My wife and I received a message from our bank saying there had been an ‘unusual’ request for payment on our account and it had declined to pay it.
The payment was to Morrisons for a home delivery which we had waited for more than two weeks to receive.
Presumably Morrisons put our items back on the shelf, and now we are at the back of the queue.
Two elderly readers, who are self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic, saw a home delivery order they were relying on cancelled by their bank which flagged it as ‘unusual’
We are in our 70s, and my wife has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a lung condition which results in breathing difficulties.
She is one of those most at risk when it comes to the coronavirus, so we cannot go to the shops.
The payment was not for the purchase of racing camels in Dubai, it was to Morrisons, for goodness’ sake. Thank you very much RBS!
M. S., Derbyshire
Like you I am flabbergasted that an online transaction to a grocery store that is a household name could be flagged up as ‘unusual’ and blocked at this time.
Did no one at the bank have the wit to adjust the fraud detection systems to account for the fact that people may be doing online supermarket shopping for the first time?
But if the blocking of your transaction was an act of stupidity, then RBS’s reaction borders on contempt.
It has tried to deflect the blame on to Morrisons, pointing out that the shop cancelled the delivery, not RBS.
Of course it was cancelled — because RBS wouldn’t pay for it. Morrisons requested the payment at around midnight.
RBS texted you two minutes later to say the transaction looked unusual. But you were asleep, and by the time you saw the text the damage was already done.
RBS has now phoned you to apologise, but words are easy – it has taken no action to rectify the situation. I phoned Morrisons to see if it could help but, sadly, it has done nothing.
Supermarkets may be busy, but they claim to prioritise customers who are vulnerable. Luckily, you tell me you live in an area with great community spirit and two local shops, so you will not go hungry.
But your letter has led me to wonder how many others who have tried to shop online for the first time have seen their banks sabotage their efforts.
You have YOUR say
Every week, Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. Here are some about our article on whether you should apply for a mortgage holiday.
Just be sure you don’t forget you will have to pay at the end of the ‘holiday’, and that will include any interest you’ve built up over the period you weren’t paying your mortgage.
M. C., London.
People with mortgages these days don’t realise how lucky they are to have such low rates. In the mid-Eighties interest rates went up to 16 per cent and it crippled a lot of homeowners.
D. D., Lancaster.
We rescued the banks in 2008, now it is their turn to suspend loan and mortgage payments to help ordinary people and businesses. We shouldn’t have to pay back any interest.
B. C., Weymouth.
I was on hold for more than an hour to my mortgage provider on Monday, and I emailed twice to ask about a mortgage holiday.
I had no response, but my provider took my mortgage payment yesterday as usual.
V. P., Chelmsford.
You should only take a mortgage holiday if you really can’t make your payments.
Think hard about whether you want to take one now — you may need it more later on in the year.
T. A., Falkirk.
In my opinion, all council tax, rent and mortgage payments should be frozen for three months with no penalties.
T. C., Skegness.
My house is on lockdown as I live with a vulnerable cancer patient.
I tried to apply for a mortgage holiday but was told I’d have to go through the same application process each month to keep it going.
C. P., London.
I sent a cheque to HMRC on April 11 last year for the tax I owed. In June, I received a letter asking me to pay the bill.
I rang HMRC and was told the cheque must have been lost, but that it would be located and allocated to my account.
In September, I received a request to complete a selfassessment form. My daughter spoke to HMRC for me (I am 80 and disabled) and we were told to complete and return the form.
I did this and received a further demand for the £284. My daughter phoned again and was told the money needed to be reconciled on to the account, and that this would be done in January.
In November, I received a self-assessment statement again asking for payment. My daughter rang HMRC and was told to call back on January 15.
I have evidence from my bank that the cheque has been cashed. When my daughter called HMRC on January 15, she provided full details of the cheque encashment.
The adviser told her to call back in March, as hopefully it would be sorted out by then.
W. L., Liverpool.
This is inexcusable. I don’t care how busy HMRC claims to be, it should not take 11 months to reconcile a cheque it has already cashed.
You and your daughter have wasted hours of time and suffered considerable stress over this episode. HMRC has finally resolved this issue.
A spokesman told me: ‘We apologise for any worry and inconvenience caused in the delay tracing Mr L’s payment.
‘We have corrected the issue and will contact him to explain what happened.’
Last July I tried to use my mobile phone and was surprised to find a message reading ‘Invalid Sim’.
I contacted Virgin and was told the Sim had been disabled, probably due to lack of use, and that I had no credit, which was untrue.
I visited a Virgin store where I was told I had a credit of £29.73, the most recent top-up being £10 on March 31, 2019, for which I still had the receipt.
The shop rang customer services, who said nothing can be done to reinstate the Sim or repay the credit.
G. S., Somerset.
If you don’t use your Sim for an extended period, your mobile phone company will usually deactivate it.
Virgin Media does this after 90 days. To get round this, send a text once a month to keep your account running.
As to your credit, Virgin’s policy seems to be to swallow this if you don’t use it. A Virgin spokesperson says: ‘Mr S’s Sim was deactivated as it had not been used to make a chargeable call or to send a text for 90 days.
‘However, we’re sorry for the time it has taken to respond and we have credited him the balance which was remaining on the card.
He will receive a gesture of goodwill, too.’ The £29.73 credit has been transferred to your wife’s Sim and Virgin has paid £30 into your bank account.
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