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  • FIRST POST
    3plus1
    Nationwide - Extremely Poor Service
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 08, 7:00 PM
    Nationwide - Extremely Poor Service 7th Feb 08 at 7:00 PM
    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.
Page 1
    • Butlers1982
    • By Butlers1982 7th Feb 08, 7:44 PM
    • 2,580 Posts
    • 1,773 Thanks
    Butlers1982
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 08, 7:44 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 08, 7:44 PM
    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.
  • 3plus1
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 08, 8:03 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 08, 8:03 PM
    Would you have also moaned if your cheque had been used fraudulently- and they hadnt stopped it because you never use cheques?
    Originally posted by Butlers1982
    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.
    Originally posted by Butlers1982
    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.
  • poet123
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 08, 8:09 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 08, 8:09 PM
    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!!!
  • 3plus1
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 08, 8:29 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 08, 8:29 PM
    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.
    Originally posted by poet123
    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.

    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!!!
    Originally posted by poet123
    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.
  • advent1122
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 08, 8:41 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 08, 8:41 PM
    He's been understanding,.
    Originally posted by 3plus1
    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.
    • MarkyMarkD
    • By MarkyMarkD 7th Feb 08, 9:54 PM
    • 9,795 Posts
    • 4,216 Thanks
    MarkyMarkD
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 08, 9:54 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 08, 9:54 PM
    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.
  • meester
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 08, 10:29 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 08, 10:29 PM
    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?
    Originally posted by Labman
    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.
  • polly7
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 08, 11:04 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 08, 11:04 PM
    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
  • judderman62
    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
  • judderman62
    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

    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
    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
    • PBA
    • By PBA 8th Feb 08, 12:00 AM
    • 1,508 Posts
    • 516 Thanks
    PBA
    I'm going to have to reimburse my landlord for any bank charges he incurs.
    Originally posted by 3plus1
    Your landlord won't have been charged for the cheque bouncing, if he's tried telling you otherwise then he's lying to you (and shouldn't the cheque have been going into a deposit protection scheme anyway, not his personal bank account??)
  • 3plus1
    Your landlord won't have been charged for the cheque bouncing, if he's tried telling you otherwise then he's lying to you (and shouldn't the cheque have been going into a deposit protection scheme anyway, not his personal bank account??)
    Originally posted by PBA
    No charges have been registered on his account as of yet, but he will let me know if any are incurred.

    As for deposit protection schemes, they only apply to England and Wales. I am based in Scotland.

    Please let me clarify something, because a lot of people seem to have misunderstood - I have no idea when my chequebook was cancelled. I wasn't told. It was not cancelled when my landlord tried to cash my cheque - it had been cancelled before then. Obviously, having not written a cheque for a while, this is the first occasion I've had to find out!
  • 3plus1
    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.
    Originally posted by MarkyMarkD
    Who walks around carrying 500? I certainly would not feel safe.

    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?
    Originally posted by Labman
    I check my account regularly using online banking and always know how much money is in it. If my details were compromised, it would not be possible to clean out the entire account - there is too much money in it.

    To the best of my knowledge, I have never had any mail go missing from my current address. I get mail from Nationwide regularly - and for that matter, Nationwide admitted that a letter had not been sent.

    They did not act in my best interests - they removed a service without informing me of this and put me in a horrible situation.

    Why is it an absurd thing to have done? They saw an unusual activity on a customers account and acted in the best interests of their customer. If any Bank/Building Society that I'm a customer of thought there was a problem with any activity on my account and didn't act, then I'd be upset with them.
    Originally posted by Labman
    They didn't respond to unusual activity. The chequebook was cancelled before the cheque was presented. I just wasn't informed of such.

    I'm defending them because Nationwide exercised 'due diligence' on the OP's account and in doing so attempted to 'protect' their account....if they hadn't I'd imagine the OP could have been complaining 'I hadn't used my cheque book for over a year & Nationwide didn't spot a potential fraud why did they pay out on the cheque. Yes in this case they apparently got it wrong....in other cases I'm sure they'll have been right.
    Originally posted by Labman
    Wasn't due diligence. They had already cancelled my chequebook and not told me. I don't know how long I've been walking around thinking I have a valid chequebook - the details that the staff managed to obtain were rather sketchy. I still don't know if I've got the full story here.
  • 3plus1
    Is it possible that the Nationwide has written to you & you didn't recieve the letter?
    Originally posted by Labman
    My understanding is that I should have been contacted as part of standard policy, but that the system shows that I never in fact was.

    You have to bear in mind though, that I have spoken to several members of staff who have been calling several other people and it could all be Chinese whispers. But that is my understanding of what has happened.

    I have never had a letter from Nationwide go missing to my knowledge - I get paper statements regularly, news about interest rates changing, pin reminders, new cards, etc. I really don't think a letter went missing. I don't think anyone tried to contact me - that is why I am so annoyed.
  • Alfie E
    So nobody has actually lost anything?
    Originally posted by Labman
    I can understand why 3plus1 is very upset. Shes lost some of her good name. The formalities of the modern cheque were set down in the Bills of Exchange Act 1882. Cheques are old, and their exact details a bit arcane. As far as I can remember, if a bank fails to honour a valid cheque without good reason, this can count as defamation. 3plus1s landlord may now behave differently, when the tenancy comes to be renewed.

    I think Nationwide have behaved unreasonably. While they may have wished to protect both themselves and 3plus1 from fraud, there was an alternative to simply bouncing the cheque. They could have tried to contact her and ask her if she issued the cheque. Once they were satisfied it was genuine, they could have honoured it. I appreciate that the new 2-4-6 rules make things a bit tight, but thats still six working days.

    I feel that 3plus1 would be entitled to push Nationwide for a small amount of compensation.
    古池や蛙飛込む水の音
  • 3plus1
    I repeat....yes or no?
    Originally posted by DryWeeMuff
    See post #20. The answer is no.

    The building society staff do not think I was written to, and I certainly have no reason to believe I was either.
  • 3plus1
    I feel that 3plus1 would be entitled to push Nationwide for a small amount of compensation.
    Originally posted by Alfie E
    I'd much rather have Nationwide investigate what went wrong, and give me assurances that this will not happen again. Do you think if I wrote to them and said as much, that anything would actually happen or would I be wasting my time with that point?

    I'm a bit confused as to why so many people have leapt in to support Nationwide, when I do feel, as you said, that I have lost some of my good name. Apart from the fact I think it's embarrassing for anyone when a cheque bounces - I'm an accountant. I'm meant to be good with money. Having a cheque bounce makes me look as if I don't know what I'm doing in my job.
  • hev
    I have had really great service from Nationwide in locations all over the country.

    I think that is part of the problem, most people do have great service from them. I do understand that you are upset. It could make you look less than competent to a potential customer.

    Perhaps you could bypass the lady you first dealt with and write a polite and detailed letter to their head office. My experience with them has been really positive, so I think it is worth a go.

    Good luck, I hope you get it sorted out.
    Always another chapter

    • RadoJo
    • By RadoJo 8th Feb 08, 9:58 AM
    • 1,772 Posts
    • 2,101 Thanks
    RadoJo
    3plus1 - I think you underestimate people's appreciation of how banks can make mistakes. You are worried about your reputation and 'good name' but has it really been damaged? You say your landlord has been understanding, which suggests he has accepted your explanation of what happened, and I can't really see how anyone else was involved. I know it is a cringy feeling to have something like that happen and cause a panic, but try not to let it worry you - things like this happen all the time and people understand.

    My bank account was 'accidentally closed' last year, meaning my debit card, mortgage payment, all direct debits etc were cancelled and all it took was a couple of phone calls to the people affected explaining what had happened and they were all sympathetic and there was no suggestion that it was down to me. It was annoying, sure, and I wrote to the bank to say my piece, but I know it was just a case of human error - what really annoyed me was the length of time it took them to correct the problem - and they apologised and everything was alright. It sounds like an apology and a little sympathy as to your situation would probably have put an end to this matter - if you write to them you will probably get this, so it is probably worth doing for your own piece of mind, but I really would try not to worry about how it made you look to your landlord - as long as you pay on time in future and don't trash his flat, he will probably forget about it much sooner than you!
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