Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder grnartichoke Novitiate

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    Default Money taken out of account without consent

    I logged onto my online banking on 15/8/07 to find that I had a debit charge that I did not immediately recognise from my account. I telephoned halifaxicon immediately to enquire what the charge was about and was told it was in relation to motor insuranceicon. I told them that I had not authorised the transation and my card was stoped and reissued.

    I was told that this was a fraudulent transaction that it would be passed to the Fraud department and someone would contact me. On 23/8/07 I was contacted by an official from the Fraud dept who initially told me that I had to chase for the return of money myself giving the reason that I had dealth with them previously.

    I told them that I felt I should not have to chase for a transaction I had not authorised or agreed to and that the bank acknowledges is fraudulent. I was told that forms would be sent to me for completion and once these were returned the Fraud department would determine whether it should be referred to the police for further investigation or whether I would get my money reimbursed.

    I have determined that the transaction was an automatic renewal for my son's car which I had paid for a year ago and he has since gone elsewhere.

    In the meantime Halifax have increased my overdraft limit so that I can continue using my account; of course the overdraft is incurring interesticon charges which I am not happy about.

    Should I chase the insurance company myself? Or should Halifax chase them on my behalf and reclaim chargeback? Who should be responsible for overdraft fees?

    What is the best course of action?

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder emma81 Novitiate emma81's Avatar

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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    Have you tried contacting the motor insuranceicon company? Im assuming the payment is classed as a one off direct debiticon payment, you can go into your local halifaxicon branch and fill out an Indemity form, Halifax will then credit the amount back into your account and then request the money back from whoever the motor company was.....simple as, it happened to me last month and thats all i did took minutes!

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  3. #3
    Banned PKea Informative PKea Informative PKea's Avatar

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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    I would first speak to your son and find out if he has confirmation that he has cancelled the insurance policy, and that he has it in writing.

    Its all to common nowadays for the renewals to renew automatically unless told otherwise.


  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder grnartichoke Novitiate

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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    Dear Emma81

    I haven't yet made any contact with the insurance co as the transaction was done on my sons computer whilst I was staying with him. Do you think that may also help?


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    You've discovered one of the many 'gotchas' with online ordering. The firms concerned will retain the card details and use them to re provide services EVEN IF YOU GAVE NO PERMISSION TO DO SO. The banks do not care, and will do (as they did in your case) state you voluntarily gave them your card details so any culpability rests between you and them. I'm in the middle of a similar case where Norwich Union were able to help themselves again despite my arranging cover elsewhere. It seems that Visa pay no attention to expiry dates (my replacement card had the same number but a different expiry and CVV code. Since neither of these two details were known to NU, they still managed to take the funds as the card number was unchanged.

    I hold a recording of my voice call arranging the cover with NU and it was quite clearly stated the number I gave was for use only for that transaction - yet they still tried to assert I had given permission, because they wrote to me and said they would!


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder grnartichoke Novitiate

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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    Quote Originally Posted by PKea View Post
    I would first speak to your son and find out if he has confirmation that he has cancelled the insurance policy, and that he has it in writing.

    Its all to common nowadays for the renewals to renew automatically unless told otherwise.
    The policy was cancelled as he returned the renewal certificate that was provided and requested cancellation.

    It is not a DDicon but a Debit Card payment from my Visa Debit. I just find it illogical that VISA regulations differ from bank to bank.

    He had a similar problem recently with his card from Lloydsicon who merely charged back the amount, but halifaxicon seem to not want to care.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    The VISA regulations don;t differ - it's VISA's ball and they do with as they please. You bank simply honoured a debit request from Visa, fully trusting they had the relevant authority. It is when you challenge this, you get the Banks refusing to assist or reverse without you leaping through hoops.


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder grnartichoke Novitiate

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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    The VISA regulations don;t differ - it's VISA's ball and they do with as they please. You bank simply honoured a debit request from Visa, fully trusting they had the relevant authority. It is when you challenge this, you get the Banks refusing to assist or reverse without you leaping through hoops.

    Buzby: isn't the whole point of us using banks and visa cards because of their pledge that our money will be protected against just such fraud. I believe that this protection has gone out the window with internet transactions. It is worrying that these big firms can hold our details and use them electronically without a by your leave to gain illegal payments. Until the law is altered to prevent this happening, we poor buggers can chase for it.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    Couldn't agree more - but Visa argue it ISN'T fraud for a whole range of spurious reasons. They exist to transfer money, our wishes are seldom considered!


  10. #10
    Basic Account Holder jampot Novitiate

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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    As I understand it, insurers will generally cancel a policy, back dated to its inception, if it was automatically renewed, providing you can show that the car was continuously insured - so providing you can show the certificate from the new insurer, starting on the same day that the original policy should have lapsed, you shouldn't have a problem getting your money back.

    In fairness to the bank, it isn't their fault, and the same guarantee (immediate refund) doesn't apply to card payments as it does to Direct Debits.

    The insurance company will claim they were 'right' to take the payment, but hopefully will refund without any issues - particularly if the certificate has been returned and the car can be demonstrated to be insured continuously elsewhere.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    Quote Originally Posted by jampot View Post
    As I understand it, insurers will generally cancel a policy, back dated to its inception, if it was automatically renewed, providing you can show that the car was continuously insured
    The issue here is not that there is an obligation of the OP to show the insurance was not required (as an alternative arrangement had been made), but that a card number provided 12 months earlier, had been retained and used without permission.

    Little wonder firms like Esure do not allow policy payments to be made in cash or by cheque, for the simple reason they cannot take control of the insured's finances.


  12. #12
    Basic Account Holder jampot Novitiate

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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    Sorry buzby, but I think the title of this thread is rather misleading, and it is yet unproven that permission WASN'T given.

    When you take out motor insuranceicon, it is STANDARD PRACTICE for your insurer to contact you, between 2 and 4 weeks (I guess) prior to the end of the policy, with an updated quotation for renewal.

    If you paid with a card the first time around, or if you are paying with a continuous payment method (eg DDicon), they will tell you that, unless you choose to cancel, they will take payment once again, and provide continuous cover.

    I appreciate that things have changed since a few years ago, when you always knew you were buying car insurance for 12 months, and had no recurring contract with the insurer - but I'd be surprised if this wasn't mentioned during the payment / sign-up procedure, as I'm sure it was with mine - something along the lines of "When it is time to renew, we'll send a renewal quotation, and will take payment using the details we hold on file, unless you chose to decline the renewal."

    For people who want to stick with the same insurer, year on year, this is a nice and easy way of doing things - better for some people to be doubly insured (cos they forget to cancel) than have people driving around uninsured (because they forgot to renew).

    The OP's son doubtless received a renewal quotation, and I'd be surprised if it didn't mention taking payment once again, using his father's details. My recent renewal even identified my credit card number (last 4 digits), in bold print, so it was very clear what would happen.

    I simply sent the certificate back in the provided envelope, and they didn't bill me for this year.

    I agree that times are changing, and more companies retain your financial details in order to charge you for the same service again the following year, but it doesn't have to be 'sinister' and permission / consent to do so was almost certainly granted.

    As I said, it shouldn't be hard t get the money back - but if there's an argument to be had, it should be with the insurer, not the bank.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    It just goes to show how our finances have been totally undermined. As the customer, I take out (and pay) for a service using a card. I make no specific arrangements to permit the firm to take subsequent payments yet they can do this on a whim, and I have to battle for my money back. I could have dropped dead and not required insurance, their ability to take funds because they can is an abomination. The fact banks are simply processing the debit requests does not excuse them from a responsibility of ensuring the customer actually WANTED to pay the debit as taken. The mere fact the insurance company was given the number of the card in the first place does not signify any agreement for further debits to be taken, and I wish there could be some protection built in to the system to prevent abuse like this.

    A system I used previously that issued 'virtual' CC numbers that expired after one usage was used by Cahoot and AIB, and worked extremely well - so much so, the company promoting the scheme had a hard time from firms who objected to their right to continuously bill were being infringed!


  14. #14
    Basic Account Holder Adie1974 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    I have just had the same with my car insurance (Admiral). I bought another car about 2 months or so prior to my insurance expiring and paid the transfer / adminicon fee of about 20 or there abouts. Their renewal was several hundred more than quotes I received prior to buying the car so when paying this transfer fee I specifically stated not to auto renew my insurance. The man said he noted this down on the system. (Their quotes for the new car being around 700 a year, normally paying around 300)

    I always paid annually.

    My renewal was mid-September and received an email that my funds did not go through (luckily it was an old card I used for the adminicon fee) and emailed them of my previous conversation that I did not want to auto renew. I then received my "confirmation of motor insuranceicon", charging some 1000 more than swift insurance. (1300)

    Their renewal is set up now as monthly payments so unsure how that can auto renew and change from annual to monthly, so this is another concern.

    I have just had another email saying that if I do not pay within 7 days I have committed an offence under the road traffic act and “DEFAULT NOTICE SERVED UNDER SECTION 87 (1) OF THE consumer crediticon ACT 1974”

    Basically Admiral have ignored both telephone callsicon and emails and threatening with court action should I not pay.




  15. #15
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    Default Re: Money taken out of account without consent

    Adie, I have responded on your thread

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