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Sainsbury's Bank customers charged after direct debit mix-up - MSE News

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
5 replies 1.4K views
MSE_CallumMSE_Callum Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
Sainsbury's Bank credit card-holders have been hit with late payment fees after the bank changed its direct debits procedure and gave customers incorrect information about how the new system worked, MoneySavingExpert can reveal...
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'Sainsbury's Bank customers charged after direct debit mix-up'
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  • ceredigionceredigion Forumite
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    Maybe this should be in the credit card section of your forum. Where you will find several other threads about the same thing.
    You think staff members would know their way around their own forum!
  • When I first called up after receiving late payment notification on 4th September, I was told that the fee will be reversed and the balance due will be collected in next cycle. I offered to make a payment but was told it won't make a difference and any dues recorded will be taken in next cycle irrespective of any interim payments. I specifically asked about any issues to my credit report as I have an impeccable record. I was told nothing will be recorded.

    They did not collect the direct debit the following cycle which was on 18th Sep. So I called them up 20th Sep and they said there is another glitch where customers who have missed one payment are having there following direct debit missed. But I was assured nothing to worry. Like last time I offered to pay the due amount but was told it won't make any difference and the subsequent cycle will include last two balances as well. Once again I specifically asked about any impact on credit score and I was told nothing to worry as it won't be affected.

    In mid October I got a notification from Halifax bank that they have dropped my credit limit from £6600 to £1800. I had a balance of £1750 on it so I could only spend £50 on my Halifax clarity card. This was followed by a letter from Halifax stating that the drop was due to change in credit report.

    I got a feeling Sainsburys screwed up something and checked my credit report on Noddle. To my surprise there were 2 missed payment marked against Sainsbury card and my score dropped from 5/5 to 3/5.

    I was furious and called Sainsbury on 25th October. They apologized and said it would have been a mistake. The person promised to contact the concerned department immediately to get in touch with credit agencies to set the record straight. She said it will be done on same day. A complaint was formally registered when I insisted.

    As I had a travel plans coming up, I reached out to Halifax to tell them about Sainbury's glitch. They said they can't do much and it will take upto 60 days even after the record is set clear for me to get a higher credit limit. Also I was told I won't get an credit limit increase automatically but have to call and put in request thanks to the efficent team at Sainsbury.

    There was enough damage done but I still trusted the Sainsbury's bank to act on their promise. But that too didn't happen. 2 weeks later MSE Experian credit report came. My credit score dropped. I usually had a 95% eligibility to get top cards but that dropped to 5% on MSE credit club.


    I again called back on 08-Nov and told then that last time they promised to contact the credit agencies to correct my info and how come even the new reports are having same incorrect information. They again apologized but offered to send a letter stating their mistake in case I get rejected for any credit application. I now have no idea if that will be sent as they do promise a lot on phone but forget it the phone is disconnected.

    My mortgage renewal will come up soon and I want to get it sorted at the earliest. I have been offered no compensation but thats ok I just want my credit report to put back in as it was. 999 in Experian and 5/5 in Noddle.

    Can MSE help in picking this case up.

    Thanks
  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
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    DailyUser wrote: »
    I have been offered no compensation but thats ok I just want my credit report to put back in as it was. 999 in Experian and 5/5 in Noddle.
    It's not unreasonable to expect your credit files to be corrected by Sainsburys advising the credit ratings agencies of their error, although whether or not this will result in exactly the same scores as before is up to these agencies (and isn't something lenders see anyway so is largely irrelevant).
    DailyUser wrote: »
    Can MSE help in picking this case up.
    I don't believe that MSE would 'pick up' an individual case like this. You should continue with your formal complaint and not allow it to be closed until the credit files have been corrected - if you're not getting anywhere by phone try their social media platforms, as some visible adverse publicity often stimulates companies into action.

    If you're not happy with their response then you have the option of escalation to the Financial Ombudsman Service....
  • upshitcreekupshitcreek Forumite
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    My partner experienced this issue around the same time and we (I am a secondary card holder) eventually took our complaint to the Financial Ombudsman, as Sainsbury's Bank were so poor at (a) understanding the issue initially and (b) dealing with it.

    Luckily we spotted what had happened…

    Our 13-Jul-2018 statement displayed the following information:

    Minimum amount due £55.19
    Payment due date 07/08/2018
    Direct Debit amount £55.19

    The minimum payment of £55.19 was duly taken by Direct Debit on 07-Aug-2018.

    On 09-Aug-2018, we changed the monthly payment from 'minimum' to a 'fixed' value of £85.00.

    Our 13-Aug-2018 statement then displayed the following information:

    Minimum amount due £52.43
    Payment due date 07/09/2018
    Direct Debit amount £0.00

    Their system had IGNORED the fact that a new 'fixed' monthly payment of £85.00 has been set up and at the same time, CANCELLED the 'minimum' monthly payment.

    As far as I am aware, no other organisation offering a credit card operates in this way.

    When logged into sainsburysbank.co.uk, the 'Manage my Direct Debit' section of our account still clearly showed that a 'fixed' monthly payment of £85.00 was apparently in place.

    On Fri-07-Sep-2018, no Direct Debit payment was taken, as we suspected it wouldn’t be, so we made a manual payment of £52.98

    Upon contacting Sainsbury’s Bank again a few days later, they stated there wasn’t a problem, as the Direct Debit payment had been taken on the day. However, we’d planned for that little lie up front, by making our manual payment (£52.98) slightly different to the minimum payment (£52.43)!

    Sainsbury’s Bank then went all quiet on us, hence the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman. As a result of the complaint (and after some compensation) Sainsbury’s Bank agreed to remove the ability to change monthly Direct Debit payments via their website.

    However, they now appear to have reinstated that facility, but the underlying issue still exists:
    • We changed our monthly payment again on 7th April, a day before the next Direct Debit payment was due.
    • The next Direct Debit payment was taken successfully on 8th April and a new statement was produced on 13th April.
    • However, our Direct Debit payment for 8th May has now been completely wiped out once again.
    • Sainsbury’s Bank had 5 whole working days to implement this Direct Debit change, but still failed to do so.
    • We have to set a reminder to make a manual payment once again, to avoid the aggravation that would come afterwards (potentially losing the long-term purchase offer, credit file changes, etc.)
    This is just a heads up that the issue still exists and regardless of complaints and Financial Ombudsman cases against them, Sainsbury's Bank appear happy for the situation to continue.

    Why they cannot implement a simple 'amount' change to an existing Direct Debit within 5 working days in this day and age is somewhat staggering.
  • Wednesday100Wednesday100 Forumite
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    Yes - this happened to me this month. There was no warning given when I changed my direct debit from the minimum payment to a fixed amount. After I read the MSE article in this post and a similar one in The Sun from last autumn I double checked all the FAQ, agreements etc and there was definitely no warning notice despite them telling MSE and The Sun that they would make the risk clear to customers.

    A load of customers must have been impacted this month because shortly afterwards they removed the facility to set a specific direct debit amount online - instead, you now have to ring them up.

    I complained and got £40 compensation.

    I remember another credit card that DID issue a warning that you should make a manual payment until the amended DD showed on your statement. I think this may have been Virgin Credit Cards. But, at least they made it really clear you had to do this!
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