Just to say I’ve had a quick look at your forums and would like to commend everyone for the wealth of information and advice available.
I’ve tried to find information related to my particular issue but have been unable to do so.
Basically about three years ago Halifax incorrectly merged my account with someone else’s (same name as me and same DOB but different town) this had no major adverse affects (a few letters were delivered to the wrong address) so once I received the letter of apology I was happy enough.
However this October three of my direct debits failed – which was weird as there should have been enough money to cover them, what’s more from a letter I received the next day I was being charged £39 per failed debit. I phoned my bank and they said £170 pounds had been removed from my account to cover arrears on a credit card.
I don’t have a credit card with Halifax.
Further investigations revealed that in August they had also taken £150 from my savings account (I only get an annual statement, so didn’t notice). I had received no correspondence about these deductions.
With a bit of probing I discovered that the address for the credit card in arrears was the same Northamptonshire address that had caused the issue three years before. I told them about the problem in the past and asked for my money back. They refused and insisted on carrying out a fraud investigation.
In the meantime I was over £400 poorer (the deductions and charges), affecting my ability to pay further bills, and my telecoms provider (one of the parties who hadn’t received their cash) was threatening to withdraw their service. Furthermore all the companies for who the DD had failed had cancelled the arrangement and I had to go through the process of reinstatement (probably an hour on the phone).
Worse still, by making it a fraud investigation my name seemed to get linked to an even greater extent to the mysterious credit card – I received a statement in the post and started getting calls from Halifax’s collections department, harassing me for payment.
The fraud investigation took about 3 weeks, and ended when the operative from the fraud department simply phoned up the Northamptonshire credit card holder and asked if the transactions were legitimate and found out that they were. The Halifax operative went on to say that their collections department had made a mistake and linked my name to the credit card through an incorrect trace.
During the three week period I must have spent upwards of ten hours on the phone dealing with this issue and understandably was under considerable stress (had criminals stolen my identity?). I also had the hassles of dealing with the knock on effects; re-arranging DDs and shifting money around to pay bills – this makes me feel that the £150 they are offering as a goodwill payment is far too low.
Has anyone here faced a similar scenario? If so how much compensation did you obtain? Is £150 reasonable or should I press for more?
Also if I were to write a letter of complaint I would be interested in knowing how best to highlight Halifax’s failings. I was amazed they sent me a statement and started harassing me for money only after the fraud investigation began (must be a breach of data protection?) – I was equally astounded that their collections department could simply take money without letting me know.
Any advice would be gratefully received.
Thanks in advance,