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blankseplocked Unfair bank charges!! help!
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Mr Slaphead
Posted - 2008.06.02 13:08:00 - [1]

Im with abbey and just received my monthly letter. It says that I am going to be charged 131.53 for unauthorized overdrafts. I didn't have enough money in my account to pay for 3 direct debits so I am getting charged 35!?!? for each one, when nothing was even transfered! + im getting charged 25 for an overdraft monthly fee when nothing has been taken/loaned from abbey. So im getting charged 131.53 for abbeys automated system just merley requesting an overdraft to pay 3 direct debits!!!

OUTRAGEOUS, im reading up on unfair bank fees through google and im going to call them up because this happend last month too, if I can get all these bogus charges back It should amount to over 400.


Stephen HB
Mystical Knights
Malum Exuro
Posted - 2008.06.02 13:28:00 - [2]

Just a suggestion, maybe you should keep enough money in the bank to pay for your commitments?

On a legal note, I doubt you'll have much luck convincing the bank to waive these fees. They were certainly included in whatever documents you signed to open the account and/or set up direct debits. Maybe if you'd gone to the bank last month and explained the situation.

As for the overdraft, many banks have a 'no automated overdraft' thing to prevent direct debits racking up a huge debt.

Imperator Jora'h
Posted - 2008.06.02 13:31:00 - [3]

Call the bank. Often you can get fees waived once.

Beyond that all you can do is find another place to keep your money. Such cruddy overcharges seem par for the course many places and it is a substantial income for them.

For instance, some US banks were caught being particularly nasty about this. Say you have $100 in your account and you write three checks for $90, $15 and $20. Their system would intentionally cash the $90 check first so you bounced two checks. If they cashed the other two first you'd only be hit for one charge. When caught it was bad press but not illegal.

Find another bank.

Rawr Cristina
Posted - 2008.06.02 13:31:00 - [4]

ouch Sad but you should really have an Overdraft limit or something. You can apply for those online nowadays anyway.

Fink Angel
The Merry Men
Posted - 2008.06.02 13:32:00 - [5]

Make an appointment and go and see someone in your Abbey branch. Explain to them what happened and rationally why you should get the money back. ie it sounds to me like the overdraft you pay for should have covered the shortfall. Is that not the case?

Are you generally a good customer they will want to keep? If not I suspect threatening to move your account elsewhere may not work. They might be happy for you to walk away, that might not be much of a threat with banks trying to dump bad credit risks these days.

If you get no luck at the branch then you could go to the Citizen's Advice Beu ... Beaur ... Bureaux

Flaming sambuka
Posted - 2008.06.02 13:52:00 - [6]

Thanks for the advice guys, thought about it and tbh they would just say 'well why don't you keep enough money in your account'. My argument would be that I think it's an unfair amount but then they will say alright but you said it's not a problem when you signed the contract to open your account... but let's face it who reads all those terms and conditions!

I suppose the lesson is to just keep enough money in my account, Im going to look into getting an overdraft though. At least with an authorized overdraft I will only get charged a small amount compared to an unauthorized one.

Im definitely going to see about that 'no automated overdraft' thing you mentioned, anyways I still think 35 a time is bloody excessive.

Mr Slaphead
Posted - 2008.06.02 13:53:00 - [7]

Originally by: Flaming sambuka

yah thts me

Victor Valka
The Kairos Syndicate
Transmission Lost
Posted - 2008.06.02 14:44:00 - [8]

Originally by: Flaming sambuka
[...]who reads all those terms and conditions!
So that's why people give me looks when I start going through those contracts!

I'm not doing it right. Crying or Very sad

In all seriousness, you do not have to sign these contracts on the spot. I take them home and study them for a bit before I sign them. They won't change the terms for me but I will know what I'm getting into.

BTW, could you sign this piece of paper for me? It's, uh, standard procedure! Cool

Salva Cora
Rage For Order
En Garde
Posted - 2008.06.02 15:54:00 - [9]

Edited by: Salva Cora on 02/06/2008 15:55:01
Edited by: Salva Cora on 02/06/2008 15:54:29
Take a look at the link below. br

Underworld Protection Agency
South Pole Dancers
Posted - 2008.06.02 16:52:00 - [10]

Can I make a truly outrageous suggestion? Don't spend money you don't have? And if your financial situation is so uncertain, WHY OH WHY do you have direct debits? Muppet. Rolling Eyes

Micheal Dietrich
Caldari Provisions
Posted - 2008.06.02 16:52:00 - [11]

I know that this is easier said than done but L2Budget. I used to be in the same situation where I'd overdraft constantly then lose half of my paycheck the next week to charges causing me to overdraft more. And it sucks having to reduce fun time expenses to get back into the loop.

My dad (retired accountant/tax preparer) constantly hammered budgeting into my head and even created an excel spreadsheet for me where I could log in my income and expenses for each month and find out exactly what I'll have left.

As it stands now though with my bank is that I'm doing the spare change program so each time I use my card it takes the spare change of my transaction and puts it into savings (i.e. I buy something for $4.50 and the other .50 of the dollar goes to savings) and if by some monstrous string of events if I do overdraft now in checking it automatically pulls from savings as a backup.

CCP Whisper

Posted - 2008.06.02 17:00:00 - [12]

You can try to claim back the charges as many other people in the UK are trying to do. But in the long-run your only real solution is to either make sure you have enough money in the account to cover the direct debits. If they are for things like electricity or heating bills where the amount changes every month, then consider having these turned into normal bills where you control when you pay them. I did that after a couple of incidents involving DD related overdrafts and it did help with the budgeting and not incurring high charges thing.

Most importantly: Do not consider your overdraft "free money" like so many people seem to do. That money is money you do not have and which you will not have at the end of the next month when your pay goes in and will first go towards repaying your overdraft. It is a buffer for situations like the one you found yourself in and if you end up having to use it then you better budget for setting it back to zero with your next salary payment, otherwise you will just end up owing the bank more money.

And yes: always, always read the contract. Any company asking you to sign a contract has to give you time to read and understand the terms you are agreeing to. This means explaining technical things in clear English, providing example calculations on request, not pressuring you to sign on the same day and not attempting to brush entire clauses off with "oh that's an industry standard thing that you do not need to worry about!" (mobile phone stores are especially prone to that one). If they try to pressure you into signing, something is wrong. Walk away.

Posted - 2008.06.02 17:01:00 - [13]

I had my first overdraft the other day. I let a friend of mine pay for a transfer of a character with my debit card, turns out I didn't have cash in my account. Im only 17 so usually they don't give overdraughts, but they wrote me a letter saying they have authorised it and there was no charge or interest, they were quite nice about it saying we understand sometimes you can't help going over your limit and this was the first time you have done it etc. I just paid the money into the bank the next day, Lloyds TSB FTW Laughing

There was something about all this stuff on ITV a while back, with thousands of people getting charges back from the bank because what the bank was doing was illegal, it was on the tonight with trevor mcdonald program. Suggest you check out ITV's website and have a look for that.

Di-Tron Heavy Industries
Atlas Alliance
Posted - 2008.06.02 18:10:00 - [14]

As you probably know, overdraft charges in the UK are currently going through the courts to see if they are "fair". This will probably take a few more months.

First thing to do, then, is call up / visit your branch and complain. Tell them that you demand the the fees be frozen until the outcome of the test case. They may not buy it (I've not dealt with Abbey, so I don't know) but they may let you not pay it for a few months until the case is finished, and potentially not at all.

If that doesn't work, try contacting the Financial Ombudsman Service, who arbitrate in disputes between customers and banks. They might offer you advice and directions to follow so that you can pursue the matter further. Its best if you exhaust Abbey's own complaints procedure first, as it gives more weight to your case.

Finally, while you're talking to your bank, negotiate yourself an overdraft limit. Most banks will let you have a few hundred pounds overdraft charge free, giving you a buffer against this kind of problem in the future. If Abbey won't give you one, shop around for a different bank- plenty offer them. As Whisper said above, though, don't treat this as "free money"- its just an emergency buffer against these problems. If you spend your way through your overdraft, you will come into exactly the same problems as you bump up against your limit.

P.S, Don't let this happen again. Really, it is your responsibility to make sure there is money in your account when Direct Debits come out. If you know you haven't got enough money, call your bank and ask them to suspend the DDs or give you a temporary authorised overdraft. It's no-ones business but yours to make sure these thigns don't happen, and theres plenty of ways around it if you give a little thought.

Skada skackson
Posted - 2008.06.02 18:11:00 - [15]

I'd consider changing banks as i have heard that Abbey are quite bad for things like this. I had a mate who went overdrawn by 5 and ended up with nearly 200 worth of charges as he never checked his account (his own fault really but as far as he knew he had enough in there)

You can try to get the money back but with having three direct debits go out without any money in they might be a bit tight about it.

Consider HSBC, i have gone overdrawn once or twice by accident and never been charged for it as far as i can remember.

Trinity Corporate Services
Terran United Federation
Posted - 2008.06.02 18:28:00 - [16]

Edited by: northwesten on 02/06/2008 18:31:24
first of go to this website and read up!
but more so here

I go to this site though Radio 1

I been given back the money from the banks over the phone! Only because I really give them hell over it but yer best bet get legal advice to be honest.

I am with Halifaxs and They are a lot better this way! Also they have a better banking i can keep track of. I am atm with Nat west and there crap! I have bank chargers to claim back some point because they let me withdraw 10 and they shouldn't of! Also i wasnt aware a bill came out at the time.

BlackWatch Industrial Group
Intrepid Crossing
Posted - 2008.06.02 20:20:00 - [17]

I successfully took my money back from natwest.

cant do much about it atm as its in crown court being decided if charges are illegal.

Caldari Provisions
Posted - 2008.06.02 20:45:00 - [18]

Yeah banks can be a ***** sometimes. I live in the US and have a friend who miscalculated how much he would need to pay for some stuff with his debit card by less then 5$. They charged him a 35$ fee each week. He didn't have a job at the time and had no way of paying them back. They charged him every week for 3 weeks before they just closed his account. He still owes them 110$ on a 5$ charge.

Unfortunately to makes things even worse he doesn't have a liscence and it's the only bank within walking distance. HE has a job now but even if he does pay up the whopping 110$ the bank won't even guarentee they would let him open up his account again. Even today 2 years later he still has to keep all his cash on hand.


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