Halifax admit to handling errors of up to ?1,000 on staff facebook site!

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#1

Once again, dim-witted staff at a major corporation are causing embarrassment by discussing their shortcomings in an open group on facebook.

Staff at Halifax and Bank of Scotland have been spotted making light-hearted remarks about regularly “overlooking” sums of up to ?1,000 from their tills.

Loudmouth Halifax slacker Dee Jones reveals, “the most I was short when i was a cashier was ?1000, couldn’t find it bloody anywhere. I swear that they promoted me just to get me off the counter and stop me getting errors.”

The group called “Halifax Plc / Bank of Scotland” (found here - http://hs.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2268388737) was set up by Jamie Isaacson who works at Halifax “for all those poor souls who work at Halifax or at the Bank of Scotland and wish to bitch, moan, or sing the companies praises.”

Unfortunately for the happy-go-lucky banker, he might have overlooked the obvious implications that can follow disruptive comments posted on the internet, such as lawsuits.

In one section of the site which discusses the well-known Halifax TV advert singer Howard, creator Jamie Isaacson posts, “you ever felt compelled to apologise profoundly for those annoying fucking adverts including the up himself howard and shrek from sheffield?”

In response, Clare Essy Lovell admits, “After having seen Howard followed through Birmingham Airport by lads shouting ‘Give us a song then, twat!’ You couldn’t pay me to appear in one, no matter what incentives are involved.”

#2

Stuff like that happens at all banks. It’s not even just errors, sometimes con artists will play tricks on cashiers and scam cash out of them. One that I’ve heard of involves withdrawing a certain amount of money that will equal a lot of notes, and then changing their mind and returning it, but secretly swiping off part of the pile, but doing it in a quick way such that prevents the cashier having to recount it. I’m not sure exactly how it’s done, but it happens.

I guess the people who post on the internet are too thick to realise that they could incur the legal wrath of their (former) employers if found out.

I used to bank with halifax, and not any more. They screwed me over on an unarranged overdraft, so I screwed them back by closing all my accounts and moving bank.

#3

Due to legal implications which MAY relate to a claim made against a bank that MAY (or may not) be the bank related to earlier in this thread and MAY (or may not) be a bank that uses poppy singing in its adverts… ! …

I got charged over ?700 in bank charges during the three years I was a student by my bank. Last year I started a county court claim against them and won all the money back, plus costs, plus interest at 8%. So I actually ended up doing better than if I’d kept my money in a current account, where the interest is less than 1%. Ha!

Later last year I incurred a further 3 x ?20 charges and a ?39 charge for having gotten charges. Which was ridiculous. I wrote to them again and they said there was no way they would ever pay me money a second time and that I should close my account with them. I took them to court and they paid up within a month, again paying costs and interest at 8%… and I kept my account open.

Not only are banks complete b@st@rds, they are also f**king stupid!

#4

That’s absolutely brilliant. I hate that bank so much! And their adverts! (“Give us a song, twat”).

Well done on taking them to court. It must cost them a fortune to keep going to court.

#5

I think there’s a trick to this. As I understand it, Halifax do some kind of ‘three strikes and you’re out’ with respect to charges. This means, if you get stung by penalty charges (I was once), if you go in and complain and blame everybody except yourself, they will wipe it away. I believe that they will do this twice, but the third time, you’re nicked.

#6

Yes… that’s what happened to me. You can negotiate your way out of your first penalty charge… second penalty charge… but not the rest. But you can take them to court and win. So DO!

Actually most banks and credit card companies do this. Believe me… I have had charges from Barclays, Halifax, Barclaycard, Citicard, Smile and they all let me off the first two charges.

Most recently I had two charges (my first two) from citicard and called them to negotiate. They were stubborn and only agreed to re-pay one. I kept asking to speak to higher and higher managers and just wouldn’t hang up. I eventually explained that I’d taken other banks to court, I knew all about the legal case involving charges right now, and that I’d take them to court for £12 (the cost of one charge) which would end up costing them £212 after legal fees and interest. They eventually just agreed. So the moral is… when you’re dealing with obstinate Cnts, you need to be an obstinate cnt!

#7

Yo, friendly word of warning with reference to the first post on this thread:

I don’t know whether you’re working to get this site off the ground in a big way, but if you’re planning on getting a large increase in visitors anytime soon then I’d be very careful about the legal implications!

Just so you know:

i) Saying “it’s not my allegation, someone else said it” doesn’t get you off the hook; you can be successfully sued for defamation if you repeat a libellious accusation someone else made.

ii) If you get sued, you have to prove that the allegation is true - the complainant doesn’t have to prove the allegation is false. In a libel case your allegations are automatically assumed to be false unless you can prove they are true.

In other words, if a senior manager at Halifax were to see your post about the allegations made on that Facebook group (the £1000 oversight, the Howard-at-the-airport story), they could technically have a go at suing you for repeating the allegations. If you couldn’t prove them to be true, or it turned out that Dee Jones and Clare Essy Lovell made those anecdotes up, you’d be in as much shit legally as they would.

I know that sounds ridiculous - in practise even if Halifax did see it they’d be more likely to just write you a very stern e-mail asking for the comments to be removed. But be thee warned, when it comes to libel people have been successfully sued for the pettiest things.

That said, it’s a cracking bit of research on your part and an interesting (and amusing!) story - I could well see that ending up in a national newspaper, given the current climate of opinion towards High Street banks. You could publish it legitimately, but to reduce the risk of legal implications you’d have to contact Halifax, alert them to the messages on the Facebook group, then give them time to look into it and get back to you with a comment. You would then have to publish the bank’s rebuttal, e.g. “A spokeman for Halifax said blah blah blah etc.”

Even with that, it’s still dodgy territory. I’d want to chat with a lawyer or at least an experienced editor before running with it!

PS. You might be interested to know that Dee Jones could in theory also sue you for calling him a “loudmouthed slacker”!!

#8

Yo, friendly word of warning with reference to the first post on this thread:

I don’t know whether you’re working to get this site off the ground in a big way, but if you’re planning on getting a large increase in visitors anytime soon then I’d be very careful about the legal implications!

Just so you know:

i) Saying “it’s not my allegation, someone else said it” doesn’t get you off the hook; you can be successfully sued for defamation if you repeat a libellious accusation someone else made.

ii) If you get sued, you have to prove that the allegation is true - the complainant doesn’t have to prove the allegation is false. In a libel case your allegations are automatically assumed to be false unless you can prove they are true.

In other words, if a senior manager at Halifax were to see your post about the allegations made on that Facebook group (the £1000 oversight, the Howard-at-the-airport story), they could technically have a go at suing you for repeating the allegations. If you couldn’t prove them to be true, or it turned out that Dee Jones and Clare Essy Lovell made those anecdotes up, you’d be in as much shit legally as they would.

I know that sounds ridiculous - in practise even if Halifax did see it they’d be more likely to just write you a very stern e-mail asking for the comments to be removed. But be thee warned, when it comes to libel people have been successfully sued for the pettiest things.

That said, it’s a cracking bit of research on your part and an interesting (and amusing!) story - I could well see that ending up in a national newspaper. You could publish it legitimately, but to avoid legal implications you would have to contact Halifax, alert them to the messages on the Facebook group and give them time to look into it and get back to you with a comment on it. You would then have to publish the bank’s rebuttal: “A spokeman for Halifax said blah blah blah etc.”

It would still be dead iffy though, I wouldn’t want to touch it with a 50ft pole without talking to a lawyer!

#9

Thanks! …I know nothing about journalism law, althought I’d like to. Perhaps I need to go on that course of yours!

Could I simply exchange the bank’s name for “a high street bank”? If I did this, could I still link to the bank in question’s facebook group?

Calling someone a loudmouth twat is su-able?! Really? But people call each other things on messageboards all the time? I can see how this would have implications in a enwspaper, I wonder if its the same on here. It probably is. We need a lawyer… any lawyers out there!!!

#10

I’m afraid even calling someone a loudmouthed slacker is - technically - sueable. To use the flowery wording used by courts etc, you should avoid “imputing habitual conduct”.

Newspapers will often avoid describing someone convicted of theft as a ‘thief’ for this reason - just because they stole something once, it doesn’t mean that is how they normally behave. Of course, if someone has a long history of convictions then they can be safer in doing so.

So your Halifax blokey could argue that yes, he was foolish to broadcast his bank’s indiscretions online, but that was a one-off mistake - he is not a ‘loudmouth slacker’ and you can’t prove that he is. Again, to use the jargon, he might argue that you had ‘brought him into disrepute in his trade or profession’ - one of the criteria required for a libel case to be admissible before the courts.

The reason people slag each other off on message boards and don’t get sued is quite simply that they cannot be bothered or cannot afford to sue. In fact, pretty much every day in the newspapers you’ll probably see at least one article that someone could at least try and sue them for. Most papers just take a chance in the hope that (a) the person won’t sue, or (b) an apology/correction will be enough to appease them.

The weird thing about libel law is how subjective it is - much of it doesn’t revolve around right or wrong answers, it’s just whether the specific jury in each instance decides that the comments complained of are defamatory. Two similar cases could go to trial at the same time, but one could be won and the other lost simply because the jury on each one decided differently.

I suggest McNae’s Essential Law For Journalists (19th edition) if you’re interested in knowing more - it’s one of the set texts for our training course!

PS. Everything I say here is based on a layman’s knowledge of law, I’m not a lawyer and none of this is actual legal advice!

#11

[QUOTE=Redsuperted;256] Could I simply exchange the bank’s name for “a high street bank”? If I did this, could I still link to the bank in question’s facebook group?[QUOTE]

No idea about that one actually. Reality is, nothing’s likely to come of it, but if this were a big well-known site on a par with Monster and other grad jobs sites it would probably be risky. You’d need - as you say - to talk to a lawyer!

#12

What a terrible, ill informed little piece. Very clearly written by somebody with absolutely no idea what working on a bank counter entails and how errors are, for one thing, largely inevitable and, more importantly, simply corrected with no impact on the customer.

Fine, attack staff for posting freely about such things on the Internet. That’s a silly thing to do. But these thousand pound errors the author refers to - seriously. Go get some real experience of these type of jobs. Is a typist a slacker for making a spelling mistake? That’s what 99% of counter errors in a bank are - keying mistakes. Furthermore, the majority don’t impact the customer. A cashier might balance their till and find it £6000 over. They’ll think, hmmm clearly I’ve done something wrong. Check back through their transactions, spot the mistake, correct it. Might be a cheque keyed with a zero missing. Might be £63.43 keyed as £64.33. That’s all. But the point missed in this pious little piece, banks don’t just accept such errors. They have systems designed to be able to find them and correct them.

And if anybody thinks they could work a busy counter without any such hiccups. Go on then. Give it a go. And fail.