Questions of cash: Spanish car-hire deposit took the scenic route back to my account

 

Q. I hired a car from the Marbesol hire-car company in Spain from 14 to 24 July, collecting the car from Malaga airport. I paid the hire costs with my American Express card, for which I have been charged £263.83. The deposit was lodged separately through a Visa debit card on my Co-operative Bank current account.

I was debited £710.94, but after the car was returned undamaged my account was credited with only £669.93. The £41.01 difference seems excessive and beyond what I could have expected from currency fluctuations or currency-exchange charges. When I hired cars previously the deposit was authorised but not processed, and would only have been called upon if the car had been damaged. I've emailed Marbesol asking for an explanation, but I've had no reply. AN, Northern Ireland.

A. Marbesol also failed to respond to our inquiry. However, The Co-operative Bank has agreed to refund your loss in full. A spokeswoman for the bank said: "The car-hire firm processed [the reader's] deposit in an unusual way. It has charged the account for the deposit and then refunded it, rather than following the usual practice, which is to do an authorisation request, reserving the funds but not processing the payment.

In common with other card issuers, we do make a charge for non-sterling transactions and our charge is 2.75 per cent. This charge is in line with the industry, with other providers charging up to 2.99 per cent, plus a purchase fee of £1 in some cases. As the car-hire firm took the unusual step of processing the deposit, the account was debited and then subsequently credited, therefore both of these transactions incurred the 2.75 per cent fee, which is what has largely led to the £41.01 being deducted from the funds that were returned – a small amount was due to the exchange rate moving between the purchase and refund dates. Due to the circumstances, we will refund the £41.01 as a gesture of goodwill."

Q. My late mother's will was drafted by HSBC. It was written in a very unorthodox way, providing beneficiaries with percentages of the total estate. This was not what my mother intended. A residuary beneficiary was awarded £300,000. We took this to court and our total legal costs were £134,000.

Our solicitor said it is the worst drafted will that he has seen in 14 years of dealing with probate. He wrote that "What is clear is that the deceased wanted the survivors in each clause to benefit before the residuary beneficiary. It is my view that unless the significant risks were made plain to the deceased, for which there is no proof, that this is an extremely cavalier way in which to tackle drafting a will since the slightest change to the investments can lead to a manifestly different devolution of the estate on death."

We have had five years of hell. My mother could not be expected to understand the complexities of will drafting – that is what she paid HSBC £15,500 for. My father worked for HSBC and tackled an armed robber at the bank, for which he was awarded a Queen's Commendation for bravery. He is so disillusioned by HSBC's treatment that he wants to return the medal. SO, by email.

A. HSBC charged £15,460.68 for administering the estate, not for writing the will – which was written by a solicitor employed by HSBC's predecessor bank, the Midland. A spokesman for HSBC says: "The bank's duty was to write a will that accurately recorded [the reader's mother's] instructions. It is satisfied that it did so." Some years after the will was written, the nature of your mother's assets changed substantially, but unfortunately her will did not reflect this.

HSBC points out it "had no involvement or input" in the changing character of the assets. HSBC explains that the will was contested in court, but HSBC was not a party to that case. After we submitted a new complaint to HSBC, it conducted an internal review, which concluded that the bank had acted "appropriately".

We then contacted the Law Society, which suggested a complaint be submitted to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. However, the SRA concluded that as the solicitor concerned was employed and not acting as an independent professional, it was unable to adjudicate. This leaves the dispute in a very unsatisfactory situation, which underlines the importance of any person making a will fully understanding its implications.

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

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

PROMOTED VIDEO
Extras
indybest
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
News
Ronahi Serhat, a PKK fighter, in the Qandil Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Poet’s corner: Philip Larkin at the venetian window of his home in 1958
booksOr caring, playful man who lived for others? A new book has the answer
Arts and Entertainment
Exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Metz - 23 May 2012
art
News
Matthew McConaughey and his son Levi at the game between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on August 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts.
advertisingOscar-winner’s Lincoln deal is latest in a lucrative ad production line
Life and Style
Pick of the bunch: Sudi Pigott puts together roasted tomatoes with peppers, aubergines and Labneh cheese for a tomato-inspired vegetarian main dish
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
film
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

    Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

    Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

    Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

    £30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

    UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

    Day In a Page

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

    Waxing lyrical

    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

    Make the most of British tomatoes

    The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

    Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

    The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
    La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape