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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Recently, my bank sent me a text message asking if I recognised

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Recently, my bank sent me a text message asking if I recognised part or whole of a transaction of £X amount asked for by an airline. As the amount was more than the invoice I had agreed and as the message contained additional strange transactions, I replied by saying No. The bank later told me when contacted on the telephone that the transaction was on hold and the card had been blocked. About 8 days later, I saw two more transactions also from the same airline on the same day and same amount, on my bank statement. I informed the bank that I did not recognise these two transactions. Even when the two are added up the amount is still not the same as the invoice, this time a few pounds less. When asked why I was not informed of these transactions in the same manner as the previous one, the bank replied that they were not under any obligation to inform me of every transaction! However, the money was later returned to my account saying that the bank would take the issue up with the airline.
Immediately after the text message I contacted the travel agent from whom I bought the tickets. After two evasive and irrelevant replies, I decided to buy two fresh tickets from another agent as my holiday was only three weeks away and as I saw numerous adverse appraisals of this company by numerous people in the Internet. I informed the travel agent of my decision. No comments were received from them.
Eventually, after several unproductive emails, I contacted the agent on the telephone and asked again to cancel the flights; the travel agent said they would consider cancelling the flights provided I forwarded to them a bank statement to the effect that they had approached the bank for this transaction.
I contacted the bank and asked for a print out of the text message or an equivalent document. The bank said this was not practised by the bank.
My questions are:
A. Can the travel agent maintain that I have broken the agreement by refusing to pay the two last transactions and it is illegal? They did not come back to the bank for the first claim they had made.
B. Can the bank refuse to give a written proof of the transaction they considered suspicious?
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

How much is owing please?


£226.11 x 2=£452.22

Alex Watts : Ok. This is a strange one, let me give it some thought

Did you receive my second addition to your question


I might have pressed the wrong button. My second addition was another, the initial transaction, was £469.21 which was put on hold by bank until today, I have to check my bank statement if this has now been withdrawn by airline.

Alex Watts : So you want the £452.22 and £469.21 back?

That was not my question. Please read A and B in my statement


Is it being followed up or finished?

Alex Watts : It is being followed up.
Alex Watts : What do the agent terms and conditions say please?

In what respect?

Alex Watts : The travel agent is saying you have broken the agreement. What term have you broken?

Please read my question carefully. I asked: "A. Can the travel agent maintain that I have broken the agreement by refusing to pay the two last transactions and it is illegal?"

Alex Watts : In short no tye agent can not claim this and no it is not illegal.
Alex Watts : It would only be illegal if it was a crime, this is a civil Dispute between you and the agent but it is not illegal.
Alex Watts : You have not breached the agreement the agent has.
Alex Watts : You authorised a certain charge. This was not taken.
Alex Watts : you have indicated the two sums did not add up to the agreed amount.
Alex Watts : as such therefore you are not in breach
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today pkease?
Alex Watts : @ please @
Alex Watts : I have to say if anything they are in breach of contract by charging two wrong sums

I have asked the trader several times to cancel the flights. The bank has put the money back into my account and says they will take it up with the trader. The trader is refusing to cancel flights until they see a bank statement that they had initially put a claim for £469.21. And, by implication, they pretend that it was alright for them to make the other two claims. I have no option now other than to ignore the flights

Alex Watts : Indeed. Do you need me to outline the steps to claim your money back from them?

No, the bank will be doing it. Only, I have to explain to the bank why I think they broke contractual agreements. Also, should I send bank documents to the trader to prove that their last two claims?


However, I cannot send any docs to prove their initial claim.The bank says as per procedure they can only do it after they have finally claimed this money or chosen not to return.

Alex Watts : Yes I would do that.
Alex Watts : The agent charged the wrong amounts, and multiple times - they are in breach

It will be helpful if you confirm that I should not continue any frther correspondence withe the trader

Alex Watts : Does that help?
Alex Watts : Correct. Or if you do keep everything in writing

Yes! What will be my tasks now? Should I discontinue any correspondence with the trader? Should i try to send any bank docs to them? Splitting total amount into parts constitute multiple claims?

Alex Watts : just hand the case over to the bank to investigate
Alex Watts : Indeed you can always go to the financial ombudsman

Fine! Then please just send me an outline of what I should write to bank when they ask


Please re-confirm: Splitting total agreed amount into parts constitute 'multiple claims'.

Alex Watts : They do.
Alex Watts : ill
Alex Watts : l.ll
Alex Watts : l



Please send me the contents of what I should write to bank when asked.


Also, the second part re the bank. Was the bank correct refusing to provide the proof I asked for?


I have to go out now. I would like to return to it tomorrow morning. Meanwhile, it would be good if you sent your replies.

Alex Watts : Sure.
Alex Watts : The bank should confirm in a letter the transactions were suspicious etc, no reason why they withheld that.
Alex Watts : The bank should be investigating as it was an unauthorised transaction
Alex Watts : Does that help?

Yes. But it is confusing why bank is not prepared to let me have a copy of the text message they had sent me in writing. They said it was an automated message and not available in prints!! . Also I came to know from them the initial claim was not finally made and it was now back to my accounts


Yes. But it is confusing why bank is not prepared to let me have a copy of the text message they had sent me in writing. They said it was an automated message and not available in prints!! I have now learnt from telephone conversation with the bank that the trader has not returned for this claim and the sum is now back to my accounts from 'hold'. Also, as I said, the bank had re-imbursed the second and the third payments to my account with advice that they would do the investigations on this.

Alex Watts : They should which is why you may need to complain to the Ombudsman.
Alex Watts : so as well as complaining about the charge you should complain about that
Alex Watts : Does that clarify?

Complaining to the Ombudsman can only be made once bank has contacted me re these transactions, which they said they would and if the bank will not be not satisfied with my explanation. When the bank contacts me I will have to explain why I thought the registered transactions should not be paid. I am asking you to draft a statement for me to that effect.

Alex Watts : You have a right to see the txts etc under the data protection act.
Alex Watts : Does that help?

At present I would like to deal with one problem only. It is vital that the bank defends me, it was them who in the first place sent me the warning text. After seeing the letter from the bank fraud department and resolving the dispute with the trader, I'd take up the relevant issue with the bank. So, as you promised, please send me an outline of the points I should raise in my reply to the bank document.

Alex Watts : It was an unauthorised transaction
Alex Watts : it was a fraudulent transaction
Alex Watts : They had no right to bill you that sum or multiple sums
Alex Watts : That is it.


Alex Watts : Great, if I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today please, the button should be at the bottom of the screen
Alex Watts : If you need more help please click reply
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