Questions Of Cash: Barclays gets plenty of currency from Connect card


Q. I recently purchased foreign currency at a Post Office branch, using a Barclays Connect card. I bought €220 across the counter at my local Post Office, which cost me £203.44. When I received my bank statement, the amount debited was £207.50. Barclays told me that the additional amount was a 2 per cent commission charge for foreign currency purchase. It seems that I should have withdrawn cash from my Barclays account in the Post Office using my Connect card – for which no commission is charged – and then hand the cash back across the counter to purchase my foreign currency. CP, by email.

A. Barclays explains that a condition for using Barclays Connect cards stipulates that there is a 2 per cent charge – a minimum of £1.50 and maximum of £4.50 – to obtain sterling anywhere in the UK other than at a cash machine or Barclays branch, or to obtain currency or travellers’ cheques other than from Barclays. So there is a financial incentive to use your card to obtain the currency direct from Barclays. The bank says it offers a commission free foreign currency service, including free home delivery. But, as a gesture of goodwill, Barclays will refund the fee on this occasion.

Q. Vodafone alleges that I owe £691. It has twice acknowledged that this amount should be removed from my account, yet keeps sending demands for it. It is also threatening to damage my credit rating. I told Vodafone in February that I wanted to change phone providers and, instead, it generated an order for a new phone. I explained that I had not ordered this, but in March it sent me a bill for £691.43 for cancelling the order for the new phone that I had never actually ordered. DO, by email.

A. Vodafone accepts it generated the order for the new phone by mistake and that the bill was automatically produced because of that earlier error. This was made worse by the fact that its systems then automatically referred the ‘debt’ to a debt collecting agency. It has now cancelled the charge, told the debt collecting agency that the bill was wrongly produced and has assured us that there is no adverse entry on your credit file. It also apologises.

Q. My son left home for the United States at the age of 18, 22 years ago. He still lives there: now with a wife and two children. He has |always had a credit card on my Barclaycard Visa account: if I want to buy anything for him and his family, he uses this card. It has been used only sparingly and without difficulty. But on the last two occasions he tried to use the card, the payment has not been accepted. Not only this, Barclaycard blocked my son’s card and mine and my wife’s. Barclaycard says this is for security reasons, my son’s payment being considered unusual, and therefore suspicious, as it has taken place in America. Barclaycard tells me it is not possible for his card to be recorded as being used only in the United States, which seems remarkable. JT, Preston.

A. Barclaycard confirms that its IT system is not ‘smart’ enough to flag individual cards on an account to indicate those cards are used differently from the rest of the account. Barclaycard offered to flag the account as a whole as being one which is occasionally used in the United States. However, Barclaycard says that even after doing this it might still periodically block the use of the card in the US where spending appears unusual, though this “should” happen less often. You have reached a more satisfactory solution. Your son now has a Barclaycard on a different account, which is also billed to you.

Q. I received a mobile broadband dongle from Orange last September and, as a result of an error caused by Orange, I have been charged each month for two dongles. It has taken six months and many phone calls to Orange to get the additional dongle cancelled, but I am still |waiting for the refund. HR, by email.

A. Orange has now promised to make you a full refund.

Q. I have been contacted by Westcot debt collection agency, which is trying to collect a debt on behalf of Virgin Media. But I have never had an account with Virgin Media. Westcot is trying to collect the debt of someone else with a similar name. I have been promised by Virgin Media that it will sort this out, but I don’t have any confidence that it will be. WB, by email.

A. Virgin Media promptly contacted Westcot after we passed on your complaint and we have an assurance that you will not be pursued further. Westcot has written to you directly to apologise.

Q. In August 2008, I decided to upgrade my Tiscali Broadband 8Mb package to “Broadband plus Talk”. This added a landline phone service to the existing internet service. Before the phone service was transferred to Tiscali I realised that its call diversion facility could only transfer to UK numbers. As it was essential for me to transfer calls to France, I cancelled the upgrade and told BT that I had reverted to its service. The transfer to Tiscali did not take place. But in January, Tiscali started billing me for £17.61 per month, having previously billed me for £14.99. When I phoned Tiscali, it told me that the service I had been on was no longer available. However, it was still advertising the same service for the lower amount. I have received apologies from Tiscali, but it has not got the problem right. KB, Bradford.

A. Tiscali has now |refunded the overcharge of £20.40 and has apologised for the error. It also says sorry for the several months and the |significant amount of |correspondence from you and ourselves that it took them to finally resolve the problem.

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we’ll do our best to help. Please email us at: questionsofcash@independent.co.uk

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

    £850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

    Business Analyst (Agile, SDLC, software)

    £45000 - £50000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

    Finance Manager - Bank - Leeds - £300/day

    £250 - £300 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Finance Manager - Accountant - Bank...

    Compliance Officer - CF10, CF11, Compliance Oversight, AML, FX

    £100000 - £120000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading fi...

    Day In a Page

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

    Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

    A land of the outright bizarre
    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

    ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
    Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

    The worst kept secret in cinema

    A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
    Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    The new hatched, matched and dispatched

    Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
    Why do we have blood types?

    Are you my type?

    All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
    Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

    Honesty box hotels

    Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

    Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

    The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn