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The Co-op's excuses get lost in the post

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My father-in-law died four months ago, with me acting as executor of the will. As you will see from the correspondence, I first notified Britannia along with the other banks and financial institutions concerned four days later. On receiving no response from Britannia, I wrote again enclosing the death certificate and probate form which were duly returned with just a compliments slip. A month on I wrote again. In the interim I phoned twice and contacted them via email through their website, getting acknowledgements each time but no response to my enquiries.


Then you received a letter confusing your surname with that of your late father-in-law. Enclosed were copies of instruction letters deemed to have been posted before but which you had never received.


The Co-operative Bank, of which Britannia is these days a part, told me that it had registered the grant of probate two weeks after you had sent it the documents it needed. Its records showed that details about this had been sent twice, once with investment statements. It also said it had sent withdrawal forms which, along with the required passbooks, it had not received back. Prissily, in the light of what happened later, it added that it had a robust process regarding incoming customer mail. Therefore, it said, it could only presume that these items must have been lost in the post before reaching it. Hence the delay in the closure of the accounts.


Now, further to my contacting it, the bank assured me that you had been re-sent completed withdrawal forms with a prepaid envelope. Once it had the paperwork back the accounts would be closed and cheques issued. It said it had also sent a £50 cheque because of the inconvenience. Despite what seemed a quick solution to your problem, so much of which had revolved around missing post, the promised letter and cheque failed to arrive. It then transpired that Co-operative Bank had for the second time over the course of this issue used an incorrect postcode for you. The time before it had used a different wrong one.


Some five months after all this started you have finally received the closing cheques for the accounts and £100 for compensation. This means you can now close down the probate exercise. You are donating the £100 to your late father-in-law's favourite charity.


Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/jessicainvestigates/9655288/The-Co-ops-excuses-get-lost-in-the-post.html

Some useful links.


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AQ Guide to Completion

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Banking Code Website

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