Consumer feels he's wasted his money for benefits he's never used

Packaged Bank Accounts Banking

Amos came to us when he found out he'd been paying hundreds of pounds for benefits of a packaged bank account that he'd never used.

What happened

When Amos took out a packaged bank account in 2011, one of the bank's staff told him it came with lots of valuable benefits. But later Amos realised he had never used any of them. He was annoyed that he had been paying hundreds of pounds in fees each year, and felt that he had wasted his money. 

He complained to the bank, but they said they hadn't mis-sold the account to him, so he came to us to see if this was fair. 

What we said

We spoke to Amos, and he told us that before the account was upgraded in 2011, he had a fee free account with the same bank, and that he'd been persuaded by bank staff to agree to the upgrade due to the benefits. But there wasn't any evidence to show that he didn't know he had a choice about whether to take the packaged bank account. 

When we looked at the account benefits, we could see it came with travel insurance, mobile phone insurance and roadside assistance, as well as banking benefits like reduced overdraft and loan rates. Amos told us that in over a decade he hadn't used any of the insurance benefits, and hadn't been on holiday since 2017, so he felt that he should be refunded some of the fees he'd paid. 

We could see that in 2011, when the account was sold, Amos had travelled abroad, owned a smartphone and also drove a car. So when he took out the account, he could have made use of the insurance benefits. The fact that he hadn't needed to didn't mean that the account had been mis-sold.

Insurance policies give cover in case bad things happen, and often aren't claimed on. But that doesn't mean they weren't a good buy at the time. Additionally, he had sometimes used a small overdraft, which had been cheaper as a result of having the account. 

We felt there was no evidence that the benefits of the account couldn't have been used by Amos, so the fact that he hadn't used them wasn't a sufficient argument to bring a complaint. So we didn't uphold his complaint.