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  1. Hi guys, Have been away for awhile but am happy to report that my claim was settled in full, so for any and everyone who is contemplating doing this GO FOR IT!!! AND HOLD OUT FOR THE FULL AMOUNT!
  2. Hi everyone, as I said, my case might be an anomaly, and once my claim is settled, I will be investigating why this is, I just haven't had time yet. I just felt I should flag it up as a potential problem especially if you get a low figure for charges online and are not sure if that is correct, it is worth double checking.
  3. Really? That's interesting. Sadly it won't apply to me as the account in question is only 51/2 years old. But it would be interesting to find out if anyone else has had this experience.
  4. Well I have sent my reply today to HSBC accepting their offer as PARTIAL settlement of my claim. I will keep you posted. It looks as though quite a few people have taken the first offer money and run, so I feel I might be viewed as 'difficult' for making a fuss over 100 pounds. However HSBC's case doesn't hold water and I feel that if they are paying at all they should pay everything. I really hope I am not going to end up being the 'test case' in court! The service chap said that if I reject the offer I might lose the lot! i.e.they might withdraw their offer. Or they 'might' pay the lot. I need every penny...would love to go on holiday but I have debts to clear and that is where the money will be going. They really are trying it on aren't they 'settling for less than the figures asked for' What a cheek!
  5. Hi everyone. I have been reading through quite a few posts and I have noticed some posters mentioning that they are getting 6 years' worth of statements online. Just a word of warning about this. I too checked my statements online to get an initial figure of charges and the total came to less than £100. I later double checked this figure aginst my 'real' statements and guess what? The true figure was a few quid shy of £1000! Only one month's worth of online statements showed any charges over 6 years and 3 accounts but when I went through the paper versions (took longer as I had actually kept all my statements in a box file... just never opened them..terrible I know!) the true figure was completely different. I haven't queried this with HSBC yet as my claim is still pending but I will do so. The online version seems to show my transactions but is not as detailed as my proper statements. I have double checked this to be sure, and it is definately the case. So be careful guys. My case may be an anomaly, but if I had relied on the online statements I would have lost out on claiming almost £800.
  6. Thanks HSBCrusher! I have decided to reply and accept their offer as partial settlement of my full claim, and request that they credit my account within 7 days and let me know when they will send the final £100. As we know, Bank charges are not legally enforcable if they are penalties, and the OFT has stated that anything over £12 is a penalty. Their 'admin' costs have been more than covered by the interest they charged me on these punitive charges. Therefore I expect them to send the £100 as well as I feel they are witholding it out of spite. £100 is a lot of money to me but peanuts to them. Either they have a case or they don't. If they do have a valid case, then don't pay anything, if they don't then cough up the lot! Their 'defence' is contradictory and it seems most people who have held out for the lot have got it. If they decide to withdraw their offer I am intrigued as to what grounds they would use, and if they take this route I assume I proceed to court as though they had rejected my original claim yes? I am also annoyed that the person I spoke to didn't even bother to read my letter (even though he had it right in front of him when he called me,and had signed his name to my 'reply' ) before he spoke to me about 'my claim'. Lazy so and so said it was 'rather long'! i.e more than a page. and said that if I had seriously expected him to read it then my claim would have taken weeks to process! Does that mean he's just a slow reader? Janet & John anyone? or is it Biff & Chip nowadays?
  7. Ha ha Devil's advocate! The 'payment' for the 'service' being that I was 'strongly advised' to take out this insurance, or 'strongly recommended' to. My beef is that the banks are the 'people in power' who have what you 'want/need' i.e the loan (without going into the 'you should have managed your money better or you wouldn't be in this situation speech, if anyone reading this is thinking that...I know, and I have paid dearly for this, over 4 grand and counting. I am now doing all I can to get what I owe paid back as quickly as I can. Believe me, I will get no holiday in the sun from any money returned to me, it is ALL going to repay debt). Anyway back to the point, you don't have (money) 'they' do. You are in need (of money) and usually desparate or in financial difficulty. The banks know this and they sell you the loan and then call you in for a meeting to discuss whether or not they are going to grant you that loan. That is how it was in my case. Now if the people in power say, before you have been given papers etc to sign that they strongly recommend you take out insurance, in case you become ill lose your job etc (basically playing the 'fear' card) unless you knew then what we all know now 9 times out of 10 you are going to agree because they have you over a barrel and they know it. I have one friend who took out PPI as it was implied that she wouldn't get the loan unless she did. We know that this isn't the case but we are still fearful and I feel the banks take advantage of this and do NOTHING to put us in the true picture. How many of us thought we were going to the 'listening bank' to get financial advice from people who had more experience about financial matters than us and wanted to help us through our financial difficulties? I know I did. It has only taken a few calls and letters for us all to realise that in fact no, these guys are trained to do their jobs which is to make as much money for their banks as possible at our expense sailing as close to the edge of the law (and certainly overstepping the moral boundaries of fairness and integrity) as possible. Now I know these guys at the bank are very careful to stay 'within' the law as they give you your loan T&C's etc BUT they are very ambiguous in the way that they do it. They would never say, 'You don't have to take out this policy at all and it won't affect our decision as to whether we give you the loan'. Most people believe that the 2 are entwined and the banks know that and will go on letting you believe that, including mentioning the 'you have 14 days in which to cancel' (i.e the loan agreement) blurb, but not mentioning the insurance at any point once they have got you to sign for it. Yeah, yeah serves us right for being ignorant but you know what serve them right now that we are no longer ignorant we will make sure as many people as possible know how underhand these organisations can be. I for one noticed the wheels coming off when I have called some of these organisations (not HSBC in this case) and they have tried to argue that for example £5 per copy statement is reasonable and that's what they charge and that's the end of the matter. You mention the DPA, they argue, you mention the DPA again, they go away and keep you on hold for ages before coming back and suddenly yes, stutter stutter, £10 for the lot it is. No defence of their £5 per copy exorbitant charge! You realise that then these people are not God, they are ordinary just like you. The difference in the way I am treated now that I know a few more of my rights by some of these organisations is like night and day. I don't blame the call centre people. Their trainining is to uphold company policy (probably at the risk of their jobs)and those higher up the chain are imo, expoloiting their 'valued' employees as much as they are their customers Another thing is that even if you do buy into the fear there is no guarantee that if you DO hit the financial skids that the PPI will pay out anyway as many have found to their chagrin. But I digress. The original loan and insurance was sold to me 6 months before the consolidation loan, now my argument is if you (HSBC) were trying to be sympathetic and helpful to me as your valued customer why when i DID hit financial difficulty did you close off the most sensible avenue of help (payment holiday) and force me into a sitaution where I had no choice but to take up your offer of 'help' (new consolidation loan). Tbh and this is my fault I know, it wasn't until I began this process that I even realised that I had purchased the PPI, I just saw it on my statement and do you know they never said 'Oh don't worry you have had this unforseen financial hicccup, but Victory68 I see you have PPI so son't worry, that will cover your payments until you are back on track,' That didn't even come into the equation. So service schmervice is what I would say! Funny how that PPI payment wan't carried over into my new loan, just buried in it! It boils down to one thing. I was gullible and I have been hustled! Serves me right maybe, but then don't write me letters (HSBC) talking about your commitment to excellent customer service and openeness and integrity! Cause it aint so!! SOOOOOO, as regards he separate issue of the bank charges should I go for the extra hundred quid or accept their offer?
  8. Hi folks, Well I am quite far down the line here but am a bit stuck. I wrote to HSBC with an adapted version of the letters, basically asking them to refund charges of almost £1000 (excluding interest). In my letter I also complained that their charges had not only put me in a worse financial position but also during the period of most of the charges they offered me a 'helpful' consolidation loan so as to lower my outgoings. This was after having added over £1400 worth of 'insurance' to the original amount borrowed which was £5000. Because I had and overdraft and credit cards to pay off they consolidated all this (including the 'insurance' amount) which took the total up to £10,000 when really I would have needed just over £8000 max. Despite this massive profit (how they must have rubbed their hands in glee at my financial ignorance) they still take £100 per month in interest from this new loan which I have been paying back for 4 years now and therefore paid over £4000 in interest. Here's the painful bit: I still owe them just over £9000 as of June 2006. Re: my chages Basically my work situation changed and I could not meet my SO and DD payments for the month, one of which was to HSBC for the loan. All my creditors gave me a payment holiday that month till I was back on track except HSBC who took the money out of my account, put me into the red, charged me for reversing the other SOs and DDs and charged me for going into the red with their payment. They then reported me to the credit services has having not paid at all and this showed up on my credit report. When I queried them they admitted they shouldn't have done that and apologised for the incovenience which dates back to 2004. My complaint about the loan was that they used my financial difficulty and ignorance to sell me this loan (as they put it at the time to help ease your difficulties) but in fact knew they would profit massively as they just bundled up the unwanted insurance fee into that consolidated amount. I realise I probably don't have any legal redress here but I felt and feel that it was pretty reprehensible on their part, given that during this period of financial instability they wrote to me sayin how they were sympathetic to my situtation and wanted to do all they could to help me etc etc. Anyway I requested that they deduct the insurance payment off my new loan (this wasn't part of the new loan, it was bundled up with the 2 small loans I had with them before). Anyhoo, rather than 2 separate letters I put the two requests in one letter making it ver clear they were 2 separate issues at the top of the letter adn requesting a refund of charges and the insurance payment to be deducted off my loan. Nothing from HSBC at all, not even an acknowledgement so I rang them 2 days before the 14 day deadline before sending the LBA. Nothing so LBA letter went out on day 14. On Day 15 I get a letter basically offering me the amount I asked for less £100 and saying, 'In circumstances where you have authorised a payment that would, if met by us, lead to your account going overdrawn or over an agreed overdraft limit, we have to consider whether to make this payment. A fee is payable for this service provided by the bank, details of which are clearly set out in our published price list. The circumstances in which the fee will apply are clearly set out in our Personal Banking terms and conditions which you were provided with a copy of when you opened your account. If your claim for a refund proceeded to Court, we therefore believe we would successfully resist any legal challenge in relation to these fees. HSBC is, however, mindful of the management time and irrecoverable legal costs that it may incur in relation to such a claim. For those commercial reasons alone, and without any admission of liability whatsoever, HSBC is prepared to make a payment to you in the sum of £XXX.XX (i.e. £100 less than my total charges) representing the charges applied in full and final settlement of this matter. If you accept this proposal please sign and return the enclosed copy of this letter to us within 10 working days and we will arrange for a refund to be made to you. If we do not receive your signed acceptance within this timescale, we will take it that you have declined our offer . I trust that this matter has now been addressed to your satisfaction. If you are not satisfied with the bank's response you have the right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Further details about the Ombudsman scheme are set out in the enclosed leaflet and you have six months from the date of this letter, within which to refer your complaint to them should you decide to do so. This was signed by the senior service quality manager. I then got a call from the same guy on the same day i got the letter saying that that would be their final offer. When I pointed out the contradictions in his letter i.e that 'we therefore believe we would successfully resist any legal challenge in relation to these fees.' but ' HSBC is, however, mindful of the management time and irrecoverable legal costs that it may incur in relation to such a claim.(WHY? IF YOU ARE CONFIDENT YOU WOULD SUCCESFULLY RESIST ANY LEGAL CHALLENGE?) For those commercial reasons alone, and without any admission of liability whatsoever, HSBC is prepared to make a payment (WHY PAY ANYTHING AT ALL? IS IT COMMERCIAL SENSE TO PAY OUT ANYTHING IF YOU ARE NOT LIABLE TO?) He said he could not comment on that. When I asked why not as it was he that had made the comments to me in his letter and he should justify them, he then said a) he had not actually read my letter b) he had not written the response only signed it c)he relied on 'his team' to do that and each amount they pay out is decided on an individual basis. When I asked what criteria was used to make the decision in my case, as if they were going to pay out at all and felt they were not liable to pay anything either they should have paid nothing at all or a nominal amount or else just pay the full amount, why decide to take off £100? He said he was not going to tell me the reason and that I should accept the offer as if I decide not to they 'may' increase it or they 'may' withdraw it altogether. I I know its only £100 but that is nothing to them and a big deal to me. Also my complaint about the loan was not even mentioned and this again forcedd him to say that he had not read the letter but 'I suppose we will have to refer it to another department'. TBH, I think I would accept the reduced charges payout if they would refund the £1400 insurance payment to my loan with them. That would make a huge difference to me, and if I'm honest I am concerend that making a fuss over the £100 may swing them against me as regards any possible 'goodwill' gestures re my loan account. HOWEVER.... if they are going to tell me where to get off as regards my loan then they can jolly well cough up the full hundred imo? What does everyone think and sorry for the long post! By the way I've been given 10 days to accept or reject their offer. Thanks!!
  9. Hi mahala I only spoke to the student loans company yesterday and they have promised copy statements within 7-10 days. So I will let you know what form they take. I certainly would not accept screen shots as that is not a statement and I think it is rubbish that they can't reproduce original statements. The other reason why I wouldn't accept this is because I have also put my claim in for bank charges. When I started this process I looked online for my statements as with my bank you can do this and go back 5 five years to look at your online statements. When I added up my charges it came to about £80. BUT... I decided to check this against my original statements which I had kept but (I'm ashamed to say,and I will NEVER do this again) were unopened. Well after a couple of hours' worth of opening and checking charges,guess what the real figure was £1130! :o I went back online and checked the relevant dates and only 3 of the charges were listed online. Needless to say I would not take that chance with screen shots. I will be taking the bank issue up with the bank as to why this is (after I get my dough hee hee!) but I just want to strike while the iron is hot with all my claims as I have been pretty passive in the past and I don't want to lose momentum. I have a lot of debt to clear and I just want to get the debt down as quickly as possible. I would ring the SLC back and say that you are finding the screen shots a bit confusing and as you are trying to get your financial affairs in order you need to understand the figures and therefore could they not just send out stements? As SLC only issues annual staements I fail to see how this could possibly be a problem. Surely screen shots would produce more paper if that's their 'concern'? They're trying it on, get original statements if you can.
  10. Just a quick update: Re Student loans: I have managed to get all my statements from 2000 -2005 sent out with no mention of a £10 fee so that's a result! I didn't bother with a letter, I just rang them up. They didn't ask questions but if they had have done, I would have told them (truthfully) that it was because I was putting all my financial affairs in order, having been rather lax in the past. The same result with the catalogue company, so when I get them I will let you all know how much I will be claiming from each. Thanks for public and private support, I will keep everyone posted.
  11. Thanks so much, this is excellent news! I will get my letters out on Monday. Mwahahahahahaha!!
  12. Hi everyone I have questions about charges for late payments or letters telling you that that your payment is late from the Student loans company and Catalogue companies...can you claim these charges back under the same principles as reclaiming bank charges? The SLC charge £15 for a late payment, for which you get a phone call followed by a letter (regardless of whether you discuss the situtation and explain the reasons why the payment is late,in my case it was that they wanted their money by the 24th of each month, wheras I only got paid on the 30th of each month, dd's left my account on the first of each month...hence 'late' payments each month). With Littlewoods catalogues you get a letter and £15 'administration' charge. My claim aginst HSBC is still in process and I haveset the ball rolling for GE CApital Bank. However, I would like to know whether I could claim against these companies as well.
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