This is a guest article submitted by Patricia. She is an expert at reclaiming unfair bank charges.
Millions of people across the world have been victims of unfair bank charges. But not all of them decide to fight back. Customers who were pressed upon with high charges (wrongly) by the banks have taken action and retaliated.
We often do not want to reciprocate simply because the procedures are long and time consuming. Yet, when the charges inflicted are high, it is more likely that one would want to reclaim them. If you have a similar problem, follow these simple steps and fight for your right. After all it is your money that is being ripped off.
Get your bank statements
Most of us are not updated with our bank statement figures. But the Data Protection Act entitles everyone with the right to get this information from your bank. Visit your local branch and ask for your statements.
Open a new bank account
It is wise to open a new bank account once to decide to reclaim unfair charges from your bank. This is because some banks close customer accounts after paying out compensation. If you have an existing overdraft facility, it should not be too much of a problem to get a new agreement with another bank.
Calculate the total charge
After you have collected your entire bank statements from your bank go through them and calculate the total charge. Note down the charged amount, date and time as it may be useful for future correspondence with the bank. Remember that precision is very important when it comes to dealing with the law.
Write to the Bank
Now when you have the figures (of the amount charged) with you, it is time to write to the bank mentioning about the unfair charges.Ask for compensation on the basis of your letter.
Give a reminder
If the bank does not respond within 14 days of your writing to them, write to them once again, reminding them about your concerns. This time warn the bank that you would take court action they do not respond. You can even write about this hassle in different magazines and people forums so that other customers are made aware of such situations.
Take help of court
If your bank does not respond even after your second letter, file for a court judgement. Go to the court and find out the procedure in order to reclaim your money.
The procedure of the bank acknowledging your request takes around 14 days after you register your concern. It might happen that the bank does not even acknowledge your request, implying that you have to directly claim through court asking for compensation for the entire amount.
The best way to stop banks swindling with your money is to avoid penalty charges. Do not miss payments, live debt free; do not go to banks which are known for harassing customers. A conscious effort can drive you to fight for your rights.
About the Author
Patricia is a finance blogger and debt management expert.