Friday, March 26, 2010

Bank of Scotland and its rapacious charges

I am gnashing my teeth after being charged a scandalous £30 penalty on my current account by Bank of Scotland. I just sent them the following complaint, and will update this post with their responses:
Me: Since you showed a cheque for £x appearing in my account on 18 March, it seemed safe to schedule a payment three working days later on 23 March. I am EXTREMELY unhappy that you decided that the funds were not available on 23 March and are charging me £30 for a decision that must have cost you pennies in computer time.

This kind of behaviour makes me seriously think about closing my current account with you. I will be blogging this complaint, and your response.

Bank of Scotland: It will take up to 4 banking days (after we receive it) for a cheque to clear in a current account. The cheque will show in the 'balance' of your account on the day we receive it, but not in your 'available funds' until the cheque has fully cleared and the funds are available for withdrawal.

Me: That is less than clear in your user interface. It would also be trivial for you to automate the process of notifying customers that insufficient funds are available and asking whether they wish to postpone or cancel an online payment.

A £30 penalty is entirely disproportionate to your costs. If you apply this penalty in this case I am planning to make a complaint to the Office of Fair Trading, and close my account.

Bank of Scotland: I can advise this charge is for a failed payment.

At the time the payment were called for, the balance in your jar was not sufficient to cover these payment

Intelligent Finance does not offer the facility to monitor accounts on an individual basis.

It is our customer's responsibility to ensure there are sufficient available funds within the account to cover any payment instructions which are set up.
As a gesture of goodwill, I will arrange to credit your account today to cover the charge. Any future charges will stand.

A happy ending, and reminder that it is always worth complaining over unfair treatment. If that doesn't work, as Ross Anderson says: a lawsuit never hurts.


sjmurdoch said...

On the subject of BoS, my latest complaint against them is that they do not offer the Faster Payments Service for me to transfer money from my BoS current account to my BoS credit card. They take close to 4 business days to do the transfer, thus assuring themselves of extra fees.

SDJ said...

I'd switch if I were you - must be unlikely they'll invest in service improvements on the HBOS side of the Lloyds Group...