I have set up a standing order of £550 per month to pay off my buy-to-let mortgage with Barclays.
Twelve monthly payments were sent to Barclays Bank with the correct sort code and account number.
When I received our annual statement in January, I was shocked to see that no payments had been credited.
I discovered that I had entered the wrong mortgage reference number when setting up the standing order and as a result my money had been credited to another customer’s account.
I’ve spoken to Barclays four times to resolve this, each time waiting over an hour for it to come through, and it’s still not resolved. Please help.
Wrong reference: A reader sent a year’s worth of mortgage payments – totaling £6,000 – to the wrong account
Sally Hamilton replies: I asked Barclays to investigate what went wrong and get your missing £6,600 back as soon as possible.
It appears that you made the mortgage payments into a general account at Barclays, where many mortgage customers make their payments.
Payments are then routed to the correct customer’s mortgage account, based on the loan reference numbers they provide.
In your case, you had made a small slip with the reference number when you created your standing order.
Unfortunately, the number matched another borrower’s mortgage account.
If the reference number you provided did not match a customer’s, the payments would have been rejected and returned to your account, allowing you to correct the reference error.
I wonder why the accidental recipient of your money didn’t question these monthly windfalls. Maybe they thought the mortgage fairy had visited. Or maybe, like you, they just didn’t notice.
However, upon my intervention, Barclays stepped up its efforts and quickly made amends by adding £6,600 to your loan.
A Barclays spokesman said: “We fully understand our customer who accidentally made mortgage payments to the wrong account. The money has been recovered and transferred to the correct account.’
He adds: “We encourage customers to always check that they have the correct information before arranging standing orders.”
I’ll second that.
The insurance refund went to the canceled card
I am trying to recover £459 owed to me as a car insurance refund. My 72 year old husband has terminal cancer and has months to live.
To reduce my expenses, I decided to downsize to a less expensive car and thus cancel the insurance on our old vehicle on February 17th.
The insurer sent a refund to the credit card I used to purchase the cover, our John Lewis Partnership card.
However, this card was canceled when John Lewis changed his card provider from HSBC to a new company.
I have contacted HSBC several times over the past few weeks but it says refund is non-refundable. Can you help us get this money back?
SW, Epsom, Surrey
Sally Hamilton replies: John Lewis faced a deluge of complaints from unhappy customers when it changed the provider of its John Lewis Partnership-branded credit card from HSBC to New Day last year.
The complaints centered on a range of issues, from long-time customers being rejected by the new card issuer to their spending limits being lowered.
Anyone who stopped using the card, whether forced or voluntary, could find themselves in a situation like yours if a refund was due to them and sent after their account was closed.
This is quite common among cardholders who have canceled a credit card, and the process of returning the money should be routine.
The usual arrangement is that the money owed goes to a holding account with the original provider. The issuer would then need to work directly with the customer on what to do with the payment, which could be to transfer it back to the new card if it’s just a replacement with the same issuer or if not then a check will usually be sent to sent to the customer.
Something went wrong in your case and HSBC took an inordinate amount of time to arrange your refund.
You and your man have enough on your plate to worry about without having to chase money that is rightfully yours.
I approached John Lewis for help, who in turn contacted his old HSBC friends to escalate your case “urgently.”
I’m happy to say it was the right solution and your £459 was quickly refunded. You also received a bunch of flowers as an apology.
A spokesperson for HSBC said: ‘We are working hard to ensure that any refunds to customer closed accounts are processed in a timely manner.
“We apologize for the delay in resolving this matter.”
I wish you and your husband all the best during this difficult time.
Straight to the point
I’ve asked Three to move my phone plan to pay as you go on April 25, but it says the transfer is stuck.
I contacted Three, but nothing was done. I am 77 and worried that I will miss a message from my doctor or bank.
DA, by email.
Three says the delay was due to a technical issue with your new number, which has now been resolved. It offered you a £200 gesture of goodwill, which you accepted.
I have booked a one night stay at the Sofitel Hotel, Gatwick Airport for July 2020 through Holiday Extras Ltd.
Our stay was canceled due to the pandemic and we were given a £149.99 voucher.
As we are not in good health and it is unlikely that we will be traveling abroad in the future I have requested a refund but have not received a response.
Holiday Extras has apologized for the delay and you have now received a full refund.
In April I paid £254 for a desk and chair from IKEA, which would be delivered to my house the following week.
When the order arrived the desk was missing. I have contacted IKEA several times but can’t get the issue resolved.
MC, by email.
Ikea apologizes for the issue and has offered you a full refund and a £75 voucher as a gesture of goodwill.
I sent a package of baby clothes to my son in the US via Parcel Force on March 13th.
The dress was worth £129 and the postage £54. It still hasn’t arrived. Please help.
KH, by email.
When you contacted Parcel Force, you were told that the service used provides an estimated delivery speed and does not guarantee delivery.
Your son has now received the package, 77 days after you posted it.
In April I returned a piece of clothing to Zara in Brighton. I should have been refunded £19.95 but my card was charged £37.05 instead.
I have contacted customer service, but I still have not received my refund.
SC, by email.
Zara apologizes for the delay in refunding, which it says falls below usual standards. You should receive your refund within four working days.
In December I received an email from Virgin Money stating that I am entitled to a rewards voucher as I have spent over £20,000 in a year on the Virgin Atlantic Reward credit card.
I can’t claim it though, can you guys help?
Virgin says the voucher was added to your account on May 6. The expiration date has been extended for another six months and is now valid until June 30, 2025.
- Write to Sally Hamilton of Sally Sorts It, Money Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT or email firstname.lastname@example.org — include phone number, address and a note addressed to the offending organization giving them permission to talk to Sally Hamilton. Please do not send any original documents, we cannot take any responsibility for that. The Daily Mail assumes no legal liability for answers provided.
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