Ulster Fried



Brian writes:

“On 30 May 2014, I transferred €580 into my Ulster Bank loan account leaving a debit balance of approximately €80. On 3 June 2014, Ulster Bank took a direct debit from my current account (circa €373), effectively putting my loan account into credit by approximately €290. Unfortunately, despite many attempts to contact Ulster Bank (23 – as outlined below), the funds have yet to be returned and the credit amount has now been with Ulster Bank for 6 weeks.
I have tried countless times to contact Ulster Bank over the last few weeks but have been unsuccessful in contacting them through their advertised help lines. I finally contacted an individual in Ulster Bank on 24 June 2014 who vaguely informed me that the funds would be returned within 10 days, this was not the case.
It took an astonishing 23 phone calls, 12 days and combined 2.5 hours on hold to finally contact an individual in Ulster Bank.
Calls to Ulster Bank (1850 201 210) – please note apart from the call on 24 June 2014 I never got through to an Ulster Bank representative and subsequently hung up each time. Furthermore, these calls were made from a recorded line, hence the accurate log below:
(1) 24/06/14 @ 16:34 (the only time I spoke to a Ulster Bank representative, had to call NI – call duration 26 mins after being on hold and transferred several times)
(2) 24/06/14 @ 13:14 (3mins on hold)
(3) 20/06/14 @ 16:20 (4mins on hold)
(4) 20/06/14 @ 13:45 (12mins on hold)
(5) 20/06/14 @ 09:53 (6mins on hold)
(6) 19/06/14 @ 15:33 (10mins on hold)
(7) 19/06/14 @ 13:18 (16mins on hold)
(8) 18/06/14 @ 16:48 (6mins on hold)
(9) 18/06/14 @ 14:14 (10mins on hold)
(10) 18/06/14 @ 11:02 (5mins on hold)
(11) 18/06/14 @ 09:16 (13mins on hold)
(12) 18/06/14 @ 08:34 (Line not open)
(13) 17/06/14 @ 16:55 (7mins on hold)
(14) 17/06/14 @ 16:43 (6mins on hold)
(15) 17/06/14 @ 16:20 (12mins on hold)
(16) 17/06/14 @ 14:37 (5mins on hold)
(17) 17/06/14 @ 13:47 (5mins on hold)
(18) 17/06/14 @ 13:27 (8mins on hold)
(19) 17/06/14 @ 13:17 (3mins on hold)
(20) 17/06/14 @ 13:02 (14mins on hold)
(21) 17/06/14 @ 12:54 (10mins on hold)
(22) 12/06/14 @ 15:08 (7mins on hold)
(23) 12/06/14 @ 15:05 (5mins on hold)

All I wanted was the return of my excess payment that I made into my loan account, and 6 weeks later Ulster Bank has still not returned the payment, despite assuring me they would on 24 June 2014. During the 6 weeks I have only received an acknowledgement of a complaint I lodged with Ulster Bank, no communication or confirmation in relation to my loan account, which is been in credit for 6 weeks. Unfortunately, Ulster Bank has left me with little option but to escalate this matter to ensure that, (a) my funds are returned ASAP and (b), to highlight the complete lack of customer care demonstrated by Ulster Bank….”


28 thoughts on “Ulster Fried

  1. Tony the Toy Gur

    Bank staff cannot operate outside of their very narrow set of strict operations.

  2. Banned of Censored, formerly Baggins, Diddy, Bag Of Censored

    I’ve never had trouble speaking to a rep at ulster bank, in the past three weeks I’ve spoken to at least four, always get someone when I ring

  3. Del McG

    Under new SEPA rules, you can recall ANY direct debit taken from your account, no questions asked, provided the request is submitted within 8 weeks of the debit. You will likely have to fill out a form, so constant phonecalls won’t achieve anything.

    Check their website as, by law, they have to provide you with instructions on how to recall a debit taken from your account.

  4. Tom Stewart

    That’s total BS if you had that experience with their “customer service”.

    But what are you trying to have returned to you? Your account was overdrawn by €500. You put in €580, so now there was €80 in it.

    Then a direct debit was taken. This was surely one you set up? It’s not as if €373 was just stolen from your account for no reason? It’s a bit suspect that you haven’t gone into more detail about the source of this direct debit…

    1. Anne

      “Your account was overdrawn by €500”


      Read it again.
      “I transferred €580 into my Ulster Bank loan account leaving a debit balance of approximately €80”

      1. George Loves Pies

        Why did you transfer money in when you knew there was a direct debit about to come out.

        Bad financial planning on your part i feel.

        If your really put out by this go to a branch and shut all your accounts, they’ll have to refund you any money then.

      1. Tom Stewart

        Get out of the wrong side of the bed did you Anne?

        A thousand apologies: I misunderstood the term “debit balance”. So, to begin with, there was a debit balance of €660 (please again accept my most humble apologies). You can rightfully say that my maths was suspect, but how is my logic?

        Why, after reading this really long post, do we not know anything about the nature of the direct debit? What follows is utter speculation, but this is a result of lack of aforementioned explanation in the post. It seems to me that the answer to this question might explain Ulster Bank’s lack of interest in resolving the problem (i.e. that it was the customer’s fault). I think we’re only hearing one side of this story.

  5. Mick

    Awww boohoo Brian. I suggest you write a letter to them outlining your plan for the bank to operate in a manner that would suit you seeing as you must have SO much bank knowledge to be able to resolve the mistake that you made in the first place.

    “I have tried countless times to contact Ulster Bank over the last few weeks but have been unsuccessful in contacting them through their advertised help lines.” It does not take this long to contact a company, IN ANY CASE EVER. I got through to AIB in 8 minutes when they had their massive outage and half of their customers phoned them a couple of months ago.

    You seem really incapable of holding on for someone to sort out your problem that you caused. If you had a few minutes of patience this would have been sorted out ages ago.

  6. Mr. T.

    Danske Bank handled the closing down of their retail banking very badly. I had loads of trouble fixing DDs and SOs which they messed up. It meant they pushed me into debt and then had the cheek to send demand letters for the outstanding amounts. They didn’t a f**k.

    But complaint has gone to regulator because it could have impacted on my credit rating.


  7. Gers

    “Unfortunately, despite many attempts to contact Ulster Bank”

    Hang on, you hung up after less than 15mn every-time and state you you tried to contact ulster bank? Those wait time are excessive yes but not uncommon at all in many call centre these days!

    1. Jay

      It’s in no way unreasonable for him to hang up with those wait times. The basic implication is that Ulster Bank are understaffing their call centres. Honestly It’s pretty obvious why they might do this, to get everyone to do everything online and to decrease their retail banking costs. Once they close down their branch network (and they will for the most part, it’s only a matter of time) it’s what every bank customer will have to look forward to.

      What’s your answer, stay on the call indefinitely in the hope that they answer?

      Also worth noting he used one of those nasty 1850 numbers which mobile operators tend to gouge people on (I had a quick check, some charge 30c per call, some charge 30c per minute, call save eh?).

  8. chris

    Shock! Horror!
    Large multinational doesn’t give a shit about piddling little customer…
    Who’d’a thunk it?

  9. f-mong

    Hang on, what’s with people siding with Ulster Bank? Surely that’s a poor joke, how can anyone defend UB in this instance.. or is this some hilarious meta-trolling I’m missing out on? Like we’re SO joke right wing now, that’s we’re ACTUALLY right wing… Broadsheet Trolls swallowing their own tails..

  10. ahjayzis

    Switch banks? Assuming you can I mean. If not, switch any account that isn’t in debt to them.

    We need to develop a culture of switching in banks like we’ve done with supermarkets in recent years. By rights they should have gone out of business after some of the massive screw ups they’ve had.

    I left UB after that debacle with their online banking / having no access to my account for weeks. How much does a service need to fupp up before you consider taking your business elsewhere?

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