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thegoodsamaritan

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Everything posted by thegoodsamaritan

  1. Yeah I think ur the 1st RBS case to get this far according to this site anyways. All the best keep us posted!
  2. any way you can scan the letter and get it up here somewhere? This would be great evidence for someone if they did end up in court to get charges back
  3. This would seem to me to be an admission from the bank that there is no manual intervention in charges themselves and also therefore confirmation the charging process is automated. I think you just found your "smoking gun" Is the letter from the branch manager? Can't imagine any other department admitting this
  4. I can't see any litigations against RBS either. Maybe it's because they deal with full refunds before it gets to the stage of court action??
  5. It sounds like the staff or managers just being lazy or not knowing the rules. Branches can only see the last years worth of transactions on screen, any further back we have to order historic statements which can take up to 2 weeks to be produced and sent out. This should be logged on our concerns (complaints!) system and sent to the relevant department to investigate.
  6. Sound like a plan but I wouldn't recommend you go after individual members of staff as you seem to be suggesting. Quite apart from the fact most of us are on your side you have no right to hassle staff in this way. Going after the banks themselves would be the option as it is them who are due you the money and not their minions. You could supply the debt collectors with either your local branches address or the head office address. I'd look into the legalities of it too - not sure if a debt collection agency would want to go after a bank for fear of court action for defamation of character etc Please post your responses to your emails though, I'd be interested to hear what the debt collectors have to say.
  7. All companies legally HAVE to act in their shareholders best intersts (ie making them as much money as possible) If a company realises that breaking such and such regulation will cost the company £50,000 but that they will make £200,000 out of it then most of the time they will just go ahead and break regulation. They have teams of accountants whoses sole job is to look at this stuff. (A good example I recently heard is that legally you actually have to opt in to receive mailings/phone calls. But most UK companies just assume that you have given permission. They benefit from increased sales at currently and even though they are breaking the rules nothing is done about it) At the moment the UK banking industry is making £3 Billion a year pure profit from charging people illegally so a few threats of court action is not going to impact that. Most people are generally too lazy, too busy or too weak minded to follow through all the way and reclaim all their charges and the banks realise this - thus by dragging it out as far as the banks can maybe only 1 in 10,000 customers will file a court claim and the other 9,999 not get all (or any!) of their charges back. This site is a great way of educating people and I think that the word is spreading on illegal charges and how to get them back. It will take a lot of hard work and determination, but the table is slowly starting to turn.
  8. I'm only talking about RBS branches. Although RBS owns NAT West they are run as a completely seperate company so have different processes (soz don't know what NAT West's processes are). Lets be clear on this: Royal Bank of Scotland Branches you can pay money in to cover direct debits and standing orders before 3.30pm as long as you tell the teller that this is what the money is for you will avoid charges and the items will be paid. From the sounds of it this is not possible with NAT West. In response to an earlier post I do think the charges are extortionate but feel there needs to be some sort of balance and responsabilty - If we all went overdrawn all the time with no consequences then the economy would go t*ts up and that would ultimately backfire on everyone. Perhaps the simplest solution would be no money in the account = do not let the customer withdraw for anything and do no charge them for this (though there are problems that would need looked at such as how do we treat cheques, debtor interest etc) If the banks don't make their money this way I think they'll just respond by charging us a small amount for each service we use (ie cashlines, processing cheques & payins) Charging for atm withdrawals is already common in a lot of countries worldwide. As for manual intervention in charges I don't know the ins and outs of how it works I'm afraid - we don't decide this in branch. Common sense would obviously dicate that it does not cost the bank £38 to return a direct debit. All I can say is that some items are marked as auto-pay on system - this would therefore imply to me that its automatic. Thanks for all your words of support btw
  9. I've tried to keep this as simple as possible (not an easy task!) hope it helps people understand how the system works. Here's what happens when an item (direct debit / standing order / cheque) is due off your account that will take you over your overdraft limit on RBS current accounts (other banks processes will be similar i'd imagine): If an item is taking you over your agreed limit that day then YOU NEED TO CHECK with us if its being paid or not, otherwise you have no way of knowing which option will apply. There is a system in place whereby RBS will assess your account and decide whether or not to pay the direct debit / standing order / cheque: Option 1. RBS will pay your item (shows on our system as "autopay") This will obviously put you over your agreed overdraft limit, and result in what is called a “paid referal fee” of £30 that will be applied on the 6th working day of the next month (NB RBS will only charge you a maximum of 3 of these particular type of fees per month) You will also be informed on your next statement of a £28 charge for “unauthorised borrowing – maintenance charge” and the date it will be debited to your account (about 2 weeks after you receive your next statement). Careful though - you are charged this £28 for every seperate monthly statement you show as being overdrawn so could be unlucky and would be charged twice if your being overdrawn ran over into your next statement to be sent out. Essentially you'll be charged twice regardless – once (£30) for us paying an item when there are not enough funds and secondly (£28) for now being over your limit in the current statement period Option 2. RBS will bounce (return) your item (shows on our system as "unpaid") Although the item will still show on your statement if you look at it that day when you check the next day it will have disappeared (ie not been paid!) and been replaced with a standard £38 “unpaid item charge”. (NB There is no limit here so if you were unlucky enough to have 1,000 items bounce on one day you would be hit with £38,000 of unpaid item charges!) If the item is a cheque or Direct Debit normally it will be represented for payment a few days later and will probably bounce again if there are not yet clear funds in the account, resulting in yet another £38 charge for each unpaid item! Also if this £38 charge(s) takes you over your agreed borrowing limit remember you will be charged the standard £28 maintenance fee as well for every statement period this covers. If you can pay money in before 3.30pm (end of the banking day) then we can make sure the item is paid. (You need to tell us at the time that the money is to cover a DD / SO / cheque so we can go in and change the status of the item from "unpaid" or "autopay" to "paid") This will pay the item and in most cases eliminate any charges. (I believe that HBOS is stricter than us and require that customers have available funds to cover items in the account by 23:59:59 the day before or you will be charged and the item could bounce.) Hope this is useful! Bear in mind the above illustration is just how RBS work it - other banks will probably be slightly different Any questions just ask!
  10. All the best. Let us know how you go
  11. good luck. make sure and follow thru as long as it takes!
  12. This is the case in RBS at the moment. Couldn't speak for other banks though sure their policies are all slightly different.
  13. I'm not sure if this was/is a bankwide policy or if it was just that particular manager who did it. It seemed reasonable enough to us at the time because they were -constantly breaching the terms of the account -hassling us about the associated charges -promising that "this will be the last time" -getting the charges back -racking up yet more charges 2 weeks later and so the cycle continued ad infinitum... Now I've opened my eyes i can see things differently!! yeah think so. just saw them briefly didn't get a chance to read thru wish i had now.
  14. What bank r u talking about? This is definitely NOT the case at RBS. In RBS branches only the manager can give authority to refund charges and even then is limited to £50. They also have a charge refunds budget to stick to which limits chances of getting money back further. The branch manager regularly (daily?) looks at a log of what charges have been refunded & who has refunded them. We are absolutely not allowed to refund any charges without managers authorisation and if we did we'd be found out and face possible warnings or sacking.
  15. 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 but who knows i will see if i can check up tomorrow 4 u.
  16. here's some more i forgot to metion... Customer Lending Centre If you get lots of charges and go way over your limit it is more than likely at some stage responsibilty for all your accounts will pass to the Customer Lending Centre, otherwise known as the Personal Account Centre or PAC (think like wolves). Business customers could see their accounts passed to the BAC if they had problems. When this happens you'll receive a letter informing you of this. Any request for charges back should go directly through them (or customer relations - see above) Income Managers These have recently (last few months) sprung up to help deal with the growing issue of refunding charges. They're based centrally and sort requests for charges back. Basically they are there to deal with the issue of bank charges and free up the branch manager to concentrate on hitting their sales target for the week. (Not all branches have an income manager assigned to them though)
  17. I originally posted this in the RBS forum but someone asked me to put it in here to give an idea of what happens in the bank when you ask for charges back - I'd imagine it'll be similar sort of idea for other banks... Enjoy How charges get refunded for personal (ie no business) RBS customers In Branches: Any member of staff can take your complaint / request for charges back (at the counter, by letter or phone) We are trained to log this an official concern (complaint) on the sytem but be wary not everyone will take the time to do this as its time consuming. The staff member should at the very least refer the matter to the relevant person (branch manager / area manager / customer relations) Branch managers only have authority to refund up to £50 in each case (i believe its the same limit nationwide) and they actually have a budget set aside for how much their branch can "spend" on personally refunding charges! Area managers have authority to refund more charges, regional managers higher amounts still; though to be honest if you're wanting more than £50 back you should go direct to customer relations. Customer Relations: (Freepost PO Box 1727 Edinburgh EH12 9JN / 0800 015 5035 / [email protected]) This is a department of the bank dedicated to sorting out complaints before they are taken further. They have a lot more authority to take action / refund charges than branches and this is probably your best port of call. It's in the banks best interests to settle with you within 8 weeks of making your complaint (has to be logged) otherwise you are free to complain to the Financial Ombudsman and this will cost the bank at least £370 (i read £370 on another part of the forum but we've always been told it's £500?). If the Ombudsman decides you were right the bank has to abide by their decision and do what it says. If they disagree with you and take the banks side the bank is still charged and you pay nothing. I believe you can also take court action at any time regardless of who is dealing with your complaint. Internet/Phone Banking: I am not 100% sure but i believe they either send the home branch a message to investigate or use the same concerns system to log and try to resolve it as branches do. New department (I don't think customers can contact this dept directly) There's been a new department set up last few weeks (MCC i think?). Originally we were told it was a help centre to give advice on how best to handle complaints that we are trying to resolve. But now it looks like its part of a bigger plan... Just a few days ago in our morning staff meeting we were told all about the growing consumer movement that "bank penalty charges are illegal" and the court case v Lloyds, and alsoshown a letter like the ones available on this site. We were advised that if we received a letter like these we were to send them immediately to this new department and that they would handle it from there as we didn't want to "get to the stage that there were baliffs coming into the branch". Interestingly enough my manager who is normally a right jobsworth didn't try to dispute the statement that bank charges are illegal. I've heard of cases where customers are made to sign a letter saying that they "understand they will be refunded this one last time but they are not to ask for any more charges back and we will not refund anything else unless it is a proven bank error........." ......only for them to be refunded again the very next month!! So generally speaking always accept the charges we offer to refund at the time, but then ask for the rest back as well. Remember if you want your entire lot of charges back the best chance of success seems to be using the "bank charges are illegal penalties" letter templates on this site. From the look of it they seem to meet with success everytime (as long as you follow through on everything) And finally remember next time you come into the branch that, believe it or not, the majority of bank staff are on your side. We're just not allowed to tell you that we also think that charges are excessive and unjustified or anything other than the banks policy on charges or refund more than our department is allowed to otherwise we could end up being disciplined or even sacked. Its something we regularly talk about amongst ourselves and i am yet to meet a non-manager who doesn't think the charges are disgusting or obscene. So please be nice to us I'll try and post something useful in the next few days... In the meantime I'm off to send a letter to Barclaycard and one for a mate to RBS.
  18. 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 debit 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 DD'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 calls 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!
  19. £10 is standard fee to request any information a company holds about you (apart from credit scoring etc) You can also request CCTV footage. They have to blur out other peoples faces but you would need to tell them the dates/times you were there (pointless but would be quite funny to do )
  20. Ur right to keep hurrying them along. Most staff don't understand the full implications of a DPA request, timescales involved or what to do. I've only seen one in my time in the bank (a while!) and no-one knew what to do. Tell them the least they can do is immediately order your statements for the last 6 years if they've not done so already (it's normally £5 per page, max £10 but this is covered by your DPA fee so the branch can key it with no charge) Should take 1-2 weeks to arrive from when it's ordered from the statement printing place. All the best! 8)
  21. well done great example of getting charges back
  22. 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 years (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!
  23. How charges get refunded for personal (ie no business) RBS customers In Branches: Any member of staff can take your complaint / request for charges back (at the counter, by letter or phone) We are trained to log this an official concern (complaint) on the sytem but be wary not everyone will take the time to do this as its time consuming. The staff member should at the very least refer the matter to the relevant person (branch manager / area manager / customer relations) Branch managers only have authority to refund up to £50 in each case (i believe its the same limit nationwide) and they actually have a budget set aside for how much their branch can "spend" on personally refunding charges! Area managers have authority to refund more charges, regional managers higher amounts still; though to be honest if you're wanting more than £50 back you should go direct to customer relations. Customer Relations: (Freepost PO Box 1727 Edinburgh EH12 9JN / 0800 015 5035 / [email protected]) This is a department of the bank dedicated to sorting out complaints before they are taken further. They have a lot more authority to take action / refund charges than branches and this is probably your best port of call. It's in the banks best interests to settle with you within 8 weeks of making your complaint (has to be logged) otherwise you are free to complain to the Financial Ombudsman and this will cost the bank at least £370 (i read £370 on another part of the forum but we've always been told it's £500?). If the Ombudsman decides you were right the bank has to abide by their decision and do what it says. If they disagree with you and take the banks side the bank is still charged and you pay nothing. I believe you can also take court action at any time regardless of who is dealing with your complaint. Internet/Phone Banking: I am not 100% sure but i believe they either send the home branch a message to investigate or use the same concerns system to log and try to resolve it as branches do. New department (I don't think customers can contact this dept directly) There's been a new department set up last few weeks (MCC i think?). Originally we were told it was a help centre to give advice on how best to handle complaints that we are trying to resolve. But now it looks like its part of a bigger plan... Just a few days ago in our morning staff meeting we were told all about the growing consumer movement that "bank penalty charges are illegal" and the court case v Lloyds, and alsoshown a letter like the ones available on this site. We were advised that if we received a letter like these we were to send them immediately to this new department and that they would handle it from there as we didn't want to "get to the stage that there were baliffs coming into the branch". Interestingly enough my manager who is normally a right jobsworth didn't try to dispute the statement that bank charges are illegal. I've heard of cases where customers are made to sign a letter saying that they "understand they will be refunded this one last time but they are not to ask for any more charges back and we will not refund anything else unless it is a proven bank error........." ......only for them to be refunded again the very next month!! So generally speaking always accept the charges we offer to refund at the time, but then ask for the rest back as well. Remember if you want your entire lot of charges back the best chance of success seems to be using the "bank charges are illegal penalties" letter templates on this site. From the look of it they seem to meet with success everytime (as long as you follow through on everything) And finally remember next time you come into the branch that, believe it or not, the majority of bank staff are on your side. We're just not allowed to tell you that we also think that charges are excessive and unjustified or anything other than the banks policy on charges or refund more than our department is allowed to otherwise we could end up being disciplined or even sacked. Its something we regularly talk about amongst ourselves and i am yet to meet a non-manager who doesn't think the charges are disgusting or obscene. So please be nice to us I'll try and post something useful in the next few days... In the meantime I'm off to send a letter to Barclaycard and one for a mate to RBS. Power to the people!
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