Questions Of Cash: 'Why is it so hard to use my Visa card abroad?'
Saturday 12 September 2009
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: email@example.com
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
- 5 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
iJobs Money & Business
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...
Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...
Day In a Page
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens
A seven-bedroom Grade II-listed property with a separate self-contained apartment
A five-bedroom Victorian house with three reception rooms and galleried landing, £695,000
A six-bedroom farmhouse with five acres of land in a former cloth-making village
A secluded seven-bedroom detached house with large private garden, £490,000
A three-bedroom cottage overlooking Sarratt village green with open fires and solid oak floors
A three-bedroom maisonette flat in a Grade I-listed, Georgian townhouse in a sought-after location
A one-bedroom apartment located within a private gated development, north of Turnham Green
Look forward to a brighter future at two-bedroom Sunny Cottages, ideal for Londoners looking to downsize
A three-bedroom red-brick cottage with outbuildings and pretty gardens, £200,000
This three-bedroom flat within a former textile factory spans the corner of the fourth floor and has a balcony