I will try to keep this brief but would like to know where I stand on this
Towards the end of 2016, I had a difficult time on a personal note. I was suffering with Post-natal depression and my father then had a major heart attack over Christmas. During this time, it was really difficult to know if I was coming or going.
In October I missed my MBNA payment by 1 day. It was due on the 30th October but it didnt reach my account until 1st November. I incurred a late payment fee of £12.00. I spoke to an adviser and explained the situation and they refunded the late payment fee.
I then missed my November payment by 1 week. I have x2 MBNA cards and had confused the 2 payment due dates. The other card payment was due 1 week later. I did however still make a payment.
As a result I was lost my promotional rate and all of a sudden my minimum payments had gone from around £60.00 per month to £236.
I called MBNA and once again and explained the situation. I expressed that I was happy to set up a direct debit with them on the phone if they could reinstate my promotional rate. I made it clear that I was able to afford my payments at my promotional rate, but I could not afford the new payments with interest. I was bullied through to a financial assessor who took down all my income/outgoing information. I was on Statutory maternity pay at the time so my income on paper was considerably less than my outgoings. But I explained that obviously my husband and I have savings and the ability to flex how we share our money during this time. I made it very clear that I COULD pay my minimum payments at my promotional rate.
I was given no say in the matter they put a stop on BOTH my cards (even though the other card was fully up to date) They told me not to make any more payments and to contact them again when I returned to work and was back on my normal salary.
It did exactly as they said. However when I called them 3 months later, I was thinking A LOT more clearly and said that I didnt feel I had been treated fairly given my circumstances. I explained that if they had let me continue on my promotional rate I would have been fine. But now I have £700 worth of arrears!
The lady I spoke to agreed that I had not been treated fairly and asked if she could raise a complaint on my behalf. I agreed.
The first line of the complaints team investigated and concurred that they had some responsibility in how I had been handled. They refunded all the interest and late fees which they had placed on my account and agreed to reinstate my promotional offer on the basis that I cleared the arrears amount in full. I was in essence happy with this proposal. With one exception . The interest and fees that they had refunded to me were not coming off my arrears amount. I didnt feel it was fair that they admitted liability and agreed to refund fees and charges but refused to take this off the arrears amount. They asked me if I would like to escalate the complaint which I agreed to. In the meantime, I stated that I would have been happy to pay my minimums all along but I was told not to! They informed me that I could have been making payments all along.
As soon as I knew this, I went online to make a payment to both cards. There was no option to make a payment or set up a direct debit. They would only allow me to pay the full arrears amount. I contacted their customer services team and after quite a few days someone provided me with bank details so that I could make a payment through my bank.
It has taken nearly 2 months for the escalated complaint to come back to me. And in the meantime, the arrears have been racking up and my credit file is shot to bits! The complaints team seem to have totally missed the point and are saying that
they had a responsibility to stop my accounts because even if they had reinstated my promotional offer their financial team said I couldnt afford my minimum payments this is not true! because I could. But of course an income/outgoing assessment was not going to show that when I was on SMP!
So 5 months on I have around £1,300 in arrears spread over 2 cards. Whereas, if they had just reinstated my promo offer on 1 of the cards, I would have paying my usual payments over the past 5 months which would have meant I had spent around £650 to date and my credit file would still be in check.
Yet MBNA seem to think they have made a responsible decision on my account!
Should I take this further?
I have to sort it ASAP as they are saying my accounts will default in August and it will show on my credit file for 6 years!!!