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Unbelievable way to get charged


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My post this morning knocked me sideways. I'd received £28.00 in charges and some interest on my NW account.

 

A loan payment of £425 had been taken from my current account on 17 October. My current account had no funds in and only an overdraft facility of £200.00.

 

1. I haven't used my NW account for a couple of years.

2. I wrote to NW on 29 March 08 asking them not to take repayments from my current account as I would pay by SO from my First Direct account. They did as requested.

3. On 10 October my loan repayment left my FD account and hit the loan account (prob 3 days later).

4. The money NW took was for November's repayment to settle the loan account, being the final payment.

 

How can they take the money early, of their own accord, with no authorisation, from an account with no money in it?

 

I called them, and they agreed it was a mistake, put it right, reversed all charges and interest, and apologised. All I'm waiting for now is an explanation of how this happened. I'm supposed to get a call within 48 hours.

 

I suppose it's one way to create bank charges.

 

Unfortunately I am fuming and will not stop until I get a full explanation as to how this happened.:evil:

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Ok, it's not quite how it seems. I know it's a bit of a long story, but please bear with me because I think I need help.

 

My letter to Natwest goes like this, from which you get the story...

 

" I would like to complain about the appalling way my loan repayments have been dealt with and how my telephone complaint has been handled. I will outline the events as I see them:

 

  • 2007 I stopped using my Natwest current account. I continued to put enough money in to cover the loan direct debit.
  • Early 2008 I realised that in order to make the loan repayments I was having to transfer money from my First Direct current account 8 days before the loan was due to be paid because of banking clearing days. I tried to cancel the direct debit and setup a standing order to transfer funds directly from my First Direct account to the loan account. I had problems cancelling the direct debit and was told I would have to put my request in writing to my branch manager and he would cancel it.
  • 29 March 2008 I wrote to my branch manager. See attached letter.
  • Since that date I have never heard anything from Natwest regarding this. The direct debit appeared to have been cancelled and the standing order was being accepted.
  • 5 November 2008 I received a letter from Natwest stating a £28.00 charge and some interest due to an unarranged overdraft would be taken from my current account. This came as a shock as I have not used the current account. I telephoned Natwest and was told that the final November loan repayment had been taken early. I was told that the loan repayment would be reversed, the charges and interest would be reversed and I was given a verbal apology. I requested an explanation as to how this could have happened and was told that a concern would be raised on the account and I will hear from someone within 48 hours.
  • 7 November 2008 48 hours had passed and I had heard nothing so I telephoned back. It appeared that no such concern had been raised on the account and that it could be done today. I agreed but said I would also be making my complaint in writing. After further discussion I discovered that the direct debit had continued to be requested and had been bouncing every month. I was also told that the October loan payment taken from my current account was not and would not be reversed as I was previously told.
  • 7 November 2008 During a further telephone call to that I made to Natwest I was informed that the final payment was taken as a forced payment to close the account due to there not being any Natwest direct debit in force, this being a breach of the terms and conditions. I was also told that the charges and interest would be re-instated.

I am absolutely fuming and disgusted with Natwest at having not resolved the direct debit issue in a timely manner which has now lead to these recent events and at misleading me on 5 November. Had I not telephoned a second and third time, I would not have known to cancel the final standing order payment, which I have now done.

I would like to be informed in writing of the following:

 

  • Why the direct debit cancellation issue was never pointed out to me, even up to the date that the closure of account was enforced. As far as I was aware, the standing order was being accepted and all was well with the loan repayments.
  • If the cancellation of my direct debit constituted a breach of the terms and conditions of my loan, why this situation was allowed to persist for such a prolonged period of time.
  • Why the decision was made to close the loan account in such a way, without first discussing the situation with me.
  • Why the choice was made to force the final repayment, move my account into overdraft and impose an unlawful bank charge on me.
  • That all charges and interest in respect of this matter will be voided.
  • That my credit rating will not be affected.
  • Why I was told that the October direct debit would be refunded.
  • Why my concern was not raised on the issue on 5 November.

I would also like a written apology and ask that Natwest consider a contribution by way of compensation to my levels of stress, and my time on the telephone and writing this letter.

I was told to address my complaint to the customer relations manager. Your online complaints procedure states to address complaints to my branch manager, so I am complaining to both. I hope to receive a satisfactory answer swiftly.

In the meantime, I am aware that I still owe Natwest for my final loan repayment, for which I now enclose a cheque. Again, please ensure that no charges or interest are taken in respect of this matter on the current account as it should now stand at nil.

I also enclose a Section 10 notice of the Data Protection Act 1998 in order to protect my credit rating. Your debt management department have said that you will forward this to them."

 

 

 

When they get this and bank the cheque, all that will be left are some arguable charges and interest on the current acccount.

 

 

 

I'm struggling with the S10 notice. It could already be that I am bad-creditted when they took the decision to close the loan account as I was in breach of ts&cs, and that has nothibng to do with the s10 notice re bank charges, although I'll need that s10 too, although the charges at the moment are within my od limit so they're not asking for them or bad-crediting me on them, esp when they clear the cheque.

 

 

Do you see, I'm now confused? It's the wording on the S10.

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Still struggling on the S10.

 

Re my letter, someone pointed out to me that since they took action on my request and cancelled my direct debit, accepted my standing orders as acceptable payments, and for 6 months never pointed out to me that any of this was unacceptable, it could be an implied change of ts&tc. I'm throwing that into the letter too, as this would make their enforced closure term an unenforceable one, hence the charges were created unlawfully, un-necessarily and unfairly.

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Can someone confirm that this is ok please?

 

Whereas I have been a customer of Natwest Bank plc for approximately 20 years and whereas I consented in my contract with you to the disclosure by you of certain data to third parties, at no time did I consent and neither was it within the contemplation of the parties to the contract that I did consent to the processing by you of that data in any manner which would be unfair or inaccurate or which in any way would breach The Data Protection Act 1998

 

Therefore Take Notice that I require that you cease from processing within 7 days of the receipt by you of this notice or else that you do not begin to process any personal data of which I am the subject insofar as that processing involves the communication or passing of personal data of which I am the subject to any third party and insofar as the said data relates wholly or in part to the issues raised in my complaint to you dated 10 November 2008.

 

This Notice is given on the grounds that the processing or continued processing by you of the said data will be likely to affect my credit rating and my reputation and cause substantial damage and/or substantial distress to me and my family members in addition to that which may already have been caused and that as the processing of the said data in the way referred to in this notice would violate the fourth, first and sixth principles of The Data Protection Act 1998 to do so would be unwarranted.

 

This is in addition to any rights which I may choose to enforce under the law of defamation

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  • 2 weeks later...

SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

From NatWest...

 

Thank you for your patience whilst I have been investigating your recent complaint.

 

Please accept my sincere apologies initially, for any distress and inconvenience you have been caused by the problems experienced with your Personal Loan recently.

 

We would not normally permit a customer to make their monthly loan repayments from an account that is not held with ourselves, and this is due to the problems that can be experienced in such situations.

 

However, I fully accept that this should have been explained to you at the time of your request to cancel your direct debit instalment. I also acknowledge that the way in which we closed your loan account, and placed your Current Plus account into an unauthorised overdrawn balance by deducting the sum of £xxx.xx on 17 October was an unacceptable standard of service.

 

I have arranged for any charges and debit interest caused by this debit to be refunded or waived respectively. I have also arranged for any adverse data held by the Credit Reference Agencies (in relation to the difficulties experienced with your loan since you began making alternative payments in May this year), to be removed from their records, although I must ask that you allow sufficient time for this to be updated.

 

Once the above noted entries are passed, and your cheque for £xxx.xx clears, I can confirm that we will close your account as requested.

 

In view of the above mentioned problems, and the time you have spent in an attempt to resolve them, I have enclosed a cheque for the sum of £50 by way of compensation. I hope that this meets with your satisfaction. Once again, I am sorry that you have experienced such a lapse in our standard of service. I trust this now resolves the matter.

 

We enclose our leaflet "Customer complaints...

 

Whatever you decide, I am very sorry that you needed to contact us in the first place, and I am grateful to you for bringing this to our attention.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------

 

Wow. Thanks all. Couldn't have done it without you. Take note that it pays to keep these large corporations on their toes and do not let them try to walk all over you. If you are in the right, don't let any staff try to convince you otherwise, and take correct procedures to politely and sternly request the situation be corrected.

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