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email exchange with LloydsTSB


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Background: LloydsTSB has, this year, charged me £600 approx, round about £150 per month. The problem stems back to Christmas when I was off sick and my empolyer "forgot" to process my pay for a week. This resulted in all my direct debits being returned, at £35 a pop. When the charges were applied it amounted to £140, almost a weeks wages. At that rate, it takes me three weeks to pay off the unauthorised overdraft, leaving not enough money to pay the direct debits... and so another raft of charges. And so on

 

I went to speak to my branch manager to see if I could get the charges reduced. He helpfully got out his calculator and worked out that, if I sat in my flat with all my lights off and didn't eat, I could have the overdraft paid off and enough money to pay my bills if he refunded 1 of the charges.

 

I asked him in February if he thought it was OK for LloydsTSB to take a quarter of my monthly income from me and he explained that part of the reason for charges (he didn't call them fees, interestingly) was to cover the cost of the Direct Debit Scheme. He stated that the banks fund the scheme, and that failed direct debits are paid for by the banks. Also that they incur the cost of the BACS scheme, etc, saving employers from having to handle cash on pay-day. OK, fine. I can see where he's coming from. Still doesn't cost £35 a pop, though!

 

When my Direct Debit to BT failed twice, they charged me £10. I called and asked them what this charge covered, and they said that "It costs us money to represent the direct debit". But wait! The banks cover the cost of failed DD's, my branch manager said so.

 

So who is lying? I asked BT for a time-motion study to show me what I was getting for my £10. This hasn't been forthcoming, yet.

 

I sent the following to LloydsTSB through their website:

 

In a recent conversation with my branch manager, I was told that part of the reason for bank charges being so high was because "Lloyds TSB incur the entire costs of running the Direct Debit Scheme".A Direct Debit to BT failed, recently, and they BT have charged me £10. If BT incur a cost for a failed Direct Debit (and so pass it on to me), yet your branch manager tells me that Lloyds TSB incur the full cost of a failed Direct Debit (and also pass that cost on to me), then one of you is lying and charging me for a cost which didn't actually occur.I wonder if you could tell me, by letter, which one it is? You can't both be incurring the cost of a failed Direct Debit, and if you are, then the cost cannnot possibly add up to nearly £50 between you.I look forward, with great anticipation, to your reply. A telephone response is not acceptable, I would like a reply by letter.

 

=======================================

 

Response received a couple of days later:

 

Dear Mr Pain,

 

Thanks for your e-mail.

 

I've forwarded your e-mail on to our Customer Service Recovery Centre in

Birmingham where a member of staff there will be best placed to address this matter.

 

This department will be in contact with you within the next 10 working days.

 

If there's anything else we can help you with, please let us know.

 

Many Thanks

 

Scott Cleary

E-mail Support

Lloyds TSB

 

==========================================

 

They got in contact 19 days later by email:

 

Dear Mr Pain,

 

Thank you for the e-mail, which has been passed to us by the On-line

Helpdesk.

 

I am just writing to let you know that we've received your complaint and to say how sorry I am to learn that you're unhappy with us.

 

One of the assistant managers will investigate the concerns you have raised with us - this may take a little time, but I would expect our enquiries to be complete within the coming 28 days. We will then be able to respond in full to your complaint and at that stage, I hope, resolve matters between us.

 

In case you haven't received our complaint guidelines entitled 'Voicing your Concerns', I've attached one to my e-mail. This tells you all you need to know about resolving your complaint with us.

 

Regards

 

Doug Whitehouses

Lloyds TSB - Customer Service Recovery

Birmingham

 

==========================================

 

To which I replied:

 

Dear Mr. Whitehouses,

 

Thank you for your reply. Unhappy is, perhaps, a bit of an understatement. The first opportunity I get will see me leaving LloydsTSB.

Additionally, your departments initial response to this query was a promise to have a response within 7 days. Now your belated response is to say that I'll get an answer within 28 days... that will be a month and a half to

answer a fairly simple question: Do you incur the full cost of running the

Direct Debit scheme or not? I don't really understand why that has taken

nearly 20 days to not anser, and will take a further 28 days for a.

 

If you don't incur the full costs, who does? And does it really cost £80

between you and BT to process a failed Direct Debit??? That's £35 per

failure from you, and £10 from BT... are these costs realistic? If so, it

shouldn't be too hard for you, and BT, to provide me with a detailed

breakdown of what I'm actually paying for.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Weedom

 

=====================================

 

Now I have received this:

 

Thanks for your e-mail, which has again been passed to me by the On-line

Helpdesk. Apologies for the delay in getting back to you.

 

I have noted your comments and am sorry to hear that you are unhappy over the timescales we are currently working to. Due to the volume of

correspondence we are currently receiving on the issue of charges, we are encountering delays in responding to customers. This also applies to the number of e-mails we are currently receiving and regrettably, this has

resulted in the delay in getting back to you today. I have noted your

comments and passed these on to the Manager of the team who are dealing with your e-mail and asked that a response is sent as soon as possible.

 

Regards and apologies again for the delay.

 

Keith Boden - Lloyds TSB

 

==============================

 

Upshot - They don't know how to respond, I don't think. If they say yes, that the banks incur the cost, they're dropping BT in it. If they say no, that they pass the cost on to BT, then they are admitting that the costs are not as high as they are saying they are. If they say the manager made a mistake, they're admitting the lines their staff are given are rubbish.

 

Additionally, last August an Asian Collections Department advisor told me (under pressure, admittedly), that these are punitive charges.

 

WeeDom: But you can't charge me this much. a) it's killing me and b) it's unlawful under the UTCC Act. What are these charges for? It's a simple enough question.

Advisor: These are punitive charges, sir.

WeeDom: Pardon? So you're PUNISHING me for not having enough money?

Advisor: No sir, it's not a punishment. It's a punitive charge.

WeeDom: Eh? Whats the difference? You do agree that "a punitive measure" and "a punishment" are the same thing?

Advisor: Well, yes.

WeeDom: So, you're applying a punishment to me because I don't have enough money.

Advisor: I suppose so, yes.

 

====================================

 

Apparently all the calls to the Collections Department are recorded. I diaried this conversation, and will be asking for the tape on Monday. I'll let you know how I get on.

 

Cheers

WeeDom

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I will do.

 

By the way, I think I've posted this in completely the wrong place. Can you, or another mod, move it to the Lloyds forum?

 

Thanks

WeeDom

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job done!

 

 

HSBC WON three times!!!!! Read about my continuing battle (claim FOUR!) Link HERE

Capital One WON Link

HERE

GE capital (5 accounts) WON link HERE

Lloyds bank account WON second claim starting! link HERE

Budget insurance cough up WON link HERE

Principles WON link HERE

A&L (Mrs Crusher's account) claim link HERE

Barclays claim link HERE

 

Any advice given is on an informal basis only and without prejudice or liability. In in any doubt, consult a qualified lawyer.

IF YOU HAVE GOT YOUR MONEY BACK, PUT SOME BACK INTO THE SITE TO HELP KEEP IT OPEN!

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Update: I received another letter today telling me they would address my query within 28 days. That's three months to answer a simple question.

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I have to admit to being highly amused at the banks impression of a headless chicken...keep the pressure up on them, and absolutely insist that you get your answer eventually - don't let them duck out of this one...

 

Have you considered copying your correspondence to date in to your MP and the national/local press?

Alecto, Magaera et Tisiphone: Nemesis on Earth is come.

 

All advice and opinions given by Spiceskull are personal, and are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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I'm waiting for their answer, first. I don't want to shout this around the trad press until they've played their hand.

 

And it's two weeks they've said, now, not 28 days.

 

It's £80 quid they've charged, between the two of them. And my bill still isn't paid! How can it possibly cost them £80 to not pay a £45 bill???

 

All in all, it's cost me £125 to pay my £45 telephone bill. Unbelievable!

 

Cheers

WeeDom

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I don't think they can respond to this, but I think you would be doing the country a favour if you persue this all the way. Contact the director if you need to.

The views I express here are mere speculation based on my experience. I am not qualified nor insured to give legal advice and any action you take will be at your own risk.

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All in all, it's cost me £125 to pay my £45 telephone bill. Unbelievable!

Well according to judge cook, that's the price you pay for a service :eek: Perhaps you should copy the emails to him?

Barclays - 2 Accounts - WON

Capital 1 - WON with CI

LTSB - WON

LTSB pre 6 years - N1 for non compliance filed

Barclays pre 6 years - Prelim sent

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If they kept a recorded copy of a telephone conversation you can include this within a Data Protection Act Subject Access Request. You should be as specific as possible about the date and time of the call when asking for the copy.

 

How do you get this info under a sar? do you have to send £10 and wait 40 days again??

 

I am quite far into my court claim but in March I had a telephone conversation when I was trying to pay my loan after I missed my DD and the advisor said she couldnt do it and wanted to give me another number. I said there was no way im going through another que I will wait for them to ring me. She said if I dont pay I will get penalty charges I replied that penalty charges are unlawful but she wouldnt have it. Is it worth trying to get a recording of this conversation??

Lloyds settled in full

£4010.02:D

 

Halifax CC settled

£417.00 :D

 

Lloyds PPI

£3672.15 Refunded off loan :D

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I think you can ask for copies or transcripts of all telephone conversations you have with the bank under the DPA. As seminole said, be as accurate as possible about dates/times etc. Don't know if you would need to do a further SAR but it wouldn't hurt would it?

Barclays - 2 Accounts - WON

Capital 1 - WON with CI

LTSB - WON

LTSB pre 6 years - N1 for non compliance filed

Barclays pre 6 years - Prelim sent

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry for the extended delay in updating this.

 

25th May I received a letter from LloydsTSB. I shan't mention the advisors name, as that's unfair on him. None of this is his fault.

 

The most important paragraph are these (any spelling mistakes are mine,not his):

 

Whilst I can appreciate that you feel the charge of £35 is excessive, I am sure you can appreciate that there is a large amount of work involved in maintaining accounts that go overdrawn and those that have items returned. We have to employ large numbers of staff to deal with all aspects of this administration, therefore, we ask those who overdraw, or who do not have sufficient funds in their account as and when their payments become due, to make a contribution towards these.

 

Obviously when faced with an unpaid item the retailer (in this instance BT) will have internal costs of their own to cover. This is a matter between you and them and one that we are unable to comment upon.

 

then some blah followed by: If I have not heard from you by 20 July I will close my file, although I will re-open it if you come back at any point afterwards.

 

===================================

 

I sent a further email on 7th July:

 

Your ref: BHAM/PB/CC/964782

 

You haven't answered my actual questions. All you have done is laid out your charging policy. I note, with interest, that you didn't lay out a "tarriff for services", but a "charging policy".

 

Your manager told me that you incur the full costs of running the Direct Debit scheme. How can this be the case, when BT also have costs? You have not addressed this in the slightest.

 

Secondly, how can it possibly cost £85 to not pay my bill of £45?

 

You use the phrase "make a contribution towards " the cost of staff employed to maintain overdrawn accounts. What proportion am I contributing towards these costs? This month alone you have taken £200 from my bank account, more than a weeks wages for me. Is an entire person actually dedicated to looking after my account for 1 week per month? If so, I'd like to meet that person, if possible. I appear to be paying a good proportion of their monthly income, I think it is only right that I know who I am paying, and what they do for me.

 

If there is no such person, and in fact my account is on of many processed by a computer (perhaps with an operator who processes 100s of accounts per day) then I would like you to justify exactly what I am paying for. It is my belief that you are vastly overcharging me for any "service" you have provided. It is also my belief that, without such high charges, I would not be in such financial trouble at this present moment in time. It certainly does not cost LloydsTSB £35 to process an unpaid Direct Debit. If I am contributing towards the costs incurred by LloydsTSB by other customers, such as bad debtors, then this is illegal and unjust. Why should I, and others like me, pay off other peoples debts to LloydsTSB?

 

Please, when you finally get round to answering my questions, can you address the actual questions:

 

1. Who incurs the cost of the Direct Debit Scheme

2. How do you come to a cost of £70 to _not_ pay my BT bill

3. What proportion of your costs am I actually "contributing"?

 

These are very simple questions. Please answer them in a simple manner, again, by letter and not by email.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dominic Pain

 

===================================

 

I haven't heard anything further, not even a confirmation.

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my good god, i've been down the same route before as well weedom. Glad that you've noted it down in a thread. I encountered nothing else then pure ignorance and pathetic responses to my questions when i cornered several lloyds managers/advisors on the issue relating to charging me numerous times without informing me by letter first (which is their policy as stated in their letters) after agreeing that these letters were never dispatched in the first place, all advisors confirmed that there was no person/department who 'could' take the charge off, however if it was a technical fault they would refund. i proposed that not having been informed might have been one of their 'technical' faults. I got the usual dumbfounded response and was quickly passed onto another team of mocha swilling bollock jugglers. I remember my days in customer service centres of similar akin, where taking ownership of a customers problems and situations was the primary route to resolution. I have nothing but disgust for the way ive been treated.

 

Anyway,

 

Good Luck!.. be interested to know how this pans out.

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I dont think you will get anywhere on this, you will never get a letter in writing saying its a penalty or detailing the costs involved. Add up all your charges and start a claim is all you can do.

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I dont think you will get anywhere on this, you will never get a letter in writing saying its a penalty or detailing the costs involved. Add up all your charges and start a claim is all you can do.

 

I've got a claim currently in progress. I know I'm not probably not going to get the answer I'm looking for, but...

 

They badgered me enough when I was in debt with them. I'm now in debt again (due entirely to bank charges) and they're at me like a pack of animals for £140. Well, I want answers and I'm going to keep badgering until I get a proper response from someone.

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  • 1 year later...

Well, they left me alone for a bit, and I've been happily (vaguely) paying £70 a month for the past 9 months or so to service debts built up by their charges while I wait despondently for the court case(s) to be resolved.

 

But now - battle resumes!!! yay!

 

The situation with my accounts as of sept 2007:

 

* current account 1 had a debit balance of approx £400. Agreed repayment plan of £7.20 per month

 

* current account 2 had a debit balance of approx £350. Agreed repayment plan of £12.80 per month

 

* loan account, taken out to repay charges, had a debit balance of approx £1500. Agreed repayment of £49.50 per month.

 

Current state of affairs:

 

* current account 1 has a debit balance exceeding £800. eh???

 

all other accounts are fine.

 

This is going to get complicated,so I'll diarise it a bit.

 

* January 2008 - moved 300 miles to take up a new job

 

* Later in January 2008 - called LloydsTSB to inform them of home move

 

* May 2008 - received rather stroppy letter from Collections Centre, Brighton (sent to my new address - this is important) stating that they want the £800 NOW.

 

* May 2008 - I called and asked what was going on. I was informed that I hadn't kept up my repayment plan. I said I had, the girl on the phone said "oops,yeah, so you have. Sorry about that. I'll sort it out"

 

* yesterday (15/07) received rather stroppy phone call at 8pm from Collections Centre Advisor, from somewhere not Brighton, advising me that I had recently had £215 of charges placed on the no.1 account.When I asked to speak to a supervisor, he refused to grant that request, saying that he only made outgoing calls. I suggested he get off his seat and get a supervisor on to his phone, but he insisted the only way I could complain was to write a letter to Head Office

 

* Today: called Customer Services and spoke to Tasha who informed me that there were actually in excess of £400 worth of charges on the account. When I asked to speak to her supervisor, she gladly acquiesced, and the suprvisor told me the account had been over it's limit since September 2007.

 

* I asked why this had happened, and she explained that a charge had come off at that time and, since I was only paying £7.20pm, I'd incurred charges every month. This, as it happens, doesn't make sense because their new charges are £15 fee + £15per day for 10 days - £165 per month, so if her story is correct I'm actually due over £1500 of charges.

 

* I asked why I hadn't had a letter, and she explained that LloydsTSB only have my old address. How, then, did she explain the fact that I'd had a letter from Collections Center to my new address - "erm", I think, was her reply.

 

* So - to this evening. I called Collections Centre, Brighton, and got through to Collections Centre somewhere not Brighton. They said that they have the old address and, when challenged as to how they were able to magically know my new address replied with "erm". I decided that "erm" wasn't really doing it for me, and asked to speak to a supervisor. I was promised a call immediately a supervisor was available.

 

(breathe)

 

I'm still waiting now so, to alleviate the boredom, I have composed and sent the following email to Mr. Vince Blank, someone apparently quite high up in LloydsTSB: (I've mis-spelt his name. oops!) (btw,this is actually a follow-up to a mail I sent earlier from work in roughly the same vane)

 

Dear Mr. Blank,

 

This evening I called your collections department, allegedly in Brighton.

 

An Asian voice answered the phone, after some fumbling about with her headset. Again, after a fruitless 20 minutes trying to explain my problem, I asked to be transferred to a supervisor.

 

The agent asked me if it was OK for me to be put on hold again. I said no, that was not OK - I'd already been on hold for lengthy I wanted to hear her conversation with her supervisor - at which point I was promptly put on hold.

 

Some time later, the agent came back on the line and informed me that all her supervisors were busy, but she would arrange for a call-back. It's now 1900, some two hours after the request, and I've still not had a response.

 

Much though I loathe to bug the life out of you, I have zero faith in the staff I have so far come across to sort this problem out,and so I turn to you for a degree of common sense - to summarise (and add a little more detail to my previous email)

 

My phone call this evening - I informed the agent that if I had been notified that my account was over the overdraft limit, I could have taken remedial action. She told me that Collections had not been informed of a change of address, and that I would have to go to my branch (a 300 mile journey). When I spoke to a customer services advisor earlier, she told me the branch would not be able to deal with a change-of-address, since the account is with Collections. This is a dichotomy - it can't possibly be both.

 

Surely a change of address process cannot be all that difficult for LloydsTSB to master. Furthermore, in my possession, I have a letter sent from Collections to my current address - so where is this difficulty arising? Someone has the correct address, and it appears to be Collections. How can they have the wrong address and the correct one? If they're able to send me a "Collection Alert", why were they unable to send me a letter several months ago informing me my account was getting into arrears? Furthermore, again, they have my telephone number(s) - why have I not received a phone call, then, if I did not respond to the letters?

 

 

Not much of a summary - but I'll persevere, if you will.

 

Just last month I received this "Collection Alert" letter from your Collections Centre, signed by "(unintelligble squiggle), Manager, Collections Centre". Upon receipt of this I called and, happily, spoke to one of the people in Brighton. She informed me that there had been a mistake,they could quite clearly see that I had kept up the agreed payments and that she would put a note on the system that no further action be taken. At no point was there any mention, as there has been now, that my account had been overdrawn for some months.

 

Yet the call centre in Asia seems to have a completely different story. Again I have to ask - what is going on within your organisation?

 

This is a debacle, Mr. Blank. If I do not hear from you by the end of this week, confirming that the latest charges have been refunded in their entirety, that no further charges will be applied and that interest has been frozen on all charges-related debt I currently have with LloydsTSB, I will have no hesitation in taking further action, be that with a solicitor or by contacting the media to highlight the, quite frankly, hilarious incompetence which has so far been displayed. Honestly,it's like the Keystone Cops got sacked and went into Customer Services.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Dominic Pain

PS: I fully intend to continue my telephone correspondence with Collections Centre, Brighton (and not Brighton) and I'll keep you up-to-date with every twist and turn.

 

======================================================

 

I'll keep you all posted too, of course

 

[EDIT] Try [email protected] - I've not had a delivery failure, so presumably the emails are reaching his inbox.

Edited by weedom
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Dear Sir Blank,

 

Finally, some good news. A couple of shining beacons in the darkness of desolation that is my experience of customer services within LloydsTSB.

 

Here are the notes I took -

 

1710 - called and spoke to Shamita from the not-Brighton Collections centre. She informed me that the charges are now £630 since March, wich could have been £830 had her colleague not refunded £200 to me in June. I explained that the reason for the refund was because that advisor had noted that I had stuck to the agreed repayment plan. I asked her to transfer me to a supervisor, as should have happened on Tuesday 15th July.

 

1715 - placed hold

 

1724 - still on hold

 

1725 - began making beds - not easy with a phone clamped to your ear

 

1732 - Shamita returned and promised me a callback from a supervisor with three minutes. I asked her if she knew the name "Victor Blank". Not a clue, so I explained to her who you are (surely part of the induction to working at LloydsTSB??) and that I'm emailing you with the progress of this complaint. I also asked her if she was from Brighton, as the number I have called say "Collections Centre, Brighton, BN1 4BE 0845 6006380" - false advertising, surely.

 

1734 - received call from Praveesh. what a star. All charges refunded (although I have an issue with the word "refunded" in this context - you can't refund what was never given).

 

1740 - spoke to Praveesh's manager and extolled Praveesh's, and Shamita's, virtues as the only people in this sorry mess who have shown any common sense whatsoever.

 

=======================================

 

 

so to the scores -

 

LloydsTSB common sense league

 

with common sense 2 - ~10 lacking common sense.

 

Yours sincerely

 

WeeDom

PS: Thank you for your keen interest in following this case up and assisting a valued customer.

 

=========================================

 

Sorry folks, that appears to be the end of the comedy gold on this particular occasion. I'm sure there will be more to follow at some point.

 

Cheers

WeeDom

PS: the "phone clamped to the ear" bit is obviously artistic license - this is the 21st century, and I do have hands-free :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

hurrah! Another update.

 

After my last email to Mr. Blank, I received an email (sadly lost after a computer hiccup) from a Debra Stevens from Customer Service Recovery, saying she was looking into my complaint at the behest of Sir Blank.

 

Having spoken to the sensible Collections guy, and having heard nothing further from her, I assumed a line had been drawn under the affair. But no!

 

Debbie (we appear to be friends, now, since that is how she has signed her letter) tells me that she has "refunded" the charges. But my new friend has given me completely different numbers to those which Praveen provided.

 

Here comes the email goodness:

 

====================================================

 

Dear Sir Blank,

 

Your organisation continues to baffle me.

 

I recently wrote to you to tell you about Praveesh and how he had amended the following charges (extortions, as they should properly be termed) from my bank accounts:

 

sort code 873448

 

****1768 - £440 extortion removed, leaving a balance of ~ £360 debit

**** 4868 - £460 extortion removed, balance remaining ~ £419 debit

 

I have since received a letter from:

 

Debbie Stevens, Senior Office

Lloyds TSB Credit Operations

Customer Service Recovery - Brighton

 

She tells me that "As we have no wish to add to your finanacial difficulties" as has "refunded" charges of £415 on account ending 4868, and £215 onaccount ending 1768.

 

Now, it seems obvious to me and the rest of the country that Lloyds TSB, and it's shareholders, have a vested interest in increasing my financial difficulties by charging excessively for minor administrative affairs. I also have a big issue with the word "refunded" in this context - this is not a refund. At best, this is a correction of a mistake. At worst, this was an attempt to extort money from me. You and I both know that these charges would still stand on my account had I not got fed up with the whole process and gone straight to the top of the chain.

 

Anyway, what I need now is a definitive answer. What is the state of my accounts? What charges have been applied? Removed? What is the balance now? Your staff seem incapable of producing the same answer twice which, as the commander in chief of a financial institution of Lloyds TSB's standing, should be very worrying to you indeed.

 

=========================================

 

I have an idea, by the way,of how to drive customers to deposit money with you in their hundreds of thousands. I don't know why nobody has thought of it until now! Drop your excessive "Excess Overdraft" charges to something like £10, and advertise it heavily.

 

This would still be overcharging for the "service", so your profits would be guaranteed and customers from the other banks would flock to LloydsTSB. The good-will you would be the beneficiary of would be enormous because, obviously, you'd be precipitating a free-fall in bank charges and, happily, saving yourself a LOT of money spent on lawyers to defend what is obviously a sharp and unlawful practice. Go on! Do it! Precipitate the change, and win the market!

 

Yours sincerely

WeeDom

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  • 2 months later...

I got a "Final Response", eventually, giving me a definitive bunch of figures, and referring any further complaints to the ombudsman.

 

I've then done a credit check upon myself - and my credit check says I've missed lots of payments. Funny, that, because they've just acknowledged that I haven't.

 

Another email to Sir/Mr. Blank, asking him to get his staff to remove the bad stuff they've said about me on the credit history report. I got another "Final Response" (I've had quite a few of them now) saying "No, we believe the record to be accurate, so we're amending nothing".

 

So I'm preparing to put a case to the Ombudsman showing incompetence and pressing to have my credit report examined with a fine-tooth comb, and any discrepancies corrected.

 

Sorry for the lack of detail in this post - normal service will resume shortly.

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