Credit Card scams

Fausty is livid!

I had a Level 2 account with ADVFN which I cancelled back in March, having followed ADVFN’s instructions to the letter.

Lo and behold, they have continued to debit my card each month since then, despite my repeated requests for termination of the account.

I called my bank, Lloyds, to ask them to ensure that no further sums were extracted from my card by ADVFN, only to be told that they could not process my request because I had entered into an agreement with ADVFN and only ADVFN could cancel that direct debit agreement and that I had to obtain a letter of termination of that agreement from ADVFN before the bank could process it.

ADVFN, of course, say that it is not their policy to send out written DD termination letters.

So, in effect, they can continue to debit my card and there’s bugger all I can do about it apart from cancelling my card!

To make matters worse, my bank tells me that should I request another credit card, ADVFN can continue to extract funds from my new card.

Is this not daylight bloody robbery?


Update: A_E kindly posted this information in the comments section:

It’s not a Direct Debit, hence the problem. It’s what’s called a Continuous Payment Authority or Recurring Payment. They’re a huge problem and should always be avoided.

Two issues add to their ‘uncancelabitily.’ One is that most card issuers submit replacement card details to the card network. The card network then automatically translates all CPA transactions from the old card number to the one for the new card. The idea being that it would cause the card holder all sorts of problems if they had multiple CPAs, lost their card and had to have it reissued. The other is that while a card may be cancelled, the account behind it isn’t. An account with a zero balance might be marked as settled, but it doesn’t vanish. Should a CPA transaction turn up some time later, the card issuer can choose to resurrect the account and debit the money. People have thought they’d effectively closed their account, moved house, a CPA transaction has hit their account, and when the card issuer finally catches up with them, they’re told they owe hundreds or even thousands of pounds in bank charges.

Lloyds are correct in asking you to produce a letter of termination from ADVFN. Quite why this is the procedure, I don’t know. Any company willing and organised enough to send you a letter of termination wouldn’t be incorrectly taking your money in the first place. However, Lloyds have only given you half the information. There’s a recognised procedure for uncooperative businesses. You need to send a letter to ADVFN by recorded delivery, demanding a letter of termination. If ADVFN don’t respond and take further money, you take a copy of your letter and proof of delivery to Lloyds and state that ADVFN have refused to respond. Those three things together should be accepted in lieu of a letter of termination from ADVFN, and that should be the end of the matter.

If Lloyds still refuse to act, you’ll have to write a formal letter of complaint to Lloyds. You then have to wait eight weeks or extract a letter of deadlock from Lloyds, before going on to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Separate to this, at any time, you can start a small claim against ADVFN in the county courts. That’s assuming you’ve got something that shows when the cancellation happened – an email, an account statement, whatever.


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