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Store Card Holders To Face Charges If They Don’T Spend

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/borrowing/8194968/Store-card-holders-to-face-charges-if-they-dont-spend.html

Unsuspecting shoppers who take out store cards and then forget about them could be hit with surprise charges, thanks to a change in policy from Britain's largest store card operator.

Santander, which owns cards operated by House of Fraser, Laura Ashley, Debenhams and many more, has written to its customers with a variety of changes to terms and conditions. These include the right to charge a £10 fee if customers do not use the cards for six months. It also has the right to cancel a card if customers do not use it within a similar period.

The letter sent to customers does not highlight this change, which is hidden among a variety of new terms of conditions related to the new Consumer Credit Directive.

I'm betting the bank decides to issue a £10 charge rather than close the account.

More encouragement to consumers to get out and spend?

I wonder how many store cards are dormant? I used to have a couple although I never really used them after I got the initial 10% off when I took them out, but I cancelled them years ago.

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Santander, which owns cards operated by House of Fraser, Laura Ashley, Debenhams and many more

There's that name again.

Saviour of our bankstering system.

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The stores in question are going to love this. As soon as they get hit with Santander's £10 fine, it'll leave a very sour taste in their mouth and they'll probably make a point of never using that store again, with or without the card.

Incidentally, Santander has been the target of a long-running campaign by BBC's Money Box over another of their store card tactics. When you get one, you have to ring an 0845 number to 'activate' it. As if that wasn't bad enough, when you do so, you are subjected to a high pressure sales pitch for identity fraud protection insurance, some of which have included the customer being told out-and-out lies. I suspect that if Santander goes on like this, many stores are going to reconsider their charge card arrangements.

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That's the sound of more credit being sucked out of the economy. I'm sure these unused balances show up as a liability for Santander in some way.

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off the point but maybe someone should target the BBC with a long running campaign over their licence fee tactics.

I agree entirely that the licence fee is no longer an appropriate way to fund public service broadcasting, but that is definitely O the T of this thread. However, drawing attention to the dishonest sales tactics that appear to be used in relation to these store cards is something a public service broadcaster should be doing. While I have a problem with a lot of what Money Box does - especially its celebration of BTL and high house prices, and its regular portrayal of anyone who gets in to any debt as poor innocent lambs and the victim of evil Tories - outing practices like these is one of the few examples of the BBC's financial journalists doing the job they're supposed to be doing and doing it properly that I've come across in recent years.

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The stores in question are going to love this. As soon as they get hit with Santander's £10 fine, it'll leave a very sour taste in their mouth and they'll probably make a point of never using that store again, with or without the card.

Incidentally, Santander has been the target of a long-running campaign by BBC's Money Box over another of their store card tactics. When you get one, you have to ring an 0845 number to 'activate' it. As if that wasn't bad enough, when you do so, you are subjected to a high pressure sales pitch for identity fraud protection insurance, some of which have included the customer being told out-and-out lies. I suspect that if Santander goes on like this, many stores are going to reconsider their charge card arrangements.

I can imagine that many store card holders who use them infrequently will get highly miffed if they are then charged £10 for not using it. Seems a PR disaster in the making. I'm surprised the big stores are going along with this.

Did Santander pick up this business from acquiring the banks in the UK or was it already providing this service prior to the bank purchases.

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The stores in question are going to love this. As soon as they get hit with Santander's £10 fine, it'll leave a very sour taste in their mouth and they'll probably make a point of never using that store again, with or without the card.

Incidentally, Santander has been the target of a long-running campaign by BBC's Money Box over another of their store card tactics. When you get one, you have to ring an 0845 number to 'activate' it. As if that wasn't bad enough, when you do so, you are subjected to a high pressure sales pitch for identity fraud protection insurance, some of which have included the customer being told out-and-out lies. I suspect that if Santander goes on like this, many stores are going to reconsider their charge card arrangements.

It won't just be the £10 charge. People don't keep their addresses current on these things. The first thing they'll probably know about it is when their credit record is destroyed by missed payments on the £10 charge.

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Best thing you can do with a store card is to get the scissors out (after you have closed it in case yopu get stung for a tenner!)

And there's a trick.

How many people cut up the cards after paying off the account then forgot about them? How many have since moved house? How many have no idea there account is still active? How many wont find out until after they've missed the repayments on the £10 and run up £200 in charges, and got a ccj?

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And there's a trick.

How many people cut up the cards after paying off the account then forgot about them? How many have since moved house? How many have no idea there account is still active? How many wont find out until after they've missed the repayments on the £10 and run up £200 in charges, and got a ccj?

They're not going to get a ccj for a debt of £200

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And there's a trick.

How many people cut up the cards after paying off the account then forgot about them? How many have since moved house? How many have no idea there account is still active? How many wont find out until after they've missed the repayments on the £10 and run up £200 in charges, and got a ccj?

Yes over the years I have taken out many store cards . Used them a bit paid them off and ripped them up. Can only remember canceling one card. Have moved a few times in my life so if I ever got a charge of £10 I would not know about it.

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Surely if they are going to apply some common sense to this, if the card hasn't been used for several years rather than trying to make £200 in charges it would just be easier to close the account?

As they have stated they can do one or the other surely if this gets to court a judge would rule that the £10 charge was the wrong option as clearly the person has no interest in using the card again and it should just have been cancelled?

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Unfair contract terms Act?

If a person had not used a card for several years and the balance was zero then would it not be viewed by a court as unfair to levy the charge.

Particularly if they had moved (maybe several times) and it could not be proved they had received the changes to the T&C.

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Best thing you can do with a store card is to get the scissors out (after you have closed it in case yopu get stung for a tenner!)

Agreed, but a lot of people will forget to cancel, or can't be bothered, and that's what they'll be relying on - good old inertia - since they know how profitable it can be.

It's the same inertia that means people don't move their savings when their bonus rate expires, and they're left with a rate paying the square root of eff all.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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