An angry Lancaster dad says a Christmas shopping trip was ruined after his bank issued him with counterfeit notes.
David Higham withdrew £400 over the counter at a branch of the Yorkshire Bank in Halifax, West Yorkshire, where he had been for a meeting ahead of a trip to the Trafford Centre in Manchester on the afternoon of Friday, December 7.
David tried to use a £20 note to fill up his car after stopping en-route to meet his partner Kerrie Hudson at a petrol station at the ‘Tickled Trout’ junction with the M6 near Preston. He was shocked to be told that it was counterfeit.
“I said ‘what do you mean, I’ve just got it from the bank’ and I pulled out the rest of the notes to show him. But he checked them and said that £180 worth were counterfeit.
“It spoiled by shopping trip because I did not have my credit card with me.”
David, 42, who lives at Sycamore Grove, Marsh, with Kerrie, their son Harvey and Kerrie’s son Pennie, initially called the police but was advised to phone the bank in Halifax.
He said an employee there told him to take the counterfeit notes and his receipt to the Lancaster branch and he would be reimbursed.
When he did so the following Monday staff photocopied the notes, giving him the copies and taking the originals. But they would not reimburse him, only promising him a phone call.
David was called later that day by someone at the Halifax branch who said they had checked their CCTV, that the cashier had twice counted the money and that their security measures meant this kind of thing never happened.
“I said to them ‘I’m getting a sense that you’re indicating this is down to me and I find that offensive and insulting’.”
David again went into the Lancaster branch of the bank on the Wednesday, telling staff that the situation was “unacceptable” and that he wanted his money reimbursed and some compensation paid too.
He says he was finally told that he would be reimbursed and compensated and would receive a letter from the Halifax branch apologising.
But the letter did not include an apology and the bank again stressed that CCTV footage confirmed its checks had been adhered to.
It said the £180 would be reimbursed as a “gesture of good will” but added that the payment was “not an acceptance of liability” and that no compensation would be paid.
“It’s disgusting that they are not taking owners
hip of what has happened I will be closing my account with them.,” said David, who works for the Addaction in Lancaster, helping drug and alcohol addicts.
“This was something I couldn’t afford just a couple of weeks before Christmas and I had to spend money on my credit card which I could not really afford to do.”
A Yorkshire Bank spokesman said: “We take all fraud very seriously. There are checks in place to ensure we neither receive nor issue counterfeit notes, and CCTV shows the notes being counted out to the customer here.
“There is no evidence that the notes in this case were issued by the branch, as such we reimbursed the customer as a gesture of goodwill reflecting any confusion there may have been around the process for investigating such a claim.”
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