Why didn’t Barclays text me about a payment I was about to miss?

Barclays has apologised to one of its customers after its text alert service failed to notify him that his account was overdrawn and he wouldn’t have enough money to cover a credit card payment.

Adrian, 28, from Lancashire, wrote to This is Money earlier this month after he was charged £11 for missing the June payment on his Asda cashback card, while he was also concerned about his credit score being hit.

After being contacted by This is Money, Barclays apologised for no text being sent, repaid the money and offered him some extra money as a goodwill gesture.

28-year-old Adrian from Lancashire (not pictured) had been using Barclays' text alerts to manage his money, but after a June text didn't arrive was billed £11 for a missed payment

28-year-old Adrian from Lancashire (not pictured) had been using Barclays' text alerts to manage his money, but after a June text didn't arrive was billed £11 for a missed payment

28-year-old Adrian from Lancashire (not pictured) had been using Barclays’ text alerts to manage his money, but after a June text didn’t arrive was billed £11 for a missed payment

Adrian told This is Money he would normally be alerted by a text message each month from Barclays that he would need to transfer a certain amount of money into his account in order for the direct debit to pay off his credit card in full to go through.

Usually receiving the message that his account ‘has insufficient funds for payments’ at around 7am, he would have until 3pm to transfer in money to cover the bill and avoid missing the payment.

This was a service he had used and been ‘satisfied with for years’, he told This is Money. A screenshot he provided showed he had received text messages in March, April and May, but not in June.

Barclays normally charges 35 per cent on overdraft borrowing beyond its fee-free buffer, but right now charges a lower rate of 19.51 per cent for those financially affected by the coronavirus. 

It wrote off all overdraft charges between 27 March and 30 April, before introducing a fee-free buffer of £750 between May and July, which was reduced to £500 between 10 July and 10 August.

Adrian was billed £11 for the missed direct debit, although told This is Money he spotted that the payment hadn’t gone through and was able to pay the credit card bill on the same day, so was not charged any extra interest.

He has since been refunded, having initially made a complaint to which he said the bank ‘denied any responsibility’ and told him he ‘shouldn’t be relying on these alerts to look after my account’.

He has also been reassured that the missed direct debit will not affect his credit score.

However, he still does not know why the text message alert was not sent in the first place.

A Barclays spokesperson said: ‘We have apologised to our customer that the alert was not sent regarding his balance and we will be covering the fee he incurred as a result of this and offering him an additional gesture of goodwill.’

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