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Claiming Refund of charges on Marbles Card where claim is smaller than arrears


Mancman
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Brief introduction first - having been reading this forum with interest over the last couple of months, and been busy going through all my old statements (never throwing anything is useful sometimes!) Shocked at the amount of charges I've incurred over the last five years, over £3,500 across various credit cards and my current account with Barclays. Needless to say out of over 20k of debt - getting 3.5k plus interest back would make really useful inroads into paying off the debt.

 

 

So the background to my questions first, before I get on to the bits I want advice on:

 

 

I went over my credit limit on my Marbles credit card in October 2005 - by this point I had already incurred £350 in charges for late payment and bounced direct debits.

 

For a few months after going over my credit limit (£9,300) they continued to approve transactions from a couple of Internet service providers to which I had given an "ongoing authorisation" to charge my card. This amounted to several hundred pounds worth of transactions which in my experience any other card provider would have rejected (for instance Barclaycard reject transactions once I've gone more than about £10 or £20 over the credit limit.)

 

Since exceeding my credit limit in October 2005 they have applied charges every month for being over limit and late payment. The latter mainly because the due date on my monthly statements is the last working day of the month - the same day as I get paid. They have always refused to change the date - the only solution they can offer is to pay by Direct Debit - as then they clear the payment on the same day, unlike any other method.

 

Since then I have struggled to pay off the ever growing balance. By February 2006 I had agreed to make regular monthly payments of £209 - on the basis that if I did this they would "treat my account as being up to date" and not apply any more charges. Despite explaining to them that I would make these regular payments in the bank on the last working day of the month (my pay day) - as this takes three days to clear it appears that they are treating my payments as late payments. Plus they are still charging over limit charges.

 

Obviously the interest charges are very large every month - but I can live with this - that was the deal I signed up to. But with £50 of charges - now reduced to £24, every month - my monthly payment of £209 is not enough to stop the balance creeping up to the point where I am now £1,130 over my credit limit.

 

The £209 is about as much as I can afford - and originally we came up with this figure as it is roughly what my minimum amount due would be if my account was within its limit.

 

As you will imagine they keep phoning me up and pestering me about this balance. You used to get to talk to their call centre in Birmingham - and some times you would get to speak to someone who was quite understanding and helpful. Now you get calls from their Indian call centre with some of the poorest staff I have ever had to speak too. Assuming that is that their auto dialler doesn't drop the call two seconds after I answer my mobile. These Indian workers can't even understand when I tell them that I had made an agreement in the past and that the best I can offer is to continue with the same value payments, and that sending me a direct debit mandate so they can pull all my months wages down in one payment is not what I want to do.

 

My total amount of charges incurred to date is £800 - which is less than the over limit amount of £1,130.

 

 

 

So my questions I would like some views on:

 

Have I got any legal foot to stand on in arguing that the transactions which they authorised when I was already over my credit limit should have been rejected?

 

I am going to commence action to get repayment of the £800 + interest. While such action is ongoing I am willing to continue to pay my previously agreed £209 per month. Should I mention this in my initial letter to Marbles?

 

I am right to ask them to stop constantly phoning me as my account is 'in dispute' and I have already made my best offer in repaying the over limit amount? And mention this in the initial letter or not?

 

Should I mention in this letter the fact that they had previously offered to freeze charges but never did?

 

An alternative would be to send the standard letter - then a separate letter asking them not to keep telephoning me and detailing my repayment proposition.

 

 

I assume that I will continue to incur charges even if they do make a full settlement of my current claim - as my over limit amount is grater than what I am claiming for. Will I be able to take further action in several months time for repayment of these additional charges?

Or am I best launching my action against Barclays Bank at the same time for the £1,600 + interest of charges they owe me. My over draft is only £650, so would hopefully have a nice sum left over to bring my Marbles account to within the limit.

 

Final question are Marbles likely to want to close my account and demand repayment of the 10k? This would obviously be rather tricky.

 

 

Many thanks in advance for any thoughts.

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you can still claim the charges yes. There is the obvious implication of them demanding all the money back and closing your account so tread a little carefully. I'm leaving marbles till last in my claims as I have my main credit card balace with them also and only a few charges.

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