Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook


A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.

£6.99



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.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)


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  1. #1
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    Default seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    Hi everyone

    I'm considering taking RBSicon to small claimsicon as I was recently charged about 80 in a week and estimate that I've been charged at least 200 or 300 in the past 5 years. As a first step I wrote to my manager to refund the recent charges and she offered me 45 as a final settlement which I accepted conditionally (on the basis that I reserve the right to take further action to recover any charges). I just posted that letter yesterday.

    Anyway, I'd actually been looking into small claimsicon against HBOS for my fianceicon and in the meantime this happened with RBS and I thought that they probably owe me quite a bit. I'm sending off a DPA request soon however I'm a little concerned about things getting nasty and wanted to get some peoples expeience of dealing with RBS.

    I've got quite big overdraft (which was just increased) which I've had for a long time and I'm a bit worried that if I take legal action, they'll call it in and close my account. Obviously this is a risk I'd have to be aware of but I can't afford to pay it off so I was wondering how likely this would be. How nasty have RBS gotten with other people?

    And HBOS for that matter. I think my fiance will be moving bank and paying off her OD before she claims though. Unfortunately (although I've also got an HBOS account already) I can't really get rid of my overdraft.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Craig

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    i have a similar worry with my action. I have an overdraft with the BOS and i worry that if i take action against them to recover charges they will call in my overdraft facility, close account etc. Its not a problem to open up another account at another bank just paying back the overdraft. (though i suspect it wont be much of a problem if they pay back the charges first!!)

    My other alternative is to go into my bank and ask them under what conditions would they deem an overdraft facility null and void (and get a writtent statement to this effect? or something?). (they have just recently renewed my own overdraft account) Given the fact they have renewed my overdraft then is this evidence of them *accepting* that i fall under the permissible conditions of allowable overdrafts? So if they then come back and say (after i start claiming against them) that they are cancelling my overdraft because ive broken X condition ergo they reserve right to withhold it anytime.

    In other words should they be allowed to close down an overdraft facility where before they did not and there is no change in circumstances.

    thanks


  3. #3
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    Thanks CJ. Just to clarify, do you mean asking the bank under what circumstances the overdraft could be cancelled (i.e. taking legal action against them) and if they later cancelled it for something not covered by the T&C, they'd be in breach?


  4. #4
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    yeah I think its in the T & Cs that they can cancel it if your account is in bad shape (ie lots of charges!) but im not sure.

    But the wording might be in there where it says they "reserve the right to withhold it at any time" or something along those lines. So while in practice they accept customers who end up with a lot of charges on their overdraft (coz its quids in for them!!!!) but in theory they can use this as evidence to pull it anytime.

    So what i was hoping is that if they sign a statement saying they are happy for me to continue with my overdraft facility (i thought them renewing it indicates this but you cant be too careful!!) even though there have been lots of charges on it over the years (though not in the last couple of months)

    I remember asking a bank teller a week ago (when it was due for renewal) about this and she said it is automatically annually renewed unless it is flagged up as being unmanageable and then they try to get you to go on a loan from them.

    They have actually tried this with me a long time ago (when my situation and charges were LEGION!) but i didnt meet their own criteria and conditions of acceptance to get a loan!!!!!!! I could be wrong about this though my memory is not 100% on it.


    But yes i think it is breach of the Banking Codeicon for them to respond to legal action against them by closing the customer account/cancelling overdraft. Undoubtably they would "find" another reason for closing the account. I'm just thinking about ways of limiting their ways of closing it the account/and or the overdraft.

    hope thats nice and clear!

    I dunno though...this is just me guessing! so best to wait for a 'higher up' to clarify.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    spoke to my local BOS branch manager..

    legally they can call in any overdrafts and loans you have with them at any time. They dont need a reason. According to what he said.


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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    Handed in my SARicon to my local branch today and asked them to send it to head office. I didn't have my cheque book on me so I asked about giving them cash but the guy said that the payment would just be taken from my account. I mentioned that if I didn't include the 10 they might use it as an excuse not to issue the information but he said that the bank had to do it and that they'd write to me confirming my request. He seemed a bit bewildered at first by the letter but then assured me that they usually just debit the amount from accounts for SARs so I'll believe him for now and see what happens.

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    I phoned my local RBSicon branch today to check the progress of my S.A.R - (Subject access requesticon) but the girl I spoke to couldn't find any reference to it. She said that she'd check with another office in Glasgow and in the meantime I could phone Head Office, which I did. I spoke to someone in the Retail Regulatory Risk department who told me that they hadn't had my letter or fee through and that I shouldn't have been told that I would receive a confirmation or that they could debit the fee from my account. She asked for the phone number of the branch I handed it into and they phoned me back within minutes saying that they'd 'looked into it' (or been shouted at perhaps) and that I'd need to come in to the branch and fill in a form. I can't make it into a branch until Monday or Tuesday so I asked for the direct address for the relevant department. I also reminded them that they have about 24 days left to comply.

    Since they've lost my letter I need to either send another one or go and fill in that form, although I'm not sure where my chequebook is. I suppose I can use a postal order.

    I'd been considering getting statements for my old RBS visa but didn't want to pay another 10 (closed it in about 2002 or 2003), but I suppose if I have to hand in another letter I could add that account to it too?

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    Another development. Phoned my branch as I hadn't received a reply regarding my acceptance of the 45 as a partial settlement of the 78. Had a drawn out conversation with them about how my letter was ambigious (alledgedly) and that they were waiting on me clarifying it (although they didn't tell me this). I basically said (interspersed with the legal arguments about charges) that I'd like the money but if they won't give me it, that's fine, as long as I know what's happening. She eventually asked if I wanted it to be credited and I agreed, however I'd been pretty clear that I wouldn't accept this as a Full and finalicon settlement and that even if I did, the Bank couldn't legally prevent me taking further action in future.

    Edit: Just a thought, will the bank argue that the very act of them giving me the money means I've accepted it as a full and final settlement?

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    Since RBSicon claim they've lost my SARicon, should I send another one or just ride it out and write a letter to the Data Protection Commissioner (or write a letter to the bank threatening legal action as I noticed someone else has recently)?

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    received a lettericon from Retail Regulatory Risk today saying that they'd be happy to send out my statements if I send them a fee of 5 so my SARicon must have turned up after all. Just tried to phone RBSicon Cards to see if I could get an account number for my old Visa but they couldn't find it, thought it might be an idea to see if I had any charges from that too (don't remember many though).

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    Strangely RBSicon didn't cash my cheque and took the 5.00 from my account, anyway my statements arrived today, much quicker than expected (and back to July 2000).

    Added up the charges and it comes to 823. I know this is a bit noob but I'm still not sure if I can claim unauthorised overdraft interest (I have a student account). If I can it comes to 46.70, a total of 869.70. Time to get prelim letter sent off.

    Edit/bump:
    One quick question before I send my prelim letter off: I did some searching and it does seem that I could claim OD interest in theory but I've noticed that all the interest on my statements is in a chunk at the beginning and doesn't seem to relate directly to any charges (although I have an interest free overdraft). Any ideas?

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    Sent away my prelim letter on Friday the 8th. Decided not to go for overdraft interest as a lot of it didn't relate to specific charges and would have been difficult to prove.

    FAO Mods - could someone change my thread subject to just "seaweasel VSicon RBSicon"? Thanks.

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  13. #13
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    First deadline today, no response from RBSicon. Shall get my lbaicon sent off tonight.

    Forgot to mention, I got a letter through from CS in Edinburgh earlier this week apologising for taking 5 from my account for the statements and refunding it. They didn't cash the cheque I sent either however. This made me wonder if they're dealing with my prelim letter as I doubt anyone would be looking at my account otherwise.

    FAO Mods - could someone change my thread subject to just "seaweasel VSicon RBS"? Thanks.

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  14. #14
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    Received standard letter from our friend Tommy McLean (was posted the day before I sent my lbaicon).

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: seaweasel vs RBS - pre-action

    Received copy of the previous letter on Monday (he seemed to think I hadn't got it through). I posted a letter extending my deadline until the 16th and got an offer of 510 today. I've replied with an edited thanks-but-no-thanks letter saying that I'll go ahead with the claim if I don't have a postitive response. In both letters I've stressed that I'm an otherwise satisfied customer and expressed my desire to settle the matter amicably, hopefully this will be the case.

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