A credit to a Canadian friend’s credit card account
In mid December 2013 Christopher called Money Credit Limited, a credit card company. Christopher wanted to credit his friend Steven’s Money Credit Limited account with $1,000 NZD. Steven lives in Canada.
Christopher said Money Credit told him to deposit the $1,000 into a New Zealand bank account held by Money Credit using the last 11 digits of Steven’s Money Credit credit card number as a reference, and it would ensure the funds reached Steven’s account.
Three weeks later, Steven had not received the $1,000. Christopher contacted Money Credit and was told that the New Zealand bank account number was only for credits to Australian and New Zealand Money Credit accounts, not Canadian accounts. Money Credit asked Christopher to send through details of the fund transfer to the New Zealand bank account, which he did.
The issue remained unresolved and in February 2014 Christopher contacted his bank to see if it could recall the funds he had transferred from his bank account to Money Credit’s bank account. Christopher’s bank charged him a fee of $75, but was unable to recover the $1,000. A transaction report from Christopher’s bank showed that the funds were transferred to the correct Money Credit account.
Christopher complained to FSCL that Money Credit should compensate him for the $1,000 and the $75 bank fee.
Money Credit’s response
Money Credit said locating Christopher’s $1,000 deposit was like ‘finding a needle in a haystack’. This was because there were literally thousands of deposits of $1,000 into Money Credit’s bank account a few days either side of the day Christopher made his deposit. Money Credit also confirmed that Steven had not received the $1,000.
In addition, Money Credit said it had not provided Christopher with a financial service because Christopher was not a customer of Money Credit, Steven was.
Lastly, Money Credit said it did not hold any recordings of the original telephone call made by Christopher to Money Credit asking how he could credit the $1,000 to Steven’s account. Money Credit said this meant it could not be proved whether Christopher was given the correct information by Money Credit about how to credit a Canadian Money Credit account.
FSCL’s review of the complaint and a prompt settlement
We said that Money credit had provided Christopher with a financial service because he called and asked for information about how to credit funds to his friend’s Money Credit account. It was irrelevant that Christopher was not a customer of Money Credit.
It was not disputed that Christopher put the $1,000 into Money Credit’s bank account. We could not conceive of any way Christopher knew the Money Credit account number, other than being told it by Money Credit. Further, it was irrelevant whether Christopher did or did not tell Money Credit about his friend’s account being a Canadian account, and it was also irrelevant that Money Credit could not locate the funds. We were of the view that Christopher could prove from the transaction report from his bank that the funds had been deposited into Money Credit’s account, and Money Credit had been unjustly enriched by $1,000.
After receiving our letter, Money Credit located the $1,000 and transferred it back into Christopher’s bank account, along with a further $75 to compensate him for the fee his bank had charged him.