Questions of Cash: 'Santander worries damaged my health'


Q. I am disabled and problems with my Santander card are damaging my mental health. I was notified that dormant accounts incur a £10 charge. I've not used my Debenham's store card for some time and decided to close the account. I wrote to Santander by recorded delivery and cut-up the card. I also logged-on to my account online and requested the card be deactivated. Three weeks later, I still haven't had confirmation that the account has been closed, nor have I had a response to my online message. FM, London.

A. It was good that you took seriously the lack of response to your account closure request – Santander has no trace of receiving this. The card account is now closed and Santander has sent you £50 to apologise for its failure to respond to your online message.

Q. In February last year I booked a flight on BA's website, for return travel between Aberdeen and London Gatwick, travelling with Flybe at a cost of £180.90. The flight was cancelled and passengers were asked to report to the Flybe desk at Aberdeen Airport to make alternative arrangements. For me a later flight would have been pointless. As my booking was made through BA, I approached its ground crew at the airport. I was advised to contact Flybe, though I considered BA to be responsible for the refund as the booking was via them. After two emails to Flybe, I was informed that BA was liable for refunding me. I wrote to BA and received an email on 20 March with a case number and a promise to get in contact "as quickly as we can". I heard no more, then in May I wrote and was told the refunds team would get back to me "as soon as possible". I emailed in August and again in January and still no reply. It is now almost a year. CL, by email.

A. According to BA, the card account you used to make the payment was credited with £180.90 on 5 June. You have not replied to our email asking you to check your account to see if the payment was received – so we assume it was. It is important to check, as companies do not always notify customers when the payments are made.

Q. I have never had a credit card. I am now about to travel on a career break and a card would be useful. I am concerned that applying for a card now, with no regular income, would affect my credit rating and damage my chance of getting a mortgage when I come back.AS, by email.

A. Successfully applying for a credit card would be positive for your credit reference report. Lucy Davies of Experian says: "There are some cards aimed at people with little or no credit history." She suggests you use Experian's CreditExpert service to find out which issuers are likely to approve your request without leaving a "footprint" on your credit report. Also consider setting-up a direct debit to ensure you do not miss any repayments.

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.

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