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AIBU about these bank charges?

(44 Posts)
OnlyGirlinmyHouse Tue 13-Jan-15 20:24:51

I applied for a Virgin Credit card in January 2014 for the purpose of transferring a balance to it and paying it off with a set amount each month. It was a 0% interest for 15 months offer. The application was approved on 8th January. I transferred the balance, and then set up a regular payment of £130 to go out of my account on the 1st of each month starting on 1st Feb. £130 more than covers the minimum payment each month.

I then forgot about the card, although i would see the £130 going out of my current account each month. I got emails each month saying that my statment was ready to view but i didnt ever look as i hadn't spent anything on the card.

I got my annual review statement today and was shocked to see that i have been charged £132 in late payment fees, as well as interest every month. I have emailed to complain, but they have basically said it's my own fault for not checking the statments each month. I have been charged the late payment fee of £12 each month because the first payment was due by 25th January 2014. I thought making the first payment within a month was sufficient. All the additional charges & interest total over £400

I have had other credit cards, and if i've ever been late with a payment before i've had Notice of Default Summons (or something similar to that). I haven't had any letters from them about the late payments. I have had several letters though offering me further interest freee periods on further balance transfers.

I am kicking myself for not checking the statements. AIBU in wanting to pursue the matter? Or is it all totally my fault and i should just to suck it up?

floatyjosmum Tue 13-Jan-15 20:28:49

What's happened is you've paid monthly starting from the wrong date. Credit cards are usually every 28 days - it may be worth seeing if they will refund anything but I'm guessing they won't.

I have a barclaycard and get emails telling me statements ready but it says on the email what the min payment is and when it's due by - Id assume it would be something similar

Perfectlypurple Tue 13-Jan-15 20:28:55

If you have never viewed the statements you wouldn't know the pay by date, therefore I think it is your own fault for not looking at your statements. The late charges go on your statement.

PiperIsTerrysChoclateOrange Tue 13-Jan-15 20:33:09

I think it's your responsibilty to check the statements.

OriginalGreenGiant Tue 13-Jan-15 20:47:35

It's definitely your fault and you'll get short shift if you go to the bank all guns blazing.

BUT...£100 odd quid is nothing to the bank. Write a letter advising you are very disappointed that following your initial misunderstanding about the due date, you have made late payments for a year and not been informed...and that you would like the fees to be refunded.

You never know, it's worth a go anyway.

lostincumbria Tue 13-Jan-15 20:50:46

I can't understand how the first payment was due 16 days after the balance was transferred. There's hardly enough time to issue a statement, let alone demand payment. If they've messed up the first month, you may be in a (slightly) stronger position to negotiate.

borisgudanov Tue 13-Jan-15 20:57:41

Ridiculous. You've paid monthly so you could never have been in breach of contract in respect of more than one payment. I'd go bloody bonkers. If they thought your account was going as delinquent as that they should've written to you. Greedy bastards. YANBU.

brokenhearted55a Tue 13-Jan-15 21:13:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notauniquename Tue 13-Jan-15 21:21:46

That's just how virgin cards seem to work, statements are issued on the 16th payments are due by the 1st on mine.

so, if I made a payment today, it's after the first, so if it was in payment for December then I'd get a late fee. and yet because it;s before a statement is issued they'd issue a statement in two days saying minimum payment is x amount, due by 1st Feb.

Worse still (there are 31 days in this month)
if I pay my bill today it will clear by tomorrow, so payment on 30th clears on the 31st.
but if you pay on the last day of the month then the amount takes 2 days to clear.
payment on the 31st won't clear on the first, the intentionally delay payment and clear it on the second, and then charge you for paying late.

(their T&C's actually say payment takes 1 day to clear except for the last day of the month.)

it's a bit weird that they haven't called to talk to you about your consistent late payments, especially as missing a payment broke your agreement for the 0% deal.

when I was late with a payment they phoned me to tell me that paying late meant that the transfer wasn't 0% any more.

MrMacadoo Tue 13-Jan-15 21:24:05

it wouldn't do any harm to pursue but they won't be able to amend your credit file so this could adversely affect your credit rating. Might be worth having a look on Experian to check, I think they do free 30 day trials

BatteryPoweredHen Tue 13-Jan-15 21:27:02

I'd be very worried that they have also been recording 'late payments' with credit reference agencies like Experian/Equifax. If this has been going on since Jan 14, this is likely to be quite a problem should you try to obtain credit elsewhere.

I suggest you get a copy of your credit file ASAP.

Sadly, this will probably be in the T&Cs that nobody in the history of the world ever reads. If you complain, they do have quite a strong argument that you should have checked your statements.

What a shitty situation, you have my sympathy.

BatteryPoweredHen Tue 13-Jan-15 21:27:54

x post Macadoo smile

OnlyGirlinmyHouse Tue 13-Jan-15 21:37:46

Oh crap, i hadn't even thought about my credit file. although i applied for a loan in December, jointly with my husband and it was approved. That might be down to my husband though so i will look into it.

I am veering between being annoyed with myself and being annoyed with them.

DancingDays Tue 13-Jan-15 21:47:13

My bank <Santander I'm looking at you> merrily change the payment date every single month. Hops between 20th and 29th except when they decided the 18th would be a fun day and it had to be the only month I didn't check until 19th.

I have rang and their response varies between 'oh that's odd, I will make sure it's more stable in future' to 'Yes that's how we do it' Never got to the bottom of the suprise payment days.

OnlyGirlinmyHouse Tue 13-Jan-15 21:53:00

I've just looked again at the Febrarury 2014 statement which is the first one i received. It says payment due by 23/02/14. The statement shows that the balance transfer & all fees were applied to the account on 24th January. My payment was received on 6th February. How is that late?

Mutley77 Tue 13-Jan-15 22:01:22

I don't think your 6 feb payment was late, it was early (ie before the date of the statement) so they counted it as a jan payment. Your 6 March payment was then a late payment for the feb statement. I reckon you could probably get the charges amended on that basis if you explain it to a customer services rep.

WowserBowser Tue 13-Jan-15 22:07:35

I used to work for MBNA which held/holds the Virgin cards.

How much does it say your first payment was? The first pymnt is normally higher due to the fees.

Was it a standing order you set up to transfer the money rather than a direct debit?

WowserBowser Tue 13-Jan-15 22:10:18

If £130 wasn't enough to pay the first amount then it will go as a late payment. You get a £12.00 fee and your 0% interest gets turned off. You then would not be covering the minimum payment each month.

grumpyoldgitagain Tue 13-Jan-15 22:15:39

Virgin are twats for this on credit cards

Usually as soon as your have your first missing or late payment then any offers are cancelled such as 0% balance transfers and you go into full rate

I had it once in a 0% offer for a £10,000 balance transfer missed the payment date by 2 days as the statement didn't arrive and they were complete twats with cancelling the 0% and charging full interest straight away

Took a lot of account juggling to find that amount to pay it off and cancel the card but still cost a few hundred in interest for a few days mistake

maddening Tue 13-Jan-15 22:16:23

What was the minimum due that month? Did you set up a minimum/set amount payment direct debit or a standing order,

If it a direct debit then even if you set the amount I think they need to make sure that the amount you set at least covers the minimum payment.

If it a standing order and you made the request to your bank without checking your credit card statement then that is your fault though you may have recourse if they have not contacted you at any point to inform you.

I work in risk/control/compliance in a bank so also see FOS responses to many cases like yours - if it was a direct debit I reckon FOS would find the bank at fault, order the bank to refund your charges and amend your credit file to reflect an up to date history. If it was a standing order then I think you may be found at fault - however if they did not try to contact you about the arrears the whole time FOS may rule for some refund but you would have a hard time getting the credit file amended as it is a true reflection of how you run your finances.

I would do a data file request to get all the notes which would determine attempts made to contact you and ask for a copy of the complaints procedure especially if it was a direct debit.

That being said - as things like fraud and account take over do happen and whilst you would not be left out of pocket that sort of thing can be a real pain in the arse as a customer ( and often crop up when you are actually needing credit (eg mortgage) or when applying for a job as it comes up on your credit file - so unless you are in the habit of watching your own credit file (and folk tha do this often have a good grasp on the comings and goings of their finances so notice things as soon as they happen) so it is always wide to take stock regularly - even just monthly.

WowserBowser Tue 13-Jan-15 22:18:48

grumpyoldgitagain - did you call them and explain? When I worked there I would have helped for you to get the rate put back and fee refunded.

bigbluestars Tue 13-Jan-15 22:19:53

I have stoozed quite a bit over the years and find all the systems fair- incliding Virgin/MBMA.
The T&Cs are quite clear- if you are late for one payment then the whole 0% deal is void.
THe first payment is usually higher as is can include fees.

A harsh lesson for the OP but I don't think Virgin are at fault here- she should have checked her bills.

notauniquename Tue 13-Jan-15 22:30:39

the problem is the billing periods.

You don't need to make minimum payments each month. you need to respond to statements.
As I said mine are issued around 15th to be pair 2 weeks later (~1st of the next month).

if yours were due by the 25th, then your statements must have been issues ~7th or 8th. (2 weeks earlier)

You are told on the 7th that you must pay a minimum payment of £x before the 25th. the fact that you made a payment on the 6th is not important, that payment was made in the previous billing month (which is not the same as the calendar month).

so 6th Feb you made a payment, (inside the billing month for January).
8th Feb you were issues a statement pay £130 or more by the 25th
25th came and went
6th march, you made a (late) payment for Feb
8th march statement issued saying please pay £130 or more by the 25th
25th comes and goes with no payment
6th April you make a late payment.

OnlyGirlinmyHouse Tue 13-Jan-15 22:37:02

Maddening - the minimum payment due was £25.47 and i paid £130. i set up the payments with my bank so i guess that is a standing order. The minimum payment did jump to about £70 once they started charging me interest but the £130 has always covered this. I've asked for someone to ring me tomorrow. They did try to ring me today but i was at work.

WowserBowser Tue 13-Jan-15 22:40:50

notaunique - is right then.

It is your responsibility to check your statements. If you are paperless then you should check online.

But I guess you get that by now grin

Just be nice to the person who calls, they are more likely to help you out.

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