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Oh FGS. Can Argos storecard charge me a £12 late payment even though I paid on time but made a mistake with the account number?

(13 Posts)
HerBeatitudeLittleBella Mon 22-Jun-09 13:37:47

OK I am thick - I paid my first payment on my new card and somehow managed not to enter the last digit of the account number. So of course, when the payment went out of my account, it got lost in the ether, never to be seen again until I got a statement saying I was late paying and I had to pay £12 extra for not paying.

After much shenanigans, they have traced the payment and according to one dept, allocated it to my account. Another dept however, is still chasing me, threatening me with legal action and demanding £12 late payment still, even though originally I was told that I wouldn't have to pay as I could prove the payment went out of my account in masses of time.

Do I have to deal with these people anymore? Is there some organisation I can hand the whole thing over to? Shall I just pay the £12 and close the account and never use Argos again or should I fight the good fight for the sake of £12? WWYD?

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Mon 22-Jun-09 14:12:44


12StoneNeedsToBe10 Mon 22-Jun-09 14:20:40

I'd argue the toss to be honest - but then I am a stubborn cow.
One department has a record of the payment and another is still threatening you? Tell them to get their ar5ses in gear and set up a single bloody database (accessible to all departments).
A good plan is (from experience with a book club who said they hadn't received some books I returned and tried to charge me £50 or whatever it was... the books were returned with a letter advising of change of address... all letters were now going to the new address but they hadn't received the books hmm).
Write a letter to Argos advising them that you'll be contacting trading standards and/or citizens advice to determine your rights etc. It worked wonders for me - the book club credited my account for the cost of the returned books and further credited it with £25 as a good-will gesture.

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Mon 22-Jun-09 14:43:12

Hmm, will consider.

I just want to know if they are legally within their rights to charge me. If so, I'll argue the toss while knowing I'll probably lose, but if not I might be more energetic about it...

AMumInScotland Mon 22-Jun-09 14:49:14

I think they are within their rights - the fact that you tried to make a payment isn't the same as actually making the payment. If you'd had to send a cheque, but sent it to the wrong address, it would be your fault that it didn't arrive on time. Same thing when it's all electronic.

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Mon 22-Jun-09 15:32:28

Hmm, I suspected as much.

mumoverseas Mon 22-Jun-09 18:26:09

I'm not sure if you are saying that it didn't turn up in an 'Argos' account until you checked with them and found you'd put the wrong account number (ie for your account) or whether it didn't get to them initially?) If the payment was received by Argos before it was due, then I'd argue it as obviously they hadn't lost out financially with regards to interest if that makes sense?

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Mon 22-Jun-09 18:32:42

Are you sure it was your mistake and not theirs? If they found it again, maybe it was their mistake all along?

I had this once, where the payment was lost because I had not put a reference number in. It was missing for 10 weeks. I told them it was a joke that they had a £50 payment floating in the ethos, with my details attached to it and they did not think to look it up, but instead claimed the interest while it sat there, and charged me interest while I had not paid. I made them refund the charge, and the interest they charged for the time they had held it somewhere other than my account, and also remove the credit mark with the credit agencies (like you I could prove the money had left my bank account, the date it left, and where it went.

Put it in writing, and tell them you will consider going elsewhere if this is how they treat new customers.

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Mon 22-Jun-09 22:08:48

Ah, this is sounding better.

The payment definitely left my bank account, so I'm guessing it must have got to them in some sort of holding account.

Why don't unallocated payments just get bounced back to the issuing bank? Then the person who had sent it would know they'd screwed up the details and be able to rectify it...

midlandsmumof4 Tue 23-Jun-09 00:43:10

Ring their customer services department-number on the back of your statement. Explain you've been charged for a late payment & why. As you are a new customer they will almost certainly refund the charge. I've been with them for a long time & have had a few late payment charges refunded. Just keep your cool wink.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 23-Jun-09 20:47:41

thing is, your bank account will come up with them as Mrs xxxx xxxxx, so all they have to do is look up your name and match the account with you, call you and ask you to confirm if you made the payment.

They have had the money in their account. They have been earning money on it while you do all the chasing. You paid them, but made a mistake, which they could have spotted had they deemed it appropriate to check unclaimed payments. If it is not allocated to an account, it must go somewhere as they found it when they looked. And, then they charged you £12 on top of that, and are refusing to refund this after you explained the situation.

If you are able, I would probably tell them where to shove their account after they refund it anyway.

Make sure they remove any credit mark on your credit report too for late/non payment. You don't want that against you for no reason. And if they refuse, tell them you will go to the financial obudsman/consumer rights (or trading standards or whatever it is called).

HerBeatitudeLittleBella Tue 23-Jun-09 21:39:24

Ooh yes this sounds more fierce. The financial ombudsman. Martin Lewis. ~Moneybox - what's the best threat? grin

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Tue 23-Jun-09 21:46:26

My bet is on Martin Lewis grin. Just don't take no for an answer. Really. They make money like this as so many people just accept that they are allowed and do not question it.

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