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Decline these new services


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Just a thought..

 

How about if I write to my bank & send along a copy of the new T&Cs they sent me a couple of months ago, and reject their new formal & informal overdraft "service".

I have a copy of my original overdraft agreement (the one with the old 'to cover our admin costs' clause). So how about I say "This is what I agreed to, and this is what I want to stick to, I don't want these new "services".

 

Maybe then they might close my account, but then I have grounds for a case that they closed my account because I refused a service that I did not want.

 

I still got a copy of the revised T&Cs so I'll check over them when I get home & see if something like this is doable. If we were all able to reject the "new services" (all but Lloyds introduced them purely for the test case), it could cause quite a headache for banks & their lawyers.

 

Further, given that many claims in the loop are still being defended by the old 'to cover costs' defence, can something be done to lobby the OFT or MPs to force this to be examined as part of the test case?

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Nice ........I like that a lot.

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Yes, me too.

 

Maybe you should give them a nice spade too - so they can dig themselves out of the holes they keep getting themselves into.

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I believe that all Ts & Cs contain terms that allow them to alter the terms in the future. I imagine that if you refuse the new terms they would be entitled to close your account.

Robertxc v. Abbey - £3300 Settled in full

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I haven't really had time to look in too much detail, but yes I think most T&Cs include a clause that you accept ongiong revisions (this in itself should be examined under UTCCR IMO). However, the covering letter that accompanied my T&Cs said only that the changers were to the overdraft, not the account in general. I'm a bit tied up till the end of this week, but I will explore this more next week.

 

Revising T&Cs is one thing, but introducing new services and forcing your customers to have them or have their account closed might not fall within the scope of simply "revised T&Cs".

If your mobile phone company , half way through a contract, introduced a new service & said you either have the service & pay for it or we'll cut you off, I think you'll have grounds for action of some kind. Surely the principle is the same..

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...but, that would be an unfair term in a consumer contract surely?

 

How can one party subject to a contract be allowed to change the terms without the consent of the other, or the other party NOT being allowed to change the terms of the contract at all?

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Well precisely, so perhaps this is an area the OFT could look at to see if the UTCCR applies - Can the bank just change their T&Cs whether we like them or not & do we have the right to refuse them.. Can they force us to accept services that didn't exist in the original T&Cs?

 

Its all very well them explaining their charges as "fees for a service" in an attempt to circumnavigate common law, but shouldn't some investigation take place as to whether these services were forcefully imposed rather than offered?

 

If we can refuse them, then why don't we all write & refuse them now? Are they going to close the accounts of hundreds of thousands of customers because they didn't want these new "services"? How will they explain that one away? :D

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You wouldn't sign a blank piece of paper for someone to fill in the details later. Surely this is just the same thing. You are told not to sign anything without reading it first, yet are expected to accept any future changes without further question. I can certainly see merit in the argument but how far you'd get with it is debateable.

 

Rather a long shot I'd have thought, and could be expensive to fight in court.

 

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Who says we have to take legal action? A simple letter to the bank to say no thanks, I don't like these new services & I don't want them. If they close your account because you refuse to accept them, then its time to decide where to take it.

 

If enough people wrote such a letter & got a response which predictably would be "either accept the T&Cs or we'll kick you out" then perhaps the FOS migh be the place to go.

This could put enormous pressure on the FOS to be seen to be doing the right thing. Will they really allow, and be seen to allow financial institutions to force their customers to use services they don't want?

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Right, I spent a few mins looking over the revised T&Cs. The letter just says my overdraft agreement came to an end in october & these were the new overdraft T&Cs. It mentioned nothing about being core terms to the actual account.

 

I'm really not sure how to tackle this, but I'm sure there is something in it!

 

Banks are arguing in court that the new services & fees are part of core terms to which we all agreed, but these services were only introduced in September. This is pretty much the only argument they have for their case.

So if we now write & refuse the new "services", that argument is invalid because the T&Cs up until then would still be in effect.

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Right here it is in black & white! My original overdraft agreement (below) was still in effect when I made my final claim which is now stayed. See section 6.

We may charge a fee for reviewing your overdraft if you exceed or further exceed your agreed limit. This fee is to cover our management and adminaistrative costs.

It can't be any clearer than that! So whatever the outcome of the test case, I can still proceed with this claim if it is only settled on the fee for a service principle. Incidentally, their defence for this claim is the new "fee for a service" argument which didn't even exist on this account at the time of the claim.

 

The other document is the notice of revised terms to my overdraft facility. See line 2 under "Revised Overdraft Service". It says "which is an additional service to our current account". How can an additional service be considered part of the core terms? If it is an additional service, surely I can now say I don't want this additional service. Ok they may just withdraw my overdraft, but at least then they would have no argument that any charges are fees for a service. You can't charge for a service that does not exist right?

So, if they then close my account, it will be because I have refused an additional service.. I'm not really sure how best to make something of this, but surely its something worth looking at..

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