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My very own, very specific, RBOS thread... SETTLED


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My sad story:

 

I opened an account with RBOS when I was a very young (for a free money box I think!) and I haven't used this account at all since I was about 15, (switching to HBOS with whom I've had no problems) but have never gotten around to closing it as I'm away from home at university and just use my other student account. So it was sitting there with 80pence in it, getting about a penny interest a year, and then last month I received a statement saying that I have gone over my overdraft limit and am now being charged a 'Maintenance Charge' of £28.00 a month. This is without me using my account for seven years!

 

Then I discover that the RBS have upgraded my account without my permission to a 'Royalties' one with a subscription of £6.00, something I never signed up for. Since my account did not have sufficient funds to pay for this subscription they are levying me with these monthly charges. I've been to my bank to complain but they're refusing to give me a refund and are insisting that I pay the penalties.

 

I've just written a letter to the head office, and I really hope it gets resolved. I'm a student at Glasgow Uni, and the SRC there seem to be getting pretty involved in dealing with unlawful bank charges for students so I'll see if they can advise me if RBOS make things difficult. I'd appreciate any feedback on whether you guys think this is a legitimate claim on my part. Thanks!

 

p.s. sorry for my previous hijacking by the way, this is a great site, very useful!

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I'm racking my brains now but as you opened your account when you were a minor, you must normally ratify the contract when you reach majority. The only question in my mind is whether this applies to bank accounts? I can't imagine why not but then I am not very uptodate on this area of law. Looks like we need to add a book on contract law to our wish list.

 

Do you have the T&Cs which you agreed to when the account was opened? Importantly did you use the account at all - even once after you attained your majority? If you did then this would probably be seen as adopting or ratifying the contract by your behaviour.

 

You also need to find out from the bank on what basis they took it upon themselves to change your account - especially when it was clearly unused.

 

It looks valid from the point of view that you are dealing with penalty charges. But it also has amusing spin offs if the contract wasn't ratified and also the fact that they changed the contract without your agreeement.

 

Time for some sport.

 

Don't bother about the letter you sent to the bank. Unless you are very lucky it will produce no result.

 

Serve a DPA request from the library but modified to ask for ALL data, notes etc relating to your account business since XXXDATE you opened itXXX including the contract, and also including the new contract which they opened for you unilaterally.

have they defaulted you?

You don't say how much is at stake? The small claim limit is Scotland is £750

Get this info and come back here. Keep on following the forum and learn about what you are doing.

 

What is your subject?

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Then I discover that the RBS have upgraded my account without my permission to a 'Royalties' one with a subscription of £6.00, something I never signed up for.

Surely no one can alter the terms of a contract unilaterally (particularly not one imposing on one of the parties a heavier financial obligation)?

 

Might they have given you notice which you may not have responded to, thus - perhaps - entitling them to argue some form of acquiescence to the change? (Although I'd still find such a unilateral alteration of terms hard to swallow.)

 

Yup - sounds like a new contract book may be on the cards, BankFodder!

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I'm pretty positive I don't have the T&Cs as it was so long ago and I tend to just keep the statements and throw out all the rest of the bumpf banks send out! Plus I was very young and too busy admiring my shiny new money box. I definitely haven't used my account since I was at least fifteen, I don't even know where my card is, never mind what my pin number is.

 

My local branch told me yesterday that they updated my account because I was now too old for their 'Route 21' account so they automatically put me onto 'Royalties'. I remember getting the leaflet a while ago and glancing at all the fabulous deals and offers that came with this account, but since I wasn't using it I just put it in a drawer and thought that I should get around to closing it some day. I never signed anything, never spoke to anyone or had any dealings whatsoever with RBOS but they still seem to think that it's perfectly acceptable to put me from a young person's free account to an account with a £6.00 monthly fee without asking whether this is ok!

 

I turned 22 last July and this apparently is when I was upgraded. The first few months are free, my local branch told me, so that's why it is only now that I have been hit with these charges. They have previously upgraded my account in the past from 'Route 15' to 'Route 17' and then 'Route 21': all free accounts for young people. This is why when I received the leaflet about the Royalties account, I thought nothing of it.

 

Ariel - I'm pretty sure they didn't give me any notice, I read through all the letters I'm sent, but I certainly could have missed something. If this is the case could they argue that I could have cancelled the account during the few months of grace before the subscription applied? I just don't understand why a bank is able switch my account from a free one to one with a standing fee without my express permission.

 

My current 'Service Charge' is £34.00, although it will go up to £62.00 on 7 March, as the 'Maintenance Charge' of £28.00 is a monthly one. I know it's not a huge amount of money, but I really feel that I've been unfairly treated here.

 

I'm not sure if they've defaulted me, would they let me know? I guess I'll wait the two weeks I allowed them to respond in my letter (sent to the nameless 'Customer Service Manager' and my bank manager by registered post today) and then serve a DPA request.

 

Thanks for your advice!

 

p.s. I'm an English Literature student, avoiding imminent essay deadlines by writing strongly worded letters to banks and posting endless complaints on websites! If only there were sonnets on contractual law...

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Don't wait the two weeks. Send the DPA letter now. There is a 40 day deadline - too long in my opinon. You may as well get the clock ticking now.

 

Don't hang around. Set the pace. It won't matter that ther is a DPA request in as well. It might even concentrate their minds a little.

 

Have you closed the account?

 

Do so. There must be no evidence that you might have accepted the account. You should close it on the basis that you have just become aware of it and that you are acting with alacrity.

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But can I close the account without paying the charges they've levied against me? You see I literally had just £0.88 in my account meaning that because of these charges I'm now -£33.12 into my overdraft, which is increasing by £28.00 each month. I did tell my local branch that I wanted to close my account and I made this clear in the letter I sent out today. But shouldn't I wait until I've given them a chance to refund these charges to my account? Otherwise I'll have to give them the cash up front, without any guarantee that I'll get it back.

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Put the DPA in now. Tell them the amount is in dispute and that as far as you are concerned the account was never agreed to - and if they say that it was then you want a copy of your signature on the contract for your information.

 

 

I think that there is no doubt that you will get your money back.

on the basis of what you have said here they have made very bad mistakes which you can exploit.

 

I haven't noticed that you have said how much is at stake here. What is the present overdraft on the account?

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According to my last statement the overdraft was -5.12, but they said that they would take the charges off my account so I assume that will bring it to -£61.12. So, thus far they will have charged me £62.

 

I'll send the DPA letter off tomorrow, but I'll have to phone my bank to find out the date that my account was opened, as I just have a vague idea. Thanks for your help!

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Well I know that you are a student and all that but I would be tempted to find £61 or whatever it is and to send it to them under protest to close the account to mitigate loss and that they should understand that you are preparing to take action against them for the return of your money with interest.

 

I am quite certain you will get it back - although read the dsiclaimers at the bottom of my post.

 

If you bring a cliam, I would suggest that you claim about £400 to compensate you for the trouble to which you have been put for the negligent and unconscionable way they have handled your account.

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I'm recovering from an illness and am trying to get my head back into gear.

Have you made your DPA request as I suggested above - for ALL info?

It may cost you £10 but you will put a claim in which will cover that.

 

Have you managed to scrape £62 to pay off the acount?

 

Another question occurs to me - is there any other account that they could have changed you to which wouldn't have incurred the £6 monthly subscription charge?

Do try to dind this out. Thi sculc be very important if you could show that they had a range of possible transfer options includng some which would have cost nothing and yet they moved you to an account which cost money.

This would be a fantastic piece of bad faith. Find this out as soon as possible.

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A happy ending!

 

RBOS got back to me today and are going to refund all the charges! Scary letters with legal jargon actually work! Thanks for your all your help and good luck to everyone.

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make sure you close down the account

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Yeah, the manager just phoned to say she's going to refund the charges tomorrow so I'm going to close it right after that. So glad this got resolved quickly.

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  • 12 years later...

This topic was closed on 03/06/19.

If you have a problem which is similar to the issues raised in this topic, then please start a new thread and you will get help and support their.

If you would like to post up some information which is relevant to this particular topic then please flag the issue up to the site team and the thread will be reopened.

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Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 5473 days.

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