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Nationwide has really left me in the ****; is £50 compensation really realistic?

(20 Posts)
messageinabottle Sat 17-Oct-09 10:45:44

I am livid. I paid a cheque in to my account in May this year for £4,650. At the end of August they sent me a letter to say they had lost a cheque and please can I send a new cheque or the payer's contact details. On 2 September I sent back their form providing the payer's contact details. I have had no contact since and on Wednesday this week they took the amount of £4,650 out of my account, leaving me £5,100 overdrawn (I was already about £500 overdrawn, but within my authorised limit). This has obviously left me thousands overdrawn (unauthorised).

I immediately contacted Nationwide 9.30am Wednesday morning, nobody was answering so I re-sent a copy of their form by fax asking for somebody to contact me immediately. By 10.15am nobody had called so I called them; the woman who answered the phone said her manager was discussing the matter now and would call me back in 5 minutes. No call by 11am so again I called back; was advised manager still discussing matter. I asked that somebody call me back at midday no matter what, for an update. No call again, nobody was answering their phones and at 3.10pm I sent another fax saying that if nobody contacted my 4pm I would have no option but to refer the matter to the FSA. At 3.58pm I received a call from Nationwide (not the manager) advising that the monies would be put back, all charges incurred would be reimbursed, lots of apologies etc.

OK so one part of the problem was resolved however by this time:

I had to call my son's nursery telling them their cheque would bounce (can you imagine how embarrassing that was? He only started in June, he will be there for the next two years);
my mortgage payment had been returned unpaid; and
several Paypal transactions had been returned unpaid (will this affect my ebay account?).

I advised Nationwide of this and the fact that I could expect several more direct debits to bounce as there were no funds in my account (credit card and loan, ironically both Nationwide, mobile phone bill, service charge cheque). They seemed a bit like 'oh it's OK because we'll reimburse the charges' well personally I DON'T think it's OK. At this point I mentioned compensation (but no figure). I'm really worried about my credit file, they have said that it won't be affected as the monies will be back in my account by the time they attempt to take the monies again and they only mark your credit file if this payment is rejected (I have no idea if this is true and intend to ask them to order and send me a copy of my credit report when this fiasco is over).

So they put the amount of the cheque back in my account yesterday morning HOWEVER it stated 'credit by cheque'. I tried to call them (no answer), sent them another fax, no reply again so I had to make several calls and emails asking them what on earth was going on. By yesterday evening they said that the cheque credit would be reversed and I would have cleared funds in my account. Checked online banking this morning, this has not been actioned and I'm still £5100 overdrawn (unauthorised).

I just need a bit of perspective here. I do feel better after writing this, so thanks for reading if you've got this far! To be honest nothing can take away the embarrassment of explaining the bounced cheque to my son's nursery, but the amount of time I've spent with phone calls and letters etc, not to mention the fact that I have now been without access to any cash for four days and have no idea when I will have access to funds. I'm so upset I cried this morning.

But seriously is £50 compensation realistic? Or am I missing the point. Is there anything I should be aware of, if this has ever happened to you before (I hope it hasn't) I honestly just wish this had never happened.

TIA

messageinabottle Sat 17-Oct-09 12:25:50

oh I know it's long but please give me your opinion!

basically Nationwide took money out of my account, they have promised to put it back but it's still not there, loads of direct debits of been returned unpaid and I have no access to any money. They are offering £50 compensation - I don't think that's enough

SparklyGothKat Sat 17-Oct-09 12:29:31

surely it should have cleared by aug??!!

messageinabottle Sat 17-Oct-09 12:38:53

yes it had cleared into my account
but they said that they had lost it so they were going to take the money back, unless I provided another cheque or contact details for the payer (which I did)

tots2ten Sat 17-Oct-09 12:39:55

Last year I received a letter from Nationwide (at my new address) stating that I was £1000 into my 'overdraft', I had closed my account 7 years ago, so as far as I was aware there was no account there in my name.

It was also the first letter that I had received from Nationwide since the final letter of confirmation of the account being closed with a balance of £00 (at my old address) I still have this letter. It took them 9 months to decide that somewhere along the way they had made a mistake and sent me a letter stating that the account was closed but the money would still need to be paid.

I had 3 different debt collectors sending me letters for the 'account' at Nationwide. In the end I went to CAB, they offered me a 'deal' to pay half of the debt (which was not mine) and they would close the account (someone didnt realise that I had 2 letters stating the the account was closed)

It has now been sorted, I did not pay a penny back and the account has been closed for the 3rd time and a letter was received (again) with a closing balance of £00 I will not throw the letters out as I am terrified that in a few years they will throw out another letter.

Hope you get things sorted with Nationwide. Their customer services (or lack of) is what made me change banks.

messageinabottle Sat 17-Oct-09 12:40:03

I wondered about that as well

isnt't there a new 2/4/6 thing going on where your money is guaranteed to have been paid, and nobody can take the money back? Including I assume, the bank

charlotteolivia Sat 17-Oct-09 12:42:20

go to the FSA, that's what its there for- to provide a set of standards banks should adhere to. Nationwide have been disgraceful. Complain!

messageinabottle Sat 17-Oct-09 12:43:34

yep I'm seriously thinking of changing - been with Nationwide for about 8 years and never had a problem until now

the grief that it's caused me is definately enough for me to want to change banks

so tots they were trying to agree to pay half of your 'debt' even though you never had a debt. think that situation is even worse than mine!

did you receive any compensation

messageinabottle Sat 17-Oct-09 12:46:52

thank you everybody for your replies

yes seriously thinking of going to the FSA charlotteolivia (that's what I said I would do in both my faxes if they did not resolve asap)

however looking at the FSA website it does say that you should try to resolve the problem with your bank first before involving them

just didn't want to over-egg the problem iykwim. am also dreading more correspondence with the FSA. just want the problem sorted

nice to get perspective. wondered if I was being unreasonable (but not brave enough to post in am i being unreasonable!)

paddingtonbear1 Sat 17-Oct-09 13:02:09

Are the funds back in your account yet? This is shocking behaviour by them, I would be seriously p**ed off too. This hasn't happened to me, but if it had and was dealt with like this I'd definitely complain.

messageinabottle Sat 17-Oct-09 13:11:52

sorry paddington was upstairs.
no funds still not back in my account yet
hence the tears this morning!

I think it's shocking too, but am a bit unsure as to whether I am being a bit unreasonable in writing a very lengthy letter of complaint/involving the FSA

seems as though i may not be. thanks for your replies

tots2ten Sat 17-Oct-09 13:21:14

messageinabottle No compensation was ever offered.

I would involve the FSA, I think that CAB got in touch with them on my behalf.

TheDailyWail Sat 17-Oct-09 13:45:16

Messageinabottle - are they going to refund all your returned charges and interest charges too?

Make sure if you're charged by anyone else for non-payment of direct debits that you forward the charges on to them.

messageinabottle Sat 17-Oct-09 16:30:33

thanks tots and dailywail

I am really not fussed about the compensation, it means nothing to mean as it will never take away the embarrassment of DS' nursery cheque bouncing, the grief I will receive from Paypal from returned payments and my credit file potentially being ruined, I guess I thought if they are going to offer anything £50 doesn't cut it!

I think it will be better for everybody if I contact the FSA so this never happens to anybody again, it's completely ruined my week.

The manager wrote a letter to me today saying sorry we lost the cheque blah blah blah this is why blah blah. We have said we are going to return the money and £180 worth of charges (where did this figure come from?). hhmm well in my mind that doesn't really reflect the whole story, their incompetence and failure to respond to emails, phone calls and faxes not to mention how upset it's made me.

hhmmm think I will list the whole story and write to the manager.

yes you're right dailywail there are other charges - £50 for the bounced cheque for DS nursery fees and £30 for my mortgage payment. That's a start, still yet to receive everybody else's snotty letters notifying of non-payment/late charges - that's going to really ruin my week. I usually ensure I'm very organised so that this sort of thing never happens. but because of Nationwide's incompetence I'm in this situation gggrrr

TheDailyWail Mon 19-Oct-09 16:43:50

Messageinabottle - ask them to itemise the charges and ensure you are fully refunded on this. Ensure you send a letter back explaining you are not happy with the initial mistake and their service recovery.

Complaints to a financial institution have to go through a few stages before you can go to the Ombudsman - make sure you go through all these stages stating why exactly you still unhappy with their response.

Rindercella Mon 19-Oct-09 16:52:38

I had a very similar problem with Barclays a few years ago - basically they 'lost' a banker's draft for a large amount of money & I ended up being very overdrawn, unable to pay usual bills, etc. It took months to resolve including several phone calls, letters and trips to the branch.

Eventually I wrote, cc'ing the CEO, the FSA, etc. Amazingly, my account was credited with the full amount the following day, plus all charges incurred during that period, along with £300 compensation.

So, I think your bank's offer of 50 quid is a bit miserly actually.

Push it further with them.

ruddynorah Mon 19-Oct-09 17:03:37

where are you at with this now? i would strongly suggest next time you ring to say you will hold on the phone rather than requesting a call back. Also, ask for name and contact details of the branch manager's area or regional manager.

messageinabottle Mon 19-Oct-09 21:27:34

thank you for your further posts, I thought this thread had died a death given the huge long (boring) original post!

OK so today is the first day I have had access to any funds, since last Wednesday

I received a letter from the manager on saturday saying he is very sorry,we have put the money straight back to your account and have agreed to reimburse all charges (and quoted a figure of £180, eh? nowhere near!). He has also offered £50 compensation and included a leaflet for the complaint process.

So far I have:

been without funds from last Weds to today (monday)

had, so far, six direct debits bounce (£30 each)

one cheque bounce for my son's nursery fees (£30 bank charge, £50 nursery charge)

four Paypal payments bounce, which meant my Paypal account had a negative balance, only today been able to rectify this. This meant i could not pay for any further eBay purchases which fingers crossed hasn't affected my eBay rating

been in an unauthorised overdraft. I today received a automated call from Nationwide basically asking for my overdraft to be paid in full (at the time of the incident I was £500 overdrawn, but this was within limit) so I am concerned my overdraft is being withdrawn (it was too late to speak to somebody in collections dept today when I called back to see exact position)

spent so much time on telephone, writing faxes, emails etc - not to mention stress and embarrassment

I am also worried this may have affected my credit rating.

In terms of telephone calls, I have not been dealing with a branch, I have been dealing with something like the 'financial reconciliation department'. There are, and I have been told this, only two people working in the department (not including the manager) so if I call and they are too busy, the phone just rings and rings - no voicemail, no automated answer service, nobody answers for me to leave a message/hold. During this entire mess I have only been called once, that was when (of course) I threatened to involve the FSA.

I have decided to write a letter to the manager tomorrow explaining the exact position (i.e. not the very simplistic way he has described it). I will ask that all charges be reimbursed, including charges for calls made (about 30 mins worth of 0845 numbers from mobile). I will also ask that in about one/two months they order and forward a copy to me of my credit report to ensure that nothing has been marked against my name because of this error.

My sign off for the letter will ask him whether he still thinks his offer of £50 compensation is adequate for what I have had to deal with because of their error and, more importantly, what he will put in place to ensure that this never happens again (erm employ a procedure where a phone call is made before monies are ever reclaimed, as it may transpire the information they requested was actually forwarded to them hmm

TheDailyWail Mon 19-Oct-09 22:15:47

Ah, so the 6 returned DDs (Direct Debits not Darling Daughters winkgrin) is where they got the £180.00 figure from.

Have they confirmed that they will rewrite the interest that you incurred while you were made overdrawn?

How about the unauthorised overdraft charge?

And of course these external charges?

Please include in your letter that "you are unhappy with their response" - this bumps it up nearer to the Ombudsman wrt complaints.

messageinabottle Wed 21-Oct-09 19:04:51

Hi Daily Wail

lol at returned DDs, then there really would be problems!!

honestly no idea where the figure of £180 came from because at that time only four direct debits had bounced. and we had also agreed at that point that they would pay DS' nursery bounced cheque fee £50 (so that's £170)??

No they haven't confirmed all these unauthorised charges or external charges, phone bill etc. Don't think I can go for interest as I was already overdrawn! (within authorised limit). But I'm obviously going to include all these items in my letter. No 'final' figure will be agreed as I want to ensure I get EVERYTHING

I will include that I'm unhappy their response in my letter (still to draft ugh!), thanks for your help smile

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