Eric was checking our UK bank account last night, and noticed £89 had been removed from our account to SNCF (French railways). We don't use trains (or not yet, anyway), and have certainly never used our credit card to book anything with them. He was quite puzzled so rang up the bank help line. They told him there was actually another payment awaiting clearance of £70 - SNCF again. Then, they said, actually there's another payment a day later, but we blocked that one. Don't worry, they said, you'll be reimbursed, but in the meantime, YOU'LL have to ring SNCF to find out what's going on.
(At this point, I left the room with visions of bulls and red rags in my head.)
They then said he'd also have to ring their fraud department in order to have the money reimbursed. Phone numbers were written down amidst lots of mutterings.
Today, he rang the fraud department and explained what had happened. They proceeded to tell him that they thought it very unlikely to be fraud and that he must ring SNCF himself.
(Quick departure . . . red rags etc. . . . steam emerging from Eric's ears)
Of course, SNCF hadn't a clue what he was talking about, but actually said they didn't think he should have to do all this himself. We tended to agree.
Back to fraud squad (ha ha!) and, very long conversation later, they agreed to reimburse the two amounts.
What we don't understand, and the bank couldn't help with either, was how could SNCF, who had never had any dealings with us, especially our credit cards, debit our UK bank account with not one, but two amounts, and actually attempt to take a third. And, if they thought it was all above board, why did the bank block the third payment?
Lloyds - you need to do better!