Topic: Hypothetical situation?

chev_chalios    -- Apr-22-2015 @ 12:07 PM
  1st of all I'd like to say I love this site. I'm more of a lurker than active poster but regularly come on here at this time of year as I'm thinking about my yearly trip to the broads. Reading the stories and news of the broads on here is all part of the experience for me.
I'm sorry to use the forum for this but wanted to see what people thought of this situation that may or may not be happening at the moment.
A friend of mine was making a payment on their online banking.
By mistake they made a payment to a boat company they had previously used.
They contacted said company by phone and e mail immediately thinking it would be quite simple to refund.
The boat company said that my friends bank needed to request the refund to their bank.
My friends bank thought this was strange as this process is normally used when you need to trace where the payment went to and they are refusing to refund. However the process was started.
My friends bank received no response and his options were to now pursue the refund further with the boat company or through the courts. This was confirmed in writing.
My friend even pursued this further with his bank and the bank attempted to call the boat company whilst he was on the phone for an attempted conference call. A message was left by the bank as there was no answer.
As it was not the largest sum of money my friend pursued this with the boat company.
The boat company acknowledged that the payment was in error but said the advice they were given was for the refund to made between the banks. They claimed that in recent contact with their bank they had asked about the situation and their bank had said they had not received the request.
My friend sent a copy of the letter that explained that his bank had been in contact and that there had been no response.
The boat company said that they then contacted their bank again specifically about this but claim that their bank had not received contact. The boat company said that they were not willing to spend any more time on the matter and would charge £32ph for any more time spent on it!
My friend contacted his bank again confirmed all details and reference numbers. His bank did say that they had exhausted all avenues available to them.
My friend provided this all to the boat company and put his case
across that he had done all as requested and surely common sense should prevail.
They responded that he had no knowledge of how the payments work (he actually does as he deals with payments and refunds every day) and that their stance wasn't changing.

My opinion is that in this day and age it's simple enough to do this securely without all this fuss. The company has stated that they have spoken to their bank about it so why could they not have just arranged the refund then.

Something's not quite right here. Must say is not typical of the broads being one of the friendliest places I know.

Thanks for reading, let me know your thoughts.


boat-mad    -- Apr-22-2015 @ 1:19 PM
  Chev hi,

I sympathise with your friend and I have heard horror stories where someone has done a typo perhaps reversing a couple of digits and significant sums of money ending up in the wrong account.  I have seen on TV cases where this has happened. It would appear that you can not simply have a transaction reversed and from what I gather your bank is not allowed to tell you who the money has gone to and only your bank can contact their bank.   If someone is genuine I would think that they would voluntarily transfer the cash back but unsure if this is enforceable.

I am paranoid when it comes to transferring significant sums of money and check the target account details again and again.  I sometimes transfer a small amount initially to check I have got it right.  It’s so easy to make a mistake especially for someone who may be even the slightest dyslexic as I reverse numbers and letters at times. Confused

Please note that the content of my post is only based on what I have read, heard and seen on TV.  I can not say that it is fact.

At least your friend knows who the money went to so hopefully the situation will get resolved. Cheers

I have since found this which your friend may find of help.

Kind Regards

This message was edited by boat-mad on Apr-22-15 @ 2:41 PM

TerryTibbs    -- Apr-22-2015 @ 1:26 PM
  Hi, I think your bank is messing you around, you can reclaim any payment made for up to 28 days unless the refund is contested by the receiving account holder your bank merely claims it back it is standard practice, this is the same even with a cheque which has passed the "cleared" stage.
p.s. edited to read, they can reclaim any payment up to 28 days unless the refund is contested and there are sufficient funds to enable the reclaim to be made.

Dave Cheers

Je Suis Charlie

This message was edited by TerryTibbs on Apr-22-15 @ 2:43 PM

ruby    -- Apr-22-2015 @ 4:09 PM

Not convinced all the facts are in a line. Pretty sure that if the boat company admits to having the money when they shouldn't have it then that is equivalent to theft and the police would prosecute if they refuse to give it back. Equivalent of theft by finding.

I find it almost impossible to believe a genuine company would be prepared to have its image tarnished in this way unless there was a back story possibly an earlier dispute or something similar.

Also very surprised the bank was not more helpful.

You don't give a clue to the amount as that may be relevant. One persons not very much is another's life savings particularly when boats are involved.

Good luck in sorting it.


Mercator    -- Apr-22-2015 @ 4:41 PM

Agree with Graham - has your friend spoken to the MD of the boat company - if no joy take it to small claims court or if not a lot of dosh - name and shame

Steve & Maggie.

Not quite an ancient mariner ..... though some say he was at sea before Pontius was a pilate !

Paladine    -- Apr-22-2015 @ 5:09 PM
Hypothetically, the money was paid (the method is immaterial) in error. The recipient has acknowledged receipt of the payment and that it was made in error, and has refused to return the money. IMO, this is could well be theft. Similar circumstances to R v Stalham [1993].

But the whole story seems rather odd to me - hypothetically speaking.

“I can assure the House that the Broads will not be changing their name.”
(The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs...Hansard 2007)

chev_chalios    -- Apr-22-2015 @ 6:23 PM
  Thanks everyone so far. Some interesting points of view and advice.
To clear up any confusion the mistake happened whilst using his phone. The boat company was a saved contact and he simply wasn't paying attention. He informed them within 10 minutes of the transaction going through and also has a clear e mail trail between him and the owner of the company where he has been asking for a refund. The owner of the company keeps stating that his bank is advising him to not refund until a formal request has come through from his bank.
My friends bank have followed through on this and have made a formal refund request and the beneficiary has not responded.
The owner of the company, having been shown the letter confirming this from my friends bank still could not see sense to resolve this between the 2 of them.
After another phone call today my friends bank have offered to refund the payment as a goodwill gesture so my friend doesn't have to pursue unnecessary costs to claim back ONLY £50!!!!
At least he now has freedom in his spare time as he will not constantly be on hold to a bank or on his e mail to an unhelpful company.
Hypothetically speaking of course.;)

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