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Opus Credit card - scam or just incompetent

(9 Posts)
DoIHaveTo Wed 16-Feb-11 19:11:35

Has anyone else experienced this? I called just before Christmas to set up a direct debit to pay my Opus credit card bill (they're owned by Bank of Scotland). Post christmas I get a call saying I've missed my payment. Went through the whole direct debit thing and they said - oh yes, wasn't activated for some reason. Don't worry, I'll sort it and if you call customer services they will refund the £12.00 late payment fee. Cross but not so cross that I could be bothered to phone customer services so let it go. Following month imagine my surprise when the same call comes. Woman this time says 'oh yes' there is a note on your screen don't know what went wrong but we're having trouble with the call centre. I'll make sure the direct debit is set up and if you call customer services etc etc.

This time I was really cross and phone customer services and guess what. No record of my call (ironic when they say they record all calls for staff training purposes) and no mention of a direct debit and no chance of refunding my late payment charges. I have a strong suspicion that this is just a scam by the credit card company - I have lost my special offer interest rate as a result and they won't refund the late fees. I can't believe I have spoken to 3 people at OPUS and had virtually the same call every time and yet it would appear that after the call they hang up and wait for the next month to call me and say I haven't made the payment. What do you think? Scam or just old fashioned incompetence? angry

mollymole Wed 16-Feb-11 19:49:10

do you, or can you, get an itemised telephone bill to proove that you have called this people - if so copy this and write a formal complaint letter, saying that you expect a written response with XX days, and post it registered so that it has to be signed for

DoIHaveTo Thu 17-Feb-11 22:01:55

hadn't thought of the itemised phone bill.......that gives me a paper trail. Thanks for the idea!

emmagold Sat 19-Feb-11 18:16:22

I'd suggest closing your account and getting rid of your Opus card immediately. If you google Opus credit card interest rate, you'll find an interesting article on the Guardian money blog 4th December 2010 on who owns Opus and on the astronomically high interest rates they charge. Thousands of people are dumping their Opus accounts and there are much better deals around. And their customer service is quite appalling.

moaningminniewhingesagain Sat 19-Feb-11 18:19:28

Incompetent definately, possibly non accidental too.

My Citicard was transferred to them, by Citicard. I have had a card with Citi for many years.

Opus sent my new card to DHshock He is additional cardholder only, it is not a joint account. I am so pissed off, it is a breach of data protection IMHO.
I will be dumping my account too.

Bertrand67 Mon 28-Mar-11 16:15:15

We have had similar experience with Opus. We never had a problem with this account when it was a Citi card. The standing instruction was for the card to be payed off every month by direct debit from a Citi current account. Since Opus took over, they seem incapable of following this instruction. When we call the call centre, their staff don't seem to listen. This month we've gone over our (low) limit because the balance wasn't cleared last month. Now they have charged us over-limit fee and interest. When we spoke to the call centre today they refused to admit that any balance had been forwarded (even though we had the online statement infront of us and could see it had been). Besides we haven't spent the full limit since the last statement date. Not anywhere near it.

The guy we spoke to today repeatedly interrupted us with "Please let me explain why....". I'm sorry we're just not interested in why. There is a standing instruction to pay down the balance every month. Not only did this guy fob us off for nearly 30 minutes on the phone, he also refused to refund the £12 over-limit fee. When my girlfriend said to him ok, well if that's the case we just want to pay the balance off right now and close the account, things got even more bizarre. We gave him the debit card details and our address, he then said there was a problem wiht the address we gave him and the payment couldn't be accepted. The address we gave him is the same address as they send us credit card statements. It's on their system. I got the distinct impression that he was just being awkward to prevent us paying off the card. In the end we were just going around and around in circles. We asked to speak to someone else then he told us he didn't appreciate being spoken to like that. We hung up at that point. We'll try again tomorrow.....

batterseaboi Thu 02-Jun-11 21:48:11

Hi guys, and thanks for posting on here. I am going through a similar horrible experience with Opus credit card at the moment where they have taken an unauthorised payment from me.

Yesterday, I called Opus’ customer services on 020 7871 0464 to settle my outstanding balance of just over £1,000 and then close my credit card account. When I explained this to the customer service adviser, he told me that my account had been blocked because a letter sent to me by Opus had been returned to them with a message saying ‘person no longer at this address’.

I had no idea what letter the adviser was referring to as I’d never received it, but I pointed out to him that I had been receiving all of my monthly credit card statements and was in possession of the latest one, dated 15th May 2011. Moreover, I have made regular repayments in response to these posted statements. The adviser then said he could not discuss my account with me, as I would now need to post them photographic ID and various proofs of address.

The adviser then asked me to confirm my address details with him, which I recited back to him. He then went on to take the full payment of £1,000 from my Barclays debit card. I assumed at this point that having settled the account balance in full, that once I had sent Opus the personal ID and address details they’d asked for, that I would be then able to close my account.

After this phone call, I then checked my Barclays bank account online, and saw that the settlement figure had been taken TWICE, resulting in over £2,000 disappearing from my account! I was extremely alarmed at this and immediately called Barclays to alert them and arrange a refund. I was put through to their disputed card payments team and spoke to a man who told me that Opus would need to fax them a brief explanation on letterhead that they’d taken two payments instead of one, and only then would Barclays be able to refund the second payment back into my account.

I called Opus again and tried to explain that more than £2,000 had been taken from my account in error but the adviser said she wasn’t able to discuss the issue with me because of the ‘block’ that had been applied to my account. At this I became very frustrated and asked to speak to a manager, and she put me through to a man in their Essex call centre, who said he couldn’t do anything to help me until they received my personal and address identification in the post.

This morning, Thursday, 2nd June, I called Opus’ Essex call centre again to try to get a fax number that I could use to send my personal details. I spoke with an adviser and asked to speak to a manager again but she told me that as my account was blocked, no manager would come to speak to me. I asked her why no one had made contact with me to bring my blocked account to my attention, despite Opus being in possession of all of my telephone numbers, and she told me that someone should have called me. I asked if she had a record of any calls made and she said there was none.

By this point, I felt extremely exasperated and bullied by Opus, an organisation that had taken a significant amount of money from me, which they claim was in error, but which now was completely unwilling to swiftly arrange a refund.

I have now posted my details to Opus and in the meantime discovered on the Internet, a large number of similar complaints by other Opus customers, who have all similarly found themselves with blocked accounts at the point that they have tried to close them. It does seem to me from these many complaints that the ‘error’ which I am now forced to go to great lengths to resolve, is in fact standard business practice for this firm.

I was alarmed to discover from the Financial Ombudsman’s website, that this organisation has the luxury of eight whole weeks to resolve this issue and return my money to me. This suggests to me that Opus are earning interest on money they are taking and withholding from customers ‘in error’ on a national scale, for the period of several weeks within they are allowed to resolve disputes. This is, in my view, an utter scandal and should be fully investigated with immediate effect – it is something I am bringing to the attention of the BBCs ‘Watchdog’ programme.

In the meantime I am now in a position where I do not have enough money to pay my bills and live on and will inevitably end up going overdrawn with all of the bank charges that I will incur as a result.

In addition to a refund of the amount taken, I would also expect Opus to refund the cost of the letter I had to send to them by registered post and any overdraft charges I may incur as a result of this issue.

GBR Thu 09-Jun-11 13:01:55

Just spotted this thread - my husband and I had joint cards with Citi, though I am the main account holder - cards had been paid off months ago. Got new cards from Opus, sent to my husband instead of me. I rang them to close the account, got a confirmation letter that this had been done. Five months later, I got a letter from them stating they had changed my credit limit! I rang and said I had closed the account months before, they said very sorry and they would confirm the account is closed in writing - they sent another copy of their original letter confirming the account was closed.

Rubbish customer service and record keeping, I think!

debtfreeiwish Thu 09-Jun-11 14:02:08

battersea have you sought legal advice! if not phone citizens advice they will put you in touch with the right people and also pass it onto trading standards who will look into the matter,that's just not right what they have done and why should you have to wait to get your money back,it makes me so angry these companies ripping people off like that, good luck x

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