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Thread: RBS - My case.

  1. #1

    Default RBS - My case.

    Before going ahead, I though I would seek a little more advice here.

    I have read the FAQs and help pages, but I've only just found this site and there's a lot to get through.

    Back in January, the RBSicon charged me 114 for 3 failed direct debits. This took my account, a basic "Key" account, overdrawn (no overdraft facility). The first two failed direct debits were from the same company, Welcome Finance, who had a second attempt a few days after the first had failed. The third charge was for another direct debiticon which had failed due to insufficient funds caused by the first two charges.

    However I had already previously cancelled the Welcome Finance Direct Debit instruction verbally in the branch, and the cashier, as far as I knew, cancelled them there and then on his terminal and told me, "That's done for you now Sir". I didn't see the screen myself (Yeah, I know, put everything in writing)

    Initially I complained by phone to the RBS via the online banking service., stating that the charges had been made in error as I had previously cancelled the DDicon a month ago and that the 3rd charge was as a result of insufficient funds due to the first two charges as stated above.

    I asked them to refund me under the terms of the direct debit guarantee which says "If the originator or the bank/building society makes an error, the customer is guaranteed a full and immediate refund of the amount paid", but they are claiming that the DD guarantee doesn't apply in this case as the payment wasn't actually made, and the charges were due to the fact that there was insufficient funds to make the payment.

    I then pointed out that the DD guarantee didn't mention WHICH payment had been made, and in this case a payment was made from me to themselves in the form of bank charges, and that these charges should not apply since the DD had been cancelled.

    They argued that I should have cancelled it with the company too, but the DD guarantee doesn't say so in it's rule. It simply says: "Customers can cancel a direct debit at any time by writing to their bank or building society".

    More charges have now been added, and my other RBS account has now been rendered unusable (only 6 in it) as they have told me that any balance in this account will be transferred to the other, effectively forcing me to pay if I try to deposit funds in this second account. In addition, my internet banking service has been suspended. No explanation has been given for this.

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  2. #2
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    1st off you're right you should have signed something in the branch or at least got a receipt to say that the bank had cancelled it. Unfortunately i don't see the bank budging on this one as in their mind you could quite easily have made this story up and have no way to prove this (unless you remember which teller served you and can get them to remember it and admit their error...)

    You'll have been charged 3 x 38 unpaids plus probably a 28 maintenance fee for every month you've been over. Any other items that were unpaid or took you over limit you'll have been charged for them also. Make sure you know exactly what charges you have (including those yet to be debited - you can ask in branch if you don't know)
    If you're not sure what all your charges are then either ask for a copy of all your statements for the last 6 yearsicon (will only cost 10 and take 1-2 weeks ot reach you) or use the DPA letter in the templates on this site and ask them for all the info they hold on you including statements (will still cost 10 but will probably take longer to arrive than the statements on their own)
    Then use the method described on this great site to get ALL YOUR money back! Don't give up til they've returned every penny including the 10 DPA fee.
    Good luck!


  3. #3

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    1st off you're right you should have signed something in the branch or at least got a receipt to say that the bank had cancelled it. Unfortunately i don't see the bank budging on this one as in their mind you could quite easily have made this story up and have no way to prove this
    Ah, but this could be to my advantage. My take on this is that if the bank deems it is acceptable to cancel a direct debiticon simply by verbally asking a cashier to do it for you (and obviously they do or they would not allow it but I have cancelled DDicon's this way for many years), then they must equally accept that it is possible that they made a mistake.

    In otherwords I could counterclaim that they had no proof that I didn't ask for the DD to be cancelled. I suppose I could always ask for a copy of the CCTV tape for evidence?

    Thanks for the advice.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by seylectric
    1st off you're right you should have signed something in the branch or at least got a receipt to say that the bank had cancelled it. Unfortunately i don't see the bank budging on this one as in their mind you could quite easily have made this story up and have no way to prove this
    Ah, but this could be to my advantage. My take on this is that if the bank deems it is acceptable to cancel a direct debiticon simply by verbally asking a cashier to do it for you (and obviously they do or they would not allow it but I have cancelled DDicon's this way for many years), then they must equally accept that it is possible that they made a mistake.

    In otherwords I could counterclaim that they had no proof that I didn't ask for the DD to be cancelled. I suppose I could always ask for a copy of the CCTV tape for evidence?

    Thanks for the advice.
    The bank don't deem it acceptable to verbally cancel a DD in fact we always have it drilled into our head that we should have it in writing. The teller was obviously not following procedures properly just taking shortcuts. Maybe your local branch is just more slack on following controls than most.

    We need to take a written confirmation. If we cancelled something with just verbal authorisation the customer could (and have) come back and said - i never asked for that cheque to be stopped / DD cancelled. I've seen customers do this before and be compensated more than adequately for this. As antiquated as it seems there is no recording of phone callsicon that i know of in any branch so this is why we probably wouldn't do it over the phone in branch either.

    You may be onto something with the cctv but it would be hard to show that what you were doing was asking for a dd to be cancelled as most cctv systems in general only record images and not sound. Easiest bet is still use the letters on this site.

    go get em!


  5. #5

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    The CCTV comment was meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek, but I'm rather surprised that the banks apparently do not accept verbal instructions as I have cancelled many transactions both in-branch and over the phone, regardless of whether or not I have phoned the branch and via the telephone banking service.

    It seems strange to me that the bank regularly accept my verbal instructions is this is not permissable.


  6. #6
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    Phone banking has extra security set up so they can confirm who they're speaking to. Also I'd imagine they do record calls, as opposed to branches that don't. Thats why phone banking can cancel them.

    Can branches take verbal authorisation for cancelling DDs or not? I think its definitely a training issue - in my experience all branches do things slightly differently and what is an absolute no-no in one branch may be done regularly in another. Both sets of staff will argue to the death that their way is the right way. Obviously then I'm convinced I'm right :P but who knows i will see if i can check up tomorrow 4 u.


  7. #7

    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    OK I've gone through my statement and I was quite staggered to find that in the last two years I have paid 390 in charges on one account, and 295 on the other, all for failed direct debits due to insufficient funds, and in almost every case it was the charges that took me overdrawn, not any money that I had actually paid out.

    I have closed one account (I quickly withdrew the 200 in there when I found out that they could use it to repay some of the 285.72 overdraft on the other one.)

    I have spent a lot of time going over the balances, and I have worked out that had iot not been for the charges I would never have gone overdrawn in the first place, and I'm not sure yet but I think the 685 they have helped themselves to would have actualy covered the total value of the failed direct debits.

    The most ridiculous has to be the 35 charge made when a direct debiticon for 5.07 failed because there was only 4.20 in the account. The 35 charge took me 30.80 overdrawn, which I find unjustifiable since if they had paid the direct debit I would have only been 87p overdrawn.

    I have refused (or at least declined to) pay money in to cover the charge which has subsequently meant that more direct debits have failed, bringing the current total to the 285.72 mentioned above. But as stated, the situation was of their own making. Had they not added all these charges in the first place my balance would have been considerably higher.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    It seems you can't really win. I had a similar situation with RBSicon when I cancelled a direct debiticon by fax. I had the fax report and a copy of my telephone bill to show that the fax had been sent but they still denied receiving it.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    My local branch of RBSicon have always taken verbal authority to cancel DDs and haven't yet not cancelled one.


  10. #10

    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    Ok over the past three years (I haven't been with RBSicon longer than that) I have clocked up a total of 609 in charges on two accounts, the most ludicrous of which was a 30 charge for a failed direct debiticon to my own RBS savings account a couple of years ago! All the resulting overdrafts were repaid quickly so there are no interest payments.

    Using the "Preliminary approach" letter I have now prepared my claim which I will post in the morning.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    re the verbal authorisation debate: i checked up. Yes obviously its possible for a teller to do this but it goes against standard RBSicon policy and even the way computers software is laid out. You need to lie to the system to get it to work.

    If we follow the correct procedures we will first be prompted as to how we identified the customer. Truth is however almost all tellers I've ever met just click "customer at counter - customer known" regardless of whether customer is known/not, is phoning or has sent a letter into the branch. When we try and cancel a DDicon using this option a slip is printed for the cust to sign . A message on screen says something along the lines of "has the customer signed to confirm cancellation of the DD?" but even if the customer is not there to sign most tellers will just hit "yes" regardless.

    If we selected as ID "telephone callicon" and then "callers voice recognised" (or "not recognised") then go and try to cancel a direct debiticon the system says something along the lines of "sorry this option is not available please choose another means of identification"

    So unless we lie to the system it won't let us cancel DDs or SOs on verbal authorisation alone. Don't get me wrong though - this is presently done in lots of branches throughout the UK without a moments thought by the teller.

    I know personally if we are very busy in the bank then because of constant management pressure to reduce queues and meet sales targets i often write customer requests (eg new card orders, cheque books requests etc) down and do them later when I've more time and we're less busy. Again not strictly by the book but almost everyone does it. Some people will just try and remember and this is how problems occur and DDs are not cancelled when they should be.

    Hope this makes sense.

    good luck with the letter btw.

    (Yes I work for a bank but am here to help! Please be nice to me! )
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  12. #12

    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    It makes a lot of sense, and I appreciate your efforts.

    I have cancelled DDicon's many times in branch over the counter, and never yet been asked to sign anything. All I've ever had was a, "That's done for you now, Sir". And generally, it has been.

    My argument realy is that the bank knows that this happens and should accept responsibility (rather than penalise the customer) when it goes wrong.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    Quote Originally Posted by seylectric
    My argument realy is that the bank knows that this happens and should accept responsibility (rather than penalise the customer) when it goes wrong.
    Exactly!
    But as long as customers aren't persistent enough in their complaints about it nothing will be done.

    (Yes I work for a bank but am here to help! Please be nice to me! )
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  14. #14

    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    The trouble is, many people lead busy lifestyles and just do not have the time to perservere. That's certainly been my position. It has taken me weeks to work out how to take them on, researching websites like the financial Ombudsmanicon and so on, and would have probably taken me many more had I not found my way to this site.

    I've been fighting all sorts of companies over the years over unfair charges and so on, but without really knowing what I was doing until I found this site. It has been a Godsend, and that's BEFORE I get anything back.

    My main weapon to date has been simply to refuse to pay, but that has played havoc with my credit rating and as a result means my stubborn way of dealing with it means I pay higher interest rates if I do need any finance. Just being in a postion to fight back in legal terms is worth it on it's own regardless of the result if it manages to change things for everybody. If nothing else it will go a long way to getting my credit file repaired over the next year or two.

    That's why I'm fighting, if I get any money back too that will be a bonus.

    I will update this thread with any developments.

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  15. #15

    Default Re: RBS - My case - Update (RBS refusing to refund)

    Letter received today from RBSicon Edinburgh:


    "Thank you for your letter of 11 April 2006 and I apologise for any dissatisfaction caused by the application of charges to your account.

    We believe that our charges are fair, reasonable and transparent. We consider that the amounts debited to your account have been applied strictly in accordance with your agreement with us and our published tariff, which we are satisfied, complies with all applicable laws and regulations. We are also committed to ensuring the transparency of the information that we give to our customers about the operation of our products.

    The OFT is presently in contact with us and with seven other major credit card companies to discuss the level of charges on credit cards. It is important that I emphasise these discussions are limited to charges on credit cards only.

    Consequently, against that background, we must differ with the views expressed in your letter and will not be refunding any of the charges applied to your bank account.

    Again, thank you for taking the time and trouble to write. Yours sincerely

    Tommy McLean Customer Relations"



    Next step? I've read through some of the other thread but opinions and techniques seem to differ.


  16. #16
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    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    Hi,

    I recieved exactly the same letter although mine came from a Claire L. Smith.

    I promptly replied to her with a "letter before actionicon" giving her another 14 days to reconsider. The template for this is in the libraryicon.

    They haven't been very quick with a response, in fact the deadline is in a few days time at which point I will make out a Count Court Claim.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

    24/04/06 - Capital One - 170.00 - Court Claim Acknowledged - Defendant intends to defend claim
    18/05/06 - Full settlement received (170.00) + another 20 for charges added after claim issued.

    16/05/06 - RBS - Court Claim Submitted - Total 4900 (inc. Interest + Court Fee + Allocation Fee)
    22/05/06 - Acknowledged by RBS
    16/06/06 - RBS Defence Received
    29/06/06 - Settlement offer from Cobbetts LPP 2,500
    22/07/06 - Hearing date given as 27th October, York County Court
    25/07/09 - Cheque received from Cobbets for 4800!! only 100 to go!!
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  17. #17

    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    Thanks, I'll do that.

    They weren't very quick with their reply to my first letter either, I sent it on 11th March!


  18. #18

    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    Finally got my printer to work, "letter before actionicon" now ready to post in the morning, recorded delivery.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: RBS - My case.

    Good luck.

    I have 2 court claims to make today as their dedline is up. No correspondence has been recieved for either claim. Not one letter, which I think is strange. Oh well, will look bad on them if it gets to court.

    Let us know how you get on.


  20. #20

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