More trouble with Pensioner Bonds- NS&I website is taking money willy nilly
These NS&I Pensioner bonds are proving more trouble than they’re worth-almost- with yet more reports of people with spare cash being unable to bung it into the new Government-supported market leading savings bond. Now, however, in addition to people not being able to get on to the website or through to the phonelines, it seems NS&I are taking investors’ money more than once, leaving people tens of thousands of pounds out of pocket, and unsure as to whether they have even invested.
The problems seem to stem from the fact that the NS&I website has been creaking under the weight of the increased traffic from wealthy pensioners. When the website crashes, or applications ‘time out’owing to lack of server space, it seems neither the customer nor NS&I are sure whether applications and payments that are in-progress actually go through or not. One investor from Chichester believed her repeated attempts to open one bond with the maximum £10,000 deposit had been unsuccessful. Yet when she checked her bank account, £20,000 had been taken, twice the maximum permitted investment for one bond.
More disturbingly, NS&I told This is Money it was 'very worried' as it didn't know why the second payment had been taken and is now investigating the missing money.
Another case involves a Scottish man who attempted, attempted to deposit the maximum £40,000 into the bonds last week for himself and his wife. Apparently the website crashed a number of times during his attempts to take out the accounts and he was told his bank had refused one of the transactions. However, this proved not to be true, and NS&I has actually taken £60,000 from his account. When challenged, NS&I said it could take up to 21 days to refund the £20,000.
Other investors have complained about £10,000 investments being taken twice, or cash leaving their account, but receiving no confirmation of investment, leaving them unsure as to whether they have invested or not. And if not, where has their money gone, and will they get it back in time to make a genuine investment?
While it perhaps harder to muster sympathy for someone who’s bank will allow an erroneous £20,000 transaction than for someone who doesn’t have enough money to pay their heating bill, it is still appalling that the NS&I website can be so unfit for purpose. Experts have been predicting a rush for these bonds for some months, so if there were any concerns with the website, there was time to make the system more robust in advance.
So have any Bitterwallet readers ventured into Pensioner Bonds? Did your transaction go smoothly?