Virgin Money Apologises For Distress Caused In Dealing With Account Of Deceased GMB Member
Official complaint to Financial Ombudsman will be withdrawn as a result of apology and action taken by Virgin Money says GMB
Virgin Money has issued an apology to Unionline, the trade union law firm, after they failed to deal with the account of a deceased GMB member for five months. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release dated 7th September 2015.
Despite being informed of the GMB member’s death several times by Unionline, who were acting as executors of the member’s will, Virgin Money continued to send bills and late payment fees to the member’s home address – ignoring phone calls and letters from the law firm.
The matter between Unionline and Virgin Money has now been satisfactorily resolved.
A spokesperson for Virgin Money said: “We have looked into this and accept full responsibility for the administrative errors relating to this matter.
We did not meet the usual high standard of service we expect and we apologise unreservedly for the distress and inconvenience caused. We have reimbursed Unionline in full and offered a gesture of goodwill.”
Matt Cordall, Head of Legal Practice at Unionline, said: “Virgin Money’s failure to deal with the matter of the death of a GMB member was not the standard of service we would expect from them.
Our concern was that grieving families may have to suffer the same poor level of service from Virgin Money, but we are now reassured that this incident was due to administrative errors and will not happen again. We are grateful to Virgin Money for their quick resolution to this matter through their apology and the goodwill gesture they have made.
We feel that this matter has been fully resolved and we will withdraw our complaint to the Financial Ombudsman as a result.”
Contact: Collette McColgan at Unionline 0114 220 1941 or 07860 401860 or GMB Press Office 07921 289880 or 07974 251823
Notes to editors:
1 Unionline is the trade union law firm established by the GMB and Communication Workers Union to be the first line of legal support to their members.
2 Press release by GMB dated 7th September 2015
Virgin Money’s Conduct Reported To Financial Ombudsman In GMB Complaint After Demanding Late Payment Fees From Member Deceased For Five Months
The aim of the official complaint to the Financial Ombudsman is to stop other families receiving the same treatment from Virgin Money in distressing circumstances says GMB
GMB has asked law firm Unionline to make an official complaint to the Financial Ombudsman over the conduct of Virgin Money who have repeatedly ignored requests to deal with the account of a member who died five months ago.
Virgin Money have ignored letters and phone calls from Unionline, acting as executors of the member’s will, to close the credit card account and confirm receipt of the final balance payment.
The company has been sending letters to the deceased member’s home address adding late fees to the account and warning the member not to use the credit card as it will be blocked.
Matt Cordall, Head of Legal Practice at Unionline, said: "The member died with no family and, as executors of her will, Unionline has made contact with all companies, including Virgin Money, the member dealt with to cancel accounts, settle debts, etc. While other companies have responded and closed their accounts, Virgin Money have simply failed to deal with this matter.
A complaint was made to Virgin Money in June, and they have yet to respond to this. Under their own complaints procedure, it should take eight weeks. We told them in the complaint letter that we would complain to the Financial Ombudsman if they did not respond to the complaint, confirm the account to be closed and the final payment received, and not charge any further late payments.
One has to ask whether Virgin Money have considered how distressing it would be if the member had a family, for them to be receiving these distressing letters after repeatedly informing the company. The aim of the FO complaint is to stop other families receiving the same treatment in similar distressing circumstances.”