I share this to help others avoid a very expensive mistake and to ask if anyone has any advice on how I might resolve a painful issue relating to D&G's practices and if/how consumers have any recourse if suppliers take Direct Debit (DD) payments for services they are not providing?
In 2008 I bought a new Washer Dryer. Shortly afterwards received a phone call from D&G asking if I wanted to take up an insurance policy (Appliance Care) should there be a problem. To my deep regret I agreed to this and set up a direct debit, all of this done by phone.
Wind forward to 2020 and I spotted a direct debit payment that had been coming out of my bank account every month, for increasing amounts of money. I didn't recognise what this was for - it was named as different things over the years (never anything that would identify it easily). I had assumed it was something my wife had organised. To my horror I learned that this was for D&G Appliance Care for a machine that I had sold with the flat it was in 10 years earlier. (Admitting to my wife that this has been going on and I hadn't spotted it wasn't the best of conversations we had had!)
I contacted D&G to explain that we had sold the machine, the house it sat and and left the UK to live overseas for years. I provided evidence of this and explained that I had not received any communication from D&G for 10+ years regarding the policy or subsequent changes that had been made to it including increased cost.
D&G's response was far from satisfactory. Their position was that they had not obligation to get my approval for continuation of the policy or to any increase in the premium they charged. In other words, that as long as I didn't cancel the Direct Debit, they could keep taking the payment - and increasing it - as long as they liked.
I have spoken to my bank about this (NatWest) and they say that they have no duty to inform me of any changes to the premium taken. Once the DD is set up, what happens is between the supplier (D&G) and me.
I have clearly made a mistake here and not questioned what the oddly named Direct Debits were for. I am surprised though that suppliers like D&G aren't required to have customer approval to change payments they take. I am also surprised to know that customers have no recourse in situations like this and that a company like D&G when presented with the facts, wouldn't accept that they have received payment for a service they haven't provided....for 10 years.
If anyone has any advice / thoughts on this I'd be very grateful to hear from you.
If anyone gets a phone call from D&G or other insurance providers, I would urge caution and really question if you want to set up a Direct Debit.