Tuesday, 19 July 2011


Well, yesterday when checking my Internet banking I noticed that my current account was showing up an available balance of zero despite not being over my overdraft limit.
I was a bit confused but thought that perhaps I had over spent a little at the weekend so quickly transferred across £60 to make sure I avoided bank charges.

£60 did not make a difference to the available balance and so I started to worry. I knew I couldn't have got any more carried away than this and as the transaction was not showing up on my statement yet had no way of knowing where it had gone too.

I phoned up Lloyd's to try and solve the mystery who were very helpful and I stopped my card and asked to change the pin number instantly worrying that perhaps my card had been cloned or something over the was Brighton, I was drunk etc.

Once we'd got security out of the way they attempted to find out where the money was going for me. To my surprise it was a single payment of £505 but for some reason the fraud squad had not flagged this up as unusual so had allowed it to process.

I was very confused for a while as I really do find Lloyd's to be a great bank who have been extremely helpful since I started banking there 5 years ago.

I racked my brains until I finally stumbled upon the fact that i had renewed my car insurance with Asda on Wednesday instead of phoning the Co-Op to renew my current policy. The figures seemed to match up so I gave them a call.
Low and behold they quite happily stated that yes they had very kindly automatically renewed my car insurance for me. I reminded them that at the time that I changed cars in April I had very decisively opted out of automatic renewal and therefore would like my money back having already renewed with Asda.

My helpful advisor Ali informed me that what I needed to do was quite simply to return them the document that they have not yet actually sent to me, along with those that Asda will be sending and then once they have received them they will kindly cancel the policy.
I began to become frustrated at this point and couldn't help pointing out that not only would this take at least 10 days I also didn't wish to 'cancell' the policy as I had never taken it out, and certainly wouldn't be paying them their administration and cancellation fees.

Ali at this point floundered so I requested to speak to a manager. I was put on hold for 15 minutes and finally when Ali returned to the phone it was to suggest that I called Lloyd's back to ask them to stop the payment.
I was suspicious but appreciated they might know something I didn't. I Asked for Ali's full name and was told this was not company policy, I then asked for Ali's direct number and was told he didn't have one, I asked for a reference number as proof of our conversation and was told that no such number existed. Infuriated by this 'customer service' I hung up and spoke to Lloyd's again.

Unsurprisingly no stop could be made on the payment as it had been taken via my debit card, which is guaranteed by visa, not via a direct debit. Something I was advised Ali would have been aware of. So another expensive pointless phone call. Lloyd's did however provide me with a reference number and promise that I would not receive bank chargers as long as the issue was resolved.

Back on the phone through the entire system to the Co-Op this time to speak to the at least more helpful Riff.
I immediately asked to speak to a manager and was told that their policy was for a manager to return your call within 24 hours (What!!?) I am still waiting. Riff asked if she could help so I once again explained the situation, apologised for being angry and said that I found it all highly unacceptable that they had effectively stolen £500 from me leaving us in an extremely awkward position, potentially costing me bank chargers and defiantly costing me expensive phone calls. Not to mention the inconvenience of having already stopped my card on suspicion of fraud.

The outcome, an email to confirm that I wanted to cancel the policy and stating I didn't have the documents to return. I did return this email along with a lengthy comment re-iterating my situation and requesting a confirmation of its receipt.

I have received no phone call, no confirmation of my email and certainly no return of my £505. I am now left extremely tight for money (who wouldn't be its £500!) and entirely unsure when/if I can expect to have the full amount returned to me.

I am also furious that this will now be costing me further frustrating phone calls this afternoon when I would rather be playing with my children.

I'm genuinely annoyed with the Co-Op and their customer service and had expected much better. I will certainly never be using any of their insurance services again.

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