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FIXED Negative balance on a pre-paid credit card - tried to sort it out but struggling

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FIXED Negative balance on a pre-paid credit card - tried to sort it out but struggling

edited 1 June at 1:08PM in Credit Cards
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ADHD_impulse_spenderADHD_impulse_spender Forumite
2 posts
First Post
edited 1 June at 1:08PM in Credit Cards
Hello there, I hope someone might have some advice for me. It's a long post but I hope by including details you can see that I'm trying to do the right thing!

Here's the TL;DR version: I can't find out why a pre-paid MasterCard has a negative balance and the company won't answer my emails or call me back with the information I'm asking for.

Long version: Last October I took out a pre-paid MasterCard through Sainsbury's Bank to get some money to a relative in Italy as quickly as possible. It's all in my name and address.

It was a one-off and the card hasn't been used since November 2019 but in April this year I received an email saying the account has a negative balance of €21.71. I checked with my relative and she said she hadn't used it at all (she wouldn't lie about this). When I logged into the account I found there is no transaction information for the card at all, no matter how far I go back, so I can't see where this charge came from or when it was made.

I called the number on the email (it's from MasterCard Pre-paid Services, not Sainsbury's Bank) and eventually I was told that someone would call me back to let me know what the charge is for etc. I also followed up with two emails, the first one so I'd have written record of trying to sort this issue out and the second to remind them I hadn't heard anything. None of these received a reponse.

Today in my email I've been sent a final demand for payment which says if I don't settle the debt by 15 June they're giving it to a debt collector. I've phoned again and really struggled to understand the call handler (aside: why are bank phone lines always such poor quality?) but she said again that they'd call me back and also that she would email me a record of transactions.

Given their inability to follow up my previous call/emails, I'm really worried that I'll not hear anything again. I feel so powerless as I know once a company gets rid of a debt they will just act like it's my problem and they had nothing to do with it.

I'll pay the charge if it's something legitimate but I haven't even been able to find out what it is!

Is there anything I can do about this situation that isn't change my identity and leave the country?

Thanking you in advance, Jennifer


  • ADHD_impulse_spenderADHD_impulse_spender Forumite
    2 posts
    First Post
    Ugh, OK so I was being an idiot about checking the transactions apparently and it looks like the issue is that TFL put an incomplete fare charge on the card which probably took it into a negative balance.

    Moral of the story: no good deed goes unpunished...
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