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Claim for compensation


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Hi all,

 

Just to say I’ve had a quick look at your forums and would like to commend everyone for the wealth of information and advice available.

 

I’ve tried to find information related to my particular issue but have been unable to do so.

 

Basically about three years ago Halifax incorrectly merged my account with someone else’s (same name as me and same DOB but different town) this had no major adverse affects (a few letters were delivered to the wrong address) so once I received the letter of apology I was happy enough.

 

However this October three of my direct debits failed – which was weird as there should have been enough money to cover them, what’s more from a letter I received the next day I was being charged £39 per failed debit. I phoned my bank and they said £170 pounds had been removed from my account to cover arrears on a credit card.

 

I don’t have a credit card with Halifax.

 

Further investigations revealed that in August they had also taken £150 from my savings account (I only get an annual statement, so didn’t notice). I had received no correspondence about these deductions.

 

With a bit of probing I discovered that the address for the credit card in arrears was the same Northamptonshire address that had caused the issue three years before. I told them about the problem in the past and asked for my money back. They refused and insisted on carrying out a fraud investigation.

 

In the meantime I was over £400 poorer (the deductions and charges), affecting my ability to pay further bills, and my telecoms provider (one of the parties who hadn’t received their cash) was threatening to withdraw their service. Furthermore all the companies for who the DD had failed had cancelled the arrangement and I had to go through the process of reinstatement (probably an hour on the phone).

Worse still, by making it a fraud investigation my name seemed to get linked to an even greater extent to the mysterious credit card – I received a statement in the post and started getting calls from Halifax’s collections department, harassing me for payment.

 

The fraud investigation took about 3 weeks, and ended when the operative from the fraud department simply phoned up the Northamptonshire credit card holder and asked if the transactions were legitimate and found out that they were. The Halifax operative went on to say that their collections department had made a mistake and linked my name to the credit card through an incorrect trace.

 

During the three week period I must have spent upwards of ten hours on the phone dealing with this issue and understandably was under considerable stress (had criminals stolen my identity?). I also had the hassles of dealing with the knock on effects; re-arranging DDs and shifting money around to pay bills – this makes me feel that the £150 they are offering as a goodwill payment is far too low.

 

Has anyone here faced a similar scenario? If so how much compensation did you obtain? Is £150 reasonable or should I press for more?

 

Also if I were to write a letter of complaint I would be interested in knowing how best to highlight Halifax’s failings. I was amazed they sent me a statement and started harassing me for money only after the fraud investigation began (must be a breach of data protection?) – I was equally astounded that their collections department could simply take money without letting me know.

 

Any advice would be gratefully received.

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Andrew.

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Hi Andrew.... What a horror story!.

 

I'm not sure what the best course of action will be, for you, but sit tight, I'll find someone who will be able to advise you.

 

The cavalry's on its way.

 

Regards, Rooster.

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It seems to me that there are clear remedies available for breach of contract and/ or in the latenative for breaches of the Data Protection Act.

 

 

 

The DPA particularly allows calims for distress to oneself and to ones familly. However, the court are cagey about awarding for distress and I would say that you will have to have everything very well documented.

I would suggest that begin immedialtely to attempt to diarise the events, the inconvenince, the elffort which you have had to make, the money which you have had to lay our either repaid or not repaid as well as the emtional effct on you and your family.

 

you will need to lay it out in great detail and come up with a reasonable figure for compensation.

 

Try to get it all down on paper and then rnder it to a spreadsheet so that there is an easy to understand schedule as well.

 

once you have done this you can start to calculate whether or not it is worth proceeding.

Whatever you do, make it clear in writing that any settlement you accept is only accepted as a part payment.

Also, do nothing on the telephone with the bank unless you record your calls.

 

You will find them incompetent, devious and frankly capable of dishonesty in order to avoid their proper liabilies.

 

Once you decide to take action then I would suggest that you move purposefully towards a claim - giving tight no-nonsense dealines and only make threats which you keep.

We have found that the banks will pay no atention until the claim has been issued so you may as well get to that point pretty quickly.

 

Calculate your losses.

Post here and lnk me to the post by pm.

 

You can't lose the claim - as long as you aren't greedy about the figure you want.

 

By the way, you should also do an SAR to the bank and also get a credit reference check to make sure that they haven't registered these problems with the CRAs

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Hi Andrew,

I have had a read of your story and hopefully I'll be able to give you a bit of advice. Essentially you have two options available to you if you want to go the litigation route. Your first option would be to bring a claim in tort based upon negligence. You could do this because a bank owes a fiduciary duty to its customer(s) to use reasonable skill and care when dealing with them. They are also subject to the duty of care that everybody else is subject to. So in order to prove a duty of care is easy and it is also easy to show that they failed to use reasonable skill and care. However in order to successfully prove a negligence claim you need to be able demonstrate causation and forseeability, this could be more complicated even though it is clear they have been negligent.

The second much easier option is to make a claim in contract. You would simply have to prove they are in breach of contract, this is easy. Implied into every contract, regardless of what is in the small print of your terms and conditions, is a term that the supplier of a service will use reasonable skill and care when supplying the service. This is found in s.13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. In order to prove this you need to prove the existence of a contract: this doesn't need to be signed. You will need to check your terms and conditions for any other relevant terms as well as the implied statutory term. You will also have to prove a breach of contract; in your case they have taken money from your account without your consent and failed to use "reasonable skill and care". You will also have to show the court that it has caused you a loss, that will be easy just the court your bank statement detailing how much money they took.

If I were you I would definitely consider the second option as it is straight forward and very easy to prove in court before a district judge in a small claims court. Before starting proceedings though I would write a letter to your bank rejecting the initial offer of £150 as being unreasonable in the circumstances and state what amount you would prepared to accept and also specify a time limit when you need a reply back otherwise you will commence proceedings in the county court.

I’m new to this site as someone at work told me about it, I work as a solicitor in a City practice and no doubt you will read a lot of people on this site talking about the Consumer Credit Act and the like; this just complicates matters and makes things take longer. If you stick to basic legal principles of contract then it is usually very straightforward.

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Thanks, Bank Fodder and Angry Walrus.:)

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Hi Andrew,

 

I have had a read of your story and hopefully I'll be able to give you a bit of advice. Essentially you have two options available to you if you want to go the litigation route. Your first option would be to bring a claim in tort based upon negligence. You could do this because a bank owes a fiduciary duty to its customer(s) to use reasonable skill and care when dealing with them. They are also subject to the duty of care that everybody else is subject to. So in order to prove a duty of care is easy and it is also easy to show that they failed to use reasonable skill and care. However in order to successfully prove a negligence claim you need to be able demonstrate causation and forseeability, this could be more complicated even though it is clear they have been negligent.

 

The second much easier option is to make a claim in contract. You would simply have to prove they are in breach of contract, this is easy. Implied into every contract, regardless of what is in the small print of your terms and conditions, is a term that the supplier of a service will use reasonable skill and care when supplying the service. This is found in s.13 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982. In order to prove this you need to prove the existence of a contract: this doesn't need to be signed. You will need to check your terms and conditions for any other relevant terms as well as the implied statutory term. You will also have to prove a breach of contract; in your case they have taken money from your account without your consent and failed to use "reasonable skill and care". You will also have to show the court that it has caused you a loss, that will be easy just the court your bank statement detailing how much money they took.

 

If I were you I would definitely consider the second option as it is straight forward and very easy to prove in court before a district judge in a small claims court. Before starting proceedings though I would write a letter to your bank rejecting the initial offer of £150 as being unreasonable in the circumstances and state what amount you would prepared to accept and also specify a time limit when you need a reply back otherwise you will commence proceedings in the county court.

 

I’m new to this site as someone at work told me about it, I work as a solicitor in a City practice and no doubt you will read a lot of people on this site talking about the Consumer Credit Act and the like; this just complicates matters and makes things take longer. If you stick to basic legal principles of contract then it is usually very straightforward.

 

 

Extremely well answered.

Welcome to the site doubtless your contributions will prove to be a valuable asset,and additionally give you an insight into how the unlawful penalty charging regimes operated by the financial institutions for so long,are being addressed through the courts by close on 100k members of the site.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.

 

 

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Thanks very much for the advice - I have managed to escalate the complaint to a senior manager (probably standard delaying tactics on their part) and will see how it goes from there. I've asked for £500 - which I think is reasonable compensation for their negligence, considering they think it appropriate to charge £117 for the administrative costs of a computer generated letter.

 

Thanks again,

 

Andrew.

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Hope you can get it sorted out with the minimum of hassle.:)

 

Regards, Rooster.

If this has been useful to you, please click on the scales at bottom left of post. Thanks.

 

Advice & opinions of Rooster-UK are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Please use your own judgment.

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