our bank and a grovelling letter of apology in our hands!
there seems to be times when only a well veiled threat seems to work with these types!

09 July, 2006 13:53  
Blogger Suze said...

Asterisk, see what happens when you don't say cunt. LOL.

It only goes to show that persistence does pay off. Some people my not have been so tenacious and lost out as a result.

Typical of banks though not to want to give money owed back.

09 July, 2006 20:23  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Fiz: When put articulately and threatening something that is actually feasible - AND you're in the right - surely you've got to come out on top.

Suze: Banks are real dicks. It wasn't the money so much, although no one wants to lose £100. It was the fact that they could not believe it was their mistake and were willing to punish me for it. It's the principle!

10 July, 2006 10:01  

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