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Direct debit charges


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Mrs and Ms t-star took out a gym membership recently. Ms t-stars direct debit was returned (Her fault). we recieved a letter from Harlands to tell her she is being charged £25 as an admin fee. We sent an e-mail to them and here is part of their respose....

 

 

£25.00 is the amount deemed by our directors as representative of our costs in dealing with the administration involved

with a missed or returned payment.

 

When we submit for a payment by Direct Debit which is then returned, we are charged by the bank.

 

This amount does not amount to £25.00, however, and we understand that the cost of the paper,

envelope and franking of the default letters does not make up the entirety of the rest of the sum,

 

however as a business we have to pay overheads for staff wages,

whose employment would not otherwise be required if it were not for the missed

or returned payments and furthermore pay overheads for office space

and increased usage of utilities to accommodate these staff

and the processes involved with the administration involved with missed or returned payments.

 

So the £25 is just a made up figure from a director below is a copy of the clubs T's & C's...

any thoughts on this would be welcome........

FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR FRIENDS IN THE NSA USING THE PRISM SYSTEM. HELLO FROM THE UK.

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the FCA [FSA] clearly indicated that ANY penalty charge is unfair.

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s -  would collapse overnight.

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs - that's why they will never tell you they are not bailiffs and have absolutely zero legal powers on any debt.

 

 

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£12.00 is reasonable £25.00 is not refuse to pay it is an unfair contract.

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no fixed penalty fee is reasonable.

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s -  would collapse overnight.

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs - that's why they will never tell you they are not bailiffs and have absolutely zero legal powers on any debt.

 

 

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Hi Tstar,

 

Harlands have a liking for sending BIG letters to explain their views on matters. However, it does not alter the facts which have already been said above.

 

Their admin charges are effectively penalty charges and are NOT enforceable.

 

You could write to them saying, "Regardless of your opinion, I am aware that your admin charges are :-

 

1. Penalties payable on breach of contract and thus unenforceable.

 

2. Payable due to the inclusion in your Terms and Conditions of an unfair term under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 and therefore not binding on the Consumer.

 

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Thanks for the replies i will be formulating a reply to them tomorrow

FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR FRIENDS IN THE NSA USING THE PRISM SYSTEM. HELLO FROM THE UK.

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The sum must reflect actual costs incurred and not exceed damages the Gym has suffered due to the breach of contract, otherwise it becomes a penalty, which is unenforceable. The charges exceed the gym's losses and are not enforceable by law. This is covered in the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and at Common Law. Some banks and companies argue that charges are a fee for a service. Iif this is the case then they must be reasonable under S.15 of the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.

 

That company is sending out penalty charges to help with wages? Its automatic, a computer dishes out the charges. Threaten him with court action and keep hold of that letter.

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So just an update. Harlands are insisting that the charge stands and are not willing to discuss it further. I know its only £25 but I think there is a principle involved. Any thoughts on where to go fro here.....

FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR FRIENDS IN THE NSA USING THE PRISM SYSTEM. HELLO FROM THE UK.

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as post 7

 

its a PENALTY charges, none are 'fair' under FSA [FCA] guidelines

 

dx

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

 

if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s -  would collapse overnight.

 

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs - that's why they will never tell you they are not bailiffs and have absolutely zero legal powers on any debt.

 

 

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Hi Tstar,

 

What is happening about the gym m/ship. Did you make up for the missed payment.

 

Do you want to remain a gym member if you can.

 

Or does their intransigence mean you do NOT want to remain a member. I suggest you have grounds to cancel if they insist on charging you admin fees which are unenforceable penalties.

 

When we know your answers, we can suggest your next move.

 

:wink:

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Miss t-star does want to remain a member of the gym and they are going to take the admin charge by direct debit with the next payment. It does seem like they are digging their heels in on this one. any ideas how i can make their heels slip.....

 

 

t-star

FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR FRIENDS IN THE NSA USING THE PRISM SYSTEM. HELLO FROM THE UK.

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Hi Tstar,

 

You didn't say if the missed DD pay't was made to bring the a/c up to date.

 

Harlands cannot just take what they like by DD and if they take the admin fee as well as the m/ship fee, you can get it refunded under the DD Guarantee Scheme quite easily. However, the bank would refund the WHOLE payment and not just the disputed £25 and this will then leave the m/ship fee needing to be paid again to keep the m/ship pay'ts up to date.

 

I suspect they are wrong about THEM being charged when a DD bounces. To my knowledge, it is only the payer that is charged and not the payee. However, I see no point in arguing this point just now.

 

I suggest you write to Harlands as follows :-

 

Dear sir or madam,

 

I refer to your letter of xxdate which implies that you have the right to charge your £25 admin fee.

 

You are wrong about this, regardless of whether such a charge is mentioned in a gym's membership T&C's.

 

The admin fee is a penalty payable on breach of contract and is thus unenforceable. The admin fee exceed the gym's losses and this is covered in the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 and at Common Law.

 

If you take any more than the agreed monthly gym fee by Direct Debit, it will be reclaimed under the DD Guarantee Scheme via the bank. I will then have to cancel the DD mandate and pay the membership fee to the gym manually.

 

Unless you agree to waive your admin fee, your intransigence will leave me with no option but to cancel my membership immediately on the basis of your abuse of the DD mandate.

 

In that event, I will tell the [gym/the gym's Head Office] that my membership is being cancelled because of your intransigence regarding unlawful penalty fees.

 

Please reconsider this matter and confirm that you NOT charge me admin fees, either now or in the future.

 

For my part, I will do my best to see that funds are in place so the DD does not bounce again.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

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Tanks for the reply slick...

 

 

They have already stated to me that they will be charging the admin fee and will not enter in to any further correspondence regarding it.

 

this is their final wording....

 

"We believe we have made our position clear regarding the administration charges, and will not enter into any further correspondence regarding this matter."

 

So i dont think that sending a further letter willl make any difference. I will get Ms t-star to ask at the gym today as to whether she can make manual payments directly instead.

 

 

t-star

FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR FRIENDS IN THE NSA USING THE PRISM SYSTEM. HELLO FROM THE UK.

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Hi Tstar,

 

Can you say which gym this concerns.

 

I would send the letter anyway as Harlands are generally keen to correspond.

 

Also, don't necessarily believe what they say like, "We will not enter into further correspondence". We have seen them threaten court action many times, but they don't follow it through.

 

They're in the wrong and, if they lose the gym's customers because of this, the gyms should be told. Only then are we likely to see the likes of Harlands start behaving more reasonably to the customers of other businesses.

 

:wink:

We could do with some help from you

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