Re: Account Number xxxx Sort Code xxxx
I find myself in the unenviable position of having to write to you to explain the great displeasure I have received in dealing with your bank, and also why, after seven years as a happy customer, I have taken the decision to close my accounts with yourselves.
On the 11th September 2006, after never being overdrawn without permission in the entire time I have held my account (since July 1999), I accidentally went over my allocated overdraft of £150 by £30.63. IMMEDIATELY upon realising this, on the 13th September 2006, I transferred £50 from the online saver I currently hold with you, thereby bringing the account back within my acceptable overdraft limit. I then contacted your customer services number (0845 3000000) at that time, and explained that this had occurred accidentally, and as I was then liable for £60 of bank charges, would it be possible to waive these charges?
I spoke to a female member of staff (whose name I do not have on record) and was then transferred to another department to speak with a gentleman who gave his name only as ‘Richard’. Richard told me that as a good customer, with a clean credit record and a long-standing account with yourselves, I would be eligible to have the full amount of charges waived just this once, and that he had arranged this for me. I was not given any reference number with the call, and Richard did not give me his surname. I was told that there was nothing else I needed to do, and this had all been taken care of.
Upon logging on to my internet banking today to arrange some payments, I discovered that on the 1st November 2006, £30 had been debited from my account as an Overdraft Excess Charge. This would be the same £30 that Richard assured me would not be charged.
From 11.00am this morning until 2.30pm, I have been phoning around various different departments within your institution, trying to get someone to explain to me why this had been charged. At first I contacted the customer services number (given above), and was told to contact Collections on 0870 9090983 as they would refund the money. Upon getting through to your Collections department, they refused to speak to me as my account was not currently in Collections. I was then told to phone 0800 3898766 and speak with someone in that department, which I did. I spoke to a lady there who explained that telephone number was for customers who were in financial difficulties, and that I should contact the main customer services centre on the first number I had dialled.
I phoned back, and spoke to a lady named Lesley Stuart on the main number. She was very polite and helpful, advised me she had a record of the conversation I had had with Richard and that if I contacted him directly on 08003898766 he would be able to waive the charge as initially agreed.
I then contacted the number AGAIN. I spoke to an operator named Jenny Carter who had no record of the conversation on my account, and told me there was nobody named Richard working in that department. I explained to her my extreme displeasure at being passed around again, and asked her to transfer me directly to someone within Customer Services who would deal with my account. It had, at this stage, taken me over an hour and a half just to find someone who was willing to even discuss my account with me.
I was transferred to Claire in Customer Services at this stage. After confirming all my security information (account number, sort code, date of birth and address) again for her, she finally advised me that ‘this sort of thing’ was not dealt with over the telephone and never had been. She advised that there was a note on my account stating that I had been given an address to write to on the 13th September 2006, in order to get the fees waived. She then went on to tell me that Lloyds TSB have a policy of not waiving any overdraft fees anyway, and that I should not have been told my fees would be waived.
After a very frustrating conversation with Claire, I asked to be transferred to her supervisor. I then spoke with Bess Favel in a South Wales Call Centre. Bess explained that the new policy came in on 1st November 2006, and that my fees could not be waived now (although I was initially told that they HAD been), and that there was nobody called Richard who had authorised anything on my account. I was told that the only way to get this rectified was to write a letter to the main customer care contact address. She could not give me a name to address the letter to, she could not put me through to anyone to discuss this on the telephone, and she could not give me an approximate time that my complaint (put in writing) would take to be acknowledged and rectified. In short, Bess was unable or unwilling to do anything to help me at all.
This is why I have now taken the decision to move my one current (sole) account, my current (joint) account, my credit card, my personal loan, my house and contents insurance, and my partner’s loan, current (sole) account, and credit card over to the Halifax Bank as soon as I am able to arrange it. In my estimation, the carelessness and unhelpfulness of your call centre operators has cost you approximately £8,000 of business a year from myself and my partner. I realise that is probably a ‘drop in the ocean’ for a large bank such as yourself, and that you in all probability treat your large business customers far better, but I am hopeful that another bank will value my trade and seek to better serve me as their customer.
Should you require any further details of any of my accounts, or further information as to why I now choose to remove them from your institution, I am available on telephone xxx evenings/weekends, or mobile xxx during the daytime. If the £30 excess fee was waived as initially promised, I might even consider keeping some financial services with yourselves, although probably not my current accounts after this fiasco.