Money Grouse: Barclaycard's removal service

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The Independent Online
Be warned: if you ask Barclaycard to remove an authorised user from your account, you could find yourself without a card.

Heather Connon, an Independent journalist, recently returned her husband's card and asked for his name to be removed from the account. When she tried to use her card earlier this week, however, she was told the transaction had not been authorised.

She rang Barclaycard and was told that, because she had asked for the removal of an authorised user, the account had been cancelled and she would be sent a new card. She had not been warned that this was happening (although a letter is, apparently, in the post). And, because she lives in London, the replacement has to be delivered by courier - which can take up to two weeks, rather than the two days or so it would take through the post.

Barclaycard said the action was taken to protect the customer - and, of course, themselves. It said her husband could have used the PIN number to withdraw cash (although without the card, it would have been difficult), or to order goods over the phone.

While Ms Connon would have been liable until the card was cancelled, Barclaycard would have had to pick up the bill for unauthorised use thereafter.

But Ms Connon and her husband had been separated for two years - and his card lying in a drawer - so there was no likelihood of his using the card; had there been, she would have indicated that in the letter.

While Barclaycard is obviously correct to protect itself and its users as far as possible, it should surely have given Ms Connon notice of its action so that she could explain the situation. The company says it will be looking at this in the future.

Write to Money Grouse, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. Please do not send SAEs or original documents as we cannot guarantee to deal with every letter personally.

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