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Old DJ vs Halifax****AND WON****

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Well, after something like 3 weeks going through the threads here and finding out more and more, I'm about to post the letter asking for the S.A.R - (Subject Access Request).

 

My story seems slightly more complex than most, so I thought I'd explain a little about it.

 

I've been a Halifax customer for about 13-14 years, can't quite remember now. For many years I was restricted to a cardcash account only, possibly due to a previous bad credit record which came about following a marriage split.

 

A few years ago they allowed me to upgrade to a cheque account, and issued me with a Visa debit card. At the time I was self employed and was having a regular income paid in through work I was doing for a company on a consultancy basis. Two years ago that company went into receivership, nothing to do with any work I'd been doing for them I hasten to add and the details are not related to this anyway.

 

I found myself unemployed for a while, but we muddled through with my wife's wages coming in, she has a seperate account altogether, with a different building society, plus some residue income from previous ventures.

 

I went back into full-time employment working via the local council for a community project, which was paid via grant funding. The Halifax allowed me to get a credit card, Halifax One, with a reasonable limit I felt I could cope with, and did for some time.

 

Sadly, the funding ran out after 13 months so I went to the Halifax and told them. I voluntarily stopped my overdraft facility and paid everything up to date.

 

I tried to claim on the card repayment insurance, but was told that they did not consider I had had a proper job, it was clear from the start that it was funded in 3 month periods so I could not be considered as having a permanent full time job, therefore no claim.

 

I tried claiming benefits, but was told I did not qualify as the period they took into account was when I was self employed.

 

I went and saw the Halifax, explained the situation and they noted it on my account. I contacted the credit card people too, said I couldn't pay anything as I was not working and could not claim benefits etc.

 

In the meantime I did a bit of part time work and paid that into my account, to cover the direct debits that were due to come out. I also 'signed off' and went back to self employed status, following some advice I was given about then being able to claim working tax credit.

 

We sent off the forms for the tax credits, they took several weeks to go through but we finally got an award a few weeks ago of a certain amount per month, to be added to my wifes wages.

 

However, I started getting letters from the Halifax claiming charges for unpaid direct debits. I knew I had left enough in the account to cover these so tried to query the charges. It took me some time, but eventually it all became clear when the credit card people rang me to ask for a payment.

 

I explained the situation, as I had done several times before, and was amazed to hear the girl tell me there had been a payment made to my credit card account only a couple of weeks previous. I've never had a direct debit in place for this so asked how it had been paid. Turns out it had been taken directly from my bank account!

 

It seems that at least 3 such payments had been made, which were based on my credit balance at the time. Of course, this is why the direct debits then failed...

 

I rang the Halifax, very annoyed, as I had not given any permission for them to take money from my account. Seems that it's part of the credit agreement you sign, they can take it from a HBOS account without any reference to the account holder.

 

More letters re failed direct debits arrived, and letters for unauthorised overdraft fees. Plus a steady stream of calls from the credit card people AND a department dealing with repayment of overdrafts.

 

I am still getting up to 7 calls a day from the Halifax, several of which are from an 0870 number that does not connect me to anyone, just an engaged tone when I answer the call. I've called the number back, got a stupid message telling me someone had called and they would try again, no opportunity to speak to anyone.

 

Eventually I found a reference to this rogue number through MSE and called the Leeds office. I spoke to someone and they went through my details, then explained that as I was not making an offer of payment the system would keep putting my account into the system to be called again. I put up with calls coming in daily from 8am to 9pm for 3 weeks then snapped, and slammed the phone down on one call that actually connected - see how they like it!

 

I called Leeds again, the person I spoke to said they would put calls on hold for 10 days, but then they would start again. What a waste of time and effort!

 

I made an appointment to see someone at my branch. They looked at my situation, I explained that the tax credits went on to my wifes account, not mine, and that her building society was taking this off her overdraft, after which we owed out money we had borrowed, plus we were having to pay what bills we could from her account as I was unable to use my Halifax account.

 

They recinded two £35 charges for direct debit charges, plus two £28 unauthorised overdraft fees. Not much more they could do they said, let us know when you can clear the overdraft. In the meantime my card is invalid and any attempt to use a cash machine will result in it being held. They let me keep the card so I could access the account to pay in, whenever I can do that.

 

They also cancelled all direct debits and standing orders and asked me not to issue any cheques. I never had anyway, it's still a new book.

 

So, I've no means from which to pay them, they call daily, including weekends, most of the time it's a silent call so I don't have to explain it all again, but when I do get to speak to someone they want it all from scratch - can't they read the screen notes for once?

 

Needless to say they have got me angry and I looked around to see what I could do. I've reported their 0870 number to OfCom for excessive silent calls, reported the same thing to the Financial Ombudsman Service, tried to get the number barred via my phone company - but they can't as it's listed as 'debt collection'. I've complained bitterly to the Halifax too, but no response as yet. Last time I spoke to someone they asked what I had complained about as they could see something on the system about that, so I know it's been logged.

 

During my search I found this site - and for the last 3 weeks have been trying to work out just what's what so I can try and reclaim something as I have to agree that the charges and fees are excessive. I know I've had some charges in the past but my main aim is to do something about the situation I find myself in at present - can't use my account because of an overdraft I can't repay, which was caused by charges and fees being applied to my account, which were caused by them allowing money to be taken to pay the credit card!

 

Obviously I'm not paying anything into the account, if I do earn anything then it will have to go through my wifes account. I'm just thankful we decided to keep totally seperate accounts now!

 

So - I'm looking for redemption. I feel justified taking this route after reading through the many cases recorded here. Hopefully the Halifax will be running out of lame excuses and diversionary tactics following the number of claims they've already dealt with.

 

I don't expect to retire on the proceeds, but if it clears my overdraft and credit card bill then at least I've got them off my back.

 

I just realised, whilst writing all this, what I had overlooked before - I'm being charged for my credit card going into default too! Wonder if the same S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) will reveal the total of those charges, as it's the same organisation, or if I will have to start a seperate chain of events - we'll see.

 

As they say, watch this space.


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Wow... I really feel for you, and you have my sympathy. It's clear you have had a pretty rough time!

 

Well you have come to the right place, and you are among friends here. Your S.A.R will cover all accounts, so just make sure that you edit the template letter to tell them that you want info for all accounts that you have with them. Include the account numbers if you have them.

 

I know it's tough, but try not to worry too much about it. As soon as you get your statements in, you will be back on the road to recovery.

 

Good luck, and remember to come back and post in this thread if you have any more questions or worries.

 

Tinks :)

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Many thanks Tinkerbelle

 

I've posted the SAR already, but only gave details for the bank account, so will probably have to do another for the card - oh well. I didn't even think about it until I reached the end of my original post.

 

There is this evil part of me that would love to get to court with this, and nominate the county court in Halifax itself for the hearing - it's just over the road from their Trinity Road offices! Fond memories of doing battle there with the local council when I lived in that area, and winning.

 

I'd like to say I feel enlightened that I've taken a postive step towards getting someplace with all this - the sleepless nights I've had, only to have what bit of rest I've had disturbed by a call at 8.01am with nobody wanting to talk to me...

 

 

Now - where's the thread about claiming £1 for every spam email I get...? LOL


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No worries. Add the £10 cost for the S.A.R. to your N1 when you are ready to file. :D

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Just so I keep a record of things here.

 

Obviously I've not heard anything about my request for information yet, but did get a letter today from 'Retail Bank Collections' who seem to be upset that I've not cleared my overdraft. They say I've not made any attempt to resolve the situation - so why did I spend the best part of an hour at my branch recently, going through everything with them?

 

Anyway, a nicely worded reply has been sent to them, with the suggestion they put this matter on hold whilst action I have instigated is ongoing. I've also pointed out that they need to keep the account open so they have somewhere to pay the reclaimed charges to! :rolleyes:

 

I'm just not in a good mood with the Halifax today, a phone call from card services woke me early this morning... :mad:


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Guest bluecloud

Hi Hillards,

 

how's Donny this morning? (I used to live in Thorne and still make regular trips to Dunscroft - but enough about me :) )

 

If you're still having bother with phone calls (my particular hell lasted several months until our number was changed and we "forgot" to inform the bank) then take a look at this post by jonni2bad.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/37006-harassment-telephone-response-letter.html#post290644

 

It should help.

 

 

.

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how's Donny this morning?.

Grey and cold... Thanks for that, I've written to them only yesterday and requested that further communication be by letter only - it may take a few days for that to filter through their system but I don't expect to hear much from them, except the odd whimper, once they get that.

The other alternative I have considered is to change my contact phone number to one starting 09, at £1.50 a minute or something!


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ha ha! good idea!

 

While you are waiting for your letter to reach the appropiate dept, if the do call just simply say that you have sent the letter and you are not accepting phone calls from them at the minute, everything they need to tell you should be put in writing and put the phone down, they will soon tire of it I am sure.

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Just had third call of the day from 0870 850 3492, second was a 'silent' call and didn't connect me. This time I got a male voice, so asked what department he was calling from. He wouldn't tell me unless I did security checks - can't see why I would need to do that.

So, informed him that I have written to various departments that have contacted me previously, and requested that future communication is via letter only. I am not taking any more telephone calls from the Halifax, full stop.

He still refused to say what section, so how am I to know if I wish to speak to them or not?

Thanks to having these problems with the Halifax, I am behind with payments for my phone bill and they are about to cut me off - so these calls cannot come in much longer anyway!


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Grey and cold... Thanks for that, I've written to them only yesterday and requested that further communication be by letter only - it may take a few days for that to filter through their system but I don't expect to hear much from them, except the odd whimper, once they get that.

The other alternative I have considered is to change my contact phone number to one starting 09, at £1.50 a minute or something!

 

You can get an 0871 number - it's free to set up, and when they call it, you earn money, it's charged at 8p a minute which you get a percentage of... just a thought... only downer is it goes into your bank account - guess you could just think of it as them writing your debts off!


Who gives you Xtra? :confused:

 

=========================================

HALIFAX PLC

 

PAID IN FULL - £1799.20 31/10/06

 

Round 2 - Prelim sent 29/06/07

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You can get an 0871 number...

 

Yep - I know, I was a dealer for non-geographical numbers at one point, until the 'big boys' muscled in and took all my customers away with bigger and better offers. I still have access to the system and some numbers 'on stock' so could set one up quite easily. Only thing is, Halifax have the real number so I wouldn't know if they were calling the 0871 or whatever.


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Oh boy, is this site great! I've been doing a lot more reading tonight and found a mountain of additional information with relation to the unwanted telephone calls.

 

By 2.30pm I was on my 4th call of the day from the 0870 number, by the time 9pm came I had had no less than EIGHT calls in one day.

 

I have already written to them to request that they only correspond in writing in future - and now find that failure to comply with this request would put them in breach of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.

 

I've also taken note of comments regarding these calls where I, as the person answering the telephone, have no idea who is calling until they hang up and I check 1471 - so why should I answer their 'security' questions - how do I know it isn't someone else trying to access my account ? Not that there is anything but an overdraft in it!

 

Lots more info on topics like the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 and section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970. Oooh - I could happily spend a good ten minutes on the phone to them next time, just quoting all of this. As long as they don't hang up of course,

 

What about section 127 of the Communications Act 2003? The fact that causing harassment is an offence under section 24(2) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984?

 

Plus the CAB suggesting that more than three calls a WEEK would be considered harassment by them?

 

I feel another Data Protection Act request coming on for them to release full and complete details of all calls made, and logged, by them. I have a feeling that this could lead to further claims, potentially defamation of character, being made.

 

OK - so I've not read the actual legislation through yet - but am happy to do so if these monkeys don't stop calling. From 8am to 9pm, 13 hours a day, every day of the week...

 

I've actually spoken to two more people, the rest were silent calls, and informed them that they have already called within the past few hours, that I have requested this practice is stopped, and that letters have been sent to lodge complaints about their excessive number of calls, particularly those annoying ones that don't connect you to a person. All very politely done, no swearing, no shouting.

 

I have also called them, using 0113 2357171 which is listed on the 'Say No to 0870' website as 'Credit cards - Retail Bank Collections'. (There is also a number 0113 2977895 to put you through to the Debt Recovery team) Yes, that's the right Department that have been calling me as the guy who spoke to me confirmed. I asked that they stop calling, I told him I'd written... He said they will keep calling, I said I would see about that... That's why I have been digging for more information, so I am armed with things I can put to them next time they call.

 

For anyone in a similar situation, do a few searches on this site for the 0870 number, or the acts I've quoted here. I'm being careful not to say how I would use the information as I am not qualified to give others advice - apart from helping you to find out more if you need to.

 

I'm quite looking forward to my 8am alarm call in the morning now, armed with a sheet full of legal information.


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Guest bluecloud

I know that the admin's don't really like links to external sites but they might forgive this one.

 

Micro Cassette Recorder with a Telephone Recording Adaptor

 

It is a full kit to record telephone conversations for only £30.

 

Anyone is within their rights to record a telephone call. However, there must be some form of notification that the call is or even may be recorded. My favourite time to notify was during the "silent" period.

 

"Callers are notified that calls may be recorded."

 

It takes less than 3 seconds to say.

 

To comply with the law, the conversation would need transcribing and the tape saved should it be needed as evidence in court.

 

 

.

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Help needed here.

20th October, I sent my Subject Access Request to the Halifax.

20th October (date on letter, arrived 24th) they wrote to me with a 'do not ignore this letter' letter.

24th October I wrote to them in response to their letter of the 20th

30th October (date on letter, arrived 1st Nov) they served default notice on account

1st November, which this letter arrived, I telephoned them and enquired about my two previous letters to them. They claim that they have no record of either. No, I didn't use recorded delivery - just normal 1st class, they were seperate letters of course.

What should I do now? My immediate thought is to print off copies of these letters and physically take them to my local branch, getting a receipt of some sort as I do. How does that affect the timescales though?


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Ok, so you have not yet received your statements via your S.A.R.? Have they cashed the cheque? If they have, then they must have received your letter.

 

In your letter of the 20th, did you write to tell them the account was in dispute?

 

Make sure that in future you send your letters recorded delivery - they will use any excuse not to comply with your requests.

 

When you begin claiming back your charges make sure that you include the line about the default removal. It is highlighted red in the template letters. This is very important. If you don't include it as part of your claim, the chances of you having the default removed once your claim has been settled is remote. It must be on ALL your letters and your Court Claim.

 

I would suggest that you send the letters again RECORDED DELIVERY. If the cheque has been cashed for the S.A.R., then send them another copy of the letter and make it clear that the 40 day countdown has begun from the day they cashed your cheque - again make sure it is RECORDED DELIVERY.

 

Hope this helps & keep us posted! :)

  • Confused 1

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Thank you Tinkerbelle.

 

I've not had any statements as yet, only posted SAR 20th October so they are still within time limit I guess. I can't send a cheque, due to my Halifax bank account being locked, so had to get a postal order. I would need to get a trace done on that to see if it has been cashed, I'll do that tomorrow.

 

I used the template letter on the 20th for the SAR, my letter of the 24th told them I disputed the account in response to their threat of a default being issued.

 

Using recorded delivery means a trip to the post office to send the letter, and I cannot always get there. My car is off the road as I can't afford the road tax, buses are difficult thanks to a new transport interchange opening - nearest stop is now almost a mile from the post office! I have athsma, so can't be running about too much.

 

Once the template letter goes in I will retain the bits in red regarding removal of any default, and keep that in place for further communications as well.

 

Anyway, what I've done is to take a copy of the letters to my local Halifax branch, they contacted someone via internal email and spoke to them by phone while I was there. They then sent the documents via the branch fax machine (to 0113 235 7204, I copied the number down!) and are also sending the paper copies to Trinity Road by post from branch. I verified that the fax transmission showed an 'OK' status, with all pages received by them. They have date stamped the originals with a branch stamp to forward on.

 

I will telephone Trinity Road again tomorrow and check to see if they show on my file.

 

As the non-receipt is not my fault, do I keep to the 40 days from my SAR being sent before I move on to the next stage?

 

Whilst typing this I've had yet another call from 0870 850 3492, and the young lady who spoke to me wasn't very happy when I said 'no' to giving security information. Instead she suggested I should call at my branch - Ha! Beaten you to it this time Halifax, I've already been today... Oh yes, she says, I can see that on the system - goodbye... That answers my question for tomorrow, have they now been added to my file? - Yep, seems like they have.

 

It's not helping my mood towards the Halifax at all. Due to the financial problems they've got me into I'm running round in circles trying to cover all the other bases, like sorting out Gas, Electricity, telephone and other bills. I can't put these on a direct debit as my bank account is frozen, and I'm amazed how long it takes for a payment to go through from a local shop who have a pay point system for this. It's forever putting me behind, when I never was before, adding late payment charges and so on. I bet I can't claim those back either!

 

I don't sleep very well because of all the worries, it was almost 5 am before I eventually got off last night - only to be woken by the blooming phone at 8.33am, yes - the Halifax again!!

 

I've spoken to them only yesterday, by calling them on 0113 235 7171 and explaining that letters have been sent, action is being taken, I will not speak to them by telephone and any call will fail at the security part as I'm not going to confirm anything with them - I don't know who they are... But, despite assurances they will stop the calls 'for 10 days', they still come - AAAAaaarrrggghhhhh...

 

Oh please, let this case be the one that gets to court so I can bring all this up in a public area, hopefully with plenty of press available to report on it!!!


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I knew there was something else - umbrella account...? Yes, I understand what it is but where is best to go? I don't need a cheque book, never used the one I got from the Halifax, but it has been handy to have a debit card facility to pay bills so that would be useful, as well as hole in the wall capability of course.

 

I ask because my current credit history is lousy, thanks to not paying credit card bills since losing my job in February of course. I am not working, so can't promise to have my wages paid in as I don't get any. I am not happy to change my wifes account to a joint one, simple because those grabbing swine at the Halifax are getting no excuse to plunder her account as well - even though it's with a totally different institution!

 

I have had a business account with a (real!) bank for some time, which was well maintained apart from this last month where it went overdrawn for the first time in 6 years because I forgot about a payment coming out. I'm not keen on asking them for a personal account in case that reflects on the business account, which is only ticking over really.

 

I am hopeful that the Halifax will not close my account now they have the facts in front of them, I have (in my letter) suggested the simply suspend any action pending the legalities, on the grounds the overdraft is their fault anyway.


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A fellow Doncastrian!

 

Don't give up mate, you will come out of this smiling


HALIFAX

Settled in Full

24/10/06
£2228.70

HFC

Settled in Full

May 2007, Default removal and £640 refnded

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A fellow Doncastrian!

 

Don't give up mate, you will come out of this smiling

 

I smile every time they phone , knowing that it's another nail in their coffin :lol:

If I can help stop the misery they cause, by complaining loudly, then rest assured, I will!


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Just to keep track of events, or lack of them.

 

I checked with the Halifax last week and was told my SAR was not on the system, or a letter sent on the 24th. As mentioned before, I ended up going into branch to fax over copies.

 

On Monday of this week I telephoned them again and the young lady who answered informed me it was her first day in the job so she didn't know what to do, but took my details and said she would get back to me. Needless to say, nothing heard.

 

I've called back again today and got a man this time, he's checked the system and tells me they received the SAR on the 25th October (posted 1st class on 20th!) so the 40 days is up on the 4th December.

 

I've also had a bank statement to let me know they've slapped on a further £4 in debit interest since the last one - I'm simply not using the account at all until this is resolved. They caused the overdraft, I'm not about to clear the negative balance as it's totally made up from charges.

 

I love the way they emphasise things in the letters they send:- "you must not let your account go overdrawn", followed in the next paragraph by "You are in breach of these conditions because without our agreement you have used your account or allowed someone else to use it so as to make your account go overdrawn"

 

Now call me picky, but if they've taken money out of my account to pay card services, without me even knowing about it, then bounced direct debits and charged me for the honour, then that was not me using my account to cause the overdraft? It must have been WITH their agreement, as they are the ones who took the money out. There must be some legality regarding that statement by them?

 

What worried me right now is that the letter states they will close the account if I don't pay up by November 15th. I'm unable to get another account as I'm unemployed and the Halifax have already marked my credit records - simply meaning no other bank will touch me with a bargepole...

 

I tried calling Retail Bank Collections today - rather snooty woman wasn't budging. She told me to call customer relations.

 

Some useful info in that customer relations say the 'best offer', the one most people refer to as the first letter offer, is based on the highest 6 month period for charges in the last 6 years. They have to calculate this when they get an action through.

 

So - what they are doing now is to request that retail bank collections hold off action on the account until the end of the year, to allow me to receive the data protection stuff and do my own maths. They'll also request that my letter (they have received it) and complaint are passed to them for further action.

 

She said they will probably write to me to make an offer, based on the worst 6 months as mentioned above, and it's up to me if I choose to go further. As far as I can tell I've jumped the system a little here as that would be the first offer letter...


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QUESTION

 

I am about to send in a SAR for my Halifax One card account. Do I use this same thread or should I start a new one?

 

Card Services have been a bigger pain than the bank itself and I need to get this under way with reclaiming charges etc. as they are threatening default etc.

 

Due to my terrible financial situation, I've not been able to get another £10 postal order until now, a month after I sent in my SAR for my bank account. Yes, I know now I could have lumped the two together, but didn't realise at the time...


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Hi mate, just been reading your thread and wanted to wish you good luck with this. Sounds like if antone deserves to get their money back its you, will be following your progress.

Did I read in your thread that they have defaulted your acount?

 

TezViper


TezViper

 

I give advice not as an expert on law, only as a guy who succesfully claimed back £3385 from The Halifax. Followed by another £2611.

 

Lloyds TSB settled in full before hearing

 

Cap One offered full settlement and default removed.

 

If I help in any way then please donate to the site when you are succesful

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OK - I have two accounts with the Halifax, a normal bank account and a Halifax One card account.

 

They've sent letters threatening default, with closure of the bank account on 15th November if I don't pay the overdraft by then. I spoke to Customer Services last week and the lady there said she would try and get that put back to end of year, pending the action I was already taking.

 

Card Services have issued a default on 8th November, seems I have until the 22nd to pay nearly £100 to them. If not they say it will go to a D.C.A. or legal action etc.

 

I will get the S.A.R. off to them for the card account tomorrow and then call them to say the account is in dispute and that they should not pass it to a DCA etc. until the action is resolved, which will be followed up with a letter to that effect.


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I only asked because I think it was johnny2bad who recently won back all his charges after filing MCOL, halifax paid up before court, which he accepted and then he tried to continue to get default removed but was unsuccesfull. He feels if he had let not accepted the money and took whole case to court he would have had default removed as well.

 

Just wanted to make sure u were aware of that if you were going to ask for the default to be removed as well.

 

Good Luk

 

TezViper


TezViper

 

I give advice not as an expert on law, only as a guy who succesfully claimed back £3385 from The Halifax. Followed by another £2611.

 

Lloyds TSB settled in full before hearing

 

Cap One offered full settlement and default removed.

 

If I help in any way then please donate to the site when you are succesful

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Oh I'm aware of the bit about asking for the default to be removed as part of the process, and will make sure that forms part of the paperwork when I do it.

 

Thanks for the warning though, there are bound to be some who miss that bit.

 

In the meantime I'm still looking for a new account someplace, which is going to be difficult with the black marks already on my account I guess.


Be good to those who give you advice that helps - click the star to give them your thanks by way of a reputation credit.

 

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