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We have been writing to Abbey since January about the latest round of charges. The branch manager has refused to budge. Our last letter was dated 4th March. We then found your site and wrote the preliminary letter. Sent to local branch recorded on 13th. Had a letter back dated 14th that is not clear if it replies to both letters or just the one on the 4th. It basically says that this has been explained so go away. We took this as a rejection of our preliminary letter. Today prepared a letter before action to send recorded again tomorrow. Copy to Customer Satisfaction Centre in Milton Keynes with copies of correspondence. Told them that we assume local manager not aware of the implications of our earlier letter. Given 14 days to pay up. Will then take to court.

Been an Abbey customer for years. We have seen a deterioration of the service over that time. Also the increase in charges over the last 6 years is quite alarming. Even if they could justify some of the cost (which I do not believe and have said so on several occasions!), it has gone up so much that it can no longer be relevant.

We have also just found Dave's fantastic letter about closing his account just because he complains. We feel sure we shall be using some of the phrases in it.

Do you know I am positively excited about this. I haven't had so much fun at the expense of a bank in 20 years. Then we got £500+ out of Barclays by using legal precedent - they had not paid the mortgage for no reason, we then spent the money thinking it was available. I can't remember the case but the judge said if the bank made a mistake and the customer changed it's position as a result, the bank had to stand the loss. The bank said the customer should check their statements but the courts said there is no obligation to check any statements. We had a field day! I have used the same principle a few times.

I think we just have a pathological distrust of banks - and rightly so!!!

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Great story. Good luck with your claim.

 

I can't remember the case but the judge said if the bank made a mistake and the customer changed it's position as a result, the bank had to stand the loss.
This is called Equitable Estoppel. A useful rule and very nice to meet someone who has actually used it.
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Great story. Good luck with your claim.

 

I can't remember the case but the judge said if the bank made a mistake and the customer changed it's position as a result, the bank had to stand the loss.
This is called Equitable Estoppel. A useful rule and very nice to meet someone who has actually used it.

 

As always. I bow to your superior wisdom.

The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

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This is called Equitable Estoppel. A useful rule and very nice to meet someone who has actually used it.

 

I feel honoured. I picked this up from a basic bit of law I did as part of a business studies degree. When I was really mad I researched the subject until I found something of use. I think I walked on air for some days after we got our refund!

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I studied Contract Law and also Consumer Law as part of my LL.B in 1990. Once finished I forgot all about it. I don't, and have never had any intention of working in the law as Contract Law was the most boring subject on the course. I am loving this as it's bringing back things to me and seeing it in "action" is fantastic. I never dreamed I would be sitting up in bed nearly 20 years later brushing up on Dunedin, Denning, Scarman, Ford Motor Co, Dunlop, Wilson and the UCTA. The old books may have plenty of dust on them and it has taken time to get to grips with the principles again but I'm enjoying every minute.

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be sitting up in bed nearly 20 years later brushing up on Dunedin, Denning, Scar...

 

Very sad

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just had a reply from Abbey

 

Dear xxx

 

I have been passed you letter of 12 March 2006 by local branch manager to deal with in line with our final stage complaints procedure. Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying.

I have carefully considered the points you have raised in your letters. However the fact remains that the charges in question were prompted by payment requests against insufficient available funds. As such they are valid and in line with our terms and conditions. Furthermore having reviewed the history of your account I can see that this is not the first time you have incurred charges.

I note you say your are unhappy with the charges you have incurred over the last 6 years. If you felt at any time the charges were unfair or incorrect, then the matter should have been raised at that time.

We do not feel that Abbey's charges are unfair under these regulations. When you opened the account with Abbey, you were provided with terms and conditions that detailed the charges that become applicable should you breach the terms of the account. Abbey is upfront and transparent about all its banking charges as set out in the tariff of charges.

Abbey's current account is good value and our charges compare fairly with other banks. For most people banking is free and they do not incur penalty charges.

If the complaint escalates into a claim in the County Court we will review each case individually, and if we feel that our relationship with our customer has broken down completely, we may decide to give notice to close the account under the terms and conditions.

I accept that you did not set out to incur charges. Ultimately however, it is your responsibility to monitor your account and ensure there are sufficient funds in your account at all times. As such and given the above, I do not feel that a waiver of charges is justified. The charges in question therefore stand. I appreciate you believe that, as the majority of the charges incurred were due to Visa transactions which should not have been authorised if there were insufficient funds in the account. Please let me explain further.

Every store or merchant has a 'shop floor limit'. If your transaction is below that limit, the store will not contact us for authorisation. Visa will make basic checks to ensure the card is valid or that it has not been reported stolen. The transaction will then be allowed to go through. Floor limits are levels of payments set by stores on an individual basis and are not governed by banks. We have a duty, throught the Visa system, to make the payments and, by handing your card to the store to take payment, you are authorising that payment and telling them you have the money in your account to cover the transaction.

This is my final resolution letter. However, if you would like to discuss the content of this letter or have any new points you believe should be taken into account, and which make a difference to the outcome of the investigation, please contact me within 14 days of this letter on the above number. If I do not hear from you by then, and you have not asked us to extend that deadline for any reason, I will file my papers accordingly.

Should you be dissatisfied with the outcome of our investigation, I would like to remind you that you can refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. I enclose a booklet explaining how to take you complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, and should you wish to do so, there is a time limit of six months from the date of this letter.

(Contact details given here)

I believe we have covered all the issues you have raised, and as we have explained, you should now refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

I am sorry we have not been able to reach agreement on this issue, but there is nothing more I can add. We will be unable to reply to you any more on this subject and any further correspondence will simply be added to the file.

Yours sincerely

 

Rosemary Kennedy

Customer Resolution Manager

Complaints

 

To briefly recap our complaint, we had been in correspondence with the local branch since January before we found BAG this month. We sent the preliminary letter on 12 March 2006 to the local branch. We received a reply but suspect it was from the earlier letters. However we took the view it was a reply to ours of 12th so sent a letter before action on 16 March with a copy to the HO address. The deadline for this is 30th. We received a letter dated 16 March from Dawn Hoyle saying she would write again in 4 weeks.

In the meantime although we have most of the account statements we wrote a DPA letter and asked for the missing 1 year (our claim included an estimate) and for details of manual interventions dated 20 March. Authorised £10 deduction from account. No response to this.

There are several inaccuracies in this letter but we wonder if it really is worth going back to point them out. We are in the process of drafting a reply (always best to sleep on it and then remove anything that seems inappropriate the next day!) but would welcome any comments.

A couple of other points come to mind. Firstly we have never heard of Rosemary Kennedy before and have not seen her name on the forum. Anyone else heard from her?

Secondly and perhaps more importantly, the more observant of you will have noticed the sentence in the 5th paragraph

For most people, banking is free and they do not incur penalty charges.

If as we had originally thought this is a special team set up to deal with these complaints why has she referred to penalty charges. We would have expected the general instruction to not refer to them in any correspondence. Anyway, do you want a copy Bankfodder?

We also particularly liked the contradiction in the final paragraphs. If we want to discuss or ask for anything else to be considered we have 14 days. However if we do write they are

unable to reply any more......and any further correspondence will simply be added to the file.

We think just a reminder that they have until 30th to change their minds, a quick comment that the letter is factually incorrect, that we intend to take to court, warn about threat of closure of account (we have a parachute already but want to set out that the Ombudsman will be unhappy if they close just because we have complained) and that we intend to refer the excessive time they have taken to deal with this to the Ombudsman (then they will be charged by them as well!) in addition to the Court action.

What do you reckon?

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Wrote again and posted it today by recorded delivery which should be arriving in the morning.

 

Our letter points out the inaccuracies in their letter and the fact that they have already had a Letter Before Action but have ignored it. There is still time to run on this so we have pointed this out.

 

We still have a dpa request outstanding for charges in 1 year which we have estimated in the meantime. We took the opportunity to ask for manual interventions in the dpa letter just in case we manage to get something out of it! Once that is received we can put the matter in court. If however there is no response the estimate will be included in the claim with an explanation and report of the failure under dpa regulations.

 

A separate report to the IC has been threatened just to pile on the pressure.

 

We have also said that we first raised this question at the end of January (before we found BAG) and the length of time is unacceptable. We will have to review this carefully and report the excessive delay to the FOS. This was an attempt to turn the tables on them as they used the same phrase in threatening to close our account if we take the claim to Court. We have responded to this by paraphrasing a letter we saw from Dave about the Ombudsman, who ruled against a bank for closing an account merely because there was a complaint (thanks Dave!).

 

We ended by quoting the Unfair Contract Terms Act (1977) at them and asked that if they do not agree that the penalty charges are unlawful to prove it by providing a breakdown of the pre-estimated costs arising from a breach of contract. Then when they ignore it or refuse, we have some excellent evidence to put before the courts.

 

Every little bit helps.

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  • 1 month later...

Following the last posting we heard nothing from the Abbey so we sent an email on 18 April reminding them that we had not had a reply and that DPA request still unanswered (deadline 30 April).

 

We received a letter on 20 April dated 13 April (long time to get to us but it was Easter in between) basically saying sod off. Also they won't reply to us any more.

 

We waited for DPA deadline to finally expire before taking the final step! We have just listed claim in Moneyclaim.gov.uk

 

We had most of the bank statements to deal with the claim but one year was missing so we estimated that year but wanted to wait for DPA deadline expiry before acting further.

 

Anyway, we have finally done it and it is so liberating. I know it is now just more waiting but at least the ball is back in their court or will be when they get the papers.

 

We are claiming charges totalling £1342.15 plus further interest £255.15. There is now the court fee of £120 also to be paid so that's a total of £1717.30. That clears the overdraft and leaves us some £600 or so for us. Yippee!

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I've read this with interest. Fingers crossed for you. I sent my DPA to Abbey at the beginning of the week, although having read this, I'm not holding out much hope.

 

Have you reported them to the IC for failing to respond to the DPA request?

... a little

Mahala is a powerful thing ...

 

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Personally I think you should send a copy of that letter to the OFT - they are quite blatently threatening you with closure of your account for standing up for your rights and following the OFT guidelines.

If you feel that we have helped you, or you would like to help keep this web site running so that others can continue to get their money back, please click the donate button at the top of the forum.

Advice & opinions of Dave, The Bank Action Group and The Consumer Action Group are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability.

Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

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Thanks for the kind words. We have threatened to refer our complaints to the Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner for the various problems they have caused us but we are hanging fire for the moment. The Ombudsman will cost them as it is such a long time since we first raised our complaint. However I thought I might leave that bit a while and offer not to take that action for an extra payment. However I haven't made my mind up yet but either way it's still there. (Mind you the more I think about this the more I feel inclined to just send in the complaint anyway)

 

The point about the threat to close the account is one we haven't forgotten but other time pressure mean we haven't got round to it yet. (Hubby came home about midnight last night to find me fast asleep in the chair in front of the computer having spent the evening sorting out the claim and logging it with Moneyclaim- how sad is that!). I still am keen to do it but just haven't had chance to work out what to do. Is that to the Ombudsman though or the OFT as you say in your post Dave?

 

I think they've been pretty cheeky over the way they have handled this. We have had some appallingly worded letter along the way. Not just poor grammar but letters telling us they weren't going to reply, letters that were really factually incorrect and the local branch manager even admitted he hadn't checked his facts when he wrote to us at one point. I'm not sure the Ombudsman will do much as our past experience has not been good with these type of organisations. I'll have a look anyway and when I know what to do I will get it sent in.

 

Co-incidentally we received a load of statements today for 2005 and not for 2000 as we requested in the DPA letter. Hopeless.

 

I think I've just talked myself around to sending in the complaint whilst typing this post - so indecisive!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ho ho ho, how pleased I am with myself.

 

Bank rang this morning. "Can I speak to Mr J"

"Sorry not in, who's calling?"

"It's the Abbey can you ask him to ring"

Short silence then I said "Only Abbey account we hold is a joint one!"

Another short silence "Oh yes so it is, are you Mrs..."

That was a good start. She was asking if there were any problems or when Abbey can expect to receive payment to cover excess overdraft. This excess is from charges as we withdrew whole overdraft and took our business elsewhere pending settlement of claim.

 

I explained Court notice issued 5 May, deemed served 10 May. Suggested she speak to Complaints Dept. She refused ('sigh' - this is second time this has happened). I explained I am not interested in their internal communication machinery. Whole amount is in dispute, Court notice issued claiming in excess of total overdrawn amount. There is nothing they can do (except pay up of course). She adopted a more snooty voice and asked if we had gone through the FULL (her emphasis) complaints procedure which I confirmed. She asked if this included the Ombudsman. I pointed out this was a legal matter and the Ombudsman has no power to deal with as they should be aware.

 

I advised it was important that she notes her records as they cannot put this amount into default whilst in dispute under the terms of the Banking Code. She said she can't help me and disconnected the call!!!!! (Sob - she didn't even say goodbye)

 

Rang the number back and spoke to a gentleman who told me that she had noted the records to say she had spoken to me and advised that correspondence will continue to be issued until account back within overdraft limit. I expressed concern as there was more to it than this and she had put the phone down on me.

 

I got him to note on the records what I had said about the collection procedures and default notices. He said that would be unlikely to have kicked in by the time the Court action of mine will have concluded. I agreed but said it is important anyway as I intend to seek restitution if they do take action in view of the specific warning I have given them. He agreed to make a note.

 

I also told him it was important that they understand about the Court action. If it is deemed to have been served on 10th, they only have to 24th to acknowledge. He had no record but said this would be dealt with by the legal department. I said I was not concerned about their internal systems but I have specifically warned them about this in our conversation now. He agreed to make a note on the records. I said if there is no acknowledgement by 24th I get default judgement. In that situation if Abbey subsequently seek to get the judgement set aside I will object and produce the note I was making during the course of the conversation as evidence that they were aware of the notice and were specifically warned of the deadline. (I did not mention to him that I would also point to the number of other occasions the Abbey have done the same) He agreed to make a note.

 

I came away feeling somewhat smug. If Miss Uppity hadn't got shirty in the first place I probably wouldn't have rung Abbey back but she did, so now I have put in place the ground work for possible future action. Not bad for a Monday morning.

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well now, yesterday someone rang here and asked if we had received a package from Abbey but we hadn't. I got all excited. However today we have a letter from DLA Piper Rudnik Gray Cary UK LLP based in Leeds re our claim.

 

It reads

Dear xxx

 

NORTHAMPTON COUNTY COURT _ CLAIM NO 6QZ28794

 

I act for Abbey National plc in this matter. Please note that any further correspondence should be addressed to me at this office.

 

I am in the process of reviewing this claim and preparing the Bank's response. A defence will be filed in due course.

 

In the meantime, I note that you have claimed the sum of £1,342.15 in respect of charges that you say have been made on your Abbey account, but have provided no details as to how this sum has been calculated. You have also claimed a further £255.15 by way of interest, but again have provided no details of how this sum has been calculated.

 

As you will appreciate, you will need to produce evidence to the Court of both amounts and this information should have been supplied by you when you filed your claim. I should be grateful if you would provide such details to me as soon as possible.

 

I should add that if you have any doubts or concerns regarding your legal position, you should consult a solicitor or Citizen's Advice Bureau

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jodie Bilsland

Trainee Solicitor

 

I have had a trawl through the site but cannot find anything like this in the other threads. Has anyone else any experience of this?

 

Good to see they use only the best for us and wheel out the trainee solicitor.

 

And what about this bit

this information should have been supplied by you when you filed your claim

My initial view was to say 'go ask Abbey, they probably know better than I do' but I don't want to do anything to adversely affect my claim in case it goes to court.

 

Anyway despite all this, Abbey rang again today. This time hubby spoke to someone else who was astounded that we have no intention of repaying the debt. She was somewhat floored when he said we would repay it when they refunded us! Wish I could have seen her face. She asked him to contact the person we had been writing to and ask them to contact her with confirmation of the dispute. I said he should have told her to take a funny run (politely of course) but he said he would see what he can do - he's soft in the head that guy.

 

Still can't work out the call yesterday as this letter is only dated 16th and could not possibly have reached us by yesterday so perhaps something else is coming.

 

Also how do they square the phone calls with the line

any further correspondence should be addressed to me

 

Anyone got any thoughts?

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Hi,

Still quite new to this, (posted my prelim letter today), and although I have had a really good look round the site, faq's etc, I can also say that I havn't seen this response either. My question would be then, as i'm only in the early stages, would we need to list all the dates, and description of the charges on the claim? Or would this be making Abbeys job that little bit more easier than it already is? Will be interesting to find out. Good luck and I will be following this with interest.

Abbey - Prelim sent 17th May £2560.00 + £191.44

LBA sent 1st June

Claim Filed 27th June 3349.90 Inc Interest + Costs

Court Papers Served 3rd July

Claim Acknowledged 10th July

50% Offered 27th July

Settled Out Of Court 1st August £3080.45

Capital One - S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) request 31st July

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Hi I had exactly samr letter today!!

 

Going to reply them later and send photocopies of all the statements and highlite all the relevant info :eek: .

 

my claim is only small for £260 but I still had to experience all the nastiness of call center staff and branch :-x

 

Good luck and keep us posted!

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I had a letter from putnic, sputnic and spew as well.

 

I wrote to them saying that their client had given me the the information - if they wanted I could provide it. Although the interest was worked out at 8% APR as allowed by the county courts act.

 

If their client was prepared to return the sum of £xx.xx plus interest, then I would be prepared to stop suing them - or word to that effect.

 

The next letter said, "ok then" - or something similar.

 

You could put something along the lines of, It's in both our interests if this doesn't go to court, although let your client be aware that I intend to take this all the way to get my money back etc....

If you feel that we have helped you, or you would like to help keep this web site running so that others can continue to get their money back, please click the donate button at the top of the forum.

Advice & opinions of Dave, The Bank Action Group and The Consumer Action Group are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability.

Use your own judgment. Seek advice of a qualified insured professional if you have any doubts.

 

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Thanks very much for that Dave. I'm quite a bit reassured that this is nothing unusual. I will say it's all charges from statements and this is same info held by client. Interest as you have stated. I will also say about 1 year estimated and Abbey given every opportunity to tell me actual amounts etc just to crank up the pressure.

 

I have an email address for trainee solicitor (I'm honoured!) so I will get that straight back to her. The deadline for acknowledgement is 24th so all the pressure I can get on them helps. It makes me feel better too!

 

A million thanks!!

 

PLASTIC-PUNK - I don't want to go to all the trouble of putting my claim in so much detail to them. I'm of the opinion Abbey can do the leg work and then show me I'm wrong but I do acknowledge that I can be an awkward customer at times. Good luck with your claim. Thanks for your support

 

jayne67 - good luck with your claim. I have the same attitude as you I suspect. Thanks for your support

 

Had to walk away from the Arsenal match because the tension was too much but I think I will creep back to see the end and then let trainee have my reply.

Now deep breath and let's see how the match is going on

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Hi comicmankev

 

Yes I sent a response via email. In it we said we were surprised she had asked for details as they were all in our letters. We referred to amounts in the letters, dates of those letters etc. We also said we had been contacted by Abbey who were threatening recovery action. She had told us to contact her not Abbey so she will need to communicate with Abbey about situation and that we will take action against any attempt to deal with our account that is not in accordance with the Banking Code.

 

We included the comment about payment in full will cease our action but that we still intend to complain to the Ombudsman about the way our claim has been handled.

 

Nice friendly letter for her! She basically replied the same day and said "OK then" as Dave predicted.

 

Good luck with your claim too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good news in this morning's post. We received the standard 50% offer from Abbey's solicitor. It seems to be the same as the others we have read about from Abbey. 28 days are up on Wednesday so if we email our rejection they still have time to get the 100% offer out before the deadline!

 

I am positively enjoying this although I did order the recommended Small Claims book today just in case....

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Following the offer we have sent an email to DLA Piper setting out our position. We have basically rejected the offer but we will go away if Abbey pay 100% of the claim. We still intend to complain to the Ombudsman (Abbey have admitted to not replying within 8 weeks as required). We also asked for written confirmation that there has been no detrimental report to any credit reference agency as was confirmed verbally before the claim was made and the cancellation of any pending further charges.

 

Let's see what happens next.

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If you haven't had a defence you get a judgement by default. Seems a bit stange, you could try asking the Court what they have received or asking the solicitors what they have done because you have heard nothing. However I would be inclined to keep my head down until tomorrow and then seek a default judgement, it means they will have to work hard to get it set aside. That's just my personal view however and it is up to you how you proceed.

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Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 723 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

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