I had no money for weeks because my bank thought I was dead… I couldn’t pay for my grandma’s funeral – I’m furious
A mother has told how she was without money for weeks after her bank accidentally registered her dead.
Natalie Holdsworth, 30, was shocked to learn Halifax had closed her account in May last year because she thought she had passed away – when in fact her grandmother had died.
The mother-of-three had been looking after her grandmother, Eileen McEvoy, and her grandmother’s pension came into Natalie’s account every four weeks.
But when Ms McEvoy died on May 1, 2021, her bank somehow thought Natalie had died.
Natalie, from Bridlington, told The Sun: “It was around May 17th that I first realized I had been registered as dead.
“I had gone to Tesco and when I tried to pay for my card I said it was blocked at the card machine.
“I was like, ‘Oh, that’s weird.’ I had money with me so I was confused.
“I came from Tescos and I called the bank straight away and they asked me to put my account number with sort code and all that.
“Suddenly I heard a ringtone. This lady answered the phone and said, “Hi, you’ve reached the grief line.”
“I told her who I was, and then she said, ‘Oh, I wrote it down that you died on May Day.’
“I said ‘excuse me?’. I was so shocked. I said, “Well, I’m clearly not dead for talking to you on the phone.”
Natalie explained to the bank employees that her grandma had died – and after three hours on the phone they said they would get her account working again.
But it took weeks for her new card to arrive and be set up.
Natalie said: “Then the next problem was I owed the funeral home money for my nanny’s funeral.
“I told them what had happened and I cried and was upset because I owed them all the money.
“I asked them to help me but they said they had never heard of anything like it.
“I had to get an emergency loan from the municipality and rely on my family and my partner’s family for money. It was absolutely ridiculous.”
Once Natalie’s bank account was operational again, she returned to Halifax to attempt to claim compensation for the hardship inflicted on her.
But she was shocked to learn how little they were offering her.
She explained: “They offered me £11 to cover the three hour call I made earlier.
“I thought they were joking. £11 for all the stress and hassle they caused me.
I said, “Well, I’m clearly not dead for talking to you on the phone”.
“When I pressed he said he could offer me £73.
“I said no, that’s still not enough. I’m not happy with what they did to me.”
The Financial Ombudsman examined the case twice and paid £1,289 to settle the complaint.
But Natalie thinks the amount isn’t fair – as she’s still struggling as a result of her mistake.
How to complain to your bank or credit card provider
Banks and credit card issuers must have a written complaints procedure that tells customers how to make a complaint.
You should be able to find the information on their website, but if you can’t, ask them to mail it to you.
It’s worth filing your complaint as soon as possible, as it’s easier to remember all the relevant details to strengthen your case.
Then simply follow each stage of the process and submit as much evidence as possible.
After you have submitted your complaint, the law firm must reply to you within eight weeks.
If you do not receive a response within eight weeks or are not satisfied with the response, you can make a complaint to the free Financial Ombudsman Service.
She said, “To be honest with all the hassle they’ve put me through, it just isn’t enough.”
“Since then I’ve only had one massive problem. I can’t get any credit, I can’t finance anything.
“Even catching up on my bills is hard work after going without money for so long.”
A Halifax spokesman: “We are very sorry to hear of the loss of Miss Holdsworth and understand the distress and inconvenience that the problem with her account will have caused at such a difficult time.
“When Miss Holdsworth contacted us we immediately lifted the ban and issued a new card which arrived in less than a week and agreed to cover all costs incurred.
“We also made an additional payment in recognition of their experience.”
https://www.thesun.ie/money/9515414/bank-accidentally-registered-mum-dead/ I had no money for weeks because my bank thought I was dead… I couldn’t pay for my grandma’s funeral – I’m furious