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Alliance and Leicester... grrrrrrrrr...


tony_ack
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I'm having a nightmare with Alliance and Leicester at the moment. Way, way back in August, I moved house, and kept the deposit for the house (and a little extra) in my Alliance and Leicester Premier Direct account until I needed to pay the deposit. (we had trouble withdrawing the money, but that's another story...)

 

Once I'd moved into my new house, I was without internet for a number of weeks, as there was no phone line in the house. I went food shopping just after we moved in, and paid with my A&L debit card. I was pretty sure that there was enough in there, but there wasn't, I was £6 short, with no overdraft. Nethertheless, the payment went through, and I was none-the-wiser until I finally had a chance to check my account 2 weeks later. Given the trouble I was about to experience, I wish that A&L had just rejected the payment, as I could have paid using my other bank account, or even on a credit card.

 

I paid some money in as soon as I found out I was overdrawn, to bring myself back into the black.

 

A month later, I was charged £50 for going overdrawn. This sent me into a negative balance again, but I could not afford to pay in immediately, so I brought myself back into the black when I got paid about a week later.

 

So I was charged another £50 the following month, which sent me into the red again. I paid £50 back into the account to get myself back into the black, but by this time couldn't afford to pay yet another £50 to cover the charges for the following month. I contacted A&L by phone, and got through to a thoroughly unhelpful, unsympathetic and robotic girl, who started bleating about terms and conditions. I explained that going overdrawn was a genuine mistake, and that at the end of the day, it was only by £6, for which, so far, I had paid £100 in charges (bear in mind that A&L have a £5 'buffer', so the charges were for the sake of £1.

 

Getting nowhere with trying to stop the next month's charges being applied, I asked her to close the account down. She said she couldn't, as there were charges pending on the account. I told her I couldn't afford the charges, but she insisted that the account could not be closed. I asked if I could make a payment over the phone into my account (I was prepared to forego food for the rest of the month), but she said that I couldn't, and had to pay in at a branch. Not ideal since I can't get to the branch during working hours.

 

The following month, I was charged another £50. I couldn't afford to get into the red this time, as the charges were taking their toll on my cashflow. When I finally did get paid, I paid in £100 - £50 to bring me back into the black, and £50 to cover the following month's charges.

 

Today, my partner (it's a joint account) managed to go into a branch and ask for the account to be closed, beleiving that there was no outsanding balance. We haven't used the account for some time, and received a '£5 charge for low use' letter last week.

 

She was shocked to discover that she was not allowed to close the account, as the account was £50 overdrawn! Due to the fact that the terms and conditions have been changed, we were charged £100 in unauthorised overdraft charges in a single month!!! To make matters worse, the account had been overdrawn for 10 days (we hadn't checked the account as we were pretty certain it was in credit, and wasn't being used), so we had already incurred another £50 of charges which hadn't been applied.

 

My partner rang the branch hotline, as the branch staff have no visibility of the accounts. She got through to a really obnoxious, unsympathetic and smug guy who told her that it's in the terms and conditions and it was all my partner's fault for not being able to manage her money.

 

We still can't get the account closed. All the while, we are incurring £5 a day for being overdrawn without an overdraft. A&L can't tell us how much they have to pay to close our account, because to be honest, I don't think they can work it out.

 

I don't know how much I have to pay in to be able to close the account, which is quite surprising since I am pretty good at maths and managing money.

 

The branch staff were much more sympathetic, but there was nothing I could do.

 

So, for the sake of £6, I have so far been charged £250, with another £50 waiting to be applied.

 

I really don't know what to do. Every time I try to get my account closed, the goalposts are moved. Now that the new £5 a day charge scheme is in effect (aka the constantly moving goalposts), I really am lost.

 

In addition, I am pretty sure I was not sent a message informing me of the £100 in charges...

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Hi and welcome

 

Have a read of the following links

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/25457-guide-reclaiming-bank-charges.html

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/31460-example-step-step-instructions.html

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/faqs-please-read-these/24031-frequently-asked-questions.html

 

These will start you on your way to claiming your charges back from the Bank :)

 

If you need any other help just post here and someone will answer :)

 

Hope this helps

 

saint :)

Any typos spelling mistakes are due to leprechauns in my keyboard they move the letters around sometimes (amended just for Bookie)

 

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You have my sympathy Tony, A&L have proved themselves IMHO almost as flexible and sympathetic as the Gestapo. They've been ignoring a complaint of mine for five months now, over a £77 direct debit which started a chain reaction of charges like yours that has now reached over a grand. I've filed a claim against them but they have their fingers in their ears going "lalalalala" and I am at my wits end :-(

 

Hope you have better luck

Loz

I hate Alliance + Leicester

BT: No longer a customer :)

HSBC: £1222 refunded 28/5/06; Second claim of £737-24 refunded 9/11/06; PPI + interest on personal loan refunded 27/7/08

MBNA: £100 refunded on first claim of £112; £208 refunded on second claim for £108 24/9/07; PPI £256-28 refunded 8/4/08

NatWest: £1581-71 refunded 16/12/06; personal loan CCA agreement not provided

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