I was contacted regarding potential fraudulent activity on my Tesco Mastercard in early October 2019.
In total, £3,700.20 of illicit transactions were refunded. On December 5, Tesco phoned to say one company was claiming its £2,900.53 was genuine. Tesco said it would be sending a letter I must respond to.
It arrived on December 12, but on that day my father died. I travelled to my mother’s home to support her and deal with funeral arrangements.
Scammed: One reader was left £2,900 out of pocket after fraudsters used his Tesco Mastercard and he was unable to respond to a written letter in time
On December 29, I finally had a day at home and read the letter, which had required a response by December 19. I emailed Tesco answering its queries and explaining the delay.
I tried to call but its office was closed, so I called the next morning. I was told it was too late, as the ‘final’ deadline was December 27.
Tesco called on January 2 to say its procedure, and Mastercard’s, did not allow it to accept my late response.
Tesco said it would now re-debit my account for the £2,900.53. The firm the money went to gives tips on financial investment products I have never bought. An email address is given in the letter which I have never seen.
This seemed an extraordinarily rigid approach to someone who had suffered a bereavement so had a genuine reason for missing the deadline.
And Tesco agrees. Having reviewed your case, it has refunded the entire amount.
It says it must generally adhere to timescales laid down by the chargeback process, which lets customers reclaim money on fraudulent transactions or when there is a consumer dispute, so issues can be resolved swiftly.
Tesco has also paid you £50 and sent some flowers to compensate for the experience.
A Tesco Bank spokesman says: ‘We understand Ms H experienced a difficult set of circumstances which impacted her ability to respond to us within the normal required timescales.
‘We work hard to ensure our customers can benefit from their chargeback rights. Having reviewed her case, we are pleased to refund her the full value.’
You have YOUR say
Every week Money Mail receives hundreds of your letters and emails about our stories. Here are some from our article on the companies that allow you to buy now and pay later:
Used responsibly, credit is a useful tool. I bought a TV last year and paid for it over a year, interest-free. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same level of self-control, but it’s something you can learn with age.
I only use these payment options when I need a new pair of jeans or shoes. I don’t get something just because I like it.
It’s easier to pay for items once your salary has come in.
I recently went to an electrical goods store to buy a cooker and a fridge. I took my baby to the shop, and as soon as staff saw me they started trying to convince me to take out credit. I am sure that they were on commission.
These firms are designed to make a profit for themselves. They make their money out of customers who cannot control their own finances. I live within my means and I’ve never had a problem.
These companies are nothing new. I still remember the catalogues which offered credit for readers to buy clothes. They often applied high interest rates to repayments. It meant you could end up paying double what you thought you’d pay.
The real problem here is that we are becoming a cashless society. When we all used to take cash out of the bank, we were more aware about how much we were spending. Nowadays you just tap and walk away.
I’m in debt, but I’ve got nobody to blame but myself. I use one of these payment options quite a lot, but usually only to buy a number of clothes in one go. When payday comes, I try to pay off as much debt as I can.
L.G., Tonypandy, Wales.
BT keeps sending me bills for services I don’t have to the wrong address. I don’t have broadband or a landline.
The firm refuses to accept that I use none of its services. I moved home at the end of June last year and have been in a dispute with BT ever since.
D. K., Weston-super-Mare.
BT sent you a letter on June 26 confirming your move and promised to stop your services on June 28.
Yet bills were still sent to your old address and redirected to you. When you complained, BT promised to investigate but again wrote to your old address. This culminated in a demand for £89.46 to be paid, in order for you ‘to avoid losing your service’.
BT now sees that while you made some phone calls at your new address, the internet was not used.
You had told BT that services at your new address were not working. BT says it offered to send an engineer but you preferred to cancel your utilities.
Its tests show the broadband line was working, so it may be that the fault was in your home.
BT has waived any disconnection fees and cleared your balance so there is nothing to pay. As regards your address, it seems someone made a mistake when processing your move.
Straight to the point
My husband and I renewed our railcards online, but when they arrived in the post they were both in my husband’s name. I’ve been back and forth with customer service for two months and have still not received a replacement.
Railcard says it has been updating its website and a small number of customers have experienced problems as a result. A spokesman has apologised and assured me that you will receive a new card this week.
Why do shops on my local High Street refuse to accept Scottish bank notes? I live in Lincolnshire and don’t know what to do with them.
It is down to individual shops to decide what forms of payment they want to accept. If you are struggling to spend your Scottish notes, try asking your bank branch if they will exchange them instead.
Last year, Marks & Spencer was offering a beauty advent calendar for £40 if you spent £25. I wanted to treat my daughter so spent £66 on a candle and potpourri, which she didn’t really need.
But the calendar never arrived because M&S ran out. I accepted a refund for the calendar but could not return the other goods.
M&S says it prides itself on offering the best customer service and apologises for letting you down.
It has sent you all the beauty items in the calendar, plus two bags of Percy Pig sweets for your grandchildren.
We booked a week in Lanzarote through Loveholidays and chose to stay at The Hotel Volcan.
When the confirmation email arrived it said that we had booked the H10 Rubicon Palace. Loveholidays insists we selected this hotel but I’m sure we didn’t.
C.D., Ashford, Kent.
Loveholidays has listened back to a call you made and dug out your online booking.
It looks like you asked about The Hotel Volcan when you rang, but when you booked online you selected the H10 Rubicon Palace.
As a gesture of goodwill Loveholidays has now refunded you in full and waived any cancellation charges.
When I turned 64 last June I decided to access my personal pension pot built up with Phoenix Life. I used a broker who filled in the paperwork.
Phoenix Life wrote a letter stating my fund value on July 1 was £90,337.69. It said this was not guaranteed and would be recalculated before payment.
I received a call from the broker stating that the fund value at July 5 was £92,394.45, but when the transfer was made on July 10 the lesser amount of £90,337.69 was transferred.
I complained but Phoenix Life has merely offered me £200 by way of apology, whereas I am asking for £2,056.76 — the difference between the values.
J. M., Twickenham.
Phoenix Life admits that its level of service fell short. It misled your financial adviser and sent you two letters which contained incorrect information.
Phoenix Life tells me that the transfer value was calculated on July 1 and was then set in stone.
Yet four days later it told your adviser the value had risen. Then on July 9 it sent a letter containing the correct valuation, but saying: ‘The figures are not guaranteed and will be recalculated before the payment is made.’
In September a complaints officer told you that the value of the fund on the date it receives a transfer request is the key figure. This was not correct either.
The amount that was transferred was right, and the transfer was more efficient than the following administration and customer service. Phoenix Life offered £200 for poor customer service.
This sequence of events is so bizarre that I triple-checked with Phoenix Life to ensure I’d not misunderstood. But as I’ve spent much of my life writing about the catastrophes caused by misselling and mismanagement of endowments and pensions by insurance companies, I’m not surprised.
- Write to Tony Hazell at Ask Tony, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email [email protected] — please include your daytime phone number, postal address and a separate note addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to talk to Tony Hazell. We regret we cannot reply to individual letters. Please do not send original documents as we cannot take responsibility for them. No legal responsibility can be accepted by the Daily Mail for answers given.
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