Barking mad! NatWest letter demands 'Noodles the Dog' pays debt of £6.84
A high street bank barked up the wrong tree when it hounded one of its customers for an unpaid debt.
Staff at NatWest wrote to "Noodles the Dog" to inform him he owed the branch £6.84 after his account became overdrawn.
The official letter, which also asked the household pet to make contact within 14 days to discuss the situation, was sent to a home in Woodhouse Eaves at the beginning of the month.
However, the tenants had moved out months earlier, leaving the home's resident, Rupert Chapman, scratching his head when the request arrived.
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Mr Chapman, who runs a business consultancy firm, opened the bank's letter, hoping to gain some information about the account holder to allow him to forward the post.
Sensing an opportunity, he also replied to the bank with his own letter signed by his six-year-old labradoodle, Charley.
"She's not in debt, but she costs a fortune to keep," said Mr Chapman.
"When the letter came it was addressed to Noodles the dog – it was clearly someone who was in the house before – and I had no idea what it could be.
"We moved in in August and the previous people had rented and I didn't know who they were, so I thought it would be fitting to send a reply from Charley."
Mr Chapman noticed the bank's letter had another canine connection.
"It wasn't until I posted the reply I realised I was writing to a man named Collier – it was priceless," he said.
NatWest said it did not expect Mr Chapman – or Charley – to cover the outstanding amount. It also explained it was not unusual for customers to name their accounts after their pets.
Bank spokesman Grant McDonald said: "We get a lot of accounts like this.
"I worked in a branch years ago and people used to name their accounts after their animals and use them to pay for things such as vets' or kennel fees.
"I did work for an branch where a dog owner had trained his pet to bring his pass book in and pay in money.
"The new home owners do not owe the bank anything, this is the previous tenant's debt, so they shouldn't worry about it."
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The letter from the bank
Account Name: Noodles The Dog.
Dear Sir/Madam, At the request of our business manager, we are writing to let you know in relation to your borrowing, that the account is overdrawn by £6.84.
We understand there are often circumstances of which the Bank may be unaware, so it is important you make contact within the next 14 days to discuss our current situation and your borrowing.
If these concerns are not resolved within this period, it may result in your banking connection being transferred to business collections.
The bank may use its legal right of set off to clear outstanding debt if required and if funds become available.
We hope this further action does not prove necessary and we con work together to rectify this situation. Please contact us on the telephone number above. However, if you have already adjusted the position, no further contact is required. Yours Faithfully,
Stuart Collier, Manager.
Charley the Labradoodle’s reply
Dear Stuart, I have been passed your letter by my master and asked to respond accordingly.
It is with some concern I note my predecessor to this household has gone into arrears of £6.84 with your organisation.
I am concerned for the plight of Noodles and can fully sympathise with the difficulty in balancing the books these days.
We used to only be required to balance balls, but modern demands have heaped greater expectations on canine folk.
Even my master sometimes goes a week between bags of nutritious dry food and has to give me scraps from the table. However, since they have stopped that stupid Atkins diet, I quite enjoy the human food.
To that end, I have searched every nook and cranny in the house in an attempt to find sufficient funds to repay you. I have found four drachma and 24 pesetas behind the toilet pedestal and under the stairs. I was wondering whether this would meet your needs?
I am sorry I do not have a forwarding address and Noodles hasn’t left any leads. I could check things out on the night chorus but frankly don’t wish to bring bad fortune on my predecessor, who has done such a good job of keeping the neighbour’s cats at bay.
If you are not happy with the coins I have found, I ask you to bring on the heavies.
I note your request to converse over the dog and bone, however, I prefer snout to snout.
I cock a leg in your general direction!
Charley the Labradoodle