Woman gets £7,500 payout from HBOS after hundreds of nuisance calls

8 July 2013

Humans are usually powerless against the onslaught of nuisance phone calls from their banks, but one woman has beaten them off with a stick and has been awarded £7500 in a landmark High Court ruling against the Halifax/Bank of Scotland.

Amanda Roberts

Harrassed restaurant worker Amanda Roberts took the bank to task after receiving a staggering 547 phone calls in one year when she fell behind with repayments for a £7300 loan. Despite being off work with stress and telling them that she was already discussing the problem with her local branch, their call centre monkeys phoned from 8am to 9pm – and when they started calling her elderly parents instead, she decided to take legal action.

'They wouldn't stop ringing and when I asked for a supervisor they hung up on me. I was absolutely devastated and paralysed, I was angry, shaking and tearful. I couldn't eat or sleep because of the calls.' she gibbered.

Five years of bullshit later, the payout won’t even begin to cover Amanda’s £10,000 legal bills, but the Court of Appeal ruling is a very satisfying slap on the wrist for HBOS. The volume of calls was described as ‘intimidatory bullying’ and while Amanda probably won’t see a penny of her damages, it’s one in the eye for the big tossers.

HBOS mumbled: “We are confident that our policies and procedures have been updated, addressing the concerns raised.”

Now all stressed out Amanda needs is a few extra quid for therapy and a long soak in a spa for ooh, about five more years. Maybe HBOS could help her out with another loan?

TOPICS:   Banking   Consumer Advice   Scams   Complaints

9 comments

  • Grammar N.
    Two things: (1) £7,500 is above the small claims limit so why wouldn't she be awarded her costs? (2) Which is it, the High Court or the Court of Appeal?
  • William
    The small claims limit went up from £5,000 to £10,000 from 1st April so it might be that her claim was processed on that basis. Not sure though if that would have been allowed until the limit had been raised officially.
  • Alexis
    Would have thought they'd be a separate costs hearing, or at least she should make an application. I also doubt it's on the small claims track - more likely the fast track.
  • Wongaporkpies
    So awarded £7500 costs of £10,000 = £2500 difference. She'll be calling HBOS for a loan then :p
  • Marky M.
    I'm surprised the bank didn't say "lessons will be learned". She should appeal and soak the bastards for tens of thousands, plus costs.
  • Justin A.
    Reminds me of a workplace situation. Boss gives you a task that will take 30 mins, then asks 5 mins later if you've done it, then asks again at the 20 minute point. Pestering for something doesn't get you it any quicker, just slows you down! Several calls a day didn't get the loan repaid either. I'd have changed my phone number.
  • Touchwood
    I don't give out my mobile number and I don't answer my land line unless I can "see" who's on the other end. If it's urgent the caller will leave a message; if not, they won't. I suspect that if Ms Roberts had adopted a similar approach then no messages would have been left and she'd have had a much quieter life.
  • Alan
    and what happens Touchwood when these pricks call you continuously until you answer? I work at home and every time the phone rings it disturbs me, if you ignore it they call again and again. The easy answer is change your number, but you shouldn't have too. Because Virgin shafted me I had to have a new number so don't get any of these type of calls (yet)
  • Justin A.
    @Alan, one problem I've had is you change your number and get an old one someone else changed from, recycled back to you. Then you get a complete stranger's telemarketing crap down the blower instead. Mostly I'm rude with them. "Can I speak to the householda pleeeaase?" "NO!" Click.

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