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Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....


Marino13
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Hi all,

I recently contacted Barclays about my Additions account, received a response and would be interested to hear people's views.

 

A quick potted history -

I had an account with Barclays since 1990, and at some point in 1997 I was upgraded to the Additions account;

I don't believe I ever requested this, and they confirm they have no proof I ever did.

 

I only used the account as a secondary bank account once I got married, so it was hardly used.

The only outgoings from the account were the account fees and interest, which I paid so as to not get into trouble.

I had no idea there was ever any alternative to this account.

 

Around 2004 my debit card expired on the account, and they never replaced it.

I did contact them on 3 or 4 occasions to ask when a new card would be issued but they never replied

.As the account was not really in use, but was in overdraft, I guessed they weren't giving me a card until I came out of the overdraft

(it was an agreed overdraft), though they never said this.

 

At the end of last year I decided to make a formal complaint about all this, essentially telling them I never asked for the account,

have never used any of the features associated with it, have been unable to use it as a working account since 2004 when I never had my debit card renewed.

I can't even log in to my online account!

 

They replied by saying they have no evidence they upgraded the account without consent;

would that not mean they should therefore HAVE evidence?!

 

They state that I had a debit card that I used in 1998 in ATM's (er, I know that),

and that a complaint from me in 2001 about unpaid fees charges was enough to show I should have been aware of account charges.

 

They are unable to show any proof I have received welcome packs, or updated terms and conditions

(after I moved in 2006 I received none) but just say as they send them out automatically I must have received them.

 

They can find no record of me being advised there were free alternatives, though I 'must have been' (I wasn't, I'm sure)

 

And, when I asked why no debit card, I was merely told they note a debit card was in use until 2004

(which I told them , it was before it ran out) and that regular credits have been sent to the account

(every month I paid in £25, to cover the account fee and interest as I didn't know what else to do)

 

So, in conclusion, they do not agree my account was mis-sold or mis-run, and it was my responsibility to make them aware in the past if I was unhappy!

(er, I did). They offered me £162 as a goodwill gesture.

 

Now, to those more in the know than me, what should I make of all this?

just seems to me to be an almighty fob off. Is it worth going to the Ombudsman?

shall I send them a letter before action just to see what reaction I get?

am I bsarking up the wrong tree?

 

Any questions/ advice/ help of any kind would be gratefully accepted!

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been doing some reading, and it doesn't look as though the Ombudsman goes against the banks very often!

 

seems to me that if I havent had a debit card since 2004, they must have deliberately not issued it; without it, I can't make proper use of a fee paying bank account, so all that can happen is I pay into it, not out. In the years since, and the fee increases, surely that qualifies as mis-sold?

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Hi Marino,

 

We have seen many cases here over the years where customers found that Barclays upgraded them to an Additions account, without their knowledge or consent.

 

However, I also think you have to take some responsibility for such matters. You left this from 1997 right through to 2012 and this will surely work against you, particularly because you didn't raise this issue when you complained about default charges.

 

I'm also concerned that, since 1997, you were paying money into the a/c and should have noticed, or looked into why, the a/c needed topping up but the balance was not increasing.

 

The phrase that springs to mind is that you failed to act with due diligence.

 

Having said that, the bank's response that "........ they have no evidence they upgraded the account without consent." is nonsense. You should ask them for evidence that you asked for, consented to or knew about the account's Additions status. In the absence of this, you have a right to ask for a refund of Additions Fees.

 

Have you worked out how much you've paid in Add'ns Fees over the years?

 

You won't get this amount back but you may be able to get the bank to increase their offer, if they see you treating the issue seriously.

 

I think a complaint to the FOS would be a waste of everyone's time. Perhaps getting the bank to increase the amount they'll repay is your best option.

 

I have little doubt you've been the victim of an unauthorised upgrade to Add'ns status. But I think you've scuppered your chances of a decent result or refund by failing to exercise due diligence in monitoring your bank a/c or the bank's actions.

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fair comments slick132. To be fair, I had a lot of other problems in the last few years (credit card claims etc) to deal with and this was just pushed back and ignored; with hindsight, I could have pressed more on this.

I think that their offer of £162, which is a refund of a years fees, may be all I can expect.

Do you think it worth one last letter to them, asking the question you indicated with another request for a full refund, or realistically take their offer (do offers expire? that is, can I send another letter, get refused, but then accept the original offer they made?)

Thanks for the opinion though, appreciated.

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Hi Marino and I'm glad you took my comments as they were intended - not just critical but objective.

 

I think you should go back to the bank saying you reject their offer to refund only £162 as the amount is derisory compared to what they have taken over the years. Ask them specifically ........ for evidence that I asked for, consented to or acknowledged the Additions status on the account.

 

In the absence of this, I am entitled to a refund of these monthly charges and will take further action as necessary to secure a refund. This could include a formal complaint to the FOS and/or County Court action.

 

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thanks again, I'll give that a bash.

I definitely won't bother with the court route, as there are probably too many things I could have done in the past that would harm my case, but its probably worth one last prod at Barclays. If they still refuse anything more, I'll have to decide if its worth taking it to the FOS....I am quite sure they cannot supply any proof that I asked for the Additions account.

 

Their exact words were that although my account dates back to 1990, they can only locate statements from Nov 1997 onwards, when the Additions charges were being charged. They say

' as we are obliged to keep records for up to 6 years, I am unable to provide evidence that we upgraded your account without your consent' (this still confuses me. Are they saying that as we can't prove we did it without consent, then we must assume we had consent! isn't the onus on them to prove consent!)

' At the time we did not require any application to be signed to authorise the amendment to the account, as this could be actioned over the telephone or in branch. Given the length of time elapsed, we are unable to establish where or by whom the upgrade took place'

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Hi Marino,

 

In light of the extra info you've given, I think you can be more direct about your response to Barclays. Something like :-

 

I note your comments about retention of documents and that you can find nothing to prove that my account was upgraded to Additions status without my consent.

 

However, I am telling you categorically that I neither asked for, nor agreed to, the upgrade. Whether you have proof or not, I had no knowledge of the upgrade and I suspect this was done without my consent. That is why I want the Additions Fees refunded and I will take further action as necessary to secure the refund. This could include a formal complaint to the fos and/or county court action..

 

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thanks again slick132.

 

I've only just had time to sit down, but have drafted up a letter including your lines above, and made a cheeky claim for 6 years of fees plus interest. I have essentially told them that as they changed the account, the onus is on them to show evidence I gave permission, otherwise they are the party at fault; they obviously can't, plus I pointed out a couple of relevant details (I couldnt drive back then, so why breakdown cover, already had an o/d, had a family lawyer so didn't need one etc)

 

At the least, I'm hoping they will increase the offer. We'll see.

 

Thanks again for the guidance.

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Hi Marino,

 

Sounds like you're giving it your best shot, and good luck with the response.

 

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