I tried to deposit £100 into my Santander account via a cash machine outside the bank.
After I had inserted the final note, a message appeared on the screen, telling me it couldn’t process the transaction. A member of staff had to open the machine to retrieve my card.
I completed a form and was told that someone would phone me by 1pm the next day and the money would be credited to my account.
No one called me, so I contacted customer services, who told me that all they could do was ring or email the branch to ask them to phone me.
Money grabber: One reader lost £100 she was trying to pay in to her account through a Santander cash machine
I then visited the branch, where I was told my money had not been found.
An employee said that it might be jammed somewhere in the machine, but admitted they hadn’t actually looked.
She was very unhelpful, but said the complaint had been escalated to the manager.
I was told the only way I could speak to them was by phoning the customer services number.
Yet, on the two previous occasions I had phoned customer services, they tried to connect me to my local branch — only to tell me they were not answering the telephone!
R. J., London.
There’s only one way to describe your situation: you were given the runaround by sloppy staff who couldn’t be bothered to help.
Fancy branch staff telling you to call a central customer services number so they could contact that same branch. What a waste of everyone’s time!
The clear impression is they just don’t care about the reputation of the business or for you as a customer.
If an organisation promises to call a customer back, they should do so, rather than expect the customer to call them.
Checks were finally made two days after you reported the incident and the branch manager did then contact you to confirm the £100 had been credited to your account.
So, if you had been the victim of fraud, you would have lost two days, thanks to this branch’s lackadaisical attitude.
Santander has now offered a rather measly £30 to apologise for the inconvenience.
You have YOUR say
Every week, Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. Here are some on how bereaved families can now inform all major banks of a loved one’s death in a single step, thanks to a pioneering Money Mail campaign…
I’d like to thank deputy editor Victoria Bischoff and Money Mail for the success of the Looking After Your Legacy campaign.
Reading her story painfully reminded me of the experience I had when my mother died. As Victoria put it, no one seemed to realise how painful it was. This will hopefully make it easier for my daughters one day.
S. P., by email.
One of my parents passed away 25 years ago, but their utility company just won’t accept it, no matter how many times you tell it or how much paperwork you send in as proof.
It’s a nightmare when they ring up, asking to speak to the deceased relative.
W. K., Slough, Berks.
My mum died many years ago and my brother (then the only one of us old enough) tried to close her savings account.
After getting several letters addressed to ‘Mrs Deceased’, asking her to sign to give permission for my brother to close the account, we decided not to bother with it.
As far as I know, 32 years later, it is still open, with £3 in it.
L. V., Sheffield.
I had one bank employee demand to speak to my mother or provide her forwarding address, even though we had already notified them of her death and were still getting bombarded with letters addressed to her, rather than the estate.
I. C., Galloway.
Despite having a ‘bereavement’ department, the service we got from the bank after my father’s death was appalling.
One blunder after another, reducing my already grieving mother to tears.
T. S., London.
I own a rental property, which was vacant for 11 days in June last year, with no gas used.
I provided Scottish Power with the departure date and meter reading for the outgoing tenant on June 5. I also provided the name, date of arrival and meter reading for the incoming tenant on June 16.
Despite this, Scottish Power issued me with an invoice, based on estimated readings, for £97.73, covering the period June 5 to July 23.
I told the energy company about the error, but it referred the matter to a debt collector — which eventually referred it back to Scottish Power.
I then received a demand letter from another debt collector dated March 21, for payment of the bill plus an administrative fee of £20.03.
Mrs C. T., Rugby, Warks.
Scottish Power apologises for not correctly closing your account and billing your tenants. It says it has now calculated the new bill based on your readings.
This shows a small balance of £3.01, presumably for the standing charge. It has written this off and issued a £50 goodwill payment.
Straight To The Point
My wife and I share a joint bank account, which we can each use independently. If one of us were to pass away, would the other still be able to access the account?
T. P., Tattershall, Lincs.
Yes. If you are both named account holders, then the surviving partner should be able to access the money as normal and regular payments, such as direct debits, should continue to go out.
After the surviving spouse reported the death to the bank, the account would be transferred into their sole name and remain open.
I am an expat living in France, but have held an account with Barclays since the late Eighties. I was recently sent a form to fill in by the bank’s ‘Team 57’, based on the Isle of Man.
It requested personal details, such as my employer’s information. I sent it back but, two weeks later, got a nasty reminder, threatening to close my account. I sent it again by recorded delivery, but I’m confused. What is ‘Team 57’?
C. S., Esbly, France.
Barclays says that it contacted you as part of its routine anti-money laundering checks to verify the source of funds in your accounts, which it does with all customers.
Team 57 is just the department tasked with processing these forms.
The bank apologises if the letter caused you any upset and has agreed to refund your postage costs.
A spokesman adds that it takes the security of its clients’ data very seriously and it is important to keep its records up-to-date when identity fraud is on the rise.
I. A., Worcester, West Mids.
EE confirms both communications were genuine and were being sent to customers to explain how their personal information would be used in light of the new data protection laws introduced on May 25.
The mistake with your title was as a result of an admin error when you registered your account and this has now been corrected.
I was forcibly removed from a Ryanair flight after being cleared to travel by two-stage airport security checks. My innocent mistake — not known to me until after the incident — was to print my outward boarding pass twice, rather than one inward and one outward.
The airport security’s mistake was to accept my outward pass as valid for the return flight and clear me for boarding.
Ryanair’s mistake was to treat me, elderly and infirm, as a criminal in front of my fellow passengers, insist that I leave the plane at a speed and manner inappropriate to my dignity and disability and have the police waiting for me at the bottom of the steps, leaving me stranded, confused and angry late in the evening at Memmingen Airport, in Germany.
I managed to get an alternative flight home.
I have since received an empty, no-responsibility apology from the airport authorities and, from Ryanair, a deafening silence.
Mrs C. M., Malaga, Spain.
Most of us accept Ryanair is a no-frills airline: you pays your money and you takes your chance. But, if this incident took place as you describe, then the conduct of Ryanair staff is shameful.
I took your complaint to the airline and, as expected, received the verbal equivalent of a shrug of the shoulders.
Its statement was as follows: ‘It is each customer’s individual responsibility to ensure that he/she is travelling with the correct boarding pass. There was no ‘deafening silence’ from Ryanair — we responded to this customer’s complaint on November 24 and again on May 12.
‘Since this matter relates to a security breach at Memmingen Airport, it’s a matter for Memmingen Airport Security.’
It is a reminder to all readers that when a Ryanair flight works well, it is perfectly acceptable — but if things go wrong, you might as well complain to the Tooth Fairy for all the help you’ll get.
On a general note, as holiday season gets under way, check and double-check all your documents before heading to the airport.