Premium Bond winners see double: 25,000 NS&I savers thought they’d won twice… only for official cheques to bounce!

  • More than half 1,000,000 kilos of bond prize cheques despatched out by mistake 
  • Vast majority of duplicate prizes have been for £25, and a few have been for £50 and £100 
  • NS&I blames ‘technical challenge’ for the error earlier this month 

More than £600,000 of premium bond prize cheques have been despatched out by mistake final month following a technical blunder.

National Savings & Investments says a printing challenge meant round 25,000 duplicate prizes have been despatched out in error.

The state financial savings financial institution says the overwhelming majority of the duplicate prizes have been for £25, whereas 215 have been price £50, and 193 have been valued at £100. 

Vivienne Wilson, 77, from Newmarket, Suffolk, says she acquired two £25 prizes inside a day of one another. But when she went to money them, the second bounced.

Go paperless: NS&I says a printing issue meant around 25,000 duplicate prizes were sent out in error

Go paperless: NS&I says a printing challenge meant round 25,000 duplicate prizes have been despatched out in error

She says: ‘Most months I get a couple of prize as a result of I’ve fairly a number of bonds, so I thought nothing of it. 

‘When I paid them into my constructing society, one went by way of OK, however the different bounced. It was peculiar. 

‘I used to be actually shocked as a result of I simply thought “Government bonds do not bounce”. I’d have been actually dissatisfied if it had been a much bigger prize.’

She provides: ‘When I rang NS&I to discover out what had occurred, the particular person I spoke to was very off-hand and didn’t even strive to sound apologetic. 

‘They merely stated that they’d had a ‘laptop glitch’ and I might been despatched the cheque by mistake and was not entitled to it.’

Miss Wilson stated she observed the prizes’ reference numbers have been the identical when she went by way of her information. 

She has not had something in writing from NS&I explaining the error. The financial institution confirmed it has not written to prospects.

I used to be actually shocked as a result of I simply thought “Government bonds do not bounce”. I’d have been actually dissatisfied if it had been a much bigger prize.

Vivienne Wilson – Premium Bond holder

Anna Bowes, co-founder of Savings Champion, says it’s ‘unusual’ that NS&I has chosen not to accomplish that. ‘It’s an error and it might in all probability be wise to write to everybody to clarify and apologise,’ she provides.

‘These issues occur, however it’s not good and so they want to evaluation why it occurred and guarantee it doesn’t occur once more.’

Martyn James, of complaints web site Resolver, says the error was embarrassing for NS&I, however warned savers despatched the duplicate prize can be unlikely to have a declare to the cash.

He says: ‘You haven’t any shopper rights if the corporate has made a mistake, however £25 to £100 is properly inside the vary of what companies will typically provide as a goodwill gesture. 

‘If you go to NS&I and demand the cash that the cheque stated you’d won, you might be unlikely to achieve success, however should you banked the cheque and it bounced, you can inform NS&I you have got been inconvenienced.

‘These sums of cash could appear small however an rising variety of individuals are residing on very tight budgets. 

‘It may very well be that somebody spends the cash earlier than they discover out the cheque has bounced, so it’s moderately embarrassing for NS&I.

The odds of profitable £25 per £1 bond is 1 in 24,500.

A spokesman for NS&I says: ‘Due to a technical challenge, round 25,000 duplicate Premium Bond prize warrants have been issued following the October 2019 prize draw.

‘We are investigating this and apologise for any inconvenience brought about to these prospects who’ve been affected.

‘If prospects do obtain duplicate warrants for any prizes won in October’s draw, they need to pay only one of many warrants into their financial institution or constructing society account and securely destroy the opposite warrant.

‘If a buyer has already paid each warrants into their financial institution or constructing society account, the cash from the duplicated warrant will likely be returned to NS&I.’

Last November, IT issues brought about delays for 9,000 NS&I prospects transferring cash from their accounts. Some prospects requesting transfers of their cash have skilled a 24-hour delay.

One saver claimed that he had paid £320,000 into his NS&I account however that employees couldn’t inform him whether or not it had been acquired.

NS&I used to be based in 1861 and has 25 million prospects, with a mean age of 57. 

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