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mamt35

just starting out - woolwich bank charges whilst on benefits

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Hi

 

I've decided to claim back charges made by the woolwich.

I just want to clarify a few things if possible.

 

Firstly, me and my partner are both unemployed after redundancy,

our situation with the bank charges occurred when the child tax benefit we were having paid weekly into our account suddenly stopped,

it turned out to be a computer error and they are now paying us monthly by giro.

 

during the month when the problem occurred we had direct debits and cheques rejected,

we are now caught up in a vicious circle of charges,

where we had enough money going in to pay our direct debits,

it was being eaten up with charges.

We then cancelled all of our direct debits.

 

We have our JSA paid direct to our bank but find that too was being eaten up,

so much so that we had to get a crisis loan last week.

 

We had to take our last bank statement to the benefits office to show that we had no money as all our JSA had gone on charges.

They were appalled and have taken our statement,

said the bank had acted illegally,

and said they are going to complain to our bank.

 

Then this morning we got 2 letters from woolwich saying that we were £103 overdrawn (we were clear on monday) and another saying they are going to take £63 for being overdrawn last month.

Im now worried that the the benefits agency interference may not be helpful to my case?

 

Im about to do the data protection act letter but just wanted to ask a bit of advice first.

 

1. Should letters be typed or handwritten?

 

2. Can the £10.00 fee be paid by postal order or means other then cheque?

 

3. The address i have for the woolwich is Churchill Place, London. Is that the address i should sent the data protection letter to?

 

4. Should i tell the benefits office about my claim against the woolwich and ask them not to take action themselves?

 

Im currently re-reading all the FAQ's etc, dont want to get anything wrong, but any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

 

Sorry about the long-winded post, but im a little nervous about it all. :-)

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1. Doesn't matter as long as you keep copies of all correspondence.

 

2.PO is fine

 

3. Or take it to your branch. Get a signed receipt for letter + fee (can then be cash)

 

4. You can tell them if you want. Any action they take may get some charges refunded or future ones stopped (but don't hold your breath), but won't affect your ability to claim. You can send the bank a letter of appropriation to ring fence benefit payments, but it has to be sent about a week before payments hit your a/c and only apply to that payment. It's not on-going. See here:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/42170-letter-appropriation-when-bank.html?highlight=Appropriation

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thanks very much for your answers, very helpful. Just doing the data protection letter now, so hopefully the wheels will be in motion next week. :)

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Hi mamt35,

 

I vote branch or Woolwich HQ. The only reason I say this is because (at the DPA stage) i've heard of Barclays being a bit funny with Woolwich customers going straight to them. Maybe it doesn't matter though!

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Thank you Thailand. Is the head office address the one in bexleyheath?

 

I would rather write to the head quarters then my local branch, as i live in a small town and the branch is only small.

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I origially used:

 

Woolwich Customer Relations

Jackson House

Jackson Road

Clacton-On-Sea

Essex

CO15 1WH.

 

I've just noticed I said I used Bexleyheath in my thread and I don't know why!

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thanks, il use that address then instead of the barclays one :-)

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Do yourselves a favour and only write to the 1 Churchill Place address. As you will see in other threads. Both Woolwich @ Bexleyheath and Openplan in Clacton automatically pass refund requests onto Barclays Head Office

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i guess it will get where its supposed to go whichever woolwich HQ address i send it to. As long as it has the account number on it. Thanks all for your help :)

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Jumping ahead of myself a bit here, but when i do the prelimenary letter do you think i should include a bit about section 187 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992, Which states that no charges can be applied to social security benefits? Im thinking this may help my case as the only income i had going into the account was our child tax credits and JSA.

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I would deal with the social security issue seperately possibly by going into the branch so they can action it there on the spot, someone who has more knowledge on this issue may be able to help so as not to confuse the nice people at the Woolwich.

Send off the prilim recorded delivery, costs a pound but you then have proof its been sent.


-------------------------

CAPITAL ONE * SETTLED*31st Oct 06

HBOS *SETTLED* 8th Oct 06

WOOLWICH *SETTLED*12thJan2007

Monument (Barclays) *SETTLED*10thMar2007

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. They were appalled and have taken our statement, said the bank had acted illegally, and said they are going to complain to our bank.

 

Good its about time the banks were questioned in taking moeny that is ear marked for food and heating.

Im now worried that the the benefits agency interference may not be helpful to my case?

Dont worry your charges as long as they have actually been paid to teh bank and do not form part of an overdarft you have as much right to reclam the cash back as anyone else.

 

Im about to do the data protection act letter but just wanted to ask a bit of advice first.

 

1. Should letters be typed or handwritten? doesnt matter but typed is better not everyone is blessed with a pc or access to one

 

2. Can the £10.00 fee be paid by postal order or means other then cheque?

I pay all my S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) with a postal order.

 

3. The address i have for the woolwich is Churchill Place, London. Is that the address i should sent the data protection letter to?

 

4. Should i tell the benefits office about my claim against the woolwich and ask them not to take action themselves? No its 2 seperate matters, you are cliaming unlawfull charges the BEnefits Office are following up the miss use of your living allowance

 

Im currently re-reading all the FAQ's etc, dont want to get anything wrong, but any advice would be greatly appreciated!! Just keep reaidng and use teh search bar at teh top of this thread if you want easy access to issues, look for the threads that have the highest replies you often are able to then read the whole story and cover more ground.

 

Sorry about the long-winded post, but im a little nervous about it all. :-) so was i at the start it gets easier but i am so pleased teh benefit agency are having a pop its so over due

 

My suggestion now is move all yoru benefits to a building society i use Brittania, you cant have Direct debits so your money is all yours, it means you have to go and collect it but its better than someone else beating you to it :D.

 

Good luck

BL:)

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thanks breadline, i feel better already having read some of the threads that have gone all the way.

 

It was quite funny to see the reaction of the person in the benefits office when we handed over our bank statement. The air turned blue, and a few other people popped their heads in the door to make sure he was ok :lol: They were great tho, and gave us the whole 2 weeks benefit money that we had lost to the bank charges, i know we have to pay it back but it helped us out alot.

 

I did want to ask about one of the comments you made tho, its this bit

 

Dont worry your charges as long as they have actually been paid to teh bank and do not form part of an overdarft

We havnt been allowed an overdraft, so i presume all the charges were paid to the bank, even tho sometimes the charges have left our account overdrawn for a couple of weeks at a time? would that be right?

 

 

 

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