Belfast Telegraph

Card rejection does not seem fair at all as credit rating has always been good

By Paul Gosling

Question: I applied for a Halifax Clarity credit card to use while abroad as it has no extra charges on foreign transactions.

My application was declined and the letter said that my credit score is too low. I checked my account on the Experian website and there is no indication Halifax conducted a credit check. I should have a good credit rating as I always pay in full and/or make payments within the time allowed. I have a regular Halifax credit card that I have used without problem for some years. Halifax may wish to decline my card request because they would prefer me to continue to use my existing card overseas and pay higher charges, but they should have the honesty to say so. NS

Answer: Halifax explains that a fraudster had opened a credit card account in your name. Halifax cleared the balance and you were not charged or inconvenienced. You tell us that while you were aware that "something had happened", you did not know you had been a victim of fraud. As part of the resolution to those problems, last April you signed a Notice of Correction, requiring credit applications to be subject to password verification to prevent fraud and demonstrate any application is genuine. But when Halifax's credit underwriting team made contact, you did not use the approved password. You were therefore notified that the application was not successful because it did not meet the credit scoring policy and procedure. This is not the same as indicating that your credit rating was poor. Halifax accepts that "the letter may not have been as clear as it could have been". The rejection was not an attempt by Halifax to keep you on an account charging higher fees. The good news is that the bank has treated your complaint as an appeal to its decision and it has now approved your application to upgrade your facility to a Clarity Card.

Question: My father died early in the new year, and my mother cancelled her Sky TV subscription on January 14 while retaining Sky Talk. But there was a mix-up with the bill, and her telephone was cut off without warning in early February. A week later, I made three long phone calls to Sky operatives. They agreed to cancel the TV subscription from February 16, reinstate the phone within 24 hours, activate my account for direct debit payments, and deduct the outstanding account balance of £2.50 from my account. Instead, the Sky TV remains activated, the phone has been reinstated, and a direct debit payment of £127.19 was taken from my account on March 23. When I again phoned Sky it was agreed I had been overcharged. I was promised I would receive a phone call the next day to confirm this had been processed, but I have never had that call or a refund. JJ

Answer: A spokesman for BSkyB says: "We are very sorry for any inconvenience experienced with the Sky account. We have now refunded the money incorrectly taken from the account and have also offered to cover the bank charge incurred by the lady's daughter."

Question: I am using Cluttons in Dubai to collect rental payments from my tenant there. Cluttons has collected three cheques and posted them to me in March. I sent the first cheque to my bank - Santander's international division - on March 18 after being told it would take about nine days to clear. Numerous phone calls and a letter of complaint later, the cheque has still not cleared in my account. People I have spoken to in the bank do not seem to know where my cheque, worth £600, has gone. Santander has paid me £115 to cover my calls and the poor service but the issue is not resolved. I need to know if the lost cheque will ever be located and credited to my account. I also need to know if the same problem will happen with the other two postdated cheques, and I am holding to pay in later. DP

Answer: The cheque was sent by Santander to the issuing bank in the United Arab Emirates in March. This was returned to Santander's International Payments Department on June 14 - after you contacted us - marked as return to sender, with the reason given that it was "unclaimed". The cheque was then returned to you to make alternative arrangements. We understand that you will now arrange with your property management agents to have payments processed by electronic transfer - a much better arrangement.