I won back £3,500 from my bank with a simple trick – here's how you can too | The Sun

ONE savvy saver has revealed how she won back almost £3,500 from her bank with a simple money-saving trick.

Elaine, who featured in Martin Lewis's latest MoneySavingExpert newsletter, revealed how a quick check helped her pocket thousands.

Elaine discovered that her elderly mum had wrongly been paying out for a packaged bank account for years.

These are a type of bank account that offer certain perks but charge a monthly fee.

While they can be useful if you use the benefits and have checked they are cost effective – many people end up forking out for the accounts without using the perks.

Martin Lewis has previously urged everyone to check whether they are unwittingly shelling out each month for a packaged account they don't need or use.

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If you are, you could be owed thousands of pounds, which you can claim back from your bank.

Elaine said: "I have Power of Attorney for my 93-year-old mum who have Alzheimer's.

"I discovered all she had used this account with a monthly fee for was to make one monthly payment to a charity.

"I got my mum £3,456.23 back."

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Have you been mis-sold a packaged bank account?

You might have been mis-sold a packaged bank account if you were upgraded to an account which charges a fee without your permission.

You might also have been wrongly told the account was a "privilege" or that it would improve your credit score.

If you've tried to close an account but your bank hasn't let you, or the monthly price has been hiked without your knowledge, these could also be signs you were mis-sold.

Of course, not all packaged accounts are bad – if you make use of the perks and can afford the monthly fee, they can save you money.

Nationwide's FlexPlus account charges £13 a month but provides mobile phone cover and travel insurance for the whole family, as well as breakdown cover.

You'll also get a switching bonus of up to £125 if you open an account at the moment.

The Halifax Ultimate Reward account offers the same perks plus home emergency cover for £17 a month.

It's also offering a £150 switching bonus at the moment, and you could get a fiver back a month if you meet certain conditions, according to MoneySavingExpert.

How to claim back cash for a packaged bank account

The first step to take if you think you're owed compensation is to get in touch with your bank to make a claim.

You'll need to provide some basic details such as the account number and when it was opened, and explain why you believe you were mis-sold.

If your complaint is rejected or you don't hear back after eight weeks, you can go to the Financial Ombudsman.

It will consider factors such as the terms and conditions on your account, how the account was sold to you and whether the features and costs were clearly explained.

If the Ombudsman rules that you've been treated unfairly, it will ask the bank to put things right.

This could include refunding the account fees, or reimbursing you for overdraft charges that were incurred as a result of you having the account.

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Elsewhere, we've looked at why you could be owed up to £520 in compensation for travel issues.

And one expert explains how you can get £1,100 back in compensation.

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