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  • FIRST POST
    • jsloko
    • By jsloko 3rd Jul 18, 2:48 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 5Thanks
    jsloko
    Virgin Credit removed promotional rate without a warning - learn from my misfortune!
    • #1
    • 3rd Jul 18, 2:48 PM
    Virgin Credit removed promotional rate without a warning - learn from my misfortune! 3rd Jul 18 at 2:48 PM
    I've had a massive scare just now - and I'm lucky to be in my situation so just wanted to share my experience so that other consumers are aware of the dangers of losing your promotional rate.

    I've had a Virgin credit card for a while with a pretty long promotional 0% purchase offer. I made some successive purchases on it last week (music gig tickets). I knew I was pretty close to the limit but thought I had just about right and, crucially, that I can't go over my limit.

    Purchases went through as usual and I was none the wiser that I had gone over my limit by about 170. Virgin allowed the purchase as normal and not only that - I didn't get an email or any sort of notification alluding to the fact I had gone over. I only realised that a few days later as I luckily decided to double-check.

    I instantly paid the money over the limit and thought that'd be the end of it.
    However, I did notice two strange rows in my statement online - TSP Credit and TSP Debit for the full amount of the card.
    My hunch told me to double-check with Virgin and 40mins later I was finally through and told that me going over meant my 0% promotional rate has been removed.
    The first person on the line forwarded me to the promotional rates team to see what they can do.
    Their stance was quite obviously that it's my fault and it's in the T&Cs and that I should've watched my limit - the lady confirmed she absolutely cannot return the promotional rate.

    After pleading with her about how this can get me in a really bad place she offered to forward me to their financial difficulty team (or something like that). I got the gist from her that perhaps they would have the power to bring back promotional rates.

    Sadly, that wasn't the case and I was met with yet another person who was defiant about not giving me the option to get the rates back. My options with this department were to lodge a complaint and/or to apply for a special repayment plan due to financial difficulties (subject to an application process which sounded tedious). I did ask the guy to pass the complaint for me but I said I'd look at my options before applying for a special repayment plan.

    Went straight on comparison websites and found the best deal for a balance transfer. Saw a good Halifax card there and since my eligibility score was really high and I've had great experience with another credit card from there before I applied and 5mins later I've sorted most of the balance off Virgin and onto the new card (not whole as didn't realise you only get 95% of your limit).

    And that's where I was really fortunate. Have I not had good rating to get this deal straightaway I stood a pretty good chance to be in a downward spiral of debt.

    So lesson learned - YOU CAN GO OVER YOUR LIMIT WITH VIRGIN CREDIT - IT'S NOT REALLY A "LIMIT" IN THE DICTIONARY SENSE OF THE WORD

    I hope this helps someone - would love if someone does a blog post about the dangers of losing promotional rates like that too. I can genuinely see how less fortunate people than me are put in a very hard place...

    And since I'm hot on the topic I'd love to see some discussion around this.
    Have people had similar experiences?
    Is that something specific to Virgin or is this something across the board of credit cards and I've just been ignorant to it?
    Are there any avenues I could/should pursue in terms of complaining?
    Last edited by jsloko; 03-07-2018 at 3:13 PM.
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 3rd Jul 18, 3:11 PM
    • 17,678 Posts
    • 18,814 Thanks
    zx81
    • #2
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:11 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:11 PM
    You can go over the limit with most cards.

    In fact all cards, in specific cases.

    You need to monitor your own limit.
    • jsloko
    • By jsloko 3rd Jul 18, 3:15 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    jsloko
    • #3
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:15 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:15 PM
    I wasn't aware...
    I guess more the reason to make this more obvious - the dictionary sense of a "limit" is something you can't get past.

    Would you know about the notification policy when going over the limit though?
    I find it deliberate and predatory that there were none when I went over.
    • zx81
    • By zx81 3rd Jul 18, 3:17 PM
    • 17,678 Posts
    • 18,814 Thanks
    zx81
    • #4
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:17 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:17 PM
    It will have shown on your statement. They won't send separate comms, although some companies now have text alerts.
    • jsloko
    • By jsloko 3rd Jul 18, 3:27 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    jsloko
    • #5
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:27 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:27 PM
    I did find an article from 10 years ago so at least some agree that this is a problem:
    *search "Credit card limit 'traps' make millions" since I can't link on here*

    Would you know if me going over this limit would severely affect my credit rating?
    Are there any steps I could/should take to combat this?

    Thanks for your contribution!
    • zx81
    • By zx81 3rd Jul 18, 3:33 PM
    • 17,678 Posts
    • 18,814 Thanks
    zx81
    • #6
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:33 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:33 PM
    You don't have a credit rating - just credit files. A single overlimit event after a few months will have minimal impact.

    Depending on whether you came back underlimit in the same cycle (ie between statements) it may not have been reported. Check all three files.

    Some people see it as a trap, others see it as being given a choice. If I'm stuck somewhere in the middle of the night and need a taxi to get home, I may take the option to pay a 12 fee. I don't want to be left to die in the cold and eaten by wolves just because I was almost at my limit. Card card companies also see that as bad publicity, worse than allowing someone spending a few quid too much on Haribo.

    Remember also that offline transactions can take you over limit and cannot be stopped whether they want to or not.
    • Dobbibill
    • By Dobbibill 3rd Jul 18, 3:52 PM
    • 3,206 Posts
    • 4,106 Thanks
    Dobbibill
    • #7
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:52 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:52 PM
    This is a blog from last year - Virgin are listed as those who say 'you will lose your promo rate if you exceed your limit'.

    LBG are also listed so be alert if you have just moved to Halifax.

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/team-blog/2017/01/the-credit-cards-that-wont-remove-your-intro-offer-for-making-a-mistake/

    Paying your CC late will also have the same impact to your promo rate.

    The retailer doesn't always link in with the card provider at the time of the transaction, keep a close eye on your balance/limit/spending yourself
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    • takman
    • By takman 3rd Jul 18, 3:52 PM
    • 3,485 Posts
    • 3,119 Thanks
    takman
    • #8
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:52 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Jul 18, 3:52 PM
    I wasn't aware...
    I guess more the reason to make this more obvious - the dictionary sense of a "limit" is something you can't get past.

    Would you know about the notification policy when going over the limit though?
    I find it deliberate and predatory that there were none when I went over.
    Originally posted by jsloko
    I'll use this excuse if i ever get pulled over for speeding; "Officer i cannot possibly have been speeding as a limit is something you can't get past"

    The dictionary will say limit is defined as:
    "A point or level beyond which something does not or may not extend or pass"

    I would say most limits in life are something you can get past but with consequences, limits which actually stop something completely are less common.
    • shortcrust
    • By shortcrust 3rd Jul 18, 5:01 PM
    • 2,020 Posts
    • 3,010 Thanks
    shortcrust
    • #9
    • 3rd Jul 18, 5:01 PM
    • #9
    • 3rd Jul 18, 5:01 PM
    If only card providers issued some literature when people sign up explaining stuff like this...
    • T-G-C
    • By T-G-C 3rd Jul 18, 5:56 PM
    • 280 Posts
    • 101 Thanks
    T-G-C
    I wasn't aware...
    I guess more the reason to make this more obvious - the dictionary sense of a "limit" is something you can't get past.

    Would you know about the notification policy when going over the limit though?
    I find it deliberate and predatory that there were none when I went over.
    Originally posted by jsloko
    The provider accommodates both digital and conventional methods of checking your account balance, this is sufficient enough to identify an overlimit occurrence.

    A limit is not a restriction. You, as the account holder, as another poster had said above, can make the decision to attempt, but not automatically expect, a transaction to authorize, where it would exceed the available balance. This could be in an emergency situation or simply at the counter in a supermarket. Would you prefer the embarrassment of leaving the till unpaid or allow the provider to approve and leave the queue with your pride intact?

    Here is an interesting fact: if a transaction hasn't been posted, but has been deducted from your available to spend below 0.00, there is a short window of opportunity to immediately correct the balance, if the lender supports it, through faster payments. This would avoid a fee, promotion withdrawal and the credit file record. This is because a lender hasn't actually borrowed you more than your credit limit, until the merchant captures the funds, which normally takes 1 working day, excluding the weekend. If your lender credits Faster Payments on the same day, this already overrides the time it takes for an offending transaction to clear your account. Do you see where I am coming from? Bear this in mind if it ever happens in future.

    Ultimately, this can be avoided with a little productivity in checking your balance regularly, especially when edging your credit limit. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
    All advice provided is intended for guidance purposes only. For specialized debt advice, please contact either National Debtline or StepChange.
    • jsloko
    • By jsloko 3rd Jul 18, 6:40 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    jsloko
    Well I've had a good serving of humble pie here haven't I?

    Anyway, whilst I understand all the arguments here I really think it should be an option to choose not to be able to go over the limit.
    I consider myself relatively on top of my finances and I still let that happen.
    If one of the articles shared here is correct and something like 20% of people lose their promotional rates it should be looked into why that is and give the consumer options to safeguard themselves against such situations.
    Simply brushing it off and poking fun at people like me must be exactly what those credit companies making bank on fees would want.
    • boo_star
    • By boo_star 3rd Jul 18, 9:50 PM
    • 1,568 Posts
    • 910 Thanks
    boo_star
    The provider accommodates both digital and conventional methods of checking your account balance, this is sufficient enough to identify an overlimit occurrence.

    A limit is not a restriction. You, as the account holder, as another poster had said above, can make the decision to attempt, but not automatically expect, a transaction to authorize, where it would exceed the available balance. This could be in an emergency situation or simply at the counter in a supermarket. Would you prefer the embarrassment of leaving the till unpaid or allow the provider to approve and leave the queue with your pride intact?
    Originally posted by T-G-C
    I once had this argument used against me when asking for a relatively small amount of charges back from Barclays, who allowed my seldomly used account to go into overdraft.

    My answers were.

    A). Yes, I'd prefer it was unpaid
    B). The transaction was online (which they knew) so there was no possibility of me being embarrassed "in a retail outlet" but even if it was in a retail outlet I wouldn't mind.

    I'd imagine most people would rather have their cards declined than paying potentially hundreds of pounds in interest/charges as a result of allowing it.

    Hell, cards get declined all the time due to PoS, network or bank outages and the like. We all manage to soldier on with life. Imagine that.
    • Ben8282
    • By Ben8282 4th Jul 18, 2:21 AM
    • 2,378 Posts
    • 1,093 Thanks
    Ben8282
    Before purchasing your 'gig tickets' you could have checked the current balance and available credit online quite easily. You chose not to.
    Additionally, we are not talking about going over the limit by a few pounds. We are talking about going over the limit by 170. There is a difference.
    Although I feel sorry for what has happened it really is your own fault.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 4th Jul 18, 8:57 AM
    • 20,458 Posts
    • 16,246 Thanks
    agrinnall
    Anyway, whilst I understand all the arguments here I really think it should be an option to choose not to be able to go over the limit.
    I consider myself relatively on top of my finances and I still let that happen.
    Originally posted by jsloko

    There is an option, to be more on top of your finances than you actually are, because it's pretty clear it's not good enough at the moment. The easy way may be to set yourself a lower limit than the card limit, and once you reach that only make further purchases if you are absolutely certain it won't take you over the card limit.
    • jsloko
    • By jsloko 5th Jul 18, 9:43 AM
    • 6 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    jsloko
    There is an option, to be more on top of your finances than you actually are, because it's pretty clear it's not good enough at the moment. The easy way may be to set yourself a lower limit than the card limit, and once you reach that only make further purchases if you are absolutely certain it won't take you over the card limit.
    Originally posted by agrinnall
    Thanks but I think you've missed my point and frankly aren't adding much. The issue was being unaware of the fact I can go over a limit and that this would penalise me. Had I known these I would've been a lot more careful being so close to my limit!
    And yes, they seem obvious to you and many others here but once again the 20% of people losing their promotional rates do show that a good portion of people are like me which is why I wrote this post.
    • Gary_Dexter
    • By Gary_Dexter 5th Jul 18, 10:01 AM
    • 1,477 Posts
    • 844 Thanks
    Gary_Dexter
    "Had I known these I would've been a lot more careful being so close to my limit!"

    Does this not prove that you are not on top of your finances then, as pointed out above?
    • Timberflake1983
    • By Timberflake1983 5th Jul 18, 10:12 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Timberflake1983
    but once again the 20% of people losing their promotional rates do show that a good portion of people are like me which is why I wrote this post.
    Originally posted by jsloko
    That also shows that 80% of people are responsible enough to stay within their limits to keep their promotional rate.

    I think you need to ask yourself, who's primarily responsible for monitoring your finances, you or the card provider?
    • takman
    • By takman 5th Jul 18, 10:12 AM
    • 3,485 Posts
    • 3,119 Thanks
    takman
    Thanks but I think you've missed my point and frankly aren't adding much. The issue was being unaware of the fact I can go over a limit and that this would penalise me. Had I known these I would've been a lot more careful being so close to my limit!
    And yes, they seem obvious to you and many others here but once again the 20% of people losing their promotional rates do show that a good portion of people are like me which is why I wrote this post.
    Originally posted by jsloko
    But the reason you didn't know was because you didn't read the documentation provided by your credit card company which clearly states you will loose your promotional rate if you go over your limit and also what fees you will have to pay if you did this.

    If people don't read the documentation they are given it's not the card companies fault.

    You also obviously haven't read a dictionary either before making this statement:

    So lesson learned - YOU CAN GO OVER YOUR LIMIT WITH VIRGIN CREDIT - IT'S NOT REALLY A "LIMIT" IN THE DICTIONARY SENSE OF THE WORD
    Originally posted by jsloko
    • Jasonh2015
    • By Jasonh2015 5th Jul 18, 3:28 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Jasonh2015
    it says very clearly on their website

    "If we do not receive the minimum payment when it is due or you go over your credit limit, we will withdraw the promotional rate with effect from the start of that statement period"

    just before you pick your card design.
    • redux
    • By redux 5th Jul 18, 5:19 PM
    • 18,291 Posts
    • 24,242 Thanks
    redux
    I had a recent near miss with a different card.

    A payment standing order was set by me 2 days before the due date. This recently coincided with a Saturday before a May bank holiday Monday, and the payment didn't arrive until Tuesday, one day late.

    I noticed the late fee on the statement, phoned up and said I realised the mistake and had moved the standing order to two days earlier. They refunded the late fee, and checked whether this would damage the 0% offer - no, 2 days informal leeway.

    So that's another point to be careful about.
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