Questions Of Cash: 'Lloyds ignored my calls after I was a victim of fraud'
Saturday 08 August 2009
Q. In September last year, someone strolled into the Highgate Village branch of Lloyds TSB and withdrew £2,400 in cash from our account, using only a driving licence as identification. They also conducted some transfers between accounts, using my cash ISA allowance. On the following Monday I was called by Willesden Green branch to ask where I was and was I withdrawing more cash. Lloyds TSB repaid the money into my account promptly. I asked for a copy of the fake driving licence to see if it had my own identification number. I was called by someone telling me that all proper procedures had been followed. I didn't believe him. My letters and phone calls have since gone unanswered. The Financial Ombudsman Service told me it is not concerned with lousy service, only with financial loss. Eventually, Lloyds admitted it hadn't taken a copy of the driving licence. It added that even if it had it could not give it to me on data protection grounds as, by definition, it was not about me! Lloyds offered me £40 for a new driving licence, but I want the bank to promise to train staff to prevent it happening again. SA, Twickenham.
A. Our intervention "worked like magic", you say, in getting Lloyds to treat you with respect. Lloyds says: "While, as he rightly points out, we refunded the fraudulent transaction promptly after it was identified, we appreciate that we could have kept him much better informed... Our process was not followed correctly originally at the branch... Local interventions are being undertaken to ensure no re-occurrence of this." Lloyds will pay you £80 for a new driving licence and to compensate you for your inconvenience. You have accepted the offer, but will close your account – ending your family's 46 year history of banking with Lloyds.
Q. Can you help me with my Abbey account? I am 20 and was sacked a couple of weeks ago. I am now unemployed and looking for work and having a hard time getting Jobseeker's Allowance. This month I will be charged £90 by Abbey, on top of about £500 in earlier charges. I asked for the charges to be refunded, but Abbey says these requests are on hold. I am in financial hardship and cannot afford these charges. I live with my parents and have to rely on hand-outs from them. JF, Lancashire.
A. Abbey agreed to refund £130.80 to your account as a gesture of goodwill. This now puts your account into credit. We asked Abbey to consider refunding the reported £500 of bank charges on the grounds of financial hardship. The bank disagrees with your calculation of its previous charges. But Abbey also says that it applies tests to determine whether a person can legitimately argue they are in financial hardship. Your pattern of high spending on non-essential items means that you fail its hardship test.
We previously obtained a refund of bank charges for you from Royal Bank of Scotland. There is clearly an underlying problem that you spend too much for your income. In particular, you need to take serious and urgent action to put an end to the £40 monthly charges from Abbey, which you clearly cannot afford. The bank suggests you discuss with it moving to a different account with a more appropriate charging structure.
You also have problems with serious debts which have arisen from taking out three mobile phone contracts simultaneously, in part to obtain new handsets when older phones stopped working. You told us that one of the contracts, with 3, had been a waste of money as you were unable to obtain a signal at either work or home and that you are now being chased by debt collectors for £150 in unpaid mobile charges. We took this up with 3 to see if some arrangement could be reached, recognising that the contract should have been cancelled at the outset. However, you have now stopped responding to emails from us and 3 to discuss these debts.
Your habit of unaffordable spending already seems ingrained, but needs to change if you are not to suffer from even more serious problems. The first of these is that you risk going to court in the near future for non-payment of a mobile phone bill.
You must face up to the realities of your income and spending. Failing to respond to attempts to resolve those problems only makes them worse. You should speak to a Citizens Advice or other debt counsellor as a matter of urgency. Abbey has also offered to assist with its own financial management advice service.
Q. I took out a mobile broadband deal with T-Mobile through Carphone Warehouse in October 2008. The internet connection was very slow and I felt it was not adequate for the fee I was paying and the service I was sold. I went back to the Carphone Warehouse two weeks later and tried to return it. I was told that the 14-day exchange policy does not apply to T-Mobile customers. I was not informed of this when I took out the package and it is barely readable on my contract. I have since been told that this is illegal, as if it does not fulfil the specifications and use it was intended for, which I feel it does not, I should receive a full refund. I have contacted both parties and had inadequate responses from them. T-Mobile informed me two months ago that it was dealing with my complaint, but I have heard no more. DO, Bexley.
A. T-Mobile and Carphone Warehouse have agreed that you can return the equipment via the Carphone Warehouse branch. T-Mobile will refund you all charges from the beginning of the contract.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Under new state pension rules we will all be much worse off
Budget 2015: George Osborne is set to get tough with further cuts in public spending
Simon Read: 'Savers, take action - only £75,000 of your nest-egg will be protected'
Simon Read: 'Taylor Swift tickets purchased on Viagogo were cancelled hours before the concert'
Bank-beating exchange rates on your international payments
- 1 Michelle Watt's father says TV presenter killed herself because she was in constant pain
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 San Francisco TV news crew attacked by armed robbers during live broadcast
- 4 Greek debt crisis: The photograph that conveys the despair of Greece's elderly
- 5 Miami defendant sobs in court as he realises he and the judge attended the same school
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...
Day In a Page
Previously two semi-detached properties, this five-bedroom home is spread over three floors with a large breakfast kitchen, orangery, office and gym on the second floor.
This five-bedroom home enjoys countryside views over the Blyth estuary to Southwold, offering flexible living space with a ground-floor annexe - ideal for use as a holiday let.
Close to the market town of Eye, this four-bedroom detached home offers a double-height living room which takes the place of the original, 19th-century, chapel nave.
Dating back to the 19th century, this four-bedroom home needs modernising. Spanning three storeys, the red-brick house has a fireplace, a small terrace and a cellar.
Just outside of Cambridge, this single-storey home offers three double bedrooms, a living room with vaulted timber ceiling and ladder steps that lead to a mezzanine study area.
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn.
A former coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, an attached office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Located beside an impressive Victorian viaduct, this four-bedroom home has an open-plan living area that is glazed on two sides, with skylights and high ceilings.
A former furniture workshop, this three-bedroom home has high ceilings and painted brick walls, in a village setting only fifteen miles from the coast.
This five-bedroom stone townhouse features a pine staircase and an Inglenuk fireplace, double doors from the lounge give access to an enclosed courtyard.
This five-bedroom, detached home blends traditional and modern design; the sleek kitchen features a gas hob and oven set within an exposed chimney breast.
Moored in Chelsea's Cheyne Walk, this houseboat offers two double bedrooms and a teak deck that's ideal for al-fresco dining.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B or countryside retreat, subject to change of use permissions.
This Grade II-listed three-bedroom home is situated on a private road, just a short walk from the sandy beaches of Frinton-on-Sea.
Less than five miles from Malmesbury, this four-bedroom cottage comes with equestrian facilities and gardens that extend to approximately three acres.
Spanning three storeys, this late-Victorian five-bedroom farmhouse is a spacious family home with a modern interior and B&B potential.
With an original church arch, this triplex one-bedroom church conversion has a light, spacious, feel and comes with a secure off-street parking space.
This recently-refurbished three-bedroom home has bi-folding doors that lead out to a decked seating area - ideal for alfresco dining this summer.
Well-located for coastal walks and popular restaurants, this detached four-bedroom home offers views over farmland, to the Solent, the Purbecks and Bournemouth.
If you love high ceilings, school conversions like this one are bang on the money. This two-bedroom flat is minutes from Burgess Park and the foodie haven at Borough Market.
Set within a church conversion in Bermondsey, this two-bedroom maisonette combines existing features, such as original arches and brickwork, with a contemporary finish.
In the pretty market town of Bungay, this grade II-listed Mill House is arranged over four floors, offering four bedrooms and three reception areas.
This four-bedroom Edwardian home offers a combination of original features and contemporary design after a renovation by the current owners.
This four-bedroom home offers a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining with doors that open to the patio and garden.
On the market for the first time in more than 50 years, this six-bedroom home is a project with vast potential - spread over three floors of living space.
This five-bedroom home comes with a range of outbuildings including a large barn which could be converted into a self-contained granny-flat or rental.
Surrounded by rolling countryside, this four-bedroom barn conversion comes with a self-contained, one-bedroom annexe that could serve as an office or a holiday let.
Located near Harrogate town centre, this five-bedroom Victorian terrace is arranged over three storeys while a current study serves as an optional sixth bedroom.
A ground-floor flat in a country house, located a mile from Sway; this two-bedroom home would make an ideal weekend retreat on the edge of the New Forest.
On a popular residential lane in Caterham on the Hill, this four-bedroom family home offers a secluded garden and a convenient location for local schools and public transport.
Just a short walk from Westerham green, this three-bedroom cottage has a light kitchen with exposed brickwork and double doors that lead to a south-facing garden.
In a prime spot opposite the River Thames, this one-bedroom flat has an 18sq ft reception room with glass doors that open out to a private terrace.
Set in the hills above Llanwrda Village, west Wales, this 18th-century three-bedroom farmhouse has holiday-let potential from a separate barn conversion and annexe.
This charming end-of-terrace townhouse is arranged over three floors, with two double bedrooms and a private courtyard garden located at the rear of the property.
Located in the University area, this semi-detached five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors - there's even a rear garden and off-road parking too.
Only a few minutes' drive from the charming town of Marlow, this two-bedroom home sits on the private riverside estate of Harleyford.
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.