August 18, 2022

I’m writing on behalf of my 82-year-old widowed mom, who’s had her Nationwide checking account frozen. 

She is within the strategy of migrating to dwell with me within the U.S. Her visa has been authorized, her home is underneath provide and her furnishings is packed.

Initially of February she tried to wire funds from Nationwide’s Lymington department, in Hampshire, to her U.S. account, however the financial institution refused to do it and froze her account. 

Grounded: Nationwide froze an aged buyer’s checking account simply earlier than she was attributable to jet off to a brand new dwelling in Mississippi

The primary my mom knew of this was when her card was later declined. She is now unable to entry her pensions and has needed to depend on household and mates.

I wrote to Nationwide explaining the state of affairs and was instructed this was forwarded to its fraud assist staff. 

We have been assured that there could be a response inside 15 working days, however this deadline has handed. 

We have now tried to telephone and e-mail with no response. Please assist.

A. G., Mississippi.

Sally Hamilton replies: It’s a critical upheaval for anybody shifting lock, inventory and barrel from one nation to a different, however doing it on the age of 82 have to be notably worrying. 

Your mom had already confronted lengthy delays in sorting her transfer due to the pandemic, so that you each will need to have been extraordinarily pissed off to find that her checking account had been blocked at this significant level.

You probably did your finest to assist her, however Nationwide didn’t provide the solutions you wanted.

To rub salt within the wound, the sterling-dollar change fee worsened after your mom first tried to maneuver her cash, so she was a considerable discount within the worth of her financial savings because the weeks rolled by.

Rip-off watch 

Fraudsters are exploiting the Ukraine disaster to prey on susceptible victims.

Motion Fraud says it has acquired round 200 pretend emails from folks purporting to be elevating cash for these affected by the struggle.

In a single seen by Cash Mail, scammers have been impersonating a Ukrainian mom who claimed her husband and son had been killed in a blast. They requested for donations to be made in bitcoin, a type of cryptocurrency.

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Fraud skilled Charlie Shakeshaft says: ‘If you wish to donate to assist with the disaster, do your personal analysis, select a good charity that you just belief and make contact with it straight.’

I stepped in and requested Nationwide to place issues proper, pronto.

A few days later, it confirmed that the account was unblocked and a senior buyer providers govt contacted you to elucidate and apologise.

It appears employees on the department feared your mom’s preliminary switch concerned some type of rip-off, so that they locked the account.

At Nationwide’s request, you offered a duplicate of your mom’s U.S. financial institution assertion on February 9. Regardless of numerous calls and emails after this, the restriction nonetheless was not eliminated.

I intervened on March 16 and the subsequent day the account was unblocked. The switch was lastly made on March 18 — six weeks after the primary try.

Had your mom been in a position to ship the fee on February 9, when you had offered the U.S. financial institution assertion, the sum acquired would have been $355,314. By making the fee on March 18, the funds that landed within the account have been $344,085, a distinction of $11,229 — about £8,630.

I’m delighted to say that Nationwide agreed to make up the shortfall, plus pay your mom £300 as an apology.

A Nationwide spokesman says: ‘We take the safety of our members and their cash significantly. Our department had real considerations that our member might be the sufferer of a rip-off, so we imagine the right resolution was made to limit the account whereas we reviewed the proof.

‘Sadly, this took longer than anticipated, at a time when our member was getting ready to maneuver nearer her son.’ With this trouble lastly over, you may stay up for your mom becoming a member of you, her three grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren for a brand new life in Mississippi.

Can’t escape my vacation bank card nightmare 

I’ve had a pre-paid Escape Journey Card for a number of years and used it efficiently overseas — that’s, till I obtained my new card in 2020.

I attempted to make use of it in Greece final September, but it surely was blocked. Since then, I’ve repeatedly tried to name the corporate, however all I get is an automatic message. 

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It appears unimaginable to talk to a human ‘due to Covid’. I’ve emailed quite a few occasions and despatched a letter to the pinnacle workplace, however I’ve heard nothing.

I want to cancel the cardboard and get again my £500 that was loaded on to it.

C. B., Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leics.

Sally Hamilton replies: On phoning Escape Journey Card’s buyer providers, I heard the identical message you describe, apologising that Covid meant it needed to shut its name centre ‘briefly’, however that clients can get in contact by e-mail.

My name was made nearly two years after the pandemic was first introduced, so this obtained my hackles up: the Covid excuse is just not acceptable. I attempted emailing, because the telephone message assured me I’d have to attend solely two days for a reply. 

Every week later, after I had nonetheless heard nothing, I hunted down a quantity for its registered workplace in Gibraltar. Once more, I used to be directed to an e-mail handle.

However I’m happy to say that this e-mail did elicit an acknowledgement of my question inside a day.

It additionally prodded the corporate to name you straight with a promise to return your £500 right away.

Your card was blocked since you had used the flawed PIN, however certainly clients ought to be capable to kind out such issues swiftly — not wrestle for six months to make contact with the supplier.

It seems the Escape Journey Card has now reached the top of its journey as, two days after fixing your downside, Tuxedo Cash Options — the corporate behind the scheme — emailed clients to say its card programme will shut on Might 24.

Clients should both spend their stability earlier than then or e-mail [email protected] for a refund.

Straight to the purpose 

I ordered a fold-away stool over the telephone from Easylife, but it surely delivered the flawed one. It has promised to choose it up on 5 dates, however every time, nobody has proven up. I nonetheless haven’t acquired the right stool.

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L. A., Wirral.

Easylife has now delivered the right stool. It says a scarcity of lorry drivers affected its courier agency, which is why it struggled to gather the flawed order.

Our Whirlpool oven broke on the finish of November, eight months after we purchased it and inside its guarantee interval. 

We’ve been instructed no spare components can be found to repair it and the mannequin is not offered within the UK.

P. S., Warrington.

Regardless of quite a few calls to Whirlpool, you say it appeared unwilling or unable to resolve this concern. 

After my involvement it admitted its error and has now organized for an upgraded mannequin to be delivered to you.

*** 

We paid a £670 deposit for a P&O cruise. In April 2020, we have been instructed both to pay the complete quantity owed – round £4,000 – or to cancel our reserving and take future cruise credit. 

I used to be not provided a refund and can wrestle to make use of the credit score earlier than it expires.

N. N., by way of e-mail.

P&O says there isn’t any expiration date on the credit score, so you need to use it everytime you like. 

I urged it to reimburse you and — regardless of the deposit being non-refundable — it agreed to this as a gesture of goodwill.

*** 

After signing as much as Sainsbury’s Vitality in September, I used to be promised 12,000 Nectar factors. 

Regardless of many emails and guarantees from the agency, I’ve not acquired them.

P. H. South Ayrshire.

Sainsbury’s couldn’t clarify the delay, however has contacted you to apologise and the factors have been added to your account.

  • Write to Sally Hamilton at Sally Kinds It, Cash Mail, Northcliffe Home, 2 Derry Road, London W8 5TT or e-mail [email protected] — embody telephone quantity, handle and a observe addressed to the offending organisation giving them permission to speak to Sally Hamilton. Please don’t ship authentic paperwork as we can’t take duty for them. No obligation could be accepted by the Each day Mail for solutions given.