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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder Tinohead Novitiate



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    Default Direct Debit Guarantee

    Hi,

    I got a call from my bank this morning saying I had a DDicon due to come out at the end of the day that would put me over my overdraft limit. I checked it and it was for 162.79 to my local council.

    Last month I setup up a payment agreement with the council to pay my council tax, at 75 a month, and arranged a DD to pay it.

    I have letter from them clearly stating the first payment is due on the 5/11 and is for 75.

    I've had no contact from the council since, but they are now trying to take nearly 90 more from my account. I don't have the money to cover this payment and will be charged 28 from my bank for going over my limit.

    As I understood the DD Guarantee if either parties made a mistake I would be entitled to a full and immediate refund. However, I've been trying to phone the council all day, and am constantly on hold. I've also left a message explaining the urgency but as yet have had no response.

    Where do I stand with this, the bank say I can't cancel that payment without 3 days notice, so where does the "full and immediate refund" come into play?

    Am I entitled to claim the forthcoming 28 charge back from the council?

    Any help greatly appreciated, thanks!

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    I beleive that the full and immediate refund bit comes into play as soon as you point out the error, did you get a copy of the DDicon that you signed? if so, go into your bank and show them and they should refund the money under the DD guarantee

    Lula


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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    banking - direct debiticon guarantee

    Direct debits are now a major part of daily life, with many people using them each month to pay their household bills. The direct debit guarantee is a powerful safeguard for customers. So it’s important that firms make sure their staff understand its provisions.
    Unfortunately, many do not. Here are some of the things firms have told customers (incorrectly) when problems have arisen:
    ‘We don’t operate the direct debit guarantee.’
    ‘You’ll have to contact the originating company for a refund.’
    ‘We need a month’s notice to cancel a direct debit.’
    ‘The guarantee doesn’t apply – because you haven’t suffered a loss.’
    If you pay by standing order, it is up to your bank to send the payment. If you pay by direct debit, it is up to the payee’s bank to call for the payment, but you will rightly look to your own bank/building society to ensure the smooth running of any direct debits. Mistakes and errors are covered by the direct debit guarantee.
    The direct debit guarantee applies to all banks and building societies taking part in the direct debit scheme. It says that:

    If there is a change in the amount to be paid or the payment date, the person receiving the payment (the originator) must notify the customer in advance.
    If the originator or the bank/building society makes an error, the customer is guaranteed a full and immediate refund of the amount paid.
    Customers can cancel a direct debit at any time by writing to their bank or building society.



    the Information that the bank gave you was wrong you can cancel and have it immediately stopped

    Lula


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  4. #4
    Gold Account Holder Surfer01 Authoritative Surfer01 Authoritative Surfer01 Authoritative Surfer01 Authoritative Surfer01 Authoritative Surfer01 Authoritative Surfer01 Authoritative Surfer01 Authoritative



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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    Where possible we are changing our debits to standing orders as some companies seem to debit your account as and when it pleases them. These same companies are the ones that threaten you wil an adminicon charge of 3 if you are not on DDicon. I don't know if this is legal if not mentioned in the T & Cs.
    With the exception of one account, all our debits are for the first of the month. However we are finding that sometimes the account is debitted on the last day of the prevous month, the 2nd, 3rd or even 4th day of the month excluding weekends and bank holidaysicon. This makes it difficlut to gauge how much is should be left in your account especially if you have used the card associated with the account. No wonder some of us incur bank charges although ou are desperately trying to avoid them.


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder ruralgirl Novitiate



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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    Quote Originally Posted by Tinohead View Post
    Hi,

    I got a call from my bank this morning saying I had a DDicon due to come out at the end of the day that would put me over my overdraft limit. I checked it and it was for 162.79 to my local council.

    Last month I setup up a payment agreement with the council to pay my council tax, at 75 a month, and arranged a DD to pay it.

    I have letter from them clearly stating the first payment is due on the 5/11 and is for 75.

    I've had no contact from the council since, but they are now trying to take nearly 90 more from my account. I don't have the money to cover this payment and will be charged 28 from my bank for going over my limit.

    As I understood the DD Guarantee if either parties made a mistake I would be entitled to a full and immediate refund. However, I've been trying to phone the council all day, and am constantly on hold. I've also left a message explaining the urgency but as yet have had no response.

    Where do I stand with this, the bank say I can't cancel that payment without 3 days notice, so where does the "full and immediate refund" come into play?

    Am I entitled to claim the forthcoming 28 charge back from the council?

    Any help greatly appreciated, thanks!
    I was in a similar position last year. I had an arrangement with the council to pay 50 a month by DD and they took over 300 from my account one month (from our benefits) leaving us with about 20 to live on for the next 2 weeks.

    I went into my bank to ask for an immediate refund as I thought there had been a mistake and that the DD guarantee gave me that right but it doesn't work like that. Your bank actually makes the refund but only if they think they are likely to be able to recover the payment (in my case, from the council). My bank got the council on the phone and they said that all council tax arrears had to be cleared by next April and even if I have/had an arrangement they had adjusted the figure to ensure my account would be clear by April so basically, tough! The bank refused the refund.

    I phoned the council when I got home and the customer servicesicon (who deal with council tax matters) said the same. After some arguing I got to speak to the guy who I made the arrangement with (organ grinder rather than the CS monkeys). He said I should cancel the DD and he'd send me a payment card so I could continue with the 50 payments.

    He sent me the card, confirmed the 50 again in writing and told me to ignore anything that comes out of the computer asking for big payments.

    Sorry it's not what you want to hear about the DD guarantee but your best bet would be to contact the person you made the arrangement with at the council and try to make your payments manually (card or payment book at the Post Office) as the council can change the DD amount and by the time you get the letter they may have taken the money, this month and every month if they choose and unless your bank is really friendly, chances of you getting a refund are slim to none.


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    We set up a DDicon with BT for business phones and they tried to take five separate payments on the same day. Our bank rejected them on our behalf

    Years ago I owed council a whole year's c tax as they forgot to take the dd's. They suddenly found the dd mandate and tried to take the whole lot in one go - which obviously bounced. One thing you can do with councils is get your MP involved. If they haven't played fair then the MP will ask them what they are playing at - and if it has caused you hardship you might get some help. Worth a try


  7. #7
    Gold Account Holder patdavies Authoritative patdavies Authoritative patdavies Authoritative patdavies Authoritative patdavies Authoritative patdavies Authoritative patdavies Authoritative patdavies Authoritative patdavies Authoritative



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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    Quote Originally Posted by ruralgirl View Post
    I was in a similar position last year. I had an arrangement with the council to pay 50 a month by DDicon and they took over 300 from my account one month (from our benefits) leaving us with about 20 to live on for the next 2 weeks.

    I went into my bank to ask for an immediate refund as I thought there had been a mistake and that the DD guarantee gave me that right but it doesn't work like that. Your bank actually makes the refund but only if they think they are likely to be able to recover the payment (in my case, from the council).
    Sorry, you've been lied to. It does work as you first thought.

    The council were required to give you notice of the increase from 50 at least 10 or 14 days (I can't remember which offhand). If they failed to do this, then the DD becomes immediately refundable by your bank.

    There is no question of "if they think they are like to be able to recover the payment" as they simply reverse the transaction and reclaim the money automatically.


  8. #8
    Basic Account Holder ruralgirl Novitiate



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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    I fully agree, I was so angry but when the bank got the council on the phone and they told the bank they were in their right to increase the DDicon to clear the arrears by April and that no mistake had been made, of course the bank refused to refund.

    Councils are a rule to themselves as you know - I didn't get the required notice to increase the payments and the nice guy at the council (organ grinder) said he would have refunded the payment under the circumstances but the fact is, my bank didn't.

    However wrong it all is and how many lies they all tell, when you are face to face with the bank manager who tells you to sod off 'cos he's been on the phone to the council, what option do you have?

    I appreciate what you are saying and in theory you are right but what happens in theory and what happens in practice are two different things.

    I was just saying what happened to me, if you have more experience and knowledge then I apologise.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    Ten working days, and Pat is right RG - they've broken the DDicon Guarantee and you should have had the money back even if it was the Council. I'm afraid I don't know who you'd report it to, but you could try a letter/email to BACS to find out; they run the scheme and would probably know who to complain at.

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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    Quote Originally Posted by Lula View Post
    banking - direct debiticon guarantee

    The direct debit guarantee is a powerful safeguard for customers.
    Sorry - it would have been better if you noted this as being APACS propaganda, rather than as if it was your considered opinion!

    Do not be fooled, there is nothing 'powerful' in the guarantee whatsoever, the statement in itself (by them) is laughable. It does NOT cover for any consequential loss, a major complaint when an incorrect debit causes many unrelated debits which WOULD have been fine and dandy to fail. The bank will rightly say they failed because there were no funds in the account (which was true), the cause of this being an incorrect DDicon is immaterial.

    The longer they continue to fool the public that a DDM empowers them when in reality it is the opposite, is a major cause of concert.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    I actually think that it was fairly obvious that it was a cut and paste job

    Lula


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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    Not wanting to labour the point, but having looked at it again, I can't see how it could possibly have been 'fairly obvious' to either a casual or inexperienced reader, especially as it wasn't attributed either!

    I'm therefore assuming you agree that the DDM guarantee isn't 'powerful protection' for the consumer?


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    That is why a standing order is the best course of action as they cannot alter the amount or take it from your account earlier than expected as you are in control!


  14. #14
    Basic Account Holder ruralgirl Novitiate



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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    Quote Originally Posted by demon_x_slash View Post
    Ten working days, and Pat is right RG - they've broken the DDicon Guarantee and you should have had the money back even if it was the Council. I'm afraid I don't know who you'd report it to, but you could try a letter/email to BACS to find out; they run the scheme and would probably know who to complain at.

    servicedesk@bacsservices. co.uk
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    3rd Floor
    Livingstone House
    12 Finsbury Square
    London
    EC2A 1AS
    I didn't report it, nor am I going to. It was last year and you get over it although at the time I was devastated. The problem with this sort of thing is that you are only entitled to a refund under the guarantee if there has been an error - the council increasing the DD payment wasn't an error as their policy is to clear council tax arrears in the current financial year. The arrangement in effect was more of a concession which allows me to pay a bit off the arrears over a longer period of time and is more or less at the discretion of the person I made the arrangement with. He is aware of my circumstances and obviously has more than one brain cell as he knows damn well that blood out of a stone isn't a viable option.

    As for not being given notice of the increase, well I looked into that too and technically I had been given notice in the form of the council tax demand which stated the monthly amount payable to clear the arrears by the end of March (the stuff the nice man who I made the arrangement with told me to ignore).

    I replied in this thread initially to try to help the OP who is in the same position as I was last year. Sounding off and quoting 'laws' doesn't really help if you owe the council money, they are the ones who can send in the bailiffs. Talking with the person you make the arrangement with rather than "the council" was beneficial in my case. Paying by DD when you KNOW they can increase the payments (computer says yes) isn't helpful and the OP would be better sorting out an alternative payment method which would put him in control to prevent this happening again.

    Just my opinion but it is based on experience.


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder Douglas52 Informative Douglas52 Informative



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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    On two occasions recently I have had DDs taken for incorrect amounts. I had to quote chapter & verse of the DDicon website to the bank staff to get them to agree to refund the sums immediately. I then cancelled the direct debits and contacted the company telling them what I had done and why.

    Clearly some bank staff do not know the terms of the DD guarantee.

    written entirely without prejudice to my whole rights and pleas in law and may not be founded upon in any proceedings.
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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    I had a DDicon taken out on the wrong date (just before payday!) and would have meant I'd be charged 38 to bounce it. Luckily I was checking my account online on the day it happened - I rang my branch (Natwesticon) and the lady I spoke to couldn't have been more helpful (unusual I know!) she said as it was the same day as the DD had been requested she would simply return it and my account would be back in credit same day - I have to say I was a bit sceptical - but lo and behold it happened as she said, the DD was returned and account back to normal by next day!

    I've since found out from talking to a Barclaysicon employee that all banks are able to return it if you know about it on the day it's requested.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    Sometimes if you check your ledger balance on online banking (this works for halifaxicon) it will be less than the actual balance as there are DDicon waiting to come off, if you spot it then you can call and physically watch your ledger balance go back up while you are on the phone getting it cancelled.

    Any posts submitted here on the Consumer Action Group under the user name GlasweJen may not necessarily be the view of the poster, CAG or indeed any normal person.

    I've become addicted to green blobs (I have 2 now) so feel free to tip my scales if I ever make sense.;-)




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  18. #18
    Basic Account Holder gage Novitiate



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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    I've never had any problems myself with getting DDicon's returned by the bank just popped in said "that direct debiticon shouldnt have gone out" and boom it's refunded and cancelled.

    Admitadly when I was younger I even made use of it when the direct debit was completly correct but I was a bit skint, just got the bank to reverse it then made it up to the relavent company by card the next friday


  19. #19
    Basic Account Holder laalaa41 Novitiate



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    Default Re: Direct Debit Guarantee

    ...as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Consequential loss hmm. 2 direct debits came off on the wrong date and a 3rd arrived from a company Id cancelled a year ago. I had 150 "cushion" which wasnt enough. This happened 2 days before pay day. I will be suffering the repercussions for 3 - 5 years because RBSicon bounced every legitimate cheque, SO and DDicon. The cheques - twice. My credit rating sucks big time. The FSA have found for the bank - at a time when anyone can get their charges back (because they can) I can't. I lived on cereal for a month. Im working to end all DD payments - open doors to anyone to take what they want and when. Anyone know a good lawyer out there? I feel sooo strongly that these multi-million pound organisations can rob poor people and there's not a thing we can do about it? Technically 350 - 500 down (food budget) - long term, disaster.



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