Today I came home and sitting on the door mat was a letter that I knew was from the bank. It screamed bank, despite being a plain white envelope.
Upon opening it, I discovered it definitely was from the bank. In fact I had to read it twice to believe it. It started Dear Mrs Masters, then listed my account details and this
Planned Overdraft Limit: £250.00
Balance: £250.66 overdrawn
Ok, fine, then I read on. All in all, the bank is charging me £33 for going 66 pence over my planned overdraft facility. WHAT? £33 for 66 pence?!? Thats like 50 pence per penny! Holy cow.
Now normally, if I have gone over my planned overdraft 2 things usually happen.
1. The bank usually decline the card/payment
2. I’ve made a judgement error and suck it up. (it’s happened once or twice in my adult life)
On this occassion, neither of these things apply. At no point was my card/payment declined, and I certainly wasn’t sucking up this atrocious charge.
Queue phone call to the banks customer services department, which thankfully I didn’t have to wait too long to be connected to someone. (you have to pay for those calls you know!)
Coversation went like this
Bank: How can we help today Mrs Masters
Me: Well I’m calling about a letter you’ve sent me today regarding my account. I’m not happy with the charges you are levying on my account. I appreciate that I’ve gone over my overdraft, however it’s 66 pence. £33 for 66 pence seems very unreasonable. I have a facility that sends me a text message with my balance every week, however you send me a letter 3 days after my account has gone overdrawn. Surely there should be a text messaging facility to alert customers to the fact that they’ve gone overdrawn so they can put some extra cash in the bank. Had I known I was 66 pence overdrawn, I would have put 66 pence in my account! Further more, why, if there wasn’t enough money in my account to pay for a purchase, why did you not just declne the card? (I did probably have a bit more of a rant to her, in fact I’m pretty sure I ranted and raved about moving my account to Natwest)
Bank: Well the charges are done by Visa, they will take the full payment even if your account is a few pound short.
Me: That’s rdiculous. I’m not at all happy about this. It’s an extortionate amount of money for such a small misdemenour (sp?!?)
Bank: I understand Mrs Masters. What would you like me to do?
Me: Well I don’t think I should have to pay such fee’s. I’m happy to pay the £15 unplanned overdraft charge, but I’m not willing to pay the £6 per day levy on top.
Bank: Mrs Masters, I will refund all of the charges for you.
Well thats roughly how it went anyway.
I honestly cannot believe that charge. Perhaps a facility like the one I suggested with the text messaging should be put in place. It would atleast save admin costs for them (not sending letters).
Apparantly the system is all changing in December. They are introducing a £10 buffer, where you have no charges. However they are charging all people with overdrafts £5 a month for the service.
And they have an iPhone App in the pipeline. which means I can check my account a lot easier than via the web on my iPhone.
Needless to say I’m a lot happier now that I’m not being charged £33 for going 66 pence over.
Posted by becca on August 20th, 2010 :: Filed under Banking