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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted -  25/06/2010  :  09:59
I just love banks, don't you? They go out of their way to make life exciting and to make sure we are always wondering if our account will have been emptied by tomorrow morning. They spend a fortune launching `Chip & Pin' and trying to convince us that it is infallible and that any fraud on our card in future will be due to our failings, not theirs. They do us great favours like deciding, unilaterally, to get rid of cheques. They are so good to us I thought we should reward them with a thread devoted to their marvellous escapades. Let me start with this offering but please add your own experiences and comments...

We have received a letter from Santander (Abbey Nat to you and me) beginning "We are deligted to inform you..." which always sets alarm bells ringing, and ends "As Santander we will continue to offer innovative, great value products and are committed to delivering excellent service to our customers" which sets the sirens blaring.  What they are delighted to inform me is that they have upgraded (without consulting me) my Cheque Guarantee Card to a Visa Debit Card. But I don't want a Visa debit card, I don't need another card, it's just another thing to get stolen, lost or defrauded.

But there's a sting in the tail. They then tell me to destroy my cheque guarantee card by cutting it in half. OK, I think, the new card will be used for this instead. But no, lower down in the letter it says the new card cannot be used to guarantee cheques. I know that cheques are set to be phased out (unilaterally once again, by June 2011) but it looks like the banks have devised a great scam to deprive us of cheque guarantee cards so they can say that cheques are not much use. I use cheques a lot and I would prefer that they were not phased out, but then, hey, the banks are not there just for you and me, are they?

I notice that although the letter tells me to destroy the cheque card, nowhere does it say that I cannot continue to use it. So I'm going to use it for as long as possible. I advise everyone to do the same. The banks are just hoping we will all fall in line with their demands and destroy the cards immediately.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 04/02/2011 : 14:03
Every daughter needs a father with as good a crap detector as mine. Mags checked the account and they have piled on another £75 in charges despite all their promises. She is at this moment talking to a number I got for her where she may get a solution. The woman to whom I eventually spoke to in UK via India knew exactly what was going on but wouldn't admit anything. I can't tell you how angry I am with them.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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mporter
Regular Member


978 Posts
Posted - 04/02/2011 : 15:16
Yes, Dad's crap detector was working fine.....between us we have got the charges reversed and the letter to close the account is in dad's inbox - because the bank say's they never received it.

 As of Monday it will be good-bye Barclays, it was nice knowing you when we lived in the UK and we were in business but this last experience makes me realise how good the australian banks are........as yet.

Thank you DAD xxxxxxxx


Margaret Porter
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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 04/02/2011 : 16:33
"...because the bank say's they never received it."

A problem that has got bigger as the companies have got bigger. And it then becomes a convenient excuse for doing nothing (or doing the wrong thing). After my mother died Lloyds TSB kept on sending letters to her address (and upsetting my father) regardless of the numerous times they promised "never to do it again". It went on for years and I wouldn't be surprised if it happens yet again. Once an address is in the system it gets copied so many times they can't eliminate it.


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 04/02/2011 : 20:43


quote:
Once an address is in the system it gets copied so many times they can't eliminate it.I'm pretty certain that this is against the Data Protection Act.  I might be wrong and closer scrutiny would be necessary but I thought they were only allowed to hold data that is relevant and up to date (or words to that effect).

I don't know whether this part was changed in the wake of the Bischard Enquiry (Soham murders), but much of the intelligence on the murderer had been removed from the police database as they deemed it not up to date and relevant.

Granted the advent of data streams and different departments/sub-contractors has made it all the more difficult but that is not your problem and certainly not your father's.  

Strangely, I had the same problem with TSB sending my mother credit card applications long after her death - in the early 90's.  

Stanley - how do you fancy adopting me? Laughing

 

Edited by - Anni on 04/02/2011 8:44:37 PM


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 05/02/2011 : 04:42
Bloody Hell Anni! I've got enough on with these three to look after thanks!

Mags is right, we are getting there. The first advisor she spoke to said the cgarges couldn't be rescinded. I found another route in and the second lady said they could so M rang her and she had the authority to cancel the charges and told M exactly what to do. This involves two letters Jpeg'd to me and a visit by me to see the bloke who assured me the account was in credit.

The murky question is how an account that was definitely in credit at the end of December attracted further charges for an overdraft and why was it possible for the second advisor to cancel them immediately? She told M that if she accesses her account today she will find it has been revised. There is something beyond a beaurocratic mistake here, I smell a policy to screw as much money out of the customer as possible. My crap detector is whining again!

Mags was of course delighted but I have told her not to clap hands until she has the hard copy letter in her hand that says the account is closed and enclosing a cheque for the credit balance.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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panbiker
Senior Member


2300 Posts
Posted - 05/02/2011 : 11:05


quote:
Anni wrote:


quote:
Once an address is in the system it gets copied so many times they can't eliminate it.I'm pretty certain that this is against the Data Protection Act.  I might be wrong and closer scrutiny would be necessary but I thought they were only allowed to hold data that is relevant and up to date (or words to that effect).

I have worn the hat of Data Protection Officer in past employments and you are essentialy right. The person or organisation holding the data has a responsibility to ensure that they are only retaining information that is relevant to their requirement. They also have to ensure the safe disposal of the data when they have no further use for it. There are some exceptions to these basic rules when data is deemed to be relevant to national security or criminal activity issues. If you are a data subject you have a right under the act to request that the data holder tells you what information they are holding about you. This obviously does not apply if the information is deemed to be of national security or would compromise a legal case etc. Unfortunately you have to pay to obtain this information. Data holders can charge a fee, this is to cover their administration costs in tracking the data down and producing a report for the data subject.

The problem comes along with data that is shared perfectly legally under the act in that many different departments or organisations may have access to the same data. For instance, schools collect data about their pupils,some of this information is collected via the school census and passed on to the County Council. They use the data to work out funding and other issues such as SEN requirements and many other issues. The County Council then sends the data to Central Government who again use it for funding, demographic modelling, planning requirement etc. Of course there are many other examples that could be quoted. The downside for the dat subject is that it would cost an absolute fortune and take forever to track down all the holders of a given data set.

The Data Protection Act is not perfect, but it does put in place some checks and balances as long as everyone sticks to the rules.


Ian Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 05/02/2011 : 11:39
Thanks for explaining that Ian, it's exactly the sort of thing I meant. It might all be done with good intentions but it ends up with copies all over the place and untraceable, as you mentioned. With my background in publishing I know what goes on with subscription data. Companies are so big it gets passed around all sorts of departments: Subscriptions, Accounts, Marketing, Editorial (editors need to know who they are writing for), Sales, Distribution, and these departments may be in different towns or even different countries. In my little business the data is on one computer only and viewed by one person and never goes anywhere else!

Anni, if you were a Patterdale terrier he would adopt you.


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 05/02/2011 : 11:53


quote:
The person or organisation holding the data has a responsibility to ensure that they are only retaining information that is relevant to their requirement. They also have to ensure the safe disposal of the data when they have no further use for it. There are some exceptions to these basic rules when data is deemed to be relevant to national security or criminal activity issues.
The problem comes along with data that is shared perfectly legally under the act in that many different departments or organisations may have access to the same data.
The Data Protection Act is not perfect, but it does put in place some checks and balances as long as everyone sticks to the rules.
Thanks Ian, you explained far better than I could but that was essentially what I was getting at.

I suppose one could argue that it is the responsibility of the person who first obtained that data and then passed it on (legally) to ensure that anyone they passed that data on to amends their records - as in the case of Tizer.

However, it is also one of those cases and notions that will not happen until someone with more money and more clout decides to take it up and to the courts.

On this same theme, I caught a bit of a documentary the other night  Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it and also fell asleep before the end.  I wanted to watch it via t'internet when I get a minute.

It was about a man who decided to apply to a ton of institutions to see what information they held on him and his son.  The results were staggering to be honest. 

He then went on to try to disappear for a month with a team of private investigators tasked with trying to find him.  Using electronic means and information available on t'internet like the electoral roll, telephone records etc.

I basically have nothing to hide, but resent the intrusion.  I know I have posted this before, but a lot of companies now insist on a copy of your passport.  It concerns me greatly that companies have a copy of my passport and there are not the same security requirements of employees as there are in government organisations.

Scary, scary stuff. 

 


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panbiker
Senior Member


2300 Posts
Posted - 05/02/2011 : 12:06
I missed that program also Anni but it sounds very interesting, can you remember which channel it was on?

I would imagine that to disappear in today's world would be totally dependant on the new lifestyle you chose to adopt. It would be releatively easy to get "under the radar" if you went totally native in some extremely remote area and lived off the land but a different matter entirely if you still needed money or expected a proper roof over your head. Interesting concept though, must look up the program and see how he got on.

Edited by - panbiker on 05/02/2011 12:06:47


Ian Go to Top of Page
Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 05/02/2011 : 13:08
Found it!  First aired last May.  Unfortunately not available on "catch up" or whatever Channel 4 call theirs.

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/erasing-david/episode-guide/series-1/episode-1

I wasn't particularly interested in whether they found him - more on how much data public and private organisations hold on us and some of the methods PI's used.

Edited by - Anni on 05/02/2011 1:09:36 PM


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 06/02/2011 : 04:13
Mags bank charges: We are getting there. The account has been adjusted and she reports the rogue charges have been rescinded. I spent some time yesterday getting my bullets cast for Monday morning throat-grabbing session face to face in local bank. I have all the evidence, letters of authority etc.

I looked at the quality of Ian's resonse on data protection. brilliant, give that man a job!  It raised another matter in my mind. I was talking to daughter Janet in Oz yesterday who, apart from being computer liererate (!) is doing a law degree. She mentioned something that I have heard about but don't know enough about. Does anyone know what the UK bank regulatory structure says about time of posting and when an instruction to a bank has legal force. In Oz it's time of posting that governs instruction timing, not time of receipt at bank. Where do we stand here?

Update: I have Mag's online bank statements now and we defitely have a credit of £8-83. One thing I noted was that despite there being no activity in the account there is a debt charge of 93p only three days ago. These are the charges that have been applied which pushed the account into debit even though it was originally in credit and not being used. Alright, M should have been checking this and didn't but they are sneaky charges and have cost us £352. My advice is that unlike the old days, bank accounts need to be checked carefully at least once a month. The banks are out to make as much money as they can from you. I wonder how much of their bottom line comes from charges like these?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 06/02/2011 : 10:41
On the topic of companies passing on personal information, beware if you have dealings with Ebay and Paypal. They are one and the same company and Paypal is a financial company as much as a bank or a credit card company is. If Paypal thinks you have done wrong it will put a black mark on your credit record with all organisations. By definition, if Ebay thinks you have done wrong it could do likewise even if you don't use Paypal. It will say no, that can't happen - but you know it can when they are the same company and share records (and share any incompetences or failures).

Stanley, sorry can't help you with the question about time of posting. Ask a bank perhaps? (hehe)


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 07/02/2011 : 00:20
My Ebay account was hijacked in 2007 and because of my computer usage and Ebay account usage am convinced to this day, it was an inside job. 

Fortunately, I was sat at the computer when my password was changed and immediately phoned my credit card and stopped it.  Good job - I sat and watched all night as debts of nearly 30 grand were clocked up on my account.

Ebay was less use than a chocolate fireguard.  I got some really vile emails from sellers and some nasty feedback.  Eventually it made no difference because I closed my account as soon as Ebay were there to speak to me.

Fortunately, nothing ever hit my credit record but it was a very close thing and very, very stressful and distressing.

In the next few weeks, I am going to get one of those pre-paid credit cards for electronic use so that any damage which could be done is minimised.

Stanley, have you tried the Financial Services Authority?  They should be in a position to answer your legal question?

Edited by - Anni on 07/02/2011 12:25:56 AM


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 07/02/2011 : 04:46
I refuse to have any dealings with Ebay or Paypal. Had a paypal account once, never again! I note that British Gas are offereing Nectar points now if you register with them. No thanks lads! I know to much about what you are up to.

Ready for Barclays at 10am! I shall report later!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 07/02/2011 : 09:22


quote:
Stanley wrote:
Ready for Barclays at 10am! I shall report later!

I am looking forward to the report and wish I were a fly on the wall Laughing


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