How to increase a bank’s offer of redress

Change of name with the bank

Halifax Halifax Halifax. I have a choice of 3 complaints to do here. Actually 4 if you count the one I did for a friend and got her £500. Now which one today? Toss of a coin (yes 3 times don’t try and get clever with me you know it aint gonna work). Let’s take the most recent one.

I changed my name. Yes ha ha ha ha haha to all those companies to whom I haven’t yet complained who think they have my name. You don’t and you don’t know to what I changed it ner ner ner ner ner! (Slightly unnecessarily childish particularly given that I have just tweeted “How childish can politicians get? Seriously. “I win I got my Royal Charter” “I win I got my Law” Grow up & do what’s best 4 ppl!” But hey ho moving on).

So, got the  Deed certificate, paid for legal copies as some financial institutions needed them and others were happy with copies. Sent off details to Halifax and asked a simple question about fees on their card. You’d think that would be quite simple wouldn’t you, well obviously not or I wouldn’t be writing about it would I?!

The Halifax correspondence

From Halifax

I got a letter back addressed using my former name, not enclosing my document and not answering the question, but enclosing a new direct debit form! Fail on 3 counts! Rude huh?  So I complained. Obviously.

I got a letter back offering me £30. Now, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again if you don’t think that the amount reflects the inconvenience or time spent on the matter, particularly when they don’t apologise or explain the issues…. complain again. So I did. I was particularly pedantic actually.

From me

I pointed out the following to Ms R:

keyboard Bank made a mistake? Not happy with offer, how to get it increasedShe said Halifax disposed of the document because it was a copy. (Oh yes Dear Reader did I not mention that earlier? Halifax destroyed the legal copy that I PAID for!) It was not a photocopy. It was a “Certified legal copy of a Deed of Change of Name (Deed Poll)”. I expected to be reimbursed!

She requested that I send my deed poll to the same address as before. Given that this was the address at which I had my property destroyed I refused to do that again and enclosed another legal copy to her and trusted that she would at least not destroy it and return it!

I received no explanation why, when my property was destroyed, no-one wrote to me to ask for (actually another) the deed poll. Had I not complained I could have continued to wait for both my deed poll to be returned and to receive my new credit card!

She completely ignored by question about the Card and I asked for a third time and failed to explain or apologise for why I only received a direct debit form and covering letter which ignored the two out of three points of my letter. I found this extremely rude and unacceptable.

Now here’s the particularly pedantic part. I wrote “I quote from your letter “I can see that we’ve let you down with some of the points you’ve raised. However I hope I’ve explained that there are some instances where I believe our actions were necessary.” This would indicate that you believe, as you have written in the plural, that at least two of your actions were necessary and acceptable. Please explain which these actions are. Destroying property which does not belong to Halifax and I had to pay for, not writing to me regarding this, ignoring my query about the credit card and writing to me in my former name are my list of complaints (to which I have added today). I do not believe that any of these actions (or non action!) were necessary, some were just downright rude. Please do explain which two you deem as necessary as I am very interested and it is these that I shall highlight to the Financial Ombudsman in particular”.

I also expected more than the £30 offered.

Haifax redress

I got a response. In short, £12 reimbursement for the deed poll and £100 for the inconvenience.

So that was that. Nah, I’m pedantic remember. So although satisfied with the amount, I did need to write again and point out that I had requested the money be sent in a cheque and not put on the card which she didn’t do! So, as I had to write again I hoped that the following points would help her in the future.

1)       The first page of her letter was a photocopy and not the original on letterheaded notepaper.
2)       Fifth bullet point, incorrect use of an apostrophe in the word “fees”
3)       “are charges” not “is charges” would be grammatically correct (as in my letter which you could have copied)
4)       “You have been advised there is…” No, I advised you on this point and the instances are plural and therefore “are” not “is” is appropriate.
5)       No new paragraph on what should have been the first new paragraph on the second page.
6)       “…should be made clear to your at the time” should have been “you” not “your”
7)       “Halifax so not apply any loading..” doesn’t make any sense, I assume that you mean “do”
8)       “…and enclosed your Deed…” “enclose” not “enclosed”

Just a little bit....;)
Just a little bit….?

There were a few other things, (not least that she didn’t answer the point about which issue I complained about was necessary) but I won’t bore you now seeing you got this far! Well honestly, I do expect a letter from a bank to be written and checked! Yes, I could have saved my time but frankly, the poor quality letter writing annoyed me and anyway I was being helpful! Perhaps it helped in her future work. I freely give tips for companies  on how to avoid complaints!

So, share your experiences of the banking world. Which one is good which one is bad? I have found HSBC pretty good but last time I wrote to them customer service standards were going down and I had to write to the CEO. What do you think of your bank/building society/credit card companies?

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8 thoughts on “How to increase a bank’s offer of redress”

  1. At least you had a reply.
    I had reason to put in 10 complaints in as many days.
    They totally ignored the majority.
    They failed to carry out a specific instruction re data protection.
    The complaints team laughed at us and mocked us on the phone.
    Widow is being forced to do probate despite having joint accounts with the deceased for over 50 years with Halifax; and despite the law which states a widow should receive her inheritance without cost or hindrance.
    Suggeston: Ditch Lloyds Banking Group.

  2. Hi

    I recently received a cheque from a major bank for a fraudulent withdrawal from my account but I am trying to obtain more. The cheque was not sent ‘without prejudice’ but should I bank it whilst I go for an additional settlement, and if so will that prejudice my claim for more? Thanks.

    Stewart

    1. Difficult to tell without seeing all the details and what they sent you (can’t go into that here) but as a general rule I don’t cash a cheque while still negotiating. Don’t think it really matters usually but depends on circumstances. I’d not cash it while still negotiating so long as they haven’t said that this in the final offer. If they have covered your costs then you aren’t legally entitled to more so you couldn’t go further with an ombudsman for example.

  3. HALIFAX MORTGAGE DEPT. Not a clue about first time mortgage credit guarantee or HelptoBuy. Halifax took policy fee and valuation fee without permission and approved mortgage before agreement had been approved by the government scheme. Unfortunately purchase could not continue and Halifax don’t want to pay back valuation.
    Offered to pay back policy fee and £200 on the phone with nothing in writing.
    Have asked for £800 but they just paid into my account £200 with not agreement.
    What do I do. Breach of Treating customers fairly and breach of duty of care.

  4. I like the work you do, people often say I should make a business out of my experience dealing with complaints and problems of my own, as well as helping many friends and family with complaints and claims.
    My CV contains the following:- I took Air France to court over a flight cancellation and won compensation, even though I’d contacted ATOL and ABTA and even someone at BRMB Radio who at the time were getting good reviews for helping travellers seek redress for wrong doings, they all said I have no case against them, I took no notice of all of them, I read the small print conditions of booking flights, realised I had a case and appeared in court and the Judge said, ”I don’t think you’ll be seeing them, expect a cheque in the post soon, so I won!
    I reported a Solicitor (Conveyancing) to the Office For The Supervision of Solicitors for over charging me fees when I bought and sold a house, I won compensation against fraud, I and a Brewery also involved in fraud, put him behind bars, I received compensation just before he served time.
    There are many more cases I’ve won, and I’m currently fighting against the Home Office Immigration complaints for my wife’s visa refusal, it’s gone through stage one, two and now it lies with the Parliamentary & Health Ombudsman for compensation.

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