Questions Of Cash: 'Why is it so hard to use my Visa card abroad?'


Q. I am having problems with Lloyds TSB Airmiles Duo Cards. My card expired on 31 July and I expected a new card to be sent automatically. No card arrived by 26 July. I was due to go on holiday abroad three days later so I phoned and was told it had been despatched. Still it didn't arrive and, when I phoned again, I was told it had not been sent out as part of efforts to improve fraud control. I had wanted to use this card to collect the Airmiles. When I returned from holiday on 11 August there was still no card. I rang Lloyds again and was told it would arrive within seven days. It didn't. I phoned again and was told a block had been put on the card. The block is normally placed because of arrears, which I don't have, or because there has been fraudulent behaviour, which there hasn't been. I have now been assured the block has been lifted and the card will arrive within five working days. I'm not convinced. RN, by email.

A. Lloyds says there has been "some technical difficulties" which caused a delay in sending out your replacement card, which you have now received. Lloyds has credited your account with £50 and 150 Airmiles – the equivalent of spending £750 abroad on your card – as a gesture of goodwill.

Q. I work in Thailand, where I rely on my Abbey UK online linked current and savings lifetime accounts. I set up the accounts with the bank in 2008, before I left the UK. Apparently, there has been some attempted fraud using my Visa debit card and I could not access cash from my account from an ATM. I spent £8 phoning the UK to listen to piped music, before being told the block on my card had been removed. I made another four unsuccessful attempts at withdrawing cash, had to buy another three phone cards and then made four more calls to Abbey without joy. It turned out the cards had been permanently blocked and I must reopen my accounts. My wife went to our local branch, as arranged, to collect a card, but she was unsuccessful. I then made another two hours of phone calls to Abbey. I have now been told it is necessary for me to return to the UK to collect the cards in person. Can you arrange something that I have found impossible to do? ML, Thailand.

A. Abbey tells us that a replacement Visa debit card was ordered on 17 August – the date we first contacted Abbey. It was delivered to your UK home address, from where your wife despatched it to you in Thailand. New e-banking and PIN details have been set-up. Abbey apologises and is paying you £75 in compensation.

Q. I was interested to read of the problem a reader had with thetrainline.com (Questions of Cash, 29 August). In March, I purchased a ticket to travel from Wolverhampton to London on 2 April. My plans changed and I applied for a refund of £32.65 on the same day. On checking my credit card statement at the end of June, I realised that I hadn't received the refund. Repeated attempts to get the refund since then have been unsuccessful. GE, Edinburgh.

A.Thetrainline.com apologises. It promises you will have received the refund by the time this is published.

Q. On 28 March 2009 my family and I went away. On our return, on 23 April, the bathroom floor had been flooded with water that had come through the ceiling. When my wife switched on the lights, all the lights in the house went off. We then realised the water had seeped through the ceiling via the electrical light panel. After speaking to our insurers, PaymentShield, I obtained a quote from a roofing contractor. He said part of the roof was damaged and needed urgent repair. My neighbours told me that we had a lot of rain while we were away. But in May I received a letter from RSA, the underwriters, rejecting my claim. I now have a damaged roof, a soiled and damaged bathroom ceiling and a dangerous light fitting with no lights. VP, Pinner.

A. RSA says your policy covers storm damage, but not weather damage resulting from wear and tear, or poor maintenance. A spokeswoman explains: "Under the Beaufort Scale, a storm is defined as Force 10 and involves wind speeds of 55 to 63mph. However, slight structural damage may occur at wind speeds in excess of 47mph, or at Force 9. Force 9 is categorised as a 'severe gale'. For a claim to be processed successfully under the storm peril there must be wind speeds in excess of 47 mph and/or a rainfall of at least 4mm in one hour. According to weather information service Eurotempest, the highest wind speed while the customer was absent from the property was 31 mph. The insured must also be able to prove (by obtaining a cause of damage report) that the damage was the result of a single incident of storm, rather than generally bad weather or a combination of poor weather and an existing defect/maintenance issue. We have received confirmation from the insured's builders that the damage to the roof was the result of wear and tear, not wind or rain. In view of there being no storm conditions on or around the date [the reader] reported the claim, and due to the information given by the insured's builders, we maintain our original decision."

If you want to challenge the RSA decision you should commission a cause of damage report that supports your version of events. You may also need to find alternative evidence of the severity of the weather in your absence. You can also lodge a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service, seeking to reverse the decision.

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

News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Life and Style
fashion

News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news

Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear

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

    Recruitment Genius: Financial Sales Executives

    £19000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to our clients continuing s...

    Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst

    £20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

    Argyll Scott International: 2x Service Desk Analyst

    £20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Execution Trader

    £30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global Rolling Spot FX, Comm...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game