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Nationwide - Extremely Poor Service

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Praise, Vent & Warnings
36 replies 5.4K views
3plus13plus1 Forumite
821 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Praise, Vent & Warnings
I'm really angry at the moment, so I will try to make this post as clear as possible, but that might go a little bit wrong. Please bear with me though.

I am moving into a flat tomorrow - my landlord called me today to let me know that my deposit cheque for £500 had bounced. I have never been so embarrassed.

I checked my account online, and as expected, I had over £2000 in that account. No one had fradulently cleared me out - there were definitely sufficient funds.

Went to the bank to try and sort this out - I was asked repeatedly if I'd written the cheque out properly. I am not an idiot.

Eventually, the staff decided that the cheque I'd written had been "reported lost" - I have never reported a cheque or a chequebook lost. Some time later, I was told that the entire chequebook had been stopped.

Apparently, because I don't tend to write cheques from that account, they had stopped my chequebook. And not told me. I don't know how long I've been walking around thinking I have a valid chequebook on which I can draw funds. They wouldn't have told me if this hadn't happened.

Policy, apparently, is to give a customer 3 weeks' warning before cancelling a service through inactivity. No one called me. Or wrote to me. They have all of my details and they have not changed for at least five odd years. I am not hard to get hold of.

I was told that any bank charges my landlord might have incurred as result of the cheque bouncing, would not be automatically refunded. If he put a request in in writing, it would be "considered".

The upshot is, they made a mistake and no one has apologised. No one has gone out of their way to correct the mistake they have made.

My landlord now has no idea if I am as financially sound as I have made myself out to be. I am just some girl whose cheques bounce. I am really upset, because I have never so much as even touched an overdraft, and now I look as if I can't afford to pay one month's rent let alone a year's.

I feel as if my character has been tarnished, no one has said sorry, and no one has fixed the problem. I was told that the only people who could do anything was head office, but that I should write to my local branch. I asked for head office details and was not given these.

I want to make a formal complaint. This could have been so much worse - my landlord could have decided not to let me move in, i.e. make me homeless. And they didn't even see sorry.

I feel so let down. I am really tempted to leave Nationwide, but if I do, I lose out if the building society demutualises.
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Replies

  • Would you have also moaned if your cheque had been used fraudulently- and they hadnt stopped it because you never use cheques?

    To be honnest I dont think its that much of a big deal, explain to your landlord what happened( doubt he would be that interested though) as long as you pay for the remander of the tenancy.
    I want to make a formal complaint

    you have nothing to lose by doing so but doubt it will make any difference.
    I am really tempted to leave Nationwide, but if I do, I lose out if the building society demutualises

    Dont move then! youve not lost anything at the moment so dont risk it because of this.
  • 3plus13plus1 Forumite
    821 posts
    Would you have also moaned if your cheque had been used fraudulently- and they hadnt stopped it because you never use cheques?

    They didn't tell me that they had cancelled my chequebook. Do you honestly think they were justified in not notifying me? :confused:

    As for preventing fraud - I moved to France for a year, didn't tell Nationwide, and they didn't try to stop me when I withdrew large amounts of cash at various locations in France and Italy. I fail to believe that fraud prevention has anything to do with them stopping my chequebook. :rolleyes: They admitted that they had not followed the correct procedure, and they did not apologise for this. Do you think they were right not to?
    Dont move then! youve not lost anything at the moment so dont risk it because of this.

    I'm going to have to reimburse my landlord for any bank charges he incurs. I now seem like a right dodgy tenant and I think it's unfair I've been put in this position.

    I also resent being asked repeatedly if I knew how to write a cheque properly as it was probably my fault the cheque had bounced. This was before they checked and found out the cheque had bounced because they'd cancelled it. I'm not especially pleased at how the first thing they assumed was that I was an idiot.

    The woman who dealt with my query made me out to be stupid - she might not remember me, but I remember her, and she was all loveliness and smiles when I was opening an ISA with her and she was trying to sell me car insurance. If you work in customer service, you should be nice to customers who are generating money for the business AND to customers with queries/complaints.
  • I think it is a big deal if you are not a debt type of person. I would be mortified if that happened to me,if you always write cheques that cn be cashed and wouldn't dream of writing one that bounced such a situation would be extremely embarrassing and I would be hopping mad too. I would get the bank to write a letter confirming what happened and forward it to your landlord so that he can be reassured you are a trustworthy person.

    To be honest if I were the landlord I would have doubts about whether my rent would arrive each month after this,through no fault of yours!!!
  • 3plus13plus1 Forumite
    821 posts
    poet123 wrote: »
    I think it is a big deal if you are not a debt type of person. I would be mortified if that happened to me,if you always write cheques that cn be cashed and wouldn't dream of writing one that bounced such a situation would be extremely embarrassing and I would be hopping mad too.

    Thank you. To some people it might not be a big deal, but I have worked hard all of my life to stay out of debt - and now it looks like I probably have lots of it. I do really feel like my character has been tarnished by this. :(
    poet123 wrote: »
    To be honest if I were the landlord I would have doubts about whether my rent would arrive each month after this,through no fault of yours!!!

    This is my worry. I negotiated the rent down because it was "too expensive"; I originally only agreed to stay for six months (we've subsequently signed for twelve) and now my deposit hasn't cleared? I am financially sound, but to a third party, I sound really dodgy and I couldn't blame anyone for advising my landlord to cut me lose!

    My landlord is with a different bank and there is no way my deposit is going to clear into his account by the time he's meant to give me the keys. He would be within his rights to tell me to get lost - I just feel so hideously embarrassed. He's been understanding, but in a way, I do feel like I'm taking advantage of him, by taking the keys before I've paid. :(

    I have spent so much time today trying to sort this out, and I just feel awful. All I wanted was a guarantee that the landlord's bank charges incurred due to Nationwide's mistake would be refunded, and an apology.

    I don't think that was unreasonable. I didn't get either.
  • 3plus1 wrote: »
    He's been understanding,.

    If your landlord isnt worried, why are you?
    You can spend too much time getting wound up over "what if's" and write lots of letters to managing directors to make you feel better, but you end up getting hotter and life's to short.
    Get a new cheque book and have a happy life.

    P.S. I have never had a cheque bounce, why would the recipiant have bank charges???
    I didnt know that.
    So if people I owe money to get on my nerves I can wrtite them dud cheques and they get charged each time - Well you live and learn.
  • MarkyMarkDMarkyMarkD Forumite
    9.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Whilst berating Nationwide for the incorrectly bounced cheque, could you not have obtained the £500 in cash and paid the landlord that? Then he would have no doubt about your liquidity and no concerns about getting the money before giving you the keys.
  • LABMAN wrote: »
    OP

    How would you have felt if you checked your account & found a zero balance because of fraud? Would you then have complained about Nationwide allowing your account to be emptied?

    How long would it have been, before you'd got that sorted out?

    Nationwide could have sent you a letter...not all mail gets to recipients.

    In all honesty Nationwide have tried to act in your best interests....why are you complaining?

    It's an absurd thing to have done. Cheques are scarcely used these days. I rarely have cause to write one. But I do know if that I need to, my cheque book is there.

    I would not expect my cheque book to be cancelled, there is clearly no justification for it.
  • I think you have every right to be upset. The nationwide failed you. They weren't stopping a cheque because it had been fraudulently used, they just had a computer system that cancels chequebooks after a period of inactivity. That's fine but they should have told you this is the case and they didn't. You acted in good faith and it has caused you problems. the bank should cover any charges. As for demutalising. Haven't they just taken over Portman. i can't see them demutalising for a very long time. Why not keep the minimum £100 in there just in case and transfer the bulk to a decent society
  • what is it with the sort of people who write things like "What if there had been fraudulent use" THERE WASN'T :confused:confused: and the OP made this clear - why post such irrelevant garbage.

    Why is it an absurd thing to have done ? Well meester explained this - read the post again and it'll be clear. I also only ever write a cheque once in a blue moon - I don't expect MY bank to consider this "unusual activity" and stop MY WHOLE CHEQUE BOOK :confused::confused:

    Nationwide were 100% in the wrong here and the OP has every right to be absolutely livid - why are some defending them
    :confused::confused:
    Hate and I do mean Hate my apple Mac Computer - wish I'd never bought the thing
    Do little and often
    Please stop using the word "of" when you actually mean "have" - it's damned annoying :mad:
  • I guess we will have to agree to disagree - what you see as due diligence I see as utterly bizarre with no basis in logic what so ever.

    Somebody wrote a cheque out to someone else and that person tried to cash it - shock horror - that's not what cheques are for ..... oh wait a minute :o:o

    Are they a bank or what ?

    btw could you please edit my bit you quoted where you have got more text enlarged than I did - it's taking up a lot of space - thanks in advance :beer:
    Hate and I do mean Hate my apple Mac Computer - wish I'd never bought the thing
    Do little and often
    Please stop using the word "of" when you actually mean "have" - it's damned annoying :mad:
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