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A & L - Caught between a rock and a hard place!


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Hello all,


Please read the letter below, any comments would be appreciated.


In a nutshell; I am taking A & L to task for reporting failed DD's to the credit reference agencies. My point being that they can not argue in court that DD fees are for a service which is provided, and not a penalty, and then report these events to the CRAs (which would carry a financial penalty).

I also have a serious problem with the fact that they are not the creditor for these payments and, as such, should not be entitled to report late payments (how do they know you haven't made other payment arrangements with the creditor?). Ultimately their actions could also lead to the same payment being reported late twice, which is not fair on the consumer.



Account Number xxxxxxxx

This weekend I took the liberty of examining my credit record and was surprised to find that you have reported two incidents of “late payments” against my credit record. Cross-referencing these occurrences against my bank statements it is clear that these entries relate to direct-debits that were not processed, due to a lack of funds in my current account.

I would like to bring the following to your attention;

1. A direct-debit is not a payment to the bank, but a mechanism through which a payment can be made. Thus to report it as such is erroneous.

2. In a direct-debit transaction the bank is neither the debtor nor the creditor. You are not financially penalised as a result of this direct-debit not being serviced. Thus, you have no right to report an issue to a credit reference agency, where you are neither the creditor nor the debtor.

3. You, as the bank, are not aware whether the payment (which the direct-debit was servicing was made by any other method and, in by doing so, satisfied the agreement between the creditor and the debtor. You are therefore reporting payments as late when you, in fact, have no knowledge of any late payments.

4. By reporting these incidents in such a manner you risk creating a duplicate entry, as the creditor is also within their rights to report any late payments to the credit reference agency. This would significantly exacerbate the impact of any actual late payment.

5. I do not hold any credit arrangements with yourselves, in the form of an overdraft, loans or credit-cards that would warrant a “late payment” to be reported to a credit reference agency.

6. If, as you currently argue in the court, charges are not penalties but a fee for services rendered then you can not report these occurrences to the credit reference agencies as these are services for which I have paid you. To report them to a credit reference agency, which would cause me to be penalised, totally contradicts the argument you are making in your test case.

In summary, whilst I do not dispute at all your rights to reports deviances from credit agreements to the credit reference agencies, I have to protest at your obvious abuse of the system by reporting payments as late which are not even payments to yourselves.

This is in clear violation of your own terms and conditions which state:

14a – “We will release some personal information about you to the following agencies.

  • Credit reference agencies when we search their records about you. They will record details of our searches. We will also release information to credit reference agencies about any account you hold with us or any member of the MBNA Group, including information about any payments you have missed. Information held by credit reference agencies may be linked to other people who you have a financial association with.”

As previously stated, no agreements exist between us that require any form of regular payment. You are therefore in breach of your own rules, and I must insist on the following;

  • You contact the credit reference agencies immediately, and amend the report to reflect the fact that no late payments have been made.
  • You provide compensation at the rate of £35 per month per incident that these incidents have been falsely reported. With one being reported in April and the other in June, this would equate to £660. This level of compensation is comparable with your fees for non-payment of direct-debits, so I hope you agree that this is reasonable and fair.

I look forward to your response. I will endeavour to re-check my credit report in 14 days from the date of this letter. Should the above not be reflected in my credit report, I will have no alternative but to refer this matter to the financial ombudsman.

As this complaint is not about the “fairness” of charges, I would anticipate an expedient and comprehensive response to this communication, and not the rebuff that has been applied to all complaints regarding the “fairness” of charges.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Johnson.

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oooh that's an interesting angle! :)

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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