Anyone surprise charged by their bank for buying Greek T3 ?

I was just wondering if anyone else had come across this kinda sneaky action by their bank?

I went through the details carefully and was quoted £32.66 as my exchange and cost to me to send 40 euros, I checked and double checked all that I had entered having never done this kind of bank transfer before, to find that after hitting the send/transaction complete button, my bank had stuck on a £25 fee to make the total they deducted from me to £57.66. I would've not gone through with it had I known, but too late now. Another thing I won't be doing again!!

I am lucky to get UK T3 prescribed but it had been so unreliable lately I thought I would try the Uni Pharma T3 and keep some in hand incase of emergency. The only emergency I have now is blood pressure increase........



53 Replies

  • Yes, I had to physically visit my bank - bank charges were over £30. I understand though that some banks charge less, also worth investigating Western Union etc.

  • Thanks, I don't expect anything for free, but it does seem a tad excessive especially when snuck on after the event. Cor, I sound like me old Dad !!



  • I was told by my high street bank NatWest that it's to do with the country where the money was sent. Couldn't do online banking either.

  • Thanks for your time, My bank is Santander, been with them in previous owners through to Girobank, I have been a customer for about 34 years!!

    Anyway, before I self combusted I gave custmer services a call and have had the charge refunded, and you can be sure I won't be paying that way again.

    Thanks again


  • Well done on getting a refund!

  • I do online banking with Halifax and the fee was available to check beforehand, they are very transparent and charge £9.50 for any international bank transfer. I found out later that it would have cost £2.90 to transfer bank account to bank account with Western Union.

    Did you not check for the charge beforehand? It seems a very big fee. What bank is it, just as a warning for anyone else thinking of doing it this way.

  • Hi, firstly love your little dog, I have a double but black!

    There was no transparency at all, just a figure for their exchange rate. I do all my husband's business banking so I know to read then re-read all bank jargon, it is Santander and I've been on to customer services and have received a refund on the charges. they maintain that is the cost so I will not be doing it again!!

    Thanks for your reply



  • Poppy says thank you :)

    Glad to hear you got a refund, good for you complaining, that is an excessive fee and extremely bad practice not to make customers more aware.

  • Hello pretty Poppy. My boy is Jimmy. Monkey in disguise!!

  • Handy to know about the Western Union fee. I'm a Halifax customer and had previously paid the £9.50 fee for making an international payment. Western Union from now on.

    Just out of interest as you're a T3 user, do you mind me asking how you're finding the Unipharma T3? I've had Cynomel from Mexico years ago and I think the Greek T3 might be weaker. I've been using it since last Nov. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on its efficacy.

  • Hi,

    I have not tried it myself yet, all this trouble with the bank for an experiment and to have some in hand for if I get a dodgy batch of prescribed UK T3. Honestly, the legnths we have to go through. I, like yourself, had the Cynomel from Mexico and from there got prescribed with T3, but I always panic getting near to script time incase the Merc Pharma is unavailable or worse!! I believe the Cynomel was definately stronger than UK T3, but I know I'm lucky to be prescribed, so I just try and boost it a bit. Sorry I wasn't able to give you a better answer.



  • Msmoneypolly - not sure of that question was meant for me.

    My situation is different from Sandpebbles in that I was not already prescribed T3, I have been experimenting with adding it to Levo because I am getting nowhere with my GP and what appeared to be residual hypo symptoms.

    I lowered my Levo and added 6.35 mcg Unipharma T3. Felt no different so gradually increased to 12.5 and then 18.75. None of it made a difference so I'm now back down to 6.25 and seriously considering ditching the T3 and going back to just my original dose of Levo.

    I would add there are other things going on that I've learnt since doing further testing which involves adrenals and virtually non-existent sex hormones so I'm not putting anything down to the failure of the T3.

    My GP is not in the picture at the moment, I am going it alone with the help of a private specialist.

  • Hi Liz, assuming it's a UK bank it would have been a £/€ transaction yes?can you see on your account what the X change rate was they used.

    I know as of yesterday's Exchange rate as seen on the red button on BBCI under business/currencies............... £1 would only buy me €1.27centimes worth of goods currently,

    XR's have have plummeted because of the markets uncertainty being caused by the June'd better vote for stay IN - Sterling was previously stronger than Euros meaning you got more euros value for your pound!

    I bet it would come up again on an IN Vote and drop rapidly on a NO vote on the day result is announced!

    Im guessing your charge would have been depending on your account 'status' and whether your bank would charge you a transaction fee but yes £25 sounds excessive. Ask for a complete breakdown of their charges, given you know what the cost to the company was you were buying from! My own transfers are interbank within same international group XR's applied falls usually between bank base rate and tourist rate. Well banks do have to make some money - they are providing a service aren't they?

    None of it good for my monthly State pension because it's the Treasury/? Citibank doing the transfer to my Fr Bank - all also subject market XR's!

    Kick up a fuss and tell them you will close your account if they don't refund some of it - hopefully that will bring your blood pressure down! As Sea side Susie said, the rates and value should b visible before making transaction but not necessarily including the Fee charged after! Check your banks T&Cs also.

  • Thanks for your reply, been with Santander in previous guises going back to girobank for about 34 years, and I have a pretty good account and relationship with them mostly. The exchange rate was there and it was going to cost £32.66 for 40 euros, £1.22 to the 1 euro I think. Anyway, as I had never done this kind of transfer before, I did check and double check, and it really wasn't until I had done the transaction that I saw the cost of £57.66 to me. Have given the poor guy at customer services some rip and have had the charge refunded, needless to say I won't be using that service again!!

    Thanks for your time



  • Glad you got a refund Liz ...:-)

    Martin ? Who does Money programme said that years ago - give em stick for unfair charges. Glad it worked for you - have a good stress free weekend :-) Shirley x

  • Hi Sandpebble, This was the reason I chose to pay by Western Union. Straightforward and a good company to deal with.

  • Hi

    Thanks for your reply, and I will need to look into how to do Western Union, I just figured I was safer with the bank. However, I have been wrong before.........

    Thanks again



  • That sounds reassuring j_bee, I shall use them when I next order.

  • Western Union itself seems to be a good company performing a useful service at an acceptable cost. Sadly, all too many untrustworthy people have used WU as a method receiving funds themselves.

    So, if you are happy that the people you are sending the funds to are trustworthy, WU is fine.

  • Thank you for the encouragement, I appreciate your time.



  • So far, so good Rod. Hope it continues to stay so. Would be careful who I was sending to though.

  • I use a South African company with a London office - no charges for any foreign transactions and I do alot

  • Thanks for taking the time to respond. Very kind. I will have to brush up on my spending skills I think.



  • CurrencyFair charge 3€ for the bank transfer. You need a passport to sign up, but most financial institutions have that sort of requirement these days.

  • Thanks for taking the trouble, I will have to explore my options a bit more and not just rely on the institutions that you should be able to trust!!

    Refund given this time, so will not be using Santander bank next time!!



  • Liz - rather than hassle changing, just make sure they don't do it again! Your XR didn't sound too bad! You were obviously happy to spend the 40€ and knew it would be less than that In sterling. Good luck!

  • Thanks, I don't worry about paying what is fair for services, i.e a bit more proportionate to the transaction, I just had a bit of a melt down at feeling so ripped off. In fairness the guy at Customer services didn't quibble but stuck to the script as in that is what they charge, £25 and it's refunded now, so lesson learnt. However, I do wonder how many people wouldn't have noticed or even worse just taken a deep breath and let it go. I'm getting cross again at the thought..........



  • First Contact also trading as Sable FX are completely free

  • Thank you, I will come back to these replies and take the advice when I need to do this kind of thing again.

    Much appreciated


  • Thanks, I will heed your advice, it seems to be the majority opinion too. Still, we learn by our mistakes don't we. I appreciate your time and trouble.



  • Like others here, I paid through Western Union. No surprise charges.

  • Thanks for responding, looking like I should've asked before acting today!!



  • You can source Unipharma through another source, I believe, so maybe a member will have the details and send you a Private Message.

  • Hi Shaws,

    Hopefully I will get a PM, but if not, I appreciate the thought.

    Thanks for your response


  • As far as I know it's the only supplier of Uni Pharma and they are very good. Sending money for the order doesn't have to be expensive when you know the way and there are many cheap options.

  • Thank you for your reply. I will have to look into it.


  • If you don't get a response from this thread put up a brand new one which will not have been bypassed. :)

  • I have just read your message so put up a new post.

  • Yes, I went to the right place, it was my bank that was naughty, but if Merc Pharma weren't rubbish in the first place I woudn't be dabbling with online transactions. Thanks for your reply.


  • If it's the same supplier as me, with a letter and number in their name, they apparently operate from Cyprus as well as Greece. This is what their email to me said

    "Our company is operating from Greece and Cyprus. Due to the current capital control in banks in Greece, to assure the normal transfer of payments, at the moment we are using only our bank accounts in Cyprus. So, I am sending you instructions for the bank transfer to one of our accounts there."

  • And of course Greece was in severe financial difficulties within the EU last year was it? Banking rules have tightened up considerably over last few years, especially when sending money abroad(money laundering was initial reason banks started getting iffy). I bank with HSBC, starting from when it was Midland Bank 45+ years ago.

    Even now when my friend tops up my Uk mobile for me I have to transfer the money to her account from my Uk account! When I Changed my Nokia phone in Uk same thing, vodaphone wouldn't accept my French address, although I was using my same uk bank which knows I live in France! when I transfer online from my uk acct to friends uk account I have to give the 'reason' for the transfer of money! I am going back 4/5 years now for buying the phone. So all these reasons these days could have as much to do with global crime and terrorism.

    But as ever, it's the innocent citizens that can get caught out if we don't know or see the wider picture. All the big institutions do what suits them for whatever reasons imposed or not on them!

    It's the same with the Medical Profession, I hate to say!

  • I paid cash at the post office,using Moneygram,as I was advised online to avoid bank accounts,for the reason you are posting.

    An alternative suggestion was to use a pr- loaded card kept especially for online meds purchases,keeping the credit targetted at not much more than the debit amount that will be needed per purchase.

    I actually have a euro one from Caxton FX

  • So many good ideas keep popping up. Thank you.


  • I think we should all book a coach tour to,Greece - not till the risks over though - happy pills and holidays ! :-)

  • Cor!! Fancy some of that, let me know when we're going..... My hubby was only saying the other day a load of fellow travellers to look after each other should embark on a sunshine tour!! Dream on.........



  • I think this is something the banks do all the time for any foreign transaction. We recently had to transfer money to Spain, paying towards our son's wedding. There was no mention of a charge until the transaction went through, then £45 added to the cost. This is nothing to do with the exchange rate, but a one off fee.

    A friend who has sons in Australia has complained about this for years, just to send birthday money costs a fortune in added fees. I think it's the fact they are so sneaky about it that angers you. If you could see upfront what it was going to cost, it wouldn't seem so bad. At least then, you could choose to look elsewhere.

  • I absolutely agree, it was the sneaky that angered me, if it had shown up near the exchange rate or anywhere before I was commited then I would've cancelled the transaction for sure. That's probably why the crafty beggars add it when it's too late! Hope the Spanish wedding is wonderful.



  • Thank you Liz! If it is anything like our visit last year to taste the menu, it will be wonderful. A beautiful venue. Of course this year the real thing with a bride and groom! Looking forward to it.

  • I've been able to use Paypal. When I pay in euros or dollars by debit card, the bank charges about a pound for a foreign transaction. That's not for T3, but for other things I regularly buy from other countries. Actually. that's three different banks. Perhaps it depends on what type of account it's going into. Western Union fee is about £5.

  • Thank you very much. Kind of you to reply.



  • Angel - if you do it bank account to bank account it comes up as £2.90. If you do it using credit card it costs more.

  • My fee was for cash in the WU shop. None of my cards will allow me to use WU online.

  • Angel - Ah, OK. I don't have a WU shop where I live, I just looked online and as I was only looking for the fee, after I'd done the purchase through bank transfer, I don't know whether my card would be accepted. But I wouldn't have used card for an online transaction anyway as bank account to bank account was the cheapest.

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