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That's where loyalty get you...


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I applied via online banking last week to increase my overdraft capability for midwinter expense - tinsel etc ;) - by £50, making the total £150. Hadn't heard anything by Monday so rang to ask what was happening. Ahmed kindly told me that there hadn't been enough transactions in the past two weeks to warrant an overdraft increase, and that if I wanted to appeal someone from the Appeal Department would contact me in three days after doing a credit check on me!

 

Now, you may think that I'm being unreasonable having a bit of a moan about them not extending my overdraft for three months. Yes, my transaction history over the past two weeks have all been withdrawal; however, if they looked at me as a customer, they would realise that not only am I due a SLC payment in Jan that will more than cover £150, but that I have been with them more than six years now and gone into unauthorised overdraft once, three years ago, to the grand sum of five pence. If a customer of theirs has an impeccable history with them, hard-fought for by being an absolute penny-watcher, surely that customer shouldn't have to go on bended knee to ask for £50 extra...?

 

A question, now: I'm 21, rent, have no credit cards, loans (except student), finance, HP; in fact, were it not for the SLC I doubt I'd have a credit record. Will this affect their decision at all, that I leave barely a footprint? Is it better to have nothing all on there, or do they take that as a sign of, I don't know, deviancy in the credit-obsessed world? :?

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If you don't have a credit record, they can't assess whether you'd be likely to take the money and run (with £150, I know!), so they play safe. Absurd.

 

However, do not assume that you have no credit record, you do: The conduct of your o/draft over th elast few yrs, your student loan, even your rent payments... And then there's the others, utility bills, council tax, maybe mobile phone contract or phone/cable bills? Credit is not necessarily the same thing as borrowing, surprisingly. I bet if you got your credit file, you'd be surprised. ;-)

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:D lol:D I've never even thought of checking it out - I'm the type who's paranoid they're going to be 'caught out' by evil corporations with twisting T&Cs, so I make every effort to avoid signing up to anything...however, everything's been paid on time, the student loan's not due to start repayment for another six months or so...so really, they should have no reason to refuse...? It's just a bit tight this year, and I'd like a £50 buffer, in case the TV license comes out at the wrong time over the holidays, a friend turns up whom you haven't bought for and you need an extra tin of festive biccies, etc.

 

But it just highlights what my OH and I were discussing last night; the decline of customer focus within business. Yes, we're an entertaining pair at parties ;) but we both used to manage/supervise in retail and know how it should go - customer wants, business bends over backwards to please, customer is pleased, therefore uses business again and recommends, thus earning new customers for business. Time and time again, however, this seems to go out of the window. Whatever happened to "Are you being served, sir?" *sigh*

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I'm going to guess this is the the nationwide, they are the only large institution that don't throw money at students in the hope of earning their lifetime loyalty. It depends how you look at it, at lot of people get into trouble due to irresponsible lending but for an extra £50, I think both they and you could afford to risk it ;) The quickest way might just be to walk into the branch and ask for it again, in person. Take your payment schedule letter in and prove to them how much is going in and when. I'm just trying to imagine them saying 'no'.

 

Your right, no credit record is pretty much a bad credit record. Student loan information is currently private although it wasn't long ago that some bank/credit card company tried to get it released to the credit reference agencies. In your situation all they will probably have to go on is your account history with them, so you might want to bring up that you've always kept it in check.

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It's the Abbey, actually... Maybe they're sore because I've always ripped up their spam offers of credit cards with limits I could never afford to pay back :D

 

I explained all that, about SLC and impeccable history, to the nice man on the other end of the phone, and he had my account on-screen so I'm sure he could've checked himself - but no, I have to wait for a phone call, to my home line, that's coming 'sometime in the next three days'. I would take my schedule into the branch, but I don't want to confuse them and end up with a £200 limit instead of £150 becaue they've put the request through twice...

 

I mean, it's such a silly amount to them, but could be a really needed buffer between me being in authorised red and me going unauthorised by a few pence then having to argue with the muppet on the phone that they're unlawful ;)

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Hear hear.

 

Pay attention, this is the one and only time you'll hear me sing an American praise :lol: :

 

A few years ago, my sister had a film to develop here. The photos came out with a line in the middle, darker than expected, clearly a processing fault. On complaining, she was given all the excuses, it was her fault, the film must have been faulty, etc... Ill will, bad grace, mud-slinging, no refund.

 

Forward a few months, same sister, different country, the US: Photos come out a bit off, the liquid used to fix them was dirty or something. Apologies, full refund + free blank films, more apologies and a handful of coupons for future free development. Why? To ensure she would come back.

 

I worked in one of the very first Domino's Pizza in the country. I had the devil of a time getting into the drivers' heads not to argue when customers were saying he was over the 30 minutes (£1 off your order), if it was borderline. Don't argue, give him his £1 off, he'll be calling back to order hundreds of pounds worth more of products. Argue or refuse, he'll switch to Pizza Hut.

 

I swear, it was like the money was coming out of their own pockets at time!!! :lol: (It wasn't, but it would lower my chance of a bonus, which is where the system can fail at higher levels!)

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Pay attention, this is the one and only time you'll hear me sing an American praise :lol: :

 

:D I speed-read this as 'you'll hear me sing an American phrase..." I was expecting West Side Story or O Liberty or something ;)

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Are you no longer a student or not in college/University? I mean my overdraft limit is about 10x that since the age of 18, and if your still there you can get an intrest free for over £1000. Whilst it is tempting to dip into this, you can easily get it set up at £200. Reading your post saying you should be getting a loan payment in january I am assuming you are, so either get a new account at a new bank, or apply for your account to be made into a student one with the interest free overdraft.

Ex-Retail Manager who is happy to offer helpful advise in many consumer problems based on my retail experience. Any advise I do offer is my opinion and how I understand the law.

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I've always kept my overdraft limit purposely small, so that I'm never tempted. I usually have money from work to top it up, but I'm between jobs atm and it's getting a bit tight. It's not really worth moving banks for - well, unless they refuse me £50 by next week ;)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to update on this bizarre saga:

 

I applied again before Xmas and again after Xmas to extend my overdraft by £50 until my loan payment comes in on the 8th Jan. Both times refused, over the phone, after going to 'the underwriters' (sounds like a punk band...); one call op. even had the nerve to repeat to me over and over again, "You have no credit for this/you have no credit for this/you have no credit for this...". After being a customer with Abbey for all that time.

I paid in all the money I got for Xmas yesterday (nothing grand, £50) and then checked my acct online to make sure the cash had gone in. Great, I thought, it was disastrous before but now it looks like it's only going to be tight, and I've only got to wait 'til Monday...

 

No, the TV license had gone out, on the 2nd. Putting me unauth-overdrawn by £6 odd. I was gutted, I thought I'd been so careful, thought I'd avoided all the hassle of going in there and demanding charges back...pff. So I went in today as soon as they opened, paid in £40 I had to borrow, just in case I couldn't get anywhere, and asked for my complaint to be dealt with in a very loud voice.

 

So we sat down, I explained how rude everyone had been, how careful with money I am, my impeccable acct history and how I couldn't believe that a model customer couldn't extend their overdraft by £50 for one month.

 

The first thing that she said to me was "Well, why didn't you change your account to a student one when you started Uni?", completely missing the point! It's been drummed into these poor people that the first resolution to a problem is to offer to sell them a new product!

 

Ach, anyway, I thought I was going to be charged £25, £30 max - "No, there's a pending amount of £50 waiting to be charged, £20 for going overdrawn and £30 for clearing (wait for it) £6.00..."! I knew that the charges could mount up pretty quickly, and know that they often charge more than once for the same 'activity', but Mab on a bike, £50!

 

I went through it all again, don't expect to be treated this way, three accts that I want to close if not sorted, coming up for 7 years with you people, blah blah blah...then the magic words: "I'm quite prepared to begin court action to get these refunded as unlawful..."

 

That got a consultation with the mysterious Manager behind the scenes, and a full refund (or 'referral' in their odd language) and apology. :D

 

I'm wondering about this now, though, because the lady dealing with the complaint didn't seem to be familiar with the Charges Sheet she filled out, nor changing the minus charge to a positive referral on the screen in front of her. I would've thought that every bank staff member knew how to refund charges now ;) She also said that it was 'policy' that "we've refunded this as a gesture of customer goodwill (whose? hers? certainly wasn't mine), but we can only do this for each customer once a year to the amount of £50." Lucky for them, that, as I would have sat there until she took them off whether their limit was £50 or £500, but still...that appears to be what Abbey's staff are being told at the moment.

 

Ah, rant over, charges gone. Good start to the day :)

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Why are you still banking with these muppets?! Sheesh... I wouldn't put up with treatment like that if they paid me £50 a month for the privilege!!

 

Go to Smile or First Direct - their customer service is second to none, and you get an automatic free overdraft limit. (Obviously you don't have to use it, but extending it is not a problem when the need arises).

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I don't know about First Direct, as they are going to be introducing account charges in the near future for account holders in certain circumstances.

 

According to BF and Dave they're still unlawful as they're "cloaking the penalty". The Account Charges are only applicable to people who have only one account; so open a savings account and pay £1 a month into it and you avoid the account charge.

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I'm still banking with them because I'm verging on the brink of depression at the moment and really really haven't got time to rearrange DDs, etc...it's on my (long) list of things to do..along with get a life...

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I'm still banking with them because I'm verging on the brink of depression at the moment and really really haven't got time to rearrange DDs, etc...it's on my (long) list of things to do..along with get a life...

 

That's the beauty of Smile's new customer process; they do ALL THAT for you. You need to open the account and tell them which bank you're with at the moment, they do the rest.

 

Seriously, think about it... it costs you nothing and saves you being exposed to one of the factors that's probably influencing your depression ANYWAY. AND you'll get a lot less messing about, and no call centres in India - both of their major call centres are in UK (One in the North West, one in Edinburgh).

 

Whatever you decide to do, you have my support - I've actually been where you are and come out the other side so I know.

 

By the way - if you already acknowledge that you're "verging on the brink of depression" go see your doctor. You're probably quite deep in already without realising it. He can help and it doesn't necessarily mean a lifetime of drugs either.

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