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Refund paid using out of date details


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Hi all,

I’ve recently just finished using a room at Big Yellow Storage. With this company you pay up front for the month and then they refund you any of the money back if you leave before the month is up.

So I left using there service on a Friday and filled in the required form with the member of staff there. They informed me the amount I would be refunded and told me that I didn’t need to give my bank details as they would just charge back onto the card I paid my deposit with. I thought this was strange and asked why they couldn’t do a direct debit, as that is how I paid them each month, and they told me that they can’t do it that way and they always do it by card. I had and have no problem with this if that is how they work. The member of staff informed me that she would process the refund just after she had finished doing something else on the computer, so I said my goodbyes and left.

However, over the weekend my wallet was lost or stolen (has been returned now, minus money and bank card… strange I know). So on the Sunday when I realised it was missing (last had it Sunday morning) I phoned by bank/credit card companies and cancelled my cards. On the Monday I checked my account to make sure nothing was missing (it wasn’t) but noticed that Big Yellow hadn’t refunded me and I thought that it would have went through on a card by now as when I pay by card it takes at most a day or 2 to come out.

I phoned Big Yellow Storage on Monday morning to enquire and the member of staff told me that she had just processed it that morning (after being initially told it would be done Friday afternoon). I informed her that I had to cancel my cards and would this be a problem, to which she replied that it shouldn’t be and in fact their computer system said that the money had been sent, so I should leave it a few days and phone back if there was a problem. Money was still missing after a few days so I phoned back and someone else informed me that it can take 7 days. So I left it until 8 days after they initially processed it and it was still missing so I phoned again and spoke to the manager who got in touch with their central finance services who informed him that the money had left their account so that the problem was with my bank my end, and not theirs.

I’ve phoned my bank and explained the situation to them, to which they have replied that by only using the card number and not my account details the money would not automatically go to my account. I assume that the money is in some sort of banking limbo. The bank told me to go back to Big Yellow and inform them that they need to contact the bank and recall the money and refund me using my correct up to date details.

Very sorry about the long post, I find it difficult to explain situations without waffling on. My main concern is that every time I speak to them, they act as if I have given them incorrect details and that it is my problem. But from my point of view, I gave them up to date details on the day that I left and the day that they said they would process my refund. I feel that it is out of my power if they decide to wait until the next week to process it and within that time I have had to cancel my cards. If I had cancelled my cards the day before they asked me for my details for the refund, I obviously wouldn’t have given them my cancelled card details.

At the moment the manager is off for 2 days and has left it to his assistant manager to ring back his central office and ask what they should do. I am afraid that they keep on retelling my situation in a way that makes it sound as if I cancelled my card before I gave them the details, thus making it my fault and my problem.

Is it in fact my fault and my problem? If it is, what can I do about reclaiming the money from the bank? If it isn’t my problem and there is nothing I can do about reclaiming it from the bank, where do I go from here in ensuring that Big Yellow do something about it?

Many, many thanks for any insight and advice.


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I don't believe that the money will not go to your account with the credit card number alone. This is rubbish. Charge backs never have the account number.

You are being shuffled around here.


I suggest that you start doing things in writing as I imagine that you don't have a call-recorder. It would be better if you had a call recorder.


Write to BYS very politely and tell them that your bank is in denial and could you have some paper evidence include a reference number that the payment was made.


Write to the bank and refer to the conversation in which you were told that an account number was needed in addition to the card number to get money into your account.


tell them that you don't accept this and that if it is really true, then please will they confirm this in writing. tell them that you want a trace put on the missing money.


Unfortunately your bank will immediately go onto their defensive slow motion procedure. they will treat it as a complaint, write to you with an acknowledgement and tell you that they will investigate your "concerns" blah blah - 8 weeks.

You won't be able to do anything. They are the bank, you are simply a client and you are a turd.


I'm afraid that you will have to go through this hoop until eventually they produce an answer for you. If the answer is negative then you can begin a legal action or go to the FOS depending on how good your evidence is.


The problem is that you really don't know whose fault it is or where the money is.

The infuriating thing is that with a pinch of goodwill, the bank could give you a full explanation and tell you the exact situation within a day or two. Unfortunately the bank will just close up on you and be as unhelpful as they possibly can. I believe that they put their staff on special training courses just to do this.

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Thank you very much for your replies.

I do actually have a voice recorder on my phone. If I use this, do I need to inform the other party that I am recording the message?

I may be jumping the gun. The manager at BYS has actually said that this has never happened in his experience before so he’s not sure what the actual procedure is and they will find out. It may be an easily resolved matter their end, it’s just his tone and attitude was a ‘you caused this problem’ which does worry me a little bit with regards to the ease of sorting this out.

Also, I only spoke to the first person I got through to on the phone at my banks call centre. It also took me a fairly long time to explain the situation to him (I did not go into as much detail as I did here) and I am not sure he fully understood it really.

With regards to the old card number they used, are you saying that the money should have still went into my account regardless of the card being cancelled the day before? This is actually what BYS said as well.

I intend to go to the bank tomorrow morning, it is a large central one so I hope that someone their can help me better than someone at a call centre.

After I have someone at BYS has got back to me and I have spoke to someone at the bank, I intend to start writing. Does it sound sensible just to give them each one last chance to easily resolve this?

Again, thank you all very much. I’ve never had to deal with anything like this so I am completely lost alone.


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We have discussions on this forum about recording calls. No you don't have to give warnings if the recordings are used for your own private - non-commerical - use. Although your bank and many other people would have you believe differently.


Of course the money can still find its way home - especially if you log the complaint.


If you give them a last chance to resolve it then don't wait longer than a week. They will wear you down. By the time that you realise that your time is being wasted, you may be too fatigued to get angry - but if you can muster the energy to get angry then you can see it through. Don't trust anyone. Don't think that the banks call centre is much good. they really just want to get you off the phone. They scarcely understand their job in relation to routine matters. In relation to this problem, they won't have a clue. If you talk to someone who is actually prepared that they don't know the answer, then you've hit gold-dust - except, of course that they won't be able to help you.


Good luck. I hope that I am wrong in everything I say.

Let us know

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Have you heard of Volleyball? Where the idea is to keep the ball up in the air - each side lobbing it over to the other side.


You are the ball.

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