Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Thursday, 18 November 2009

Remember that email I sent to my bank?

Their response is below.

Given that I said to them that I expect nothing more than for them to simply point to their terms and conditions like a hairy sex-starved matron, they have done me proud.

I win this argument purely because they're just so fucking boring.

I managed to read the first two paragraphs but then screamed in pain. Anyone bothered to read to the end?

18/Nov/2009 09:22

To: Mr R Cox

Thank you for your electronic message dated 14 November 2009.

I'm sorry for the upset caused by the management of your account, particularly the fee recently incurred. In the circumstances, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify our position.

With effect from 1 October 2007, our overdraft service changed. These changes were introduced to enable us to provide a service that offers choice and flexibility for our customers, whilst ensuring that we continue to lend responsibly.

As such, you can now request an overdraft in the following ways:

* Formal overdrafts may be requested in advance and will be agreed and authorised (subject to status) for up to 12 months.
* Informal overdrafts may be requested by presenting a debit for payment such as an ATM withdrawal, cheque, direct debit or standing order, when there is not enough money in your account. These requests will be authorised (subject to status) for 31 days. If another informal request is received within the same period, this will be treated as a new request.

In both instances, if the informal or formal request is agreed, a GBP25 arrangement fee may be applicable and is non-refundable, irrespective of the amount of the request in question, or the length of time required.

In your case, an informal request for an overdraft increase was received on 14 October when the balance of your account reached GBP505.89 debit and a fee was therefore incurred in line with our published Rate and Tariff. Whilst I understand your frustration, it remains your responsibility to monitor and manage your accounts and you should ensure that sufficient funds are available prior to items being presented for payment. As no bank error has occurred, I am unable to offer a refund.

Please be assured that the fee was not an attempt to recoup part of the joining incentive you were given. Our Rate and Tariff is applicable across the whole of our customer base and without prejudice.

Turning to your comments with regards to the conversations you had with us on 10 October and 14 October. Our records show that on 15 October we advised you that we had listened to the calls and we explained that the system was live and the fee would stand.

At first direct we are passionate about providing all of our customers with exceptional service so we're fully committed to providing prompt and accurate resolution to any complaints. If you are not completely satisfied with our response, please tell us at any time within the next eight weeks. To do so, you can telephone us on 08 456 100 100, send an electronic message via, or write to Customer Relations at 40 Wakefield Road, Leeds, LS98 1FD. Otherwise, we'll consider this matter closed.

If we can't offer you a satisfactory resolution, you can refer to the Financial Ombudsman Service (but we really do hope it doesn't come to that). Further details about how to do so and about how we respond to complaints are contained on our website,

Thank you for taking the time to write to us.

Steve Smithard
Credit Services Customer Relations


Bill said...

What have your bank done that is wrong, other than 'tell it to you like it is'? As a (no doubt boring - lol) former-banker I've put in place many similar letter response formats in my time. I accept it's great to let off steam, though.

Have a great weekend ;)

Anonymous said...

I had to stop reading half-way through because I could feel myself slipping into a coma.

Anonymous said...

I hate banks.

I do, on the other hand, quite like O2 (a mobile phone provider if you're outta the UK) right now.

I went out of Europe a few months ago and I ended up Data Roaming a fair bit, more than I knew at the time I should. I was sent the usual blah message (telling me it's £6 per MB) but I have no idea what a megabyte actually represents. One email, five emails, fifty emails, ten minutes on Gaydar...

Anyway, I got back. Got my bill. Got charged £450 (usual bill: £35). Fuck.

Called O2. They said they'd look into it. And, despite the fact it was really my error (there was quite a bit of - successful, at least - Gaydar usage), despite the fact they'd sent me a text telling me it is expensive to do that overseas and outlined the charges, despite the fact that they're a money-grabbing corporation who I thought had no conscience, they actually refunded me £400. No more correspondence and no fight required on my part.

I guess it's an indication that the Roaming charges are excessive in the extreme - and they obviously know it. But also that sometimes you do get money back if you complain/enquire about it. Anyway, I was a bit relieved. And spent the money I thought they'd snatch from me on a nice coat.

Anyway, thought it was worth mentioning for anyone who's in a similar situation ever. And just because, on the rare occasions when you get good or generous service, it's nice to mention it. It gave me some faith again and punctured the cycnical bubble I seem to inhabit.

(Though, on reflection, maybe they just didn't want me to take my iPhone contract - up for renewal - off to someone else... Hmmmm.)

Anonymous said...

In case you didn't see this...