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Direct debit arrears - whose responsibility?


allybee13
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Hi guys - I hope you can help me.

 

I got some books from BCA book club last year in September that I could pay up by direct debit. One set was to be £4.99 for 8 months and the other set £5.99 for 9 months. I filled out the direct debit mandates when I ordered and I received the books within 2 weeks.

 

BCA didn't take the first direct debit of £4.99 until December and the £5.99 set until March. I keep getting emails and letters telling me that I'm in arrears but I have a letter from BCA saying that they'll take £5.99 from March to November so the delay is due to them not taking the debits. I can't find the letter relating to the first set.

 

I've now received notification threatening to refer the arrears to a debt collection agency and add £15 to the £27 they say I owe them. I've spoken to them on the phone four times and contacted them online but I'm still getting nowhere. It's one of those Indian call centres and they just don't seem to understand what I'm trying to tell them, which is that direct debit is BCA's responsibility and if they didn't start taking them for a few months then I can't be in arrears.

 

Am I wrong? Is my account in arrears even though they failed to start taking the direct debits?

 

Thanks in advance for your help,

Ally

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I recently went to the FOS with a similar thing and they sided with the company - they said that I should ahve checked the statements and my bank account and noticed that the money wasn't going out :(

Poppynurse :)

 

If my comments have been helpful please click my scales!!!!

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This is one of the other downsides of Direct Debit they do not tell you about. IT DOES NOT MATTER if you have given authority, and they do not take hte payment - the responsibility to pay ALWAYS remains with the customer - end of story - there is no mitigation possible, if they do not take the money, you have to find some other way of remitting.

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Thanks folks. Not what I wanted to hear, but it does clarify things for me.

 

I'm reluctant to pay the arrears since they've written to say they'll be taking direct debits until November which would mean that I'll end up paying too much if I don't cancel the direct debits on time. :-x

 

Needless to say I wouldn't recommend getting books on the direct debit scheme with BCA.

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Actually, BCA are not to be recommended with any DD, as they have been coming down hard on folk to have missed returning their 'Editor's Choice Rejection' slip by hours... - sending the book then taking the money. All legal - but giving access to ANY company is simply asking for trouble. If you cancel the DD you may have the hassle of sending them a cheque to pay for the purchases you agreed to, but that's nothing to having to chase getting your money back once they have it!

 

Also, their Book of the Month style of trading doesn;t make it easily known that their month is only 4 weeks long, which means you can never pay on the same date each month as it always creeps forward - this way, tey can squeeze 13 books into a year!

 

NALOPKT :)

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I'll be cancelling my account with them once I've paid off the books anyway. I don't want to deal with them again. I've had dealings with their Editor's Choice tactics in the past but it's possible to cancel the automatic issue of the Editor's Choice which I did as soon as I found out I could.

 

Shame their books can be such good value though ...

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DDs have advantages but also downfalls as illustrated here. But if you have online banking why bother with DDs at all? All you have to do is say ,once a week, log on are sort your bills out by direct payment, it is under your control then, you can check what has been paid in case something has been missed.

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