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Philip Hindley
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Used the Library letter and Dpa request in respect of my Visa and Mastercard accounts with the above.

 

Received the following letter today from Rachel Nixon (Customer Advocate Officer):

 

"Thank you for your recent letter, please accept my apologies for the delay in responding (to) you. We are currently investigating your complaint and will respond in full before 29th March 2006.

However, it is my utmost intention to resolve this matter to your satisfaction and I would appreciate if you could telephone my colleague Stuart Johnson, Customer Assistance Manager on the above telephone number between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday."

 

I wondered if anyone else had spoken to Mr Johnson, or had any advice to offer?

Phil

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Advice:

 

Don't phone.

You have set them a deadline (40 days), stick to it.

Unless of course, you enjoy being reminded that it's your fault, that you agreed to their T&Cs, that thye are within their rights to charge etc etc etc... I don't, but maybe that's just me.

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Hi all!

 

Philip,my friend I totally agree with Bookworm.

 

From my previous experiences....

 

Always,get responses in writing because what they say over the phone and in writing are totally two different things in the majority of cases.

 

Also...

 

In my view,

 

either...

 

 

contact Mr.Johnson by letter - Recorded Delivery and repeat your request to him with reference to the letter that was received from MBNA - send a copy of the MBNA letter back to MBNA together with your letter!

 

or

 

Alternatively,sit back and wait until the 29th of March and do NOTHING!

 

If you choose the second option,insist on receiving a written reply should Mr.Johnson contact you.Make up an excuse that you cannot speak to him for whatever reason i.e. unsuitable time etc and request nicely that he writes to you.The main thing DO NOT discuss your concerns over the phone with him.

 

I hope you find this advice useful.

 

Keep us updated.

 

All the best!

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contact Mr.Johnson by letter - Recorded Delivery and repeat your request to him with reference to the letter that was received from MBNA - send a copy of the MBNA letter back to MBNA together with your letter!

 

Thanks, Nightmare. (hope I'm not being presumptious!)

 

I quite like the thought of writing to Mr Johnson, particularly since I don't want them to think they are frightening or fobbing me off, and I lack the courage to speak to them, plus, of course, I would be keeping the dialogue on my terms and maintaining the initiative.

 

I'll let you know how I get on.

Phil

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I have spoken to Stuart Johnson on the phone and he is actually really nice, but that is just my opinion. He was friendly, human and polite. I did feel he was a bit arrogant but he is male :oops: !!

 

I have his email address if that's any help?

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I have spoken to Stuart Johnson on the phone and he is actually really nice, but that is just my opinion. He was friendly, human and polite. I did feel he was a bit arrogant but he is male :oops: !!

 

Thanks, Money. I've now written to Stuart Johnson along the lines suggested by Nightmare, but I'd be most interested to know the outcome of your telephone conversation.

Phil

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Hi, I had 380 ish paid off my credit card but he actually took 400 off cos of a delay and he also refunded the last 2 months charges. I didn't get a cheque or 100% of charges but I feel that I had a good deal. There were negotiations on the phone, he did contradict himself at one point, telling me that he only had a years charges on the screen and a few minutes later he told me my total charges have been 505 over the years.

 

All in all he tried to help, asked me how I was going to handle the account, I told him I want to pay it off asap so we came to an agreement, it suited me that they refunded onto the card instead of cash too.

 

Good luck with it.

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Hi all!

 

Philip my friend,I love a bit of humour!

 

I am pleased that people are following the guidance and getting somewhere with whinging!

 

So,well done,money!

 

Oh by the way money,you better stop male bashing or I may start a floodgate of complaints against you under The Sex Discrimination Act! :lol::lol::lol::wink:

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  • 3 weeks later...

i spoke to Stuart Johnson on Thursday. He is very nice. The point made about him contradicting himself is quite easy to explain. I asked for all of my statements for the past 5 years (since I had the account) . He said he can get the last 12 months sent out straight away but the previous years would take a few days longer as they are stored electronically in the states and he needs to retrieve them.

 

If you want his email address it is [email protected] . I do have his direct line as well although you can just try 01244 672040 which is Michael Rhodes number who is the ceo

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last letter I had from MBNA promised a full response by 17th April, so, having received nothing, I telephoned them, this morning.

 

Spoke to a pleasant young lady, who said that all the information I requested under the DPA had been sent out on 28th March, but to my old address (left there 3 years ago).

 

They obviously have my current address, since all our recent correspondence has been sent here.

 

I expressed my horror that such confidential information should now be lost, but she said that all she could do was make sure her records were updated, and send out the information once again.

 

Don't know if there is anything I can do about it. Does anyone have any ideas?

Phil

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Go ballistic at them !

 

As you say they have your new address so they have made one hell of a cock up here !

 

Have they sent everything they hold about you ? I am mainly referring to your original application, if so then the people in your old house really could use that info to their advantage if they are that way inclined. The banks have a duty to handle our personal information with care and quite clearly this has not happened.

 

I would start making all sorts of noises and outrageos demands for rectification. As they cannot get the information abck, the only way you can be compensated is financially, therefore get some hush hush money out of them !

 

I hate MBNA !

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Have they sent everything they hold about you ? I am mainly referring to your original application, if so then the people in your old house really could use that info to their advantage if they are that way inclined. The banks have a duty to handle our personal information with care and quite clearly this has not happened.

 

Hi Surreyscouse!

 

Don't know what information has been lost, until I receive the duplicate documents, hopefully in the next couple of days!

 

When I do, rest assured that I will let MBNA know my feelings, in no uncertain terms!!

 

Will keep you posted.

Phil

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Received a letter, yesterday from Gavin Theobald, Customer Advocate, enclosing a copy of the letter sent to my old address on 28th March and apologizing " for any inconvenience caused by the delay ".

 

Their original letter said:

 

 

"Thank you for your letter dated 22 February 2006. As this matter falls within my area of responsibility, I would like to provide a personal response.

 

I understand that you are disputing the level of charges applied to your account over the past six years, prior to your account being assigned to 1st Credit. In view of your request for charges to be refunded, we have obtained copy statements for each account dating back to March 2000. I have enclosed copies of these statements, as requested in your letter. ( these may well have gone to my old address, but no further copies arrived with this letter! )

 

Regarding the application of late and overlimit fees, the Terms and Conditions of your agreement state that these charges will be applied when a required payment is not received by the due date, or when the balance outstanding exceeds the agreed credit limit.

In relation to account xxxxxxxxx, the balance of your account prior to the transfer of the debt was £2364.27. If you subtract £1,122.00 which represents fees charged to this account, it leaves an actual loss to MBNA of £1242.27. Therefore the fees you have been charged are less than the actual loss incurred by MBNA through your breach of contract. This is without taking into consideration the cost to MBNA in attempting to recover this debt prior to charge off. As you can see, the actual loss to MBNA would be significantly more than the fees you have been charged. Therefore your argument in your letter that our fees are punitive and not representative of the cost or loss to MBNA clearly has no standing. On that basis, no refunds will be made.

 

Similarly with account xxxxxxxxx, the balance was £2747.15. The fees charged to this account from April 2000 total £983.00, leaving a total loss to MBNA of £1764.15. Again no refunds will be made in respect of this account.

 

I believe this issue has been fully addressed, and we are not prepared to review this matter further,

Consequently, this is our final response. If you are still dissatisfied with this final response, you may refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, within 6 months of the date of this letter.

 

We will not enter into any further correspondence regarding this matter, unless instructed to do so by the Financil Ombudsman service.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Matt McGrath

Head of Customer Assistance. "

 

 

 

 

There go his toys out of the pram then!!!!!!!!

 

I realise it's the last thing Mr McGrath wants, but I thought I might reply as follows:

 

 

LETTER BEFORE ACTION

 

Dear Mr McGrath,

 

Account xxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxxx

 

I apologize for troubling you, once again, on a matter which you clearly see as having reached a conclusion.

 

However, I wanted to thank you for your arrogant letter of the 28th March, and, in doing so, make a couple of points that I felt should be brought to your attention.

 

1. Despite including my present address on my initial correspondence to you, and having received replies to this address from your colleagues, Rachel Nixon and Gavin Theobald, you managed to send your original letter to an address that I have not occupied for the past three years.

 

2. The copy of your letter, sent to me on 18th April, courtesy of Kate Galley, did not include copy statements, as per my original request, and as mentioned in your letter.

 

In the light of the above, it becomes obvious that, because of your carelessness, personal and confidential information relating to my dealings with you are now lost, somewhere in the postal system, or have become available for others to see . I should not need to remind you that, as a bank, you have a duty to handle customer's personal information with care. This has clearly not happened.

 

Please let me know, by return, how you intend to rectify this most unfortunate situation.

 

Forgive me, if I now further impose upon you, at a time when I am sure you must be overwhelmed with similar demands on your attention.

 

You mention, in your letter, the loss to MBNA caused by my breach of an unfair and unlawful contract. I have scrutinized your letter, but have found no reference to the remuneration that MBNA received when selling on my debts to 1st Direct.

 

Clearly, this was a commercial decision, taken by yourselves, either to maximise your profit, or minimise your loss, depending on one's point of view.

 

I make no apology for, once again, affirming that your fees are punitive and not representative of the cost or loss to MBNA. You will no doubt be aware that the Office of Fair Trading, as a result of their recent investigation into bank Charges, share my opinion.

 

Clearly, it is your argument that has no standing.

 

Please be aware that I have maintained regular payments to 1st Direct ever since my debt was sold to them. As I mentioned in my first letter to you, it is my intention to use the refunded penalty charges to reduce my indebtedness to you/1st Direct.

 

Accordingly, I hereby give you fourteen days to refund all the penalty charges made to my two accounts.

 

Failure to do so will result in my applying to the County Court for a Judgement in my favour, without further notice.

 

Such a judgement will incur court costs and interest at the current rate of 8% per annum.

 

By the way, I will not be taking my complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman, despite your suggestion that I do so. As you ought to be aware, the FOS is unable to arbitrate on matters of contract law.

 

I remain,

 

Yours sincerely,

Phil

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  • 2 weeks later...
Genious ! Pure and utter genius !!!!!

 

Thanks, Surreyscouse.

 

To be honest, I'm a bit upset.

 

It's been a week now and I haven't had a letter or any form of reply from Mr McGrath. You don't think I've upset him do you?

 

Perhaps I should send some flowers?

 

Oh well, I'll give him another week before I ask Moneyclaim to act as an intermediary.

 

In the meantime, any one got any ideas on how to elicit some response about my lost statements.

Phil

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Sweet!

 

I love it when folks take a little time and care over these letters.

 

Calm and to the point. Show how much of a fool he is without actually calling him a fool.

 

Nice1 =)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Still had no reply from MBNA, so, on Saturday, I began my claim with Moneyclaim.

 

This morning I received the following:

 

 

Dear Mr Hindley,

 

Account xxxxxxxxx & xxxxxxxxxxxx

 

We refer to your letter dated 18th April 2006 concerning default fees on your accounts. I would like to clarify the situation from our perspective.

 

We have always set out precisely what our charges are in our agreement with you, as they are an integral part of the terms and conditions under which we are prepared to provide credit facilities. When Customers pay late, we incur substantial costs in dealing with their default. Similarly, we have set credit limits carefully for each Customer and for good reasons. We expect every Customer to respect their credit limit. If a Customer goes over their credit limit, he or she is using the card in a way that is not allowed, in effect obtaining unauthorised borrowing. We, therefore, lend more than we agreed to, and take on risks, which were never accepted in the first place. In the case of both late payments and overlimit usage we look at the portfolio as a whole and set uniform charges to help cover our costs, as do all other major credit card providers. This approach allows us to be clear and upfront about all default charges and the basis on which they are applied.

 

Our view is therefore that the charges you agreed to are valid, fair and enforceable. Term 3b of your credit agreement with us clearly states that you must pay £25 each time a payment has not reached your accounts within one day of your payment due date, or when you exceed your credit limit, or a cheque is returned unpaid.

 

Given the fact that your accounts defaulted with a total outstanding balance of £5,511.42, you have not ultimately paid the charges that have been applied to your accounts.

 

However, in order to resolve matters, I have credited your account reference XXXXXXXXX with a goodwill payment of £510.00. I have credited your account reference xxxxxxxxxxxxxx with a goodwill payment of £450.00.

 

As both of your accounts have been legally assigned to 1st Credit, we have contacted them to request that these goodwill payments are removed from your remaining balance: all future correspondence should now be made with 1st Credit.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Gavin Theobald

 

 

Interesting to see that they are now trying to justify their charges by calling them 'default' fees .

 

This is the letter I intend to send them tomorrow:

 

 

Dear Mr. Theobald

 

Account xxxxxxxxxx and xxxxxxxxxxx

 

Thank you for your letter of 25th May 2006, received today.

 

In my letter dated 18th April, I gave your colleague, Matt McGrath, fourteen days notice of my intention to raise my claim in the County Court, failing a full refund of all penalty charges levied against my accounts.

 

Since that deadline passed on 2nd May, without any communication from Mr. McGrath, I have already commenced proceedings against your company.

 

As it would appear that you have either not read my previous correspondence, or failed to understand it, I would like to take the opportunity to answer the points made in your reply, as follows:

 

1. It is true that your company is ‘upfront’ about its penalty charges. However, if I wereto tell you in advance that I was going to steal from you, the warning would not make the theft any more legitimate. Likewise with your charges, which, as you are aware, the Office of Fair Trading considers to be UNLAWFUL.

 

2. Over limit charges on my accounts occurred solely as a result of penalty charges imposed by you. I fail to see how, from anyone’s viewpoint this could be considered as ‘ in effect unauthorized borrowing’.

 

3. You inform me that you incur substantial costs in dealing with late payments and default. Despite repeated requests, I am still waiting for a detailed breakdown of what these costs are.

 

4. You mention that your charges and costs are in line with ‘all other major credit card providers’. To take my previous analogy further; if I suffered the misfortune to be mugged in the street, would the thief be able to justify his actions by saying he had acted in the same manner as other thieves.

 

5. Since you draw the comparison between your company and other credit card providers, it may be of interest to you to know that within the last week, Capital One have refunded to me ALL charges previously levied against my account with them.

 

6. You mention that at the time of default my accounts with you showed a total outstanding balance of £5511.42. In Matt McGrath’s letter my indebtedness totaled £5111.42. Clearly, one or other of you (perhaps both?) is wrong. Since Mr. McGrath also miscalculated the amounts of penalty charges applied to my accounts, you may be able to understand my reluctance to accept at face value anything that emanates from your bank.

 

7. Your letter begins by referring to ‘default’ fees. Let us be absolutely clear on this point: at the time these charges were applied, I had received no notice of default from you. Your charges are PENALTY charges, for my breach of your contract, and, as such are unlawful.

 

 

From the statements, which you eventually provided, I have calculated that the sum of £2263.00 represents unlawful penalty charges. It is this amount, plus the interest, which you levied on those charges, that I require you to refund in full. Of course, you will now need to add my court costs plus statutory interest at 8%.

 

I calculate that this amount, together with the monies I have already paid to 1st Credit will pay off any residual debt. Unless this is done, and the default removed from my credit record, I am determined to seek redress through the court.

 

I appreciate and thank you for the offer of partial ‘goodwill’ payments to the accounts sold to 1st Credit. From what I have recently learned about this company’s financial standing I am sure any money offered will be gratefully accepted. Likewise, I am happy to accept your offer, with the proviso that, until full redress, as outlined above, is forthcoming, my court action will continue. The time for ‘goodwill’ was several years ago when penalty charge upon penalty charge was being added to my accounts, before you defaulted me and before you arbitrarily sold my debts to 1st Credit.

 

Finally, on a separate but related issue, I am surprised that you make no reference to the arrogant letter, signed by Mr. McGrath, which, together with copies of my statements, was sent to the address I left three years ago. Not only have communications from both yourself and your colleague, Rachel Nixon, been sent to my present address but, in the past, I had also received monthly statements.

 

I felt that in my last letter, I had made clear to Mr. McGrath how seriously I viewed his error. Clearly, he has chosen to disregard his responsibilities with regard to rectifying this matter.

 

You, as a bank, have a duty to handle customer's personal information with care. This has clearly not happened. I believe you have breached Principle no.7 of the Data Protection Act, which reads: “Appropriate technical and organizational measures shall be taken against unauthorized or unlawful processing of personal data and against ACCIDENTAL LOSS (my capitals) or damage to personal data.

 

Please let me know, by return, how you intend to recompense me for this breach. Be aware that if you ignore this request or if I consider any offer does not reflect the seriousness of the offence, I will be seeking damages through the County Court.

 

I remain,

 

Yours sincerely,

Phil

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wow! I bet you felt good after you typed that and put it in the letter box?

 

Hi Crispdust,

 

The wonderful thing about this site is the encouragement and enlightenment freely given by people such as yourself, Surreyscouse and all the other members.

 

Not that long ago I would have accepted anything the banks told me as gospel. For years I've been made to feel guilty and irresponsible by people whose only motive was self-serving greed.

 

Yes, I've made mistakes, but who hasn't. To have those mistakes compounded and taken advantage of by those who were in a privileged position of trust, I now find particularly galling.

 

People like Matt McGrath and Gavin Theobald (see above) seem to genuinely believe their employers are above reproach. They confidently expect the 'customer' to accept half-truths and misinformation simply because it is they, the bank, who utter them. Perhaps they, themselves, have been 'brainwashed' into being unable to question the integrity of the banks.

 

I await MBNA's response with eager anticipation, and some amusement, and not the fear and dread that, at one time, a letter from them would have evoked.

 

Thanks, once again for your encouragement,

Phil

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  • 4 weeks later...

The time limit for MBNA filing a defence was up on the 19th June and I was about to ask for a judgement by default, when I realised I'd made a mistake on my claim form.

Although I'd shown the interest at 8% (£686.89) in my particulars of claim, I hadn't included it in my total amount claimed. Help!!!!

 

I telephoned the Moneyclaim helpdesk who said I should wait until the case went to court, explain my error to the judge, who, they felt certain would look sympathetically in my favour. They went on to inform me that MBNA had filed a Defence that very morning! Help!!!! (again!)

 

The following day I received a letter from Steve Bailey in which he re-iterated the bank's view that their charges were part of the credit agreement which I had signed, but, as a gesture of goodwill he was enclosing a cheque for £2383 in full and final settlement (this representing the total amount of my claim including court costs, but not including the 8% interest.

 

He went on to request that I withdraw my claim with the court and that, should I wish to discuss it further, I should ring Gareth Tunnicliffe.

 

I much prefer conducting this sort of business by letter than on the 'phone, but , none the less, I thought I had little to lose by giving Gareth a call.

 

I explained to him my error in omitting the interest from my claim, but that the court had suggested the judge would possibly look sympathetically on my mistake.

I thanked him for the cheque, but said I would not terminate my action in the hope that the court would indeed award me the extra £686.89 interest.

 

Gareth was very pleasant, telling me that, in view of the OFT's recent statement, MBNA had found it neccessary to look at this type of claim in a different light.

Because they had sold my £5000ish debt for about £500, and lost so much money on it, he felt it was unlikely that they would be able to pay out any more. He also said my request for recompense for them sending all my statements to the wrong address was being looked at separately.

I told him that, had they settled the matter back in February, when I first wrote to them, they would not have been liable to pay me the interest at all. In view of their continual stalling and 'fob off' tactics, I was quite prepared to let a judge decide whether or not to award me the interest.

 

Gareth said he would calculate what the interest actually charged on the 'charges' amounted to, speak to his superior, and telephone me back.

 

Unexpectedly, he was as good as his word and called me at 4.30p.m.

 

He said his calculations showed they owed me a further £1603.95 in interest, and if I was prepared to terminate my claim, he would arrange for another cheque to be sent to me next week!

 

I agreed.

 

Throughout our conversation I got the impression that Gareth was a decent sort who, while having to follow the official line had a degree of understanding for my position. (I would say that though wouldn't I ?)

So, anyone else who rings him, don't give him a hard time !!!!!

 

Now, if Bankfodder or Dave reads this, all I need to know is how to make a donation without a credit/debit card or cheque book.

Phil

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Well done Phillip, you write wonderful letters, what a result! Just thought I'd add my own recent experience with grateful thanks to this site, am on arrangement/restructured having been refunded £500 back in Feb but on recent statement noticed they are still charging interest(I have a letter from Stuart Johnson stating no interest will be charged over 4 years)so emailed the chief exec at MBNA [email protected] with copy of letter, account updated £93 refunded to agree with my figure and another £25 taken off, can't agree more, get everything in writing!

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