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Charges to a credit card 2.5 years after the account was closed!!!

Last post Thu, Aug 09 2007, 12:08 AM by realaledrinker. 4 replies.
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  •  Thu, Aug 09 2007, 12:08 AM

    Re: Charges to a credit card 2.5 years after the account was closed!!!

    Agreed, CPAs - Continuous Payment Authorities - are an absolute no-no.  The only way to stop them is to get the supplier to cancel the authority from their end.  The credit card companies seem powerless under the Visa/Mastercard rules to refuse charges such as the one described here.

     

    Having said that, I would not wish to get into a spat with MBNA.  They're great for maing money out of - they've just given me a £19,000 balance transfer straight to my bank (ie savings) account for 6 months at a cost of a £50 fee (Virgin Atlantic White card) but woe betide anyone who steps out of line with them.

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Wed, Aug 08 2007, 2:02 PM

    Re: Charges to a credit card 2.5 years after the account was closed!!!

    Sound advice, Gooch!

    I have spent a massively frustrating day trying to get this mess sorted out and basically, it's a question of the AA saying one thing and MBNA saying another. In the meantime, I can't prove anything because I have no correspondence etc to back up what I say.

    As the lovely and charming lady from MBNA said - "you can't prove that we haven't been writing to you". You just can't beat warped logic like that!! It's a bit like the line "when did you stop beating your wife, sir?"!!!

    AA claim they would expect to be notified (with a "code 21") if the card had been closed, MBNA say that's not true, they would process the request without notifying the AA that the card had been cancelled. They (MBNA) say they would process the payment by default as it was a subscription and therefore had to be honoured.

    Basically, you end up going round in circles, with the victims being my mother and my credit rating, which I can't do anything about. 

    The Financial Ombudsmen tends to agree with MBNA - whilst sympathetic, they said that MBNA were within their rights to process the payment.

    To be fair to MBNA, they have refunded the interest and late payment charges, and I have repaid the principal sum. I think this is the best I am going to get.

    However, this is the only positive thing I can say about MBNA, I'm afraid. They will not apologise for the distress caused to my mother, they will not apologise to me and in my own opinion, I think this whole affair has been so badly handled by them that I will never, ever, have anything to do with them again.

    Just to back up what you said, Gooch, based on my own experience, I will also never set up an annual subscription payment on a  credit card again. It's far too dangerous - and you might forget to cancel it if you stop your card. If you do forget, it appears that you will still be liable for any subscription charges that are raised. Please be warned!!

    I'll leave it down to others to make up their own minds about MBNA, however...

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Wed, Aug 08 2007, 12:10 PM

    Re: Charges to a credit card 2.5 years after the account was closed!!!

    Sorry the last sentence should have been deleted!
    • Post Points: 20
  •  Wed, Aug 08 2007, 12:09 PM

    Re: Charges to a credit card 2.5 years after the account was closed!!!

    There are two issues here. Check with the AA that they were not paid for 2005 and 2006 subscriptions by MBNA. Did you ever write to the AA to inform them that you had closed the MBNA account in 2004? If not then the AA technically acted in innocence but realistically if you had paid them via another standing order/ direct debit  for 2005/2006 you are entitled to argue with them that the AA has incurred this situation by resorting to an old standing order irrespective of whether you had written or not, especially as one assumes that the MBNA should have refused the initial request for payment. However if you had paid the AA by cheque. debit card etc... and not informed them of your cancelled MBNA account then the AA acted in innocence and your argument is clearly with MBNA.

    All credit organisations have a time frame to claim money back - they cannot just send the bailiffs in. Request from them in writing (avoid trying to phone them) dates and details of how they tried to contact you. You need clarification of how they got hold of your mother's address ( did you ever release it to them?). Send them a copy of the closing letter that they sent you in 2004 to suppport your argument that as the account was closed they should not charge you interest for this transaction and that by rights the transaction should not have been processed. However, as it has been processed and that your AA subscription is intact and not been paid twice, send the principal amount with the letter (recorded delivery) but refuse to pay the interest on the grounds that as you received no notification for the transaction. Inform them that you will be contacting the financial ombudsman for advice and do so!!! A quick phone call will help you enormously with this. Finally request that the order for the bailiffs be rescinded as a matter of urgency.

    You need to do this within the next two days to give time for the letter and payment to get there.

    I learnt a similar lesson a few years ago with a closed credit card account. Since then I do not place standing orders or direct debits on my credit card. It is such an easy tangle to get into irrespective of your financial record and finally remember this maxim - assumption is the mother of all *** ups!

     

    You should not pay the principal amount on principal

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Wed, Aug 08 2007, 6:58 AM

    Charges to a credit card 2.5 years after the account was closed!!!

    I used to have a credit card with MBNA. I closed the account with them in September 2004, as I got a better deal with another provider. I had an impeccable record with MBNA, having always paid my bill in full at the end of each month, as I do with all my credit cards. I received a letter from MBNA confirming the account had been closed, that thankfully, I have retained.

    Since September 2004, I have moved house and now live in France. 

    This week, a threatening letter was sent by them to my mother's house back in the UK (who is well into her sixties) saying that they had tried to contact me on numerous occasions, but without success, and would next week be OK for them to send round the heavies?

    This was the first I was aware of any problem, because as far as I was concerned my account was closed several years ago. When I called them, they said the reason for the letter was that an annual subscription to the AA breakdown service had been posted to the account in January 2007 (2.5 years after the account was closed), this had since accrued interest and they wanted this to be paid off - or else.

    I had no idea whatsoever that this transaction had taken place - no statements, letters or anything. Just a threat of the balliffs next week if I didn't pay up.

    MBNA claim that they processed this transaction as it was a "standing order" type transaction and therefore that I am liable for both the principal amount and the interest. They claimed that Visa and Mastercard rules meant that they had no choice but to process it.

    Surely, this can't be right?

    Plus, if they had to process the transaction this year (i.e. in 2007), why didn't they process it in 2005 and 2006 (which they didn't)? As an annual subscription, somebody at MBNA must have declined it for the first two years after the account was closed.

    As far as I can see, the AA shouldn't have requested payment from a closed account, but more importantly, MBNA shouldn't have paid it.

    Sorting out the AA side of things is easy - I'll just give them an updated credit card number.

    But where do I stand legally, as far as MBNA is concerned? Fine, I'll pay the principal amount - MBNA shouldn't have authorised the transaction it seems to me - but it sticks in my craw to have to pay interest on a transaction I didn't even know had happened. Why would I? The account had been closed as far as I was concerned and that was that.

    How can I be sure this sorry episode hasn't affected my credit rating, and just as importantly, my mother's credit rating, as the letter had her address on it? As far as MBNA are concerned, the big men are coming next week - presumably to take some of her possessions away!! Nice!!

    Aside from this being a shockingly poor example of "customer care" that I want as many people as possible to be aware of, I would appreciate any advice you could give me. Many thanks!

     

    • Post Points: 20