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I've had an Ultimate Reward current account with the Halifax for the past few years.

I'm in receipt of DLA and ESA.

The £15/month charge is acceptable, given the breakdown insurance, £300 fee-free overdraft, etc.

 

However, I have been paying on average £30/month to them for an authorised overdraft of £650 (my fault, for using the facility, I know!).

 

I applied for a personal loan in order to repay (and cancel) my overdraft, but the response was 'No' because I was 'in receipt of DLA, a loan was not available'.

 

In order to avoid unauthorised (and some authorised, which amounts to either £1/day or £5/day) overdraft charges I have resorted to Wonga,

(which I have paid back earlier than the agreements...and have actually saved me money, very surprisingly!

 

Back to the thread title...

 

My DD to EDF for electricity and gas was returned unpaid as I was 64p(!) out with my authorised overdraft (after it had been paid).

 

Yet they permit their own charges!

 

I have had numerous '£5/day unauthorised OD fees' caused by Halifax charges alone

(as well as the £1/day charge, between the £300 'free' overdraft and the £1/day fee in excess of £300).

None by my exceeding my OD facilities.

 

I'm at a complete loss as to how to move forward with this!

 

Many thanks.

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Cancel direct debts for electricity and gas would be a start and pay by another method, ie- paypoint card or internet banking..

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Thanks Consumer dude for the very quick response...

I get a discount (or so I've been told!) for paying by DD.

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Thanks Consumer dude for the very quick response...

I get a discount (or so I've been told!) for paying by DD.[/QU

 

I understand that, however paying certain things by other ways then direct debit will give you more control over when payments go out, for instance paying by standing order gives you more control and not the company as you decide the amount..

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yes I often find this

 

I pay nothing by DD

 

you p'haps only save

where as the resultant charges amount to £100's!!

 

if you are on benefits and the take PENALT charges

you know you can reclaim them under BCOBS and hardship.

 

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Many thanks in advance for any advice!

 

Basically, my circumstances are as follows:

My only income is ESA and DLA.

In about 2008 I opened a Halifax Reward current account.

In September 2010 I upgraded it to an Ultimate Reward account in order to receive an overdraft (needed at the time because of relationship problems and having to find temporary accommodation).

Halifax granted me an overdraft of £650, of which £300 was fee-free as part of the benefits of the packaged account, the remainder being charged at £1/day if used. Anything over £650 was classed as unauthorised and subject to a £5/day fee.

Of course, I ended up using the entire amount and have in effect been living on the overdraft for the past four years, being unable to find a way out of my situation.

I have approached the Halifax for a loan in order to repay the o/d, but have been told that because I am in receipt of DLA that I am not eligible.

Meanwhile, I have been using Wonga in order to avoid the £5/day unauthorised o/day fees (always repaid promptly with no problems whatsoever).

Since upgrading my account in 2010, Halifax have charged me a total of £1398 in o/d fees plus £595 packaged account fees.

I just don't seem to see a way out of this mess!

 

Once again, many thanks in advance.

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Hi gd

 

You should definitely make a claim. Give examples of why their charges left you in financial hardship. You need to personalize the template. An example, if the charges left you in hardship because you couldn't pay utility bills, tell them. Give them details of your circumstances, health conditions you have. Change FSA to FCA. They will send you an income expenditure form or you can send your own.

 

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I delivered a letter to my local Halifax branch on 15/05/2015 to try and reclaim my Ultimate Reward account premiums.

 

No reply at all, so sent this email to David Nicholson...

 

I apologise for having to contact you personally in this manner, but I am in a state of some desperation.

 

On Thursday 15/05/2014, I hand-delivered a letter to my local Halifax branch (XXXXXXX) expressing my concerns that I was, in effect, mis-sold my Ultimate Rewards Account.

To date, after nearly eight weeks, I have received neither a reply nor acknowledgement, which explains why I feel a need to explore further avenues of communication.

 

This relates to an incident in August 2010, when I visited the XXXX branch in order to request an increase in my overdraft facility (mainly due to a relationship breakdown!).

 

It was implied to me in the branch that I should open an Ultimate Reward account in order to "make this a little easier".

I thought about it for a few days and opened the account online and my overdraft was duly increased.

 

Since then, I have been advised that I may have been mis-sold the account, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it should not have been necessary to upgrade my account in order to benefit from an increased overdraft.

Secondly, as I have a number of pre-existing medical conditions (I am currently in receipt of Disability Living Allowance), the included travel insurance would be rendered void.

Thirdly, I do not own a car, so the breakdown cover would also not be suitable.

 

I have therefore requested a refund of the premiums paid, which amounts to a total of £625.93p.

 

I have suggested this sum could be used to repay my overdraft facility, currently £600, which could subsequently be removed.

 

In addition, I have paid a total of £1463 in charges on my overdraft, which, given my only income is Disability Living Allowance and ESA, is (to me, at any rate) a considerable sum.

 

I am not attempting to reclaim the charges, just £625.93 Ultimate Rewards premium payments.

 

Obviously, I wish to return to a normal Reward account as soon as possible, as I have been very happy with Halifax up until this incident.

 

Additionally, I have previously contacted Halifax (about two years ago?) with a view to obtaining a loan in order to be able to repay my overdraft.

This was met with outright refusal, as I was told loans are not available for those in receipt of DLA.

 

I have since resorted to using "Wonga" as a means of reducing my liability for unauthorised overdraft charges as, rather surprisingly, they are cheaper (in my case).

 

I have also recently had to replace many household items (which has in itself involved considerable expense) due to my son having bought himself a property and moved (I felt I had to help him as much as possible, as a first home is always costly to equip!). Incidentally, the property was bought with a mortgage from Halifax, for which my son and myself are extremely grateful.

 

Once again, apologies for having to contact you personally.

 

Kind regards,

 

 

If the above doesn't produce any result, would I be justified in raising the issue as a BCOBS complaint?

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I think you have made a good decision to go up the chain.

 

I think that BCOBS would be worth exploring if you dont get a favourable response.


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This is my latest reply, after having received notification that my complaint should be resolved by 27th August...

 

Thank you for your reply dated 30/07/14.

I would, however, refer you to the fact that my original complaint was delivered by hand to your XXXXXX branch on 15/05/14, almost twelve weeks ago.

During this time, a further £139 has been charged in fees, despite you having been informed on more than one occasion that my income is solely Government Benefits (Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance).

I am taking this opportunity to further prove hardship by enclosing a copy of a letter received from XXXXX Council confirming the fact that my financial situation is being further pressed by my liability for the "bedroom tax" (and, rather surprisingly, an increase in council tax, which I will obviously question).

I also wish to bring to your attention the provisions of the BCOBS, which appear to have been ignored in my case on quite a number of occasions, specifically:

Refusing to help when asking for a loan to repay my overdraft (this was during a call to one of your telephone banking staff. This would have repaid my overdraft at a far lower rate than the monthly charges being imposed (the loan was refused because I am in receipt of Disability Living Allowance...at least that's what I was told by telephone).

I have had "fees added on to fees", thus directly causing my account to be subject to "unauthorised borrowing" charges. This is specifically mentioned in the BCOB Sourcebook as being an example of a contravention.

Additionally, as my original complaint has taken in excess of eight weeks to receive any kind of resolution, it would now be perfectly reasonable for me to submit it to the Financial Ombudsman Service for consideration. I am, at present, not considering taking that route purely due to the timescale involved (and also in the hope that a satisfactory outcome can be achieved in an amicable fashion).

I also appreciate your invitation to telephone should I wish to discuss the matter, but my various medical problems preclude this approach by myself, therefore I request that all communications in this matter are by either email or letter.

Thanking you for your understanding.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

 

Any further advice/comments gratefully received!

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Hello. Have you had any success or further replies from Halifax regarding your case? I am in the process of contacting David Nicholson for similar reasons and am interested in anyone dealing with this type of issue.

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