Questions Of Cash: Bank error was not in student's favour

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Q. My student daughter closed her old Halifax bank account to open a new account with the bank in August. But Halifax accidentally cancelled the debit card on her new account instead of her old one.

The manager advised her to transfer money to her old account as an interim measure so that she could have access to cash.

Halifax's cashier then admitted that she may have also cancelled the card on the old account, but couldn't find out for two days.

Amazon and other online retailers then suspended supplies of books that were urgently needed for my daughter's university course because the cards were not valid.

It was only when we chased Halifax for her new card that it was found that no new card had been ordered by the bank's cashier.

My daughter was then charged for having gone overdrawn. DM, Scunthorpe.

A. Halifax apologises. Not only were there administrative failings, but your daughter should not have been told her old card might have been cancelled and that it would take two days to find out whether it had been - this could have been investigated immediately.

Halifax says that the bank charges related to the old account having gone overdrawn in July and were not a result of the problems with the opening of the new account.

But it has refunded the charge of £1.13 as a gesture of goodwill. As a more substantial gesture, it has also credited your daughter's account with a sum of £50.

The member of staff concerned is being referred for extra training.

Q. I began a redirection service with Royal Mail from 4 September. But two days later, it made a special delivery to the old address.

I called Royal Mail twice in the two weeks after delivery and made an online complaint. Royal Mail claimed it would collect the package from my old address and redeliver in the week beginning 18 September - but still nothing has happened. All this with an urgent package after I paid to have my mail redirected. SK, Wolverhampton.

A. Royal Mail has now collected the item and redelivered correctly. It apologises.

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. Please do not send original documents. Write to: Questions of Cash, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS; cash@independent.co.uk.

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