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The Smiths v A & L ***WON***

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Guest Battleaxe

New to this Forum, so not sure what I am doing yet.


Today we have written our claim letter to A & L claiming back £3000.00 worth of charges accrued over six yeras. we had to guess this amount as A & L charged us £10.00 to send us the information as to charges we have paid over six years, the 40 day compliance was not adhered to by the bank, instead we get a mealy mouthed weasel worded letter from them offering us £100.00 goodwill to close out complaint. We did not reply, so they sent us anther letter, giving us 8 weeks to respond and explaining how good they are to us, so today after getting another £160.00 worth of charges slapped on us (bear in mind all our money goes into this account), enough is enough and action is under way.


I opened a parachute account and am getting my salary paid into that, but because of our credit rating has been ruined we coud only open a cashcard account, but on reading the Forum today, I am considering opening a current account with the Woolwich.


I am cancelling all our Direct Debits and going to pay our accounts manually until I get this sorted.


Our problems started with my husband salary not being paid on a set day. We set all our Direct Debits up for the 28th of the month and not knowing that the English banking system does not clear cheques overnight ( I was getting paid by cheque at the time) and having to wait nearly a week before the money showed in our account.


I was made redundant last August, the bank let money be leached out of account, put a stop on our account, it was when i rang to find out why I could not pay for my groceries by Debit Card, that they toldme this, but we had to go through the process and it took three months to recover the money taken, but in the meantime more charges are being racked up and no apology. Now I get my Superannuation from Australia and New Zealand paid into this account about the middle of the month, so we cannot meet our DD committments on time, (more charges).


Time has come to kick back. if they want to hide behind 'the computer makes the decision', they can taste the ire of one very fed up Aussie Sheila, who is willing to kick them and kick them hard. it is not only the charges, but the flow effect this action causes. I am not sending any more good money down the drain to fatten A & L coffers any more.


Gone are the days of being able to talk to your bank manger face to face (well this still happens overseas).


I am not longer going to talk to Rose in Liverpool or Paul in Leeds.


Today is the first day of empowerment from this tyranical and archiac banking system.


I have tried to put our story in a nutshell and a lot of people would say it is our own stupidity, but at the same time we are dealing with my husband's cancer (diagnosed in february this year), dealing with my FIL death, he died instestate, so we had to use our savings to pay for all the costs involved and dealing with one son drowning and the costs associated with that incident; day to day things seem insignificant while getting treatment for the cancer, dealing with DWP for entitlements (my husband is English and has paid NI all his working life) and trying to hold things together, while trying to find a new employment.


That's my story in brief.


edited: please be careful of using potentially libelous wording. Thanks for your understanding.

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Golly what a rough trot you've had!!


Welcome to the forum ba i refuse to call you battleaxe as you sound too nice to be one, or is it that you are wielding one? lol


You'd be better off posting this in the welcome forum so more of the helpers can see it and it shouldn't get missed ok?


Please dont hesitate to come back if you dont see the answers to all your questions, and good luck!



Unfortunately i'm not an expert in any given field legally and my advice and that of the Consumer Action Group and the Bank Action Group is given without prejudice and without liability so please if in any doubt whatsoever seek help from an insured qualified professional. Contents of my posts are purely my own personal opinions and not condoned or endorsed in any way, shape or form by CAG. Thank you! :p



I have been smoke-free for 4yrs

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Guest Battleaxe

I am hoping I haven't muddied the waters. In July I rang A & L and requested the statements dating back six years, for this to happen i was told that it would cost me £10.00, then and there ny account was debited with £10.00. I also wrote to the Chairman complaining about what was happening, I received a four page reply with the offer £100.00 goodwill to closr my complaint, they gave me to 12th September to respond. in the meantime they extended my overdraft facility. I received another letter from them In september reference the goodwill offer, we responded on 7 october declining and estimated the charges, with the request that an estimated £3000.00 in charges be refunded (it was the template of the first letter).


last night I did prepared the Data Protection Act notice but reminded them that they had already not complied the the statuatory 40 days from the date the debited our account for the statements.


Do I wait seven days from the date of the DPA letter I am sending, or can I jump straight in and file under the non compliance of our request for the information in July for settlement? :confused:

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Guest Battleaxe

I have finally found out how to work the posting on the Forum. I inadvertently posted my action as a reply to Me Good v Evil :rolleyes:


As it is posted in the wrong thread, i wont re-iterate what I have witten, just that I might have confused a few things.


I opened a parchute account on line, no problems.

Ihave sent a letter of Aquistion to A & L, this is going recorded delivery today, so with the extended overdraft facility shrinking by £100.00 a month and with all the Direct debits cancelled I have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks. i am also now going to recover all the charges from the companies who socked me for late payments and interest because of A & L. First two today are Kaleidoscope and Clydesdale Finanace, as I know the amounts they have charged.


Then there will be MBNA, who took over the Alliance & Leicester credit card business. I found neighter organisation's computers talk to each other..grrr. you would think in the age of technology this would be done. but I am realising what goes on in the Antipodes does not happen over here. How naive we have been.


Husband has cancer I have been dealing with that, being made redundant and trying to recover salary owed to me by another lot of shylocks I worked for, for 12 weeks. oh they paid me, but at £.75 an hour less than the agreed amount. I will never do anything again on a handshake.


Oh A & L also let several thousand be leached out of our account by theives, this we proved, but took three months in the meantime and who is having charges racked up against them for non payment of of DD's and these were never repaid.


This was the basis of my complaint to the Chairman of A & L..


to date, request in July for statements regarding charges , money dbited from account.

7 October First letter requesting repayment posted 9 October 2006

9 October letter of Aquisition regarding my Aussie pension posted 10 Oct 2006

9 October second DPA request posted 10 October 2006

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:) hi battleaxe, I write the first name,location and exact time of every phone call to A&L customer services, it helps when you are asked about previous conversations that you can quote this. I think I helped the process by always being polite and calm .I spoke to 8 different advisers before John in Liverpool told me that he had E mailed the correct dept with the proper request.I recieved my statements as a direct result of this. I was also told a few porkies along the way:( but some of this is due to fact that they do not get the correct training,some is plain ignorance. I asked Ursula on the 26th of Sept at 11.27 to find out about the DPA request I had made on the 7th of August, she was adament that it would cost me £5 per monthly statement. At this point I told her that it was an offense to obstruct me regarding this and I knew my rights regarding this..................she nearly blew her top :) :) :) . I then asked to speak to her line manager and she said that he would call back,of course he never did!!. The next day I got through to a line manager eventually and he sorted it out and apologised (refunded my fee as well). Try phoning them and ask for a manager to call you back it worked for me.
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Guest Battleaxe

Thank you Bsia for you help. I am actually past trying to be civil with the jobsworths in the call centres, but will give it one more shot on Friday. by then they should have all the correspondence I have posted this week. I will ask for the line manager and see if I can get something productive out him/her.

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Battleaxe you could ask to speak to Paul in Liverpool he is the line manager who helped me. He told me that was only 1 person that deals with this.He emailed that person to carry out my request for statements.

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Guest Battleaxe

Update, things are moving.


i received a letter this morning signed Marc Harden Customer Relations dated 11 October 2006. it reads as follows:


Dear Mr and Mrs Battleaxe

Thank you for your further correspondence dated 7 october 2006.


I can confirm we are looking into the issue you have raised and will send a full response within in the next fourteen days.


Yours sincerely


Had two other letters in the mail, one from barclay Card with a £12.00 fee added for failed DD.


The other from Capital one with three £12.00 fees on it for failed DD and now I am over my limit.


barclay card response to phone call was fantastic, arranged to pay at branch on Monday


Capital One three phone calls all to India and no luck in getting any sense out anyone, let alone trying to speak to someone in England.

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Guest Battleaxe

Things are moving or being stalled, it can be looked at both way. I rang A & L to acknowledge receipt of Marc H's letter. He wasn't available. left a message and he ranfg me back. Very civil. they can't find my original request for the statements, but he said he noted that i had mentioned this in my letter to the Chairman 9 th July. I also discussed letter of Acquisition and the money being made available. he nearly choked, asked me to email a copy to him, which I did. He stated he was pleased to have the opportunity to talk to me and he will be replying in writing to my letter of the 7th Octoberm this is the LPA in which reminded them that they had exceeded the 40 days for the SAR, but surprise, surprise they can't find where the £10.00 costs have been debited against our account.

He said he would check to the funds are avaialble for me to draw against and will phne me tomorrow.


The clock is ticking.


I have documented everything in preparation for filing the claim

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Guest Battleaxe

Phone call from A & L this morning, usual palava about establishing my identity, heck they are rigning me...


B.This is Dianne from A & L and it is about your letter?

M.Which one?

B.The one about making your funds avaialble

M.Ah, the letter of appropriation

B. if we make this money available it will take you over your over draft limit

M. Well I wouldn't be over the limit if the bank had managed my funds properly

B. if we make this money available we would have to send the account for debt collection

M. Why?

B. It would put the account into default.

M. (standing in the nude, shivering, got out from under the shower to answer this call) Hang on you can't have it both ways. I am not going to discuss this any further. That money is mine by right of law and you cannot touch it.

B. Well you do have money in your account

M. Since when? you just told me that if you made the funds asked for available it would take me over the agreed limit

B. there were charges last night for failed DD's

M. Since when, there are no DD's at this time of the month

B. Silence let me check

B. Oh there are no charges, so the account wont be over the limit

M. Good I am going into to town and drawing the money out and leaving £7.00 in the account.

B. Do you need extra money, I see there are other problems

M. Well yes, next week

B. I will see if I can get the action regarding your letter and charges speeded up. I know they are looking at this now and you will get a call about it.

M. Well, thank you any assistance will be appreciated. It goes to show if I hadn't written that letter you and I would not be having this conversation and I would have found my account with more charges that should not be there.

B. it's been nice to talk you Mrs Battleaxe.

M. Thank you for the phone call.


Then I was back under the shower to warm up.


I can now pay Barclay Card their payment and buy my groceries. I might pay my council tax early this month; that will frighten them at the Council.

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Guest Battleaxe

Update, received this letter in the post this morning, they haven't learnt a thing.


17 October 2006



Dear Mr & Mrs Smith


As head of Customer Services, Current Accounts, I have been asked to review the issue you have raised, as the final stage of our Complaints procedure.


I have read the correspondence surrounding your complaint and I am sorry to learn that you remain dissatisfied with the information previously provided to you. I am aware that a full investigation has been conducted into this matter and I can confirm that our position remains unchanged. I do feel that our offer of £100.00 is fair and reasonable in the circumstances and I can confirm that this offer will remain open. Please find enclosed copies of our previous correspondence for your information.


With regard to your request for a copy of the charges applied to your account for the last six years, I can confirm that in view of your comments, I have arranged, as a priority, for the information to be forwarded to you under seperate cover and the £10.00 data charge has been waived on this occasion. Please accept my apologies for the delay in providing you with this information.


Your instruction to cancel all direct debits, with the exception of three, has now been actioned accordingly. The issue regarding access to your DWP payments has been referred to our credit Control Unit department who, I am aware, contacted you on 13 October to discuss the matter raised.


I appreciate you may be disappointed with my response and you may wish to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service within 6 months of the date of this letter. I am enclosing a leaflet that explains more about the service and includes contact details.


Yours sincerely


Ian Wade

Head of Customer Services, Current Accounts


The telephone number on this letter 0151 966 4306.


1. I am laughing..waived the fee, they have already deducted from my account.


2. £100.00, get lost I estimated £3000.00 in charges over the last years.


3. He has admitted they did not respond to my request for Data, so will this apology suffice and stay execution regarding me reporting this breach to the Information Commissioner?


It is the most politely worded 'sod off' letter I have recieved.


Considering my request was made before 9 July 2006, I am wondering how long it will be before I get the Data. Whatever way, eseeing he has admitted they did not get the information to me when i originally requested, I am wondering how much more time to wait? send him a letter and remind him the clock is ticking and refer him back to to my letter to the Chairman dated 7 July 2006, or go for the jugular and send my preliminary letter before action, claiming the estimated £3000.00 with added compound interest? I could break it up in £500.00 per year and compound it from 1999?


Any suggestions? :rolleyes:

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Guest Battleaxe

I have lodged my complaint with the Information Commissioner and submitted the documentation to support my original request for Statements.


I also quoted the writer of today's letter offering is apologies for not action my original request and that they had Waived the £10.00 fee.


I am going to sit back and wait now.


The gloves are off with A & L.


if i do not get the statements by the 24th october I am going with my original estimate plus interest. :rolleyes:

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Guest Battleaxe

Hi Blackcatchillers,


You bet every letter leaving this house is sent recorded delivery, the ladies at the post office prepare to make me a cup of tea when I walk in.


All my letter also have the labels produced by CAG on them, with a hand written "screw the banks before they screw you" on the bottom.


If it is to a credit card company the message is "screw the credit card company before they screw you".


My next one will be "screw the Council before it screws you", I also draw a little screw at the end of the sentence.


This reminds me I need to buy some more labels.


I am sleeping so well and for a change and anticipate the mail delivery now.:grin:

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Guest Battleaxe

Struth stone the flamin' crows mate,


Last month's bank statement arrived, it breaks me old heart to see what the bank needed from us to support their lifestyle. I'm going to be giving them £185.00 in charges (nice of them to tell me they need £50.00 in unauthorised overdraft charges also, excuse me didn't we get this sorted two weeks ago?)and my account is in credit today. Never mind, we will get it back when we claim, so £3185.00 plus interest now.


Included is a booklet titled Current Account Terms and Conditions.


Do they think I need reminding that they are related to Ned kelly. I think I will get a metal bucket, cut out slots for the eyes and send it my friend I an Wade, Head of Customer Relations to remind him how daylight robbery was committed back in the days of the bushrangers.


Think I will accept their £100 goodwill and buy some cat food with it.:lol:

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G'day Battleaxe - ampersand here.

You're lucky you weren't charged £5.00 for your statement - that's what mine, arrived today, shows.

A new way for A&L to generate the revenue needed to refund our charges, methinks.

I'll use the 'phone no. for Ian Wade - shall be in touch, hope all is well(if that doesn't seem fatuous in view of everything)

Chicken soup time - B(and we know it's home-made from carcass of...with home-made bread, don't we now?)

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Guest Battleaxe

Hi Ampersand,


Read your thread, it is appalling, what is happening to you.


I checked my statement and there is no five pound charge for the statement.


Our cards arrived today for our parachute account and we can use our funds overseas, which is more than the LTSB parachute account will give us. Amazing, same questions answered yet completely different attitude with banks. I am wondering if A & L will try to close my phone saver account, when they have a go at closing the Current Account. Then a gain we have a loan with A & L, which has never had a late payment attached to the Current Account. Wheels within wheels.


I am waiting for the reply from the Information Commissioner regarding the original SAR request..


Life goes on


PS My chicken soup was delicious, enough made and have some in the freezer. One chicken three meals, soup, roast chicken legs and thighs and stir fried chicken breast, all for £2.99. Who says I can't make do on a budget?:wink: Old Boilers know how to cook.

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Guest Battleaxe

Another day and results. The statements arrived in the grey envelope, not as thick as I thought it would be. Checked to make sure they were all there.


Set to work with the highlighter, did the spreadsheet with contractual interest at 1.32%, which according to their latest bumph is correct


I overestimated what we would be getting back with compound interest originally, but only by £988.51.


If they cough up now (pardon me while I roll on floor laughing) it will cost them in total £1214.13, but if they prevaricate it is going to cost them £2,011.49 total.


I have addressed our letter back to Mr Ian Wade, Head of Customer Services, Current Accounts.


one thing I noticed, they would charge between £10.00 and £25.00 for monthly OD charges, but the last 18 months they have only been charging £5.00 a month.


The cute thing, they would pay out all the DD, which would then go O/D, even if our salaries arrived on the same date, these were the last things credited to the account every month, charming. More fees more profit. I also noticed they are now charging paid item fees at £25.00 a throw, nice work if you can get it, which they did.


Oh not one manual intervention noted.


I bet they are going to dispute some of the charges I have claimed, I have listed them all now let them go through the lot with a fine tooth comb.


I noticed someone tried to claim a DD for £3,408.00 :-o then they socked me a failed DD. Further down the page it had been reversed but the interest had already been added. There are some other creative accounting practices, stupid us for not checking our statements more closely, but you are supposed to trust your bankers. Never again. :-x


We are on our way with this claim.

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Woah, Woah, Woah...........


did the spreadsheet with contractual interest at 1.32%, which according to their latest bumph is correct


That's their monthly rate, the proper "Unauthorised borrowing" rate is 16.9%, put that in the spreadsheet, NOT 1.32%, that should bump the total up a bit :D

Nil Illigitimus Carborundum

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Guest Battleaxe

I read what they charge us on the back of the statement and it is 17.08% EAR, which equates to 1.32% per month. The figures produced are on are on daily rate


Are you saying it is 16.9% per month which equates to how much per annum? because this is the rate I need to to ennter for the sheet to calculate the daily rate.


If that is the case I am willing to change my figures but not before I get confirmation.


This is not Vampiress's spread sheet, but the other one produced by ExcelEnts Ltd,which I think was easier to follow. Vampiress please don't think I am not saying your's is complicated.


Now I am confused, despite all my reading.

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Guest Battleaxe

This is using Vampiress's spread sheet


CLAIM DATE: 14-Nov-2006




TOTAL AMOUNTS 106.00 190.30


Charge Reason Charge Amount Charge Date Interest


10.00 27 Mar 00 18.48

17.50 27-Mar-2000 32.35

10.00 28-Apr-2000 18.09

27.50 22-May-2000 48.96

27.50 22-May-2000 48.96

10.00 27-Jun-2000 17.37

3.50 27-Jun-2000 6.08


The calculations are exactly the same with the spread sheet I used


27/03/00 10.00 18.48 28.48

27/03/00 17.50 32.35 49.85

28/04/00 10.00 18.09 28.09


Both sheets show the same amounts in the all the extensions


I just did this as a short exercise but will recalculate everything later to day using Vampiress's sheet and see what the final toal is, because I have feeling the interest charged each month might have some bearing on the final total.


Nothing ventured nothing gained

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Ooops :D


My appologies there, I've always used the Vampiress spreadsheet, and I just assumed you were too and that you were using the monthly rate as the annual rate, late night last night, finishing off my calculations :rolleyes:


Wouldn't want them to get away with anything they owe us, would we :D


What's the spreadsheet you're using ? where did you get it from ?

Nil Illigitimus Carborundum

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Guest Battleaxe

I got the spreadsheet from this site (I think), but I am going to use Vampiress's sheet and see if it calculates the interest the bank charged me each monty differently and see if there is a variation in the final total.


I know I didn't explain that I used 17.08% as the annual interest, but by golly whatever way it goes I am claiming compunded contractual compound interest.


just an aside, i wonder how the Information Commisoner is going to treat my complaint.


I am also including the gem regarding retaliatory action being viewed dimly by the FSA


Briefing Note BN 023/06

4 July 2006


FSA position on account closures and default charges


Generally, under FSA rules on dispute resolution and complaints, we would not expect any regulated firm to discriminate against a customer who makes a complaint.


However the relationship between a bank and its account holders, including the circumstances and manner in which accounts are closed, is governed by the Banking Code.


We have therefore raised this issue with the Banking Code Standards Board, and informed those firms involved that we have done so. As a result of those conversations, we understand that the Banking Code Standards Board intends to state its position on this issue presently. We encourage the industry to use this opportunity to demonstrate the value of the Code in ensuring fair and reasonable outcomes to such disputes.

You certainly made me think this morning, because I had a feeling we would be owed more.

Good luck

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You need to calculate the interest on the charge from the day it was charged at the annual rate. Also, if you and planning on claiming contractual interest you need to put that in your preliminary letter. It is only if you claim the statutory 8% that you add the interest on at the court stage.


Check exactly what you need to do if you are going down the contractual interest route, as it is still early days, and any mistakes now could cause you problems at the court stage. I could be wrong but I have not heard of A&L paying this, although they still won't want to go to court so you should be OK. I just think it is as well to be prepared for the eventuality that one day A&L may change their stance and not pay on issue of a court claim.


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Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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Guest Battleaxe



I have done all of this. Double checked figures yesterday, also added if they do not pay what is requested, when it goes to Court, i will be claiming ALL OD interest for the six years as well as costs.


I did the spreadsheet only claiming OD interest contractually in the months that disputes occurred.


Everything is transparent for them and if they challenge so be it.


We know what we will accept if they make an offer, if it is not what what we are prepared to accept, we will tell them to sod off. they ahve 14 days now to get their act together and tell us to sod off.


I have always challenged their charges from the day we opened the account in 1998. I have copies of every letter sent to them.

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