TELL THE WORLD WHAT WENT WRONG AND HOPEFULLY THE WORLD WILL GET BETTER
Always Happy to Help
SYGMA BANK UK Chadwick House Blenheim Court Solihull West Midlands B91 2AA ( 0121 712 9000
Coming back from a short holiday to Jersey with Flyby I noticed that they were offering
a FREE flight if you took out the Flybe Credit Card, which, in addition also allowed
you to earn extra points which would then again convert into FREE flights with Flybe.
As we are always going away on short trips within Europe it sounded a good idea and,
when I got back, I applied for the Flyby MasterCard.
When it arrived I noticed that it was issued by SYGMA BANK, a limited company which
belongs to TRIBUNAL DE COMMERCE DE PARIS in France and which specialises in retailers
credit cards such as VISA or MasterCard.
I only used it once and spent about £40.00 before I received my statement and, as
I always do, I paid off the full balance by BACS (Bankers Automated Clearing Services)
direct into their bank.. About 3 weeks later whilst I was away on a walking holiday in Andorra I
received a text message asking me to call urgently a UK number. Thinking that something
may have happened at home I phone the number given, only to find that it was SYGMA
BANK chasing a minimum payment of £5.00 which, so they said, they had not received.
I explained the circumstances, I told them that the full amount had been paid 3 weeks
previously and that my account should be clear. The young man apologised for disturbing
my holiday and assured me that he would check his records and that they would get
back to me the following Monday, when I would be back in the UK, to confirm that
the account was cleared.
In the evening I went to the Internet room at the hotel to make sure that the payment
had actually gone through and had not been returned and I printed out a statement
from my bank which confirmed that the payment had been sent to SYGMA BANK.
The next morning, just after breakfast, my phone rang and when I answered, a young
man told me that he was from the SYGMA BANK debt collection department and that he
was chasing an outstanding payment of £5.00 which, so he said, they had not received.
I was getting a bit ratty by now but once again I explained the situation, I told
him that I was on holiday, that I had already spoken to someone at SYGMA, that I
had checked my bank account the previous nights and that the full payment had been
sent about 3 weeks ago. He promised me faithfully that he would check it out and
that they would confirm to me the following week, when I was back in the UK, that
my payment had either been found or was still missing.
I returned to the UK on Sunday evening. Nobody phoned me on Monday or the rest of
the week and, consequently I wrote them a letter repeating all the information and
I asked them to confirm that they had found this payment or, alternatively, that
the payment was still missing.
The next statement arrived on the 21st June 2008 and showed that the payment had
been credited to my account on the 7th June 2008, FOUR days before they had phone
me in Andorra and that this payment had cleared my account.
On the 25th June 2008 I paid off the balance of the June 08 statement in full, once
again using BACS from my bank account.
On the 3rd July they finally confirmed to me in writing that they had located the
missing payment and that the missing amount had been credited to my account. ‘Any
other charges incurred have been adjusted and will show on the next statement’ so
the rather curt letter said..
On the 20th July 08 I received my next statement which still showed the amount I
had paid on the 25th June 08 as being outstanding and overdue. This statement was
followed by a letter dated 23rd July 208 which said ‘ I am concerned that your account
is overdue by £ 44.23. Please send your payment immediately.
It then continued to say ‘ The account, and the use of the card, has been temporarily
suspended pending receipt of your payment’
The letter, and the statement, had arrived whilst I was in Austria on yet another
short break. After I got back and checked my phone I noticed a large number of calls,
all from the same number which I did not recognize. They looked to me like some of
the nuisance call numbers so I did not bother to phone back. Instead they phone me
the next day and it turned out to be SYGMA BANK chasing the outstanding payment of
£44.23. This was on the 31st July 08 and, once again, I explained quite patiently
that the full statement amount had been paid on the 26th June 08 and that I most
certainly did not owe them £44.23 or any other amount. The young lady with a rather
strong foreign accent took down all the details and promised to investigate.
In the evening I made yet another transfer to SYGMA and I paid off the balance of
my account but I deducted the £ 12.00 LATE FEE which they had charged to my account.
As far as I was concerned this was my final payment to SYGMA.
In addition to this I also wrote yet another letter to SYGMA, I enclosed a copy of
my bank statement which clearly showed the transfer of funds to SYGMA, and I requested
their confirmation that my account was now clear. I closed my letter telling them
that there was no need to lift the suspension of my card as I had no intention to
use my FLYBE card in the future.
The next day, just before lunchtime I received yet another phone call. This time
it was another young lady telling me rather rudely that I had not paid the outstanding
minimum amount on my credit card. When I asked her why she had phoned me when I
had already spoken to them the previous day she replied ‘ I am phoning you because
you have not made your payment and we will keep phoning you until you pay up.
She did not react to kindly either when I told her that I had no intention of making
another payment, in which case, she said, we will take you to court to make you pay.’
I must admit that I did loose my cool but after a short while I controlled myself
and, once again, I explained what had happened and gave her all the necessary details.
She actually made me smile in the end when she seriously suggested that I should
sign a Direct Debit mandate for all future payments and when I took great pleasure
in telling her that she clearly must live in cloud cuckoo land if she seriously thinks
I would want to continue to be one of their customers. Just imagine trusting them
to help themselves to your money.
Finally, after the phone call, I wrote yet another letter to SYGMA expressing my
concern over the way they are running their business and the way they are treating
their customers and I requested once again that they get back to me to confirm that
my account with SYGMA BANK was now clear.
This was on the 1st August 2008 and today, the 11th August 2008, nearly two weeks
later I am still waiting for a response.
Editors Comments There is very little I can add to this. This is clearly and obviously
a rather shambolic and muddled organisation which does not necessarily mean that
all their customers are treated the same way. The visitors to this website will have
to make up their own mind to analyse how the complainant has been treated by SYGMA
I fully understand why the complainant has shredded his Flybe Mastercard
- I would have done likewise given the same circumstances.
The moral of the story is quite simple. Unless you are absolutely desperate for a
Credit Card do what I did and put it through your shredder. It’s not worth the hassle,
aggravation, frustration and irritation. There are plenty of card issuers out there
who are only too willing to give you credit, you don’t need SYGMA unless, of course,
you like being intimidated and verbally abused by rude and discourteous people who
work for a disorganized and incompetent company.
I finally received a reply after having sent yet another letter to them when my August
statement still showed the June amount as being outstanding. Surprisingly they have
now found this payment which, so they say, was 'caused by an error within their payment
and they havenow confirmed that my account has been credited and that they have
removed the charges incurred and that my account is now Zero Just to make sure that
this is actually correct I will await my next statement before I finally close my
file on SYGMA
. I have no intention of using this card, or any other card issued by SYGMA now or
in the foreseeable future.