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Elliejay39 v Abbey (guru needed!!)


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This post may be quite long so apologies in advance!

I have found myself involved with the Abbey spreadsheet debacle (along with a number of others as evidenced in another thread on the Abbey forum)

 

For those who are unaware of whats now happening I will try and be brief with my own journey.

S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) sent beginning of March. Cheque was cashed and most recent 14 copy statements were sent fairly rapidly along with a letter from Pam Speed apologising for delay and stating that rest of info would follow. Last Saturday (40th day) I received a spreadsheet which supposedly gave totals of all charges from Jan 04 – Dec 06 There was also a promise that rest would follow and the information that my £10 S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) fee would be refunded (it duly was)

 

The obvious problem was no actual dates and no mention of statement balance or interest applied. This would make calculating interest paid on charges impossible. I pondered what to do for a week and then this morning a package of what I assume is copied microfiche arrived, again this has no mention of balance or interest applied other than a couple of tiny amounts (pence) and a few zeros but perhaps this is because as a student I had an interest free overdraft?. This covered the dates from Nov 2000 to Jan 2004 so I now have

Microfiche (?) – Nov 00 to Jan 04

Spreadsheet – Jan 04 to Dec 06

Statements – Jan 06 to present

I decided to fill in a simple spreadsheet just to get a picture of what’s what. What is really surprising is that the period covered only by spreadsheet shows NO unauthorised overdraft charges despite on some occasions as many as 6 cleared transactions in a month. The rest of the 6 years average 1 unauthorised OD charge every 2.5 months. Is this a coincidence? I suspect not. I really don’t know whats going on here and am pondering the best way to proceed so would welcome any advice.

I’ve totted up and total for charges alone is around £2600. Trouble is I know that there must be at least £120 missing in unauthorised O/d charges (unless that was Abbeys ‘be kind to your customer’ year!) I am also now paying around £16 per month in interest and as my overdraft is £2000 this must be entirely due to the accumulated charges but because of the early lack of information I can’t account for this properly.

 

Do I start again with another SAR as was suggested to another user by Information Commissioners Office? Its well over a month since my fist so presumably this would be ok (although I will be pretty p****d off! Mind you I’d probably stick out for pre 6 years too in this case) Do I just do a non-compliance letter even though they have refunded my fee (puzzled on this one as I used template from MSE ‘cos I hadn’t found you guys back then and it’s a bit different) Or do I cut my losses, go for what I’ve got and hope that by letting them get away with a few quid they will not get quite as shirty as they have been known to do?

 

As I’m sure you have guessed the reason I’m pussy footing is that I am scared they will recall my overdraft on demand and end up defaulting me. I have a parachute account set up but haven’t started using it properly yet. I was going to wait until the prelim went in so that the account was officially in dispute before I moved my salary. Also I am at LBA stage of a pretty hefty Cap one claim which will pay off the overdraft when settled.

 

See I told it you it would be long. Thanks for sticking with it!

 

Ellie:)

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Hi Ellie, I too am somewhat confused with the spreadsheet thing. My SAR was received by Abbey on 3/4/07 - I received the spreadsheet this Friday just gone and the bank statements and microfiche copies yesterday. I also have no fees for unauthorised overdrafts, but £340 of charges for cleared transactions between January 2004 - January 2006. Weird isn't it? I'm thinking of writing to Pam Speed and telling them that the dates given are not specific enough for that period and would like microfiche copies of them too - their 40 days expire on 14th May. Although it would infuriate me if they requested another £10 (as the ICO suggested I should pay anyway), but I'd do it because I'll be claiming that back too if I can get away with it. :) Best of luck! Dizzy ;)

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Hello there!! found this... thought it might be of interest...

 

Bank returns £10 fee for S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) Beware !

Just thought id point out to any newbies about the possibility when requesting your S.A.R - (Subject Access Request)'s that the banks or card companies send back your £10 fee.

 

Beware if they dont cash the cheque or indeed send it back to you, then they have no obligation to provide you with a complete S.A.R - (Subject Access Request). The data controller must operate within the Data Protection Act, and a prerequisite of the Data Protection Act states that a fee must be paid. If the bank is doing it as a favour then they could defend this in court quite easily about the fact the S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) was not completed fully.

ie they may accidentaly on purpose forget to include certain fee's, or miss out certain months. or forget to include a particular type of fee.

 

Avoid any confusion about this by including in the S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) request that you insist that the fee is accepted as a maximum payment for an SAR, that way if they send you anything that you feel is incomplete you have all bases covered !

 

Progenic7

worth trying again??

 

x x :cool:

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Thanks Blue_Diamond, Can you link the thread please (if you can find it again!)

Dizzy - If they haven't yet refunded your £10 I'd send off the non compliance template sharpish and INSIST they keep your money (how ironic to insist that a BANK keeps your money!)

Still not sure what to do as my 40 days was up last week and they've credited my account with the fee. I've been playing with spreadsheets ( I lead such an exciting life..) and i estimate that they've ommitted at least £140 of unauthorised fees from beginning of 04 to end of 05. They have also not informed me of interest charged so I can calculate the portion due to accumulated charges. I had been considering only claiming stat interest at court stage so as to keep it simple as this is Abbey we are talking about but thought i'd see the effect of compound contractural interest on charges alone. Ive used their preferential rate (10.9%) as this is the one I'm on and it increases the claim by about £400 (as opposed to 8% simple) so I was considering just going for it. My only concern is that from 2000-2003 I was a student and had an interest free overdraft -will they use this argument against me in court? (recipricocity & mutuality & all that?) Obviously these charges are the ones attracting the most interest and to make that period interest free would make quite a difference.

 

Anyone...?

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Thanks - did you read further down? It seems that its not quite accurate and they are still liable even if they return the fee as the DPA states that fee 'may' be charged, not 'must be'. useful link though.

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Guest louis wu

Ellie, this is becoming a bit of an issue with Abbey.

 

Do I just do a non-compliance letter even though they have refunded my fee (puzzled on this one as I used template from MSE ‘cos I hadn’t found you guys back then and it’s a bit different)

What exactly did you ask for in your sars request, was it a complete set of statements, or just the charges? If it was a complete set of statements, or a full list of transactions, then its my beliefe that they have not complied with this, and a non compliance letter could be sent. It does all depend on what you have asked for though.

Let us know what was in your sars request, and we'll take it from there.

louis

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Hi Louis,

Yes there seem to be quite a few of us in this position (have you read Dizzy's thread and the discussion going on here http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/abbey-bank/84077-alex-abbey-has-anyone-2.html)

Anyway as stated earlier I used MSE's template (partly because although I was a recent member here I hadn't read up much at that point and was a bit scared to use the full on approach - how naive was I?) Here is the actual wording of the SAR:

I am writing to request a fully comprehensive list of all the default charges for direct debit, unauthorised overdrafts and standing orders I have paid over the last six years.

Additionally, where there has been any event in my account history over this period which has required manual intervention by any member of your staff, or any other person, I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have either caused or resulted in that manual intervention, or other evidence of that manual intervention in relation to my business with you.

Please find enclosed a cheque for the maximum statutory charge of £10. If you are unable to provide this data, I will accept a copy of my statements going back six years.

I look forward to your response within 40 days, as Abbeyis obliged to reply under the Data Protection Act. If not I shall seek remedy from the Information Commissioner.

Do you think I should start again using the no nonsense approach (although I believe that there are those who used the CAG template and still got the same response - it appears to be an across the board initiative!)

Thanks for your help.

Ellie

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Hi Ellie :) , Just to let you know I've sent a non-compliance letter to Abbey today, requesting microfiche copies or duplicate statements for period Jan 2004 - Jan 2006. I've mentioned that they have not provided specific dates when the charges were made, and that I'm concerned about the absence of unauthorised overdraft fees when there were so many for cleared transactions :rolleyes: .

Will now wait and see what I get next.... Dizzy:)

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Hi Dizzy,

 

Think I will do the same. My concerns are exactly the same as yours. It makes no sense at all that neither of us had any unauth. O/D fees. And the strange thing is that i have an overlap of 1 year with microfiche and spreadsheet and all O/ fiche and all O/D fees on fiche are there on spreadsheet then they stop - completely for a whole year only starting again on copy statements. I actually found 1 old statement for 05 yesterday (on top of CH boiler - don't ask!) hoped it would throw some light on things but sadly it was one of my better off months with no charges at all :(

It would be interesting to know if anyone with this spreadsheet has had any of these fees on there not backed up by other evidence

 

Ellie

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Guest louis wu

it does sound strange, and is becoming a bit of an Abbey trend.

 

good luck with the non-compliance, keep us posted

 

Louis

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Guest ChloeJane

Hi there,

 

Just reading your post.

 

I read your letter under the S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) and have concerns that it didn't fully cover what you were asking for and in fact, they may have complied, so read carefully before you continue.

 

The subject Access request allows you all the information that you ask for.

 

A link to the act is here.

 

Data Protection Act 1998

 

 

Your letter to them and quoted

 

I am writing to request a fully comprehensive list of all the default charges for direct debit, unauthorised overdrafts and standing orders I have paid over the last six years.

 

Additionally, where there has been any event in my account history over this period which has required manual intervention by any member of your staff, or any other person, I require disclosure of any indication or notes which have either caused or resulted in that manual intervention, or other evidence of that manual intervention in relation to my business with you.

 

Please find enclosed a cheque for the maximum statutory charge of £10. If you are unable to provide this data, I will accept a copy of my statements going back six years.

 

 

While you have outlined in your request that if they cannot provide the data, then you will accept statements going back 6 years, what they have sent you is what you requested.

 

To ask for your statements is the only true way of telling what you have and have not been charged for. Asking for a list of charges or fees incurred for direct debits etc, they would not be oblidged to provide these unless they are stored in this format.

 

I would start afresh, however would send the correct template.

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/bank-templates-library/516-1-data-protection-act.html

 

You need to be clear and concise with what you ask for in relation to data requests or you will get what you ask for.

 

Start again, with the template above - resend the £10 - then spend the next 40 days reading up on the rest of the steps and you sound like you are better at the spreadsheet than me! TIPS PLS???

 

These are only my thoughts, but believe to start again, the new start to getting it all in order and right.

 

All the best

 

CJ

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Guest louis wu
I am writing to request a fully comprehensive list of all the default charges for direct debit, unauthorised overdrafts and standing orders I have paid over the last six years.

 

 

 

This is the line thats interesting, does a fully comprehensive list include the dates charges were incurred, I would say it does.

 

I am no legal expert, and I wouldn't know what arguments to use should it go before a judge, but common sense says that they have not complied.

 

Tough one, it would be nice if a legal expert could give an opinion.

 

Louis

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Its too late for me CJ -I already sent another letter yesterday stating exactly what I'm after and the reasons I'm concerned, so I'm loathed to send yet another S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) (Although will have to if the Abbey push me into it). I think its safe to say that the Abbey are just taking their time about things and being as unhelpful as possible :-x . Their 40 days are up on the 14th - so am just waiting to see what happens now. Ellie - when I studied my copies, I had quite a few duplicated pages which confused me even more and took me ages to sort out. Did your microfiche copies show balances? Mine didn't (probably due to the way my original letter was worded :| ). For this reason, I'll only claim the 8% interest if need be -otherwise I'd need to contact the Abbey AGAIN and ask for even more info - and to be honest, I'm not sure I can get my head round working out the more complicated interest!:-)

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Hi all,

Thanks for your input - oh my goodness, I just can’t make up my mind!

I didn’t think that statements as such were covered by the act and that it was transactional data that was the key in whatever form it is stored. Look at theAbbey microfiche debacle. It was deemed a relevant filing system in that it held data.

I suppose that I had thought all requests had to be dealt with in the same way and following the subsections below (i.e comprehensive = complete)

DPA (italics & underlines mine)

7.- (1.) Subject to the following provisions of this section and to sections 8 and 9, an individual is entitled-

© to have communicated to him in an intelligible form-

(i) the information constituting any personal data of which that individual is the data subject, and

(ii) any information available to the data controller as to the source of those data, and…

AND

8. - (2) The obligation imposed by section 7(1)©(i) must be complied with by supplying the data subject with a copy of the information in permanent form unless-

(a) the supply of such a copy is not possible or would involve disproportionate effort, or

(b) the data subject agrees otherwise;

But I suppose that if you were Abbey you just might argue that the wording of my letter implied that I had agreed otherwise, CJ is this where you are coming from? Mind you I do still think that what they have sent me has items missing so they may be in breach.

If I was to resend the SAR what constitutes the reasonable period of time that should be left between requests? I have read on this forum it’s a month but can’t find it expressed in the Act and no doubt Abbey would take it to the wire.

I’m not too concerned about the timeframe but I’m a bit concerned that I will look as though I don’t know what I’m doing (of course I don’t I’ve never done this before and they know that) and put myself on a back foot with them. I have read & re read the FAQ and numerous threads till stupid o’clock every night and I’m so annoyed with myself for tripping up so soon!

Sorry for being all over the place, my head hurts...:(

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...and Dizzy, no the microfiche doesn't incllude balances whach again makes calculating interest paid on charges impossible. Strictly speaking though I suppose they could argue that the MSE template asks for charges, not balances...?

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Yes, I suspect you're right about that. I think I might just regret using the MSE template letter a little bit :sad: . Oh well, I'll wait and see what happens now anyway - as long as I get the actual charges refunded, I can live with that. :)

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Hi Dizzy,

I don’t think I can face another 40 day wait so I am going to do the non-compliance letter. I’ve recently been on the thread of someone who did use the CAG template but still had exactly the same response to us (and think of all the ones on Alex’s thread earlier this month) I honestly don’t think that they are singling out the MSE requests (I don’t think that they have the time) I do believe that this is another across the board tactic. My argument (and yours I think) is that there appear to be charges missing and this issue is covered by either template. I can live with not claiming contractual interest and we could still claim stat 8% if it gets to court (as no doubt it will). Lets not worry, we will win!

:smile: :smile: :smile:

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Guest louis wu
...and Dizzy, no the microfiche doesn't incllude balances whach again makes calculating interest paid on charges impossible

 

I have had about 3 different forms of microfiche in the past, and some of it DOES contain a balance, so it all depends on what they decide to send you.

 

Louis

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You're absolutely right, Ellie - OK, (deep breath) let battle commence!!:D I'm really curious to see what their response will be... wish they would hurry up!! ;)

Interesting that Louis has some with balances on though :confused: - I bet they've changed tactics just to make claiming more difficult!:D

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Guest louis wu
Interesting that Louis has some with balances on though :confused: - I bet they've changed tactics just to make claiming more difficult!:grin:

 

Thats exactly my take on it, especially as they now seem to be sending out spreadsheets with just the charges on, seems you have to trust them not to make a mistake these days. Lets face it, they don't like us and will do anything to make life difficult for us.

 

Louis

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I agree so here's what I'm thinking...

 

I could get the non-compliance letter in the post tomorrow to Ms Speed stating my concerns that data is missing and requesting microfiche copies (as you have done already Dizzy) HOWEVER could we not at the same time send prelim to address it needs to go to using information already received, followed by LBA for both at proper stage. If the microfich arrives before court date and there are alterations they could be added before submission. If they haven't arrived by time of submission can the non-compliance be included with the claim and if/when they subsequently arrive the claim amount could be changed at a cost of £35 which is also added to the claim. (if we wanted to really force their hand i suppose we could overestimate missing unauthorised O/D fees although that feels like a step too far for me)

 

p.s I'm sooo excited 'cos my thread is now on 2 pages :D

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Only one small problem there... we don't trust them not to make mistakes:D :D - come to think of it, I don't trust them at all. I've already spotted a couple of threads where errors have been found - so you never know, do you? It doesn't look very good on the bank though, does it?

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Ellie, I see where you're coming from. I like the sound it, and it does save wasting time. I also emailed my non compliance letter to customer services this evening (FAO Pam Speed as I couldn't find her email address). I only got an automated reply, but at least I know they've got it.I've printed the email for my records (just in case). You never know, it may save me a day or two :) . Don't see why you shouldn't email yours too - as long as you keep a copy of it, I've read other threads where people have only used email where they could get away with it. If I'd thought of email first - I could have saved myself a pound !!;) I think we need someone 'in the know' to advise us if this would work. I'm not sure I'd be too confident about estimating any missing fees either - I'm already worried that the requested copies will show nothing extra! :oops: (Although I'm secretly hoping for hundreds of pounds !!:D :D )

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