Friday, May 15, 2009

Abbey DMO Sheffield explaination

Abbey DMO Sheffield popping up on my business Visa card statement caused me and my accounts lady quite a huge pain the in the bum today. Abbey DMO Sheffield meant nothing to me, and yet in April 2008 they appear to have taken £50 from my business Visa card. I was immediately a bit wary as I've had experience of other businesses using irrelevant and most unhelpful descriptors on their card transactions. For several months in 2007 I was tearing my hair out as amounts of £58 were being taken from my business visa with the descriptive transaction name of 'Norwich Sports Ltd', and living in Ipswich and being far from a sports fan I couldn't think of any other explanation than fraud and theft. As far as I could tell someone had cloned my card and was spending £58 every two weeks in a sports shop in Norwich. In the end I realised the regularity of these payments coincided (give or take a day) with my fortnightly trips to London on the train. It eventually transpired that our local train carrier (then called Anglia Railways, then was called ONE but now called National Express) were charging cards with the descriptor of ‘Norwich Sports’. Not what I would call either helpful or entirely professional. Some companies process card payments through affiliates or parent companies, but they normally have the courtesy to explain at time of purchase that the descriptor on your credit card statement will be different. Hell, even PayPal do that! So why on a discussion of ‘Abbey DMO’ am I talking about misrepresentative descriptors? Read on my friend…

Abbey DMO? But I’ve never banked with Abbey!

After spending a considerable amount of time on the phone with the card services folk at my bank I was none the wiser as to what this mystery payment some five months ago was for and why. In the end the lady I was speaking to at my bank resorted to trying to Google the term ‘Abbey DMO’ to get to the bottom of matters! She found the same results I did, a few threads on forums with other people trying to get to the bottom of the matter, but nothing really helpful. I was given a number to call that would enable me to log this payment as ‘disputed’ and try and get some money back. A few minutes later and a very terse man on the other end of the phone told me that the £50 had indeed been taken by Abbey, but as it was a cash payment (no idea how) then there was nothing they could do to retrieve my money. Since when is using a Visa Debit card considered a cash payment? Surely the very point of using a card is that they are not cash. I hate using cards, but the fact of the matter is that I have to buy a lot of services online (I’m a web professional) and the opportunity to purchase using cash just doesn’t exist.

DMO = Debt Management Office

I’m still not sure how, but I had a strong feeling that DMO was an acronym for ‘debt management office’. This made me even more cross, I mean, if I’ve never banked with Abbey how the hell were they able to charge me £50 for being in debt? Then something occurred to me, I had a moment of clarity, the scales fell from my eyes.

Abbey own Cahoot!

For years now I’ve had a Cahoot flexi-loan, and very happy I have been with it too! In April of this year I had finally had enough of the business bank I was with and their stupid business visa services and left them for a bank that would give me a Business Visa Debit card, hallelujah! In the switch a single direct debit payment to Cahoot was missed. Cahoot wasted no time in contacting their debt management office to pursue me for the fifty quid I owed them. Of course I was annoyed to find out a payment had been missed so I paid the £50 arrears over the phone using my business Visa right there and then. Job done, debt avoided, life simplified. Well at least life would have been simplified if Cahoot had told me that their debt management is handled by their parent company Abbey!


If you have ‘Abbey DMO’ appear on a statement then its worth while finding out just who you bank with or borrow from that are owned by Abbey, I believe the list is quite long! My own conclusion from this is that if large corporates displayed a little more transparency in dealing with people in what is often a very stressful time while customers are struggling to make ends meet we could avoid situations like this entirely. I’m cross that whilst I am very careful not to slip into debt I’ve still had a morning of my time wasted by having to search around to find out who had ‘stolen’ my money!


  1. Just spent a considerable time re this same issue.

    Abbey closed my current account with a debt of £217.27 which I organised for them to take out of my savings account at £30.00 a month. Paid in each month the £30.00 and on my statement each month Transfer Out, Sheffield DMO. Six payments have been made. This has been going on since 2005 - 6

    Abbey deny this is them and have put this debt into the hands of five debt collectors-
    Re your agreement with Abbey Plc
    Link Financial Ltd - 12 February 2008 - 217.27
    Link Financial Ltd - 1 December 2007 - £217.27
    Buchanan Clark+Wells - March 2007 - £217.27
    GeoffreyParkerBourne - 29 January 2007 - £217.27
    Call Serve Ltd - 02 November 2006 £217.27
    Credit Security Ltd - 20 October 2006 - £217.27
    Call Serve Ltd - 04 September 2006 £217.27
    Call Serve Ltd - 22 August 2006 £217.27
    Call Serve Ltd - 10 August 2006 £217.27
    Call Serve Ltd - 27 July 2006 £217.27
    Call Serve Ltd - 14 July 2006 £217.27

    I have now sent all this as an explanation to all concerned as well as the Financial Ombudsmen Service

    I wait to see what Abbey say about the Now CCJ against me and the trouble and stress this has caused.
    Thanks for the explanation of Sheffield DMO

  2. Please let us know how you get on with that, I can't believe they've made your debt so much bigger!

  3. Cahoot! Of course! Just saved me a phone call to my bank. Many thanks indeed!

  4. You're welcome! This certainly seems to be one of the more useful pages on my blog!

  5. Anonymous2:34 am

    I am a very senior citizen and on low Pension... I queried my statement of account with'the then Abbey National'on the 7/7/2006. I was surprised that £430.66 was withdrawn (Cash) from my account by Sheffield DMO. I phoned up few times and also went in person to Abbey's Office... I was confused as I did not get a proper answer from Abbey staff! However I had big problem with Abbey in Nov/Dec.2006 as my't was refused twice and sent back to my provider! I never knew why! I had to borrow cash for near five years to pay my monthly mortgage!!! However,in end of Jan. 2011 I had similar problem ..I transferred quite a bit of money to pay toward the end of my and once again it was refused! Only in Feb.2011 I learnt that my Mort. account No. was changed about a couple times!!! So tonight at I began to go through my old statements, I saw my notes querying this questionable amt. of cash taken in 7/7/06. It was 1.30am (1st April,2011) that I decided to check on internet (I did not have it before!) the entry 'Cash withdrawal at Sheffield DMO;I nor anyone close to me ever went to Sheffield as we live in London. I searched ..Sheffield DMO and was very surprised about what I read!
    I guess it is All Fool's Day (1 April 20ll)... I was fooled for near five years I am going to the Abbey (now Santander's Office) today to 'clear the air' once and for all!
    Thanks to all and sundry for info posted on the net! C'est la vie! ... Penny Qunin.

  6. Pennylynn Qunin8:26 am

    I spent over 40 mins.(1 to 1.40 am) to find the answer to my query. ON Friday,7/7/06 my account summary from ABBEY showed a transaction, 'Cash withdrawl'at Sheffield DMO for £430.00" I was disturbed as I live in Greater Lond. on the Great Cambridge Road ..What a Great surprise I had when I realised that none (staff)then could give me the reason for that transaction and I believed I was 'hooked' by someone who got into my account(Abbey). A senior citizen like me on small pension could imagine my distress! Well,in Jan.2011 a problem (another querry unanswered re Money Transfer for part payment on loan (Abbey)... so I checked through my statements since 2005 and Sheffield DMO caught my eye! I went on the home computer (new) and searched "Sheffield DMO" ... and could not believe what I read re comments of some who wrote about Sheffield DMO! I never got any answers about my query in 2006 from Abbey staff then!) Alas, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel!Today I will visit Abbey, hopefully to clear the matter about my problems, 2006&2011). I know it is 'All Fools' Day ... "But Fools rush in where Angels fear to tread"!

  7. I hope you get on okay with that Penny!

    I left Cahoot (now Santander) after I carefully read one of the statements they sent me and realised they had changed my flex-loan to a standard loan and put my APR rate up to over 50% (from under 20%)! I will never bank with Santander again for as long as I live.