I owe 3p by Bernard

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I have been chased for several months by a credit card company, whose balance was paid off I thought in full, for the staggering sum of £0.03. All sorts of threats were made and inferred in their letter to me.
So to inconvenience them a little, rather than pay it by internet bank, I have written a cheque for the total sum and posted it. I did think about asking if I could pay it in three instalments but then they would know I was being facetious plus it would have cost me three stamps.

Just shows that these computer generated accounts don't get any human intervention, one would think that after one or two unpaid demands it would throw up a flag for inspection. I was going to postpone payment to see just how far their system will go but I've got fed up of disposing of the waste paper now.

Oh dear! I don't remember signing the cheque. oops :confused:
I don't like signatures, they take up too much screen space.

Posted 08 Aug 2012, 16:14 #1 

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Good job 'humans' weren't involved otherwise they'd probably have charged you interest and/or the banks bumper fun-book favourite of £25 a letter.

Posted 08 Aug 2012, 19:54 #2 

I've been sent bills for a penny before. The banker cashier looks at the bill every time and exclaimed "really?? What a waste of resources".

Been trying to cancel a credit card for the last month but they said they can't cancel it unless I stop using it. Annoyingly ive accidentally charged a PayPal charge, then forgot a subscription payment and the credit card company said they wouldn't stop the payment it's up to me not to use it!! Any other card from differing companies have just cancelled it instantly and rejected any transactions requiring me to use a different card.

Posted 08 Aug 2012, 21:12 #3 

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On the flip side, I have had a letter this week reminding me of a Halifax account I thought I'd closed ages ago, and turns out I've got.... 4p! (would have been 5p but for some reason it was taxed!)

Posted 08 Aug 2012, 21:47 #4 

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Are you referring to a 'continuous payment authority' on a credit card? The card issuers used to say that to cancel one of these (like a standing order, or d/d authority, but on your card) you had to get the merchant holding such mandate to withdraw, i.e the card companies wouldn't stop paying out, even if you instructed them too. The OFT recently stated that a consumer who wants to cancel a continuous payment authority "must" first contact the business taking the payments, prompting criticism from two debt charities, the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) and the Money Advice Trust. The CCCS said this wording needed to be rewritten because it may give firms the wrong impression that people have no automatic right to cancel.

The FSA stated in February that following your instructions to cancel such payments - "Your bank or card issuer must then stop them – it has no right to insist you agree this first with the company taking the payments."

The Card companies have however not been pro-active in making this clear (surprise, surprise). They simply don't tell their staff, probably hoping inertia will prevail. After all they get paid on 'transaction charges', so they are tardy to administer change. Recently acting for someone seeking advice I had a hard-nosed and assertive young woman from Barclays denying the above ruling existed. Following an FSA referal a trite little letter eventually arrived, sort of admitting they were wrong and refunding effects - but no apology. The arrogance of Banks is stunning.

Likewise you have the right to cancel a card forthwith (with a zero balance), again card companies are slow to accept this right. If you encounter an outright refusal to coalesce your instruction, write to the FSA and copy your local MP.

All of this screams that it's high time the entire Industry was overhauled and overseen by Statute backed legislation, not soft penalty, self administered codes of practice etc etc. Lets hope the 'promised' sectioning of banking divisions comes sooner than its scheduled 2019 arrival - surely the longest 'open your National wallet, while we help ourselves decree' in history!

Posted 08 Aug 2012, 22:42 #5 

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I was chased for the same reason by the French Social Security for 0.03 FRF back in 1992... They sent me 2 reminder letters (with normal stamps) and 2 threats through registered mail (at 25 FRF each). I phoned them each time I received a letter and they would reply that it was there new computerized system being delirious and not to pay attention. I then received a 5th letter (registered mail also) threatening to block my bank account. I had to take half a day off and go to the center I depended of and make a scene to see the manager. This carelessness cost them around 100 FRF at that time in addition to the wasted time for me just because no one bothered to look at the amount involved :evil: . Then we would hear all sorts of drama speeches that the French Social Security system is deeply in dept :panic: and the government would add all sorts of taxes and deductions on our salaries for reducing the Social Security dept :twisted:... Public administration, some kind of breed :hissyfit:
I miss you a lot Samarkand!

Posted 09 Aug 2012, 04:09 #6 

Dave wrote:On the flip side, I have had a letter this week reminding me of a Halifax account I thought I'd closed ages ago, and turns out I've got.... 4p! (would have been 5p but for some reason it was taxed!)

Ah Halifax..... I'm not surprised in the least!!

I used to do third party admin work on behalf of Halifax, contacting people who had money sat dormant that they had forgotten about (actually it was usually due to some admin error, or letters being ignored or suchlike), but it was usually for several thousand pounds. Halifax's computer systems didn't always work together very well, and sometimes the management there would not be too helpful either :roll:

For example I found that some of the standard template letters we were sending were erroneous or simply very poorly written - but Halifax/Lloyds wouldn't change them due to the costs of the bureaucracy involved in 'signing off' new letters, rather than the cost of actually changing them (nil!). With my manager's help we did manage to sneak some improvements under Halifax's radar though! :lol:

And then there was one case where we had information that the account holder had died, but not much else to go on, so we needed to get a copy of the death certificate to find the next of kin to take things further. Problem was, getting the death cert would cost about £10, so we had to ask the managers at Halifax. They refused. So Halifax now have £10,000 sat in an account, doing nothing, when it should be passed to the rightful heir. I was furious about this. :evil:

I think the lowest one I dealt with was about £20 or so, but 4p.... but as I say I'm not surprised.

Posted 16 Aug 2012, 19:54 #7