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    • Hello,

      On 15/1/24 booked appointment with Big Motoring World (BMW) to view a mini on 17/1/24 at 8pm at their Enfield dealership.  

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    • Housing Association property flooding. https://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/topic/438641-housing-association-property-flooding/&do=findComment&comment=5124299
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    • We have finally managed to obtain the transcript of this case.

      The judge's reasoning is very useful and will certainly be helpful in any other cases relating to third-party rights where the customer has contracted with the courier company by using a broker.
      This is generally speaking the problem with using PackLink who are domiciled in Spain and very conveniently out of reach of the British justice system.

      Frankly I don't think that is any accident.

      One of the points that the judge made was that the customers contract with the broker specifically refers to the courier – and it is clear that the courier knows that they are acting for a third party. There is no need to name the third party. They just have to be recognisably part of a class of person – such as a sender or a recipient of the parcel.

      Please note that a recent case against UPS failed on exactly the same issue with the judge held that the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999 did not apply.

      We will be getting that transcript very soon. We will look at it and we will understand how the judge made such catastrophic mistakes. It was a very poor judgement.
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      This is good ethical practice.

      It would be very nice if the parcel delivery companies – including EVRi – practised this kind of thing as well.

       

      OT APPROVED, 365MC637, FAROOQ, EVRi, 12.07.23 (BRENT) - J v4.pdf
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RBS - My case.


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Before going ahead, I though I would seek a little more advice here.

 

I have read the FAQs and help pages, but I've only just found this site and there's a lot to get through.

 

Back in January, the RBS charged me £114 for 3 failed direct debits. This took my account, a basic "Key" account, overdrawn (no overdraft facility). The first two failed direct debits were from the same company, Welcome Finance, who had a second attempt a few days after the first had failed. The third charge was for another direct debit which had failed due to insufficient funds caused by the first two charges.

 

However I had already previously cancelled the Welcome Finance Direct Debit instruction verbally in the branch, and the cashier, as far as I knew, cancelled them there and then on his terminal and told me, "That's done for you now Sir". I didn't see the screen myself (Yeah, I know, put everything in writing)

 

Initially I complained by phone to the RBS via the online banking service., stating that the charges had been made in error as I had previously cancelled the DD a month ago and that the 3rd charge was as a result of insufficient funds due to the first two charges as stated above.

 

I asked them to refund me under the terms of the direct debit guarantee which says "If the originator or the bank/building society makes an error, the customer is guaranteed a full and immediate refund of the amount paid", but they are claiming that the DD guarantee doesn't apply in this case as the payment wasn't actually made, and the charges were due to the fact that there was insufficient funds to make the payment.

 

I then pointed out that the DD guarantee didn't mention WHICH payment had been made, and in this case a payment was made from me to themselves in the form of bank charges, and that these charges should not apply since the DD had been cancelled.

 

They argued that I should have cancelled it with the company too, but the DD guarantee doesn't say so in it's rule. It simply says: "Customers can cancel a direct debit at any time by writing to their bank or building society".

 

More charges have now been added, and my other RBS account has now been rendered unusable (only £6 in it) as they have told me that any balance in this account will be transferred to the other, effectively forcing me to pay if I try to deposit funds in this second account. In addition, my internet banking service has been suspended. No explanation has been given for this.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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1st off you're right you should have signed something in the branch or at least got a receipt to say that the bank had cancelled it. Unfortunately i don't see the bank budging on this one as in their mind you could quite easily have made this story up and have no way to prove this (unless you remember which teller served you and can get them to remember it and admit their error...)

 

You'll have been charged 3 x £38 unpaids plus probably a £28 maintenance fee for every month you've been over. Any other items that were unpaid or took you over limit you'll have been charged for them also. Make sure you know exactly what charges you have (including those yet to be debited - you can ask in branch if you don't know)

If you're not sure what all your charges are then either ask for a copy of all your statements for the last 6 years (will only cost £10 and take 1-2 weeks ot reach you) or use the DPA letter in the templates on this site and ask them for all the info they hold on you including statements (will still cost £10 but will probably take longer to arrive than the statements on their own)

Then use the method described on this great site to get ALL YOUR money back! Don't give up til they've returned every penny including the £10 DPA fee.

Good luck! :D

(Yes I work for a bank but am here to help! Please be nice to me! :))

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1st off you're right you should have signed something in the branch or at least got a receipt to say that the bank had cancelled it. Unfortunately i don't see the bank budging on this one as in their mind you could quite easily have made this story up and have no way to prove this

 

Ah, but this could be to my advantage. My take on this is that if the bank deems it is acceptable to cancel a direct debit simply by verbally asking a cashier to do it for you (and obviously they do or they would not allow it but I have cancelled DD's this way for many years), then they must equally accept that it is possible that they made a mistake.

 

In otherwords I could counterclaim that they had no proof that I didn't ask for the DD to be cancelled. I suppose I could always ask for a copy of the CCTV tape for evidence? :lol:

 

Thanks for the advice.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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1st off you're right you should have signed something in the branch or at least got a receipt to say that the bank had cancelled it. Unfortunately i don't see the bank budging on this one as in their mind you could quite easily have made this story up and have no way to prove this

 

Ah, but this could be to my advantage. My take on this is that if the bank deems it is acceptable to cancel a direct debit simply by verbally asking a cashier to do it for you (and obviously they do or they would not allow it but I have cancelled DD's this way for many years), then they must equally accept that it is possible that they made a mistake.

 

In otherwords I could counterclaim that they had no proof that I didn't ask for the DD to be cancelled. I suppose I could always ask for a copy of the CCTV tape for evidence? :lol:

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

The bank don't deem it acceptable to verbally cancel a DD in fact we always have it drilled into our head that we should have it in writing. The teller was obviously not following procedures properly just taking shortcuts. Maybe your local branch is just more slack on following controls than most.

 

We need to take a written confirmation. If we cancelled something with just verbal authorisation the customer could (and have) come back and said - i never asked for that cheque to be stopped / DD cancelled. I've seen customers do this before and be compensated more than adequately for this. As antiquated as it seems there is no recording of phone calls that i know of in any branch so this is why we probably wouldn't do it over the phone in branch either.

 

You may be onto something with the cctv but it would be hard to show that what you were doing was asking for a dd to be cancelled as most cctv systems in general only record images and not sound. Easiest bet is still use the letters on this site.

 

go get em! :)

(Yes I work for a bank but am here to help! Please be nice to me! :))

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The CCTV comment was meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek, but I'm rather surprised that the banks apparently do not accept verbal instructions as I have cancelled many transactions both in-branch and over the phone, regardless of whether or not I have phoned the branch and via the telephone banking service.

 

It seems strange to me that the bank regularly accept my verbal instructions is this is not permissable.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Phone banking has extra security set up so they can confirm who they're speaking to. Also I'd imagine they do record calls, as opposed to branches that don't. Thats why phone banking can cancel them.

 

Can branches take verbal authorisation for cancelling DDs or not? I think its definitely a training issue - in my experience all branches do things slightly differently and what is an absolute no-no in one branch may be done regularly in another. Both sets of staff will argue to the death that their way is the right way. Obviously then I'm convinced I'm right :p but who knows i will see if i can check up tomorrow 4 u.

(Yes I work for a bank but am here to help! Please be nice to me! :))

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OK I've gone through my statement and I was quite staggered to find that in the last two years I have paid £390 in charges on one account, and £295 on the other, all for failed direct debits due to insufficient funds, and in almost every case it was the charges that took me overdrawn, not any money that I had actually paid out.

 

I have closed one account (I quickly withdrew the £200 in there when I found out that they could use it to repay some of the £285.72 overdraft on the other one.)

 

I have spent a lot of time going over the balances, and I have worked out that had iot not been for the charges I would never have gone overdrawn in the first place, and I'm not sure yet but I think the £685 they have helped themselves to would have actualy covered the total value of the failed direct debits.

 

The most ridiculous has to be the £35 charge made when a Direct debit for £5.07 failed because there was only £4.20 in the account. The £35 charge took me £30.80 overdrawn, which I find unjustifiable since if they had paid the direct debit I would have only been 87p overdrawn.

 

I have refused (or at least declined to) pay money in to cover the charge which has subsequently meant that more direct debits have failed, bringing the current total to the £285.72 mentioned above. But as stated, the situation was of their own making. Had they not added all these charges in the first place my balance would have been considerably higher.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok over the past three years (I haven't been with RBS longer than that) I have clocked up a total of £609 in charges on two accounts, the most ludicrous of which was a £30 charge for a failed direct debit to my own RBS savings account a couple of years ago! All the resulting overdrafts were repaid quickly so there are no interest payments.

 

Using the "Preliminary approach" letter I have now prepared my claim which I will post in the morning.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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re the verbal authorisation debate: i checked up. Yes obviously its possible for a teller to do this but it goes against standard RBS policy and even the way computers software is laid out. You need to lie to the system to get it to work.

 

If we follow the correct procedures we will first be prompted as to how we identified the customer. Truth is however almost all tellers I've ever met just click "customer at counter - customer known" regardless of whether customer is known/not, is phoning or has sent a letter into the branch. When we try and cancel a DD using this option a slip is printed for the cust to sign . A message on screen says something along the lines of "has the customer signed to confirm cancellation of the DD?" but even if the customer is not there to sign most tellers will just hit "yes" regardless.

 

If we selected as ID "telephone call" and then "callers voice recognised" (or "not recognised") then go and try to cancel a direct debit the system says something along the lines of "sorry this option is not available please choose another means of identification"

 

So unless we lie to the system it won't let us cancel DDs or SOs on verbal authorisation alone. Don't get me wrong though - this is presently done in lots of branches throughout the UK without a moments thought by the teller.

 

I know personally if we are very busy in the bank then because of constant management pressure to reduce queues and meet sales targets i often write customer requests (eg new card orders, cheque books requests etc) down and do them later when I've more time and we're less busy. Again not strictly by the book but almost everyone does it. Some people will just try and remember and this is how problems occur and DDs are not cancelled when they should be.

 

Hope this makes sense.

 

good luck with the letter btw.

(Yes I work for a bank but am here to help! Please be nice to me! :))

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It makes a lot of sense, and I appreciate your efforts.

 

I have cancelled DD's many times in branch over the counter, and never yet been asked to sign anything. All I've ever had was a, "That's done for you now, Sir". And generally, it has been.

 

My argument realy is that the bank knows that this happens and should accept responsibility (rather than penalise the customer) when it goes wrong.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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My argument realy is that the bank knows that this happens and should accept responsibility (rather than penalise the customer) when it goes wrong.

 

Exactly!

But as long as customers aren't persistent enough in their complaints about it nothing will be done.

(Yes I work for a bank but am here to help! Please be nice to me! :))

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The trouble is, many people lead busy lifestyles and just do not have the time to perservere. That's certainly been my position. It has taken me weeks to work out how to take them on, researching websites like the financial ombudsman and so on, and would have probably taken me many more had I not found my way to this site.

 

I've been fighting all sorts of companies over the years over unfair charges and so on, but without really knowing what I was doing until I found this site. It has been a Godsend, and that's BEFORE I get anything back.

 

My main weapon to date has been simply to refuse to pay, but that has played havoc with my credit rating and as a result means my stubborn way of dealing with it means I pay higher interest rates if I do need any finance. Just being in a postion to fight back in legal terms is worth it on it's own regardless of the result if it manages to change things for everybody. If nothing else it will go a long way to getting my credit file repaired over the next year or two.

 

That's why I'm fighting, if I get any money back too that will be a bonus.

 

I will update this thread with any developments.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Letter received today from RBS Edinburgh:

 

 

"Thank you for your letter of 11 April 2006 and I apologise for any dissatisfaction caused by the application of charges to your account.

 

We believe that our charges are fair, reasonable and transparent. We consider that the amounts debited to your account have been applied strictly in accordance with your agreement with us and our published tariff, which we are satisfied, complies with all applicable laws and regulations. We are also committed to ensuring the transparency of the information that we give to our customers about the operation of our products.

 

The OFT is presently in contact with us and with seven other major credit card companies to discuss the level of charges on credit cards. It is important that I emphasise these discussions are limited to charges on credit cards only.

 

Consequently, against that background, we must differ with the views expressed in your letter and will not be refunding any of the charges applied to your bank account.

 

Again, thank you for taking the time and trouble to write. Yours sincerely

 

Tommy McLean Customer Relations"

 

 

 

Next step? I've read through some of the other thread but opinions and techniques seem to differ.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Hi,

 

I recieved exactly the same letter although mine came from a Claire L. Smith.

 

I promptly replied to her with a "Letter before action" giving her another 14 days to reconsider. The template for this is in the Library.

 

They haven't been very quick with a response, in fact the deadline is in a few days time at which point I will make out a Count Court Claim.

 

Hope this helps and good luck!

24/04/06 - Capital One - £170.00 - Court Claim Acknowledged - Defendant intends to defend claim

18/05/06 - Full settlement received (£170.00) + another £20 for charges added after claim issued.

 

16/05/06 - RBS - Court Claim Submitted - Total £4900 (inc. Interest + Court Fee + Allocation Fee)

22/05/06 - Acknowledged by RBS

16/06/06 - RBS Defence Received

29/06/06 - Settlement offer from Cobbetts LPP £2,500

22/07/06 - Hearing date given as 27th October, York County Court

25/07/09 - Cheque received from Cobbets for £4800!! only £100 to go!!

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Thanks, I'll do that.

 

They weren't very quick with their reply to my first letter either, I sent it on 11th March!

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Good luck.

 

I have 2 court claims to make today as their dedline is up. No correspondence has been recieved for either claim. Not one letter, which I think is strange. Oh well, will look bad on them if it gets to court.

 

Let us know how you get on.

If you found this post helpful please click on the scales, top right. Thank you.

 

If you find this site helpful and if you reclaim your charges please donate by clicking the button at the top of the page

 

First Direct 1 - settled

First Direct 2 - settled

RBS 1 - claim made 8/5/6

RBS 2 - claim made 8/5/6

GE Capital - counter claim 6/5/6

Halifax - settled 31/5/6

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  • 2 weeks later...

Letter recieved back today, which is virtually identical to the first one except for the fact that it says it is their final response on the matter and they now advise me to seek the advice of the FOS (and kindly enclosed an FOS "Your complaint and the Ombudsman" leaflet, not that I need it)

 

Annoyingly I keep getting letters from their Telford office telling me to pay the overdraft (which is wholly made up of bank charges) or they will take me to court. I have written back today telling them it is impractical to try to deal with two different departments in regard to this matter and that I will only deal with ther Edinburgh office.

 

This raises two questions (I'm based in England):

 

1. Do I let them take me to court first and counterclaim, and/or

 

2. If I enter the claim do I (can I legally) serve to their (Scottish) Edinburgh office?

 

 

Hope this works either way because I'm absolutely flat broke!

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Thats a coincidence. On our claim also the OD wasn't mentioned until the letters were sent. We have already sent the court papers, so assumably the debt is classed as in dispute as the claim is more than the OD.

If you found this post helpful please click on the scales, top right. Thank you.

 

If you find this site helpful and if you reclaim your charges please donate by clicking the button at the top of the page

 

First Direct 1 - settled

First Direct 2 - settled

RBS 1 - claim made 8/5/6

RBS 2 - claim made 8/5/6

GE Capital - counter claim 6/5/6

Halifax - settled 31/5/6

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  • 4 months later...

Sorry if this has been covered, i'm sure it has but I can't find it.

 

Like many people I have just been too busy to proceed with a claim having had the usual rebuff from my Letter Before Action, but since they have now sent me a letter ("Formal notice of intention to file a default and to take action to recover debt") I'm now almost ready to send off my claim for just over £600.

 

The debt they are claiming is for the overdraft on my noe disused account of £285.72 which is entirely made up of bank charges and presumably interest.

 

My question is, because the collections centre are based in Scotland can I still issue a county court claim against them or do I send it to my local branch? I'm based in Blackpool, England.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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Thanks, that's a great help. I did look at that list but there were so many addresses I didn't know where to start - I have also had letters from Telford.

I only mouth my opinion, please look elsewhere for sensible advice! :)

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