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Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

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  • Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

    Hi all,
    I recently contacted Barclays about my Additions account, received a response and would be interested to hear people's views.

    A quick potted history - I had an account with Barclays since 1990, and at some point in 1997 I was upgraded to the Additions account; I don't believe I ever requested this, and they confirm they have no proof I ever did. I only used the account as a secondary bank account once I got married, so it was hardly used. The only outgoings from the account were the account fees and interest, which I paid so as to not get into trouble. I had no idea there was ever any alternative to this account.

    Around 2004 my debit card expired on the account, and they never replaced it. I did contact them on 3 or 4 occasions to ask when a new card would be issued but they never replied.As the account was not really in use, but was in overdraft, I guessed they weren't giving me a card until I came out of the overdraft (it was an agreed overdraft), though they never said this.

    At the end of last year I decided to make a formal complaint about all this, essentially telling them I never asked for the account, have never used any of the features associated with it, have been unable to use it as a working account since 2004 when I never had my debit card renewed. I can't even log in to my online account!

    They replied by saying they have no evidence they upgraded the account without consent; would that not mean they should therefore HAVE evidence?!
    They state that I had a debit card that I used in 1998 in ATM's (er, I know that), and that a complaint from me in 2001 about unpaid fees charges was enough to show I should have been aware of account charges.
    They are unable to show any proof I have received welcome packs, or updated terms and conditions (after I moved in 2006 I received none) but just say as they send them out automatically I must have received them.
    They can find no record of me being advised there were free alternatives, though I 'must have been' (I wasn't, I'm sure)
    And, when I asked why no debit card, I was merely told they note a debit card was in use until 2004 (which I told them , it was before it ran out) and that regular credits have been sent to the account (every month I paid in £25, to cover the account fee and interest as I didn't know what else to do)

    So, in conclusion, they do not agree my account was mis-sold or mis-run, and it was my responsibility to make them aware in the past if I was unhappy! (er, I did). They offered me £162 as a goodwill gesture.

    Now, to those more in the know than me, what should I make of all this? just seems to me to be an almighty fob off. Is it worth going to theOmbudsman? shall I send them a letter before action just to see what reaction I get? am I barking up the wrong tree?

    Any questions/ advice/ help of any kind would be gratefully accepted!
    Tags: None

  • #2
    Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

    Originally posted by Decanus View Post
    Is it worth going to the Ombudsman?
    Certainly, if for no other reason than that your complaint will cost Sharkleys £500.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

      Originally posted by CleverClogs View Post
      Certainly, if for no other reason than that your complaint will cost Sharkleys £500.
      that's not necessarily right, they do not charge every time that it goes to the FOS however, that is a moot point considering we are looking at the argument that the FOS might look at.

      I do want to ask one question: is the account in minus figures?
      A debit card is not automatically replaced when it expires and may not be replaced if the account is not really used as a main account(that was the case in the time period given).

      In 2004 how did you contact them? was it by phone? Is there any record of a complaint being recorded? Do you(although unlikely) keep phone bill records from that time which confirms contact with them?

      A letter before action is one where you will then take them to court and so I would ask you the case law you are using if this is your preferred route?

      Have they issued you with a final response in regards to this?


      A further thing, were you eligible for any of the "benefits" of the account? Did you ever use it as a main account ie where your salary/JSA money went into? Where rent came out of it?

      If they did not missell it then can they explain how the account was sold correctly if it was never used as a main account?

      How many months is the £162.00 worth of fees they are refunding go back to(am a little rusty with that type of account)?
      "Family means that no one gets forgotten or left behind"
      (quote from David Ogden Stiers)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

        Thanks for the reply.

        1. The account has been in overdraft for many years, but always within the agreed limit; I was paying the £25 a month to cover the account fee and interest I was being charged, and still am.
        2. With regards to my card, they never actually explained any reason why it was not renewed, and never asked me if the account was my main account or not.
        3. The Letter Before Action was just to be a speculative thing, to see if that elicits a response; if I had to go to court, it would be on the basis I was mis-sold the account.
        4. Barclays have issued me with their final response, yes, which contained most of the contents I outlined above.
        5. Never really knew what benefits came with it as for a long time I never saw any paperwork! things like RAC cover (didn't have a car until recently) were no good really. Legal help etc would in theory be eligible for all in theory, but I never used any. Never had salary, rent anything come out of that account as far as memory serves, certainly not post 1999.

        The £162 is 12 months of fees refunded I believe.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

          Ok, have they recorded down any complaints on the account prior to the current one, ie 2004? Did any notes go onto the account at the moment in time?

          Their argument will be that you did not complain before now, and that you paid money into the account every month to cover interest and charges.
          YOU need to look at what they had on that account, RAC Cover is a good example because why would you need it if you have no car(shows poor judgement and misselling).
          OK Reduction in overdraft interest rate: did you go into the overdraft as a result of account fees?

          I think one thing might be useful. Did they say to you what "benefits" you supposedly gained from having the account?
          "Family means that no one gets forgotten or left behind"
          (quote from David Ogden Stiers)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

            The complaint issue is relevant if you want to go back further than a year since it is fairly standard across the board that they do that should they not be able to prove you agreed to the account.
            "Family means that no one gets forgotten or left behind"
            (quote from David Ogden Stiers)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

              The reply they sent did not mention any of my complaints to them; I suppose I could do a SAR if I had to to see what they hold..the overdraft, alas, was there from before so charges etc did not put me into it.
              Their reply avoided talking about the benefits at all, though in 1998 when I was upgraded I think I was actually unemployed at the time! why would I want a fee account voluntarily? they also did not address that point, unsurprisingly...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

                The point you have to address is that even had you complained in 2004 what took you a further 9 years to complaint? There was programs in 2007 stating that the accounts were very much missold so on the other side of the coin is why it took so long to complaint and that is where the other stumbling block will come.
                "Family means that no one gets forgotten or left behind"
                (quote from David Ogden Stiers)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

                  to be honest, I genuinely didn't know what else to do. I had written to them and spoke to them in the past, but nothing happened. I was unaware of what sort of things I could do, and continued to pay the monthly amount into the account because if I didn't I would obviously go into default. Is it not enough to say that I was unaware what I could do, after trying to complain in the past?
                  They can not provide any proof I requested the account, or that I was aware of the apparently frequent changes and fee increases, that I needed any of the extras, or, post 2004, that the account was even being used at all (yet fee increases still continued). Is not the lack of a debit card on the account since 2004 proof that it was not suitable as a current account? what could I do with such an account? would I not need a debit card to access the benefits? (I don't even know!)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

                    The argument some would say is that you are sent bank statements on the account, you could have gone into a branch of the bank and you could have sent a letter to them. The fact that they cannot provide proof of the consent does not, unfortunately, allow you to then say, I want it all back then. The FOS work on the balance of probabilities ie what would a rational human being do, what has the bank offered and is that fair and reasonable both to you and the bank.
                    The difficulty is that lack of knowledge is not something that can necessarily get the whole of the fees back. I do think you could possible argue that you had no possible use of the benefits ie not driving until 2009 or owning a car but I am not sure whether we could argue any further back than what we have already done based on the options that may have been open to you. Had you contacted the bank every year and they had failed to respond and you had kept records of that correspondence then maybe we might have had an avenue. My gut feeling is that you might want to take it to the FOS but I am not sure if they will offer more than is currently on the table.
                    "Family means that no one gets forgotten or left behind"
                    (quote from David Ogden Stiers)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

                      I was thinking the same thing. From what I have read about the FOS, and for the time it will all take to possibly get nothing, may be I should take the £162....
                      Anyone else think differently?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

                        Originally posted by Decanus View Post
                        I was thinking the same thing. From what I have read about the FOS, and for the time it will all take to possibly get nothing, may be I should take the £162....
                        Anyone else think differently?
                        Ask the FOS for their opinion because ultimately they could increase the amount but if you go down that route at least have something down on record as to whether a previous complaint was handled badly or not at all. Nothing wrong with asking them to take a second look
                        "Family means that no one gets forgotten or left behind"
                        (quote from David Ogden Stiers)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

                          If the central claim I make is that I was moved to a paid for account without my consent (they cannot prove I consented, they have admitted that), and certainly without offering me free alternatives would that not be enough to win the claim?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

                            If it has happened within a reasonable time period, ie had they converted it 6 months ago then yes I think that would be sufficient but let me think of an example. Shall we say I bought a car from you 12 years ago and it was red and I come back to you and say that I wanted a blue car but you sold me a red car so I want all the premiums I have paid on it. What would you say to me?
                            If I had said I complained about it within a year and nothing was done and you found the complaint form would you me more willing or less willing to look at that point onwards?

                            This is potentially the issue. Missold account but yet no proof so the bank have said, let's go back 12 months which is reasonable, change the account back to a normal non charging one(I hope that they have) and make that offer on the basis that we cannot be 100% sure that it was sold correctly.

                            Does my poor example show the difficulty?
                            "Family means that no one gets forgotten or left behind"
                            (quote from David Ogden Stiers)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Barclays Bank Additions Account advice please....

                              its a very good example! so, in essence, their offer of a years refund of fees is probably as good as I can expect to get as a 'reasonable' offer, plus changing account to a non charging one (which they have). Looks like my choice is obvious...

                              Comment

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