Questions of cash: 'Why did the floods delay my new card?'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Q. My Abbey debit card expired at the end of July. Abbey says replacement cards were delayed because of the floods and postal strikes. I'm still waiting for my new debit card, two weeks into August and I'm going to close my Abbey accounts. GR, by email.

A. You eventually received your replacement card 18 days after the last one expired, leaving you unable to use cash machines to withdraw money from your account for two-and-a-half weeks. You say you were also "shocked" to find that you could use your new card without having to activate it, opening you to the risk of fraud if the card had been obtained by a third party. Abbey apologises to you and other customers for the delay, explaining that the problems were caused by the flooding of its production facilities in Tewkesbury and further delays because of postal strikes. Its spokesman says that urgent assistance will be given to any customers who still do not have their new card.

Q. My late husband and I took out a loan for a new central heating system, installed by British Gas and financed by a loan backed by life insurance. When my husband died the life insurers refused to pay out, unlike the other insurance policies backing debts. This insurer said there were problems to do with the wording on the death certificate. I am exasperated by this – it took me a year to get payments from his personal pension. I have had to restart loan repayments to British Gas, which I can't afford. LT, by email.

A. The loan was issued by the Bank of Scotland and backed by life insurance from St Andrew's Group. Your claim under this policy was rejected by St Andrew's on the grounds that medical inquiries suggested that your husband's death from multiple organ failure caused by a bleeding ulcer was related to a pre-existing condition derived from alcoholism. However, St Andrew's has reviewed your claim and accepts that it is possible that the conditions were not related. It now accepts your claim and will make a payment of £10,558.81 to British Gas to close the loan account.

Q. My Halifax Visa card was debited with £184.75 in April this year by a settlement agency for a gambling website. Three transactions were recorded for a value of $350. Halifax is investigating and has credited my account in the mean time. But I don't understand how the fraud operates. Surely the winnings should be paid to the cardholder? How can the security checks be overcome? FP, Portlaoise, Ireland.

A. APACS, which represents the banks, says that theoretically the winnings should always be paid back to the cardholder's account, though it might be possible that the online websites have been persuaded to pay winnings in another way. Our suspicion is that staff within the gambling company might be party to the fraud. Your security number may have been disclosed in a previous legitimate transaction and the information used by someone with access to these records.

Q. I paid a cheque for £44.27 into my Barclays Bank branch in Enfield in February. But the sum was never credited to my account. This caused me to go overdrawn and I was charged £60 for an unauthorised overdraft. CR, Enfield.

A. Barclays has credited your account with the lost £44.27 and the £60 overdraft charges. The problem was caused by a clerical error at the branch.

Q. I booked a hotel by credit card and cancelled the reservation in accordance with the terms of the booking. But the charge was made to my credit card account and the card issuer, Mint, refuses to credit me with the cost. JR, by email.

A. RBS, which owns Mint, is unable to credit your account as you did not retain a copy of the email you sent to the hotel and cannot prove that you cancelled the reservation. "It is a case of being unable rather than unwilling to help," says an RBS spokeswoman.

Q. BA cancelled the return leg of my Bristol-Paris-Bristol trip on the day I was due to return. Instead I had to get a flight to Heathrow, arriving at 9pm and take a taxi home, at an extra cost of £170. BA tell me this is not their responsibility. Can you help? KC, by email.

A. BA has also failed to provide any explanation to us, despite requests. However, since we made your case to BA it has refunded all your extra costs.

Looking for credit card or current account deals? Search here

Comments