Her finances were tipped over the edge when the building society’s payment system went down again yesterday, the third time since Christmas Eve.
Kathleen, who lives in Dundee with sons Jamie, 7, and Paul, 17, sent £250 in two instalments from a Santander bank account to her Nationwide account on Monday night.
But the cash, which usually goes through straight away, did not appear on her Nationwide balance.
She told The Sun: “There are folk, including myself, who are going without food and power.
“My two severely disabled boys need money for respite activities and food.”
Kathleen then tried to call Nationwide to find out if she could access some short-term support, but felt she was “palmed off”.
Tweeting Nationwide didn’t do the trick, either.
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Kathleen, 47, was left with just £50 in her Santander account and nothing more to last her till the money came through.
The £50 she had left didn’t cover the essential payments due out of her account or the supermarket shopping her family needed.
When the money failed to clear, Morrisons cancelled a food delivery the family were expecting on Tuesday morning.
Kathleen said: “We were left with nothing.
“Nationwide knows this is happening regularly now and had plenty of time to sort out contingency plans.”
She was left “praying” the cash appeared in her account by 10pm yesterday – otherwise the Asda delivery she scheduled to replace the Morrisons order would get cancelled too and the family would have no food for the week.
Luckily, on Tuesday evening her first transaction of £150 arrived – but she still needed the second transfer of £100 to pay her bills.
Kathleen is now planning to move to a different bank as a result of the failure.
It is the building society’s third batch of issues in recent weeks.
As of last night, many customers reported their Nationwide payments still hadn’t gone through, well over 12 hours after reports of the outages first emerged.
A spokesperson for Nationwide said the delays were due to the processing of more than 10 million payments on Monday night.
Nationwide decided to queue inbound payments to prevent its systems becoming overwhelmed.
It said: “As a result of extremely high volumes of transactions on the first working day of the year, we took the decision to temporarily queue inbound faster payments.
“We hope to get our systems back to normal and apologise for any inconvenience caused as a result of these delays.
“Members do not need to resend any payments as they will be processed as soon as possible.
“Members can continue to use their cards to pay for goods and services, access the Internet Bank and Banking App and withdraw cash from ATMs.”
Am I entitled to compensation if I was affected?
Nationwide has clarified that customers left out of pocket will be compensated by the building society.
If you were charged late payment fees because your money failed to leave your account, for example, Nationwide has said it will cover it.
However, account holders like Kathleen will have to wait to find out if they qualify, as she didn’t lose money per se but did face hours of costly uncertainty and missed purchases.
Nationwide has urged all affected customers to reach out to the building society.
It said: “For any charges and fees incurred, people should contact the Society to discuss these, and any related to this issue will be refunded.
“Any member who needs our support as a result of this issue can visit us in branch, contact us on 0800 302 011 or via Twitter (@AskNatiownide).”
The tough news came days after Santander accidentally paid out £130million to thousands of accounts on Christmas Day in a huge blunder.
Monzo Bank also went down in the run-up to Christmas.
And Sky Broadband’s crash saw hundreds of customers unable to access the internet recently.
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