When I went on holiday to The Philippines I used the rather brilliant Martin Lewis (Moneysaving Expert) website to compare rates for money. The best deal was Nat West. So I bought the Pesos. When I went to take the money we hadn’t spent to be changed, the assistant told me that they couldn’t exchange without charging commission. Really? Not what it says on the website. Tut tut that would be a breach of the Misrepresentation Act 1967 then. (When you enter an agreement on the basis of a statement purporting to be a fact but which turns out to be untrue, you have the right to cancel the deal and get your money back or to compensation). You can also do this under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations. Nat West staff wouldn’t have it though. Nor when I went back again to see someone senior!
So, obviously I did not pay the commission! I wrote. I pointed out the error of their ways. Namely that they stated no commission fees on the website and that I would be informing Martin Lewis so that they could take Nat West off the site. I expected redress for having to make another journey, parking costs, time wasted on this matter and the inconvenience.
Think that worried them! They wrote acknowledging the mistakes and asking me to ‘phone them to discuss the matter. I don’t do that. Write not phone for many a reason. So I wrote again. I made it clear that I would not be wasting any more time discussing the matter all the details were in the letter and suggested they ensured that when I took the money back that staff were properly informed and that I received adequate redress. Two trips and three letters I’ll have good redress thank you. My time is precious you know!
Nat West gave me £250. The amount I was exchanging was less than £100! However, the amount reflected their concerns about my informing Martin Lewis methinks! That or they realised too that my time is precious!?
Never ever just give in to bad service. If they say no commission for exchanging money ensure that they keep to the promise. They are breaking the Law if they don’t. It’s because people can’t be bothered to complain and take the time to write a letter that bad practice continues.
For more information on banks and template letters for complaints about charges etc see How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, redress and Results!