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These are often confused with direct debits, but do not offer the same guarantee if the amount or date of the payment changes.  .  In most cases, regular payments can be cancelled by telling the company taking the payments.   .  However,   you have the right to cancel them directly with your bank or card issuer by telling it that you have stopped permission for the payments.   Your bank or card issuer must then stop them – it has no right to insist that you agree this first with the company taking the payments.  .  Be aware, though, that you will still be responsible for paying any money that you owe. and that CANCELLING YOUR CARD WILL NOT STOP THE CPA  .  ..  .  New june 2013  .  Regulator orders Banks and mutuals to review complaints about not cancelling recurring payments from November 2009.  .  Consumers who have set up a regular payment from their account will now be able to successfully cancel that arrangement   by contacting their card provider, the Financial Conduct Authority said.  .  The FCA has been examining how easy it is for customers to cancel Continuous Payment Authorities (CPAs)   due either to payday lendersicon or for other regular payments such as subscriptions or gymicon memberships.  .  CPAs, which are also commonly called recurring transactions or recurring payments,   are relatively easy to set up but can be hard to cancel, causing problems for consumers trying to manage their finances,the FCA said.  .  Now, following the FCA review of how the largest high street banks and mutuals process requests to cancel CPAs, they have agreed that they will ensure that when   a customer asks for a recurring payment to end, that will be sufficient to cancel the arrangement. They have also confirmed that should a payment go through by   mistake following cancellation by a customer the customer will be refunded immediately.  .  In addition to securing this commitment, the largest banks and mutuals have agreed to review every individual complaint they have received about the non-  cancellation of a CPA and to pay redress where payments have continued to be made despite the customer cancelling the arrangement. This applies to all complaints   since November 2009 when the Financial Services Authority, the FCA’s predecessor, began regulating banking conduct.  .  Clive Adamson, the FCA’s director of supervision, said: “It’s important that consumers are confident that banks are meeting their everyday banking needs. Today   customers can be confident that when they ask for a Continuous Payment Authority to be cancelled – it will be cancelled - and that it can be done easily.   . “We recognise that historically this is an area where some customers have struggled but the banks and mutuals have responded positively to our work on this issue.   From now on we expect them to be getting this right. In addition, they have committed to review past complaints.” .  .  Also mentioned your displeasure that as whomever took your money had obviously attempted this many times   probably activating your banks own anti fraud software - nobody had the decency to inform my you this was going on.? .  .In the FSA's own words:  .  ..  What should I do about a payment from my account that I didn’t authorise?  .  Your bank must refund an unauthorised transaction.   Money can only be taken from your account if you have authorised the transaction   or if your bank can prove you were at fault –  . see below.  Contact your bank immediately if you notice an unauthorised payment from your account. .  If you are sure you did not authorise the payment, you can claim a refund.  .  However, your bank does not have to refund you if you do not tell it about the payment until 13 months  or more after the date it left your account.  .  Your bank must refund an unauthorised transaction  .  ------------------  .  Your bank may only refuse a refund for an unauthorised transaction if:  .  ? it can prove you authorised the transaction  – though your bank cannot simply say that use of your password,   card and PIN proves you authorised a payment; or .  ? it can prove you are at fault because you acted fraudulently,   or because you deliberately,   or with gross negligence, failed to protect the details of your card, PIN or password in a way that allowed the transaction  .  -----------------------  .  How quickly must my bank refund me for an unauthorised transaction?  .  The bank must make the refund immediately unless it has evidence that one of the above reasons applies.   Your bank may ask you to answer some questions and fill out a form confirming what has happened,   but it cannot delay your refund while it waits for you to return the form.  If the bank has evidence that one of the above reasons for refusing a refund applies,   it may investigate before making a refund   but must look into it as quickly as possible.   If your bank rejects your claim for a refund it should explain why.  If the transaction was on a credit card, the refund may not happen immediately.   But the card issuer cannot charge interest or ask for repayment of the amount unless it can prove you are liable to pay        
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caro

Penalties for not paying by direct debit

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There was an item on Watchdog on Monday about phone and utility companies charging customers extra if they don't pay by direct debit.

 

Clearly this is a penalty, which as we all know is not on. BBC Watchdog have produced a template to write to the companies involved, including addresses, which is shown below. There is also a link to the item on the BBC website for those who want to see it there.

 

[YOUR ADDRESS]

 

[ADDRESS OF COMPANY – list of company addresses are below]

 

 

 

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to complain about your penalty charge for customers who do not pay by direct debit.

 

This charge is unfair as it does not reflect the true cost of processing my payment. It is simply a method of increasing your revenue. You will be aware that the law states very clearly that a penalty charge is unlawful and as such not payable, and request that you provide me with evidence to the contrary if you refute this.

 

In the absence of such evidence, any charges made against my account will be met with a demand for repayment and subsequently a claim through the county court should you ignore it.

Yours faithfully,

 

 

 

 

[YOUR NAME]

 

 

 

Phone company addresses:

BT

Customer Services

BT plc

Correspondence Centre

Durham DH98 1BT

 

VIRGIN MEDIA

Virgin Media - Watchdog Complaints

Matrix Court

Llansamlet

Swansea SA7 9BB

 

Talk Talk (mobile)

TalkTalk Telecom Limited

Customer Care

1 Portal Way

London W3 6RS

 

3

3 Customer Services

Hutchison 3G UK Ltd

PO Box No 333

Glasgow G2 9AG

Email: customer.services@3mail.com

 

O2

Complaints Review Service

Arlington Business Centre

Millshaw Park Lane

Leeds LS11 0NE

Email: pressoffice@02.com

 

T-Mobile

6 Camberwell Way

Doxford

Sunderland SR3 3XN

Email: custrel@t-mobile.co.uk

 

Vodafone

Vodafone Customer Care,

Vodafone House,

The Connection,

Newbury,

Berkshire RG14 2FN

 

Orange

Orange Executive Office

Senhouse Road

Lingfield Way

Darlington

County Durham DL1 4YG

Email: executive.office@orange-ftgroup.com

 

Utility company addresses:

British Gas

House Contact Centre

PO Box 50

Leeds LS1 1LE

Powergen

PO Box 7750

Nottingham NG1 6WR

 

Npower

PO Box 93

Peterlee SR8 2XX

 

EDF Energy Customer Service Team

EDF Energy Customer Service Team

Freepost 3814

London WC1V 6AJ

BBC - Consumer - TV and radio - Penalty charges
  • Haha 1

 

What's Best for You?

 

 

The Consumer Action Group is a free help site.

Should you be offered help that requires payment please report it to site team.

 

Alliance & Leicester Moneyclaim issued 20/1/07 £225.50 full settlement received 29 January 2007

Smile £1,075.50 + interest Email request for payment 24/5/06 received £1,000.50 14/7/06 + £20 30/7/06

Yorkshire Bank Moneyclaim issued 21/6/06 £4,489.39 full settlement received 26 January 2007

:p

 

Advice & opinions given by Caro are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional.

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I found the BBC letter a little soft and re-wrote it.

 

It's available as a downloadable template: please use it as you see fit: BT Direct Debit Charges - Template Letter for BT's Unfair Charges


Abbey - Won DPA Claim - Aug 06 and got bailiffs in to recover my court costs of just £30.00

Abbey - Won Charges Refund of £1050 - Nov 06

Egg - Recovered £220 due to Customer Services misinformation - Feb 2007

Nat West - Prelinimary Letter to recover on Credit Card charges £30.00 sent March 2006. £25.40 offered - rejected and the bank reckons that this is it's last word on the matter. We'll see if that's still the case when it reads my N1 form sent recently. It has until the 17th April to respond or the N1 will be submitted.

 

Please check out my web site www.BankChargesScandal.co.uk for Research, Useful links and my story.

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I've just received a recent mobile bill from T-Mobile to discover that they too have put a £3 charge on there for not paying by direct debit.

 

I find this totally ridiculous and restricts customer freedom of choice. Could you imagine if suddenly everyone was suddenly surcharged by any company that issued an invoice for services, simply because they didnt pay by direct debit?

 

Actually I dont remember being offered a choice of payment, nor the notification of a charge if I refused to pay by DD. I've paid my bills upon invoice for about 6 years now.

 

Rip off Britain or what?

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thing is, what can be done about it if we refuse?


Me Vs AA/Blair Oliver - Defaulted on CCA, Committed Criminal Offence, started chasing payment

 

Me Vs Great Universal - Wrote off the 2k balance, couldnt supply docs

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collectors-debt-collection/74209-me-littlewoods-catalogue.html

 

My Friend Vs Lowell Portfolio - Balance written off, all action stopped!

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collectors-debt-collection/75075-my-friend-lowell-victory.html

 

My Friend Vs Empire Catalogue - Balance Cleared

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collectors-debt-collection/75713-my-friend-empire-droyds.html

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i hope something because i have paid them £3 more for 9 months!


£405.18 Unauthorized CC transaction 18 months and counting (underway) HSBC BANK

 

£80 parking fine from private company WON!

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Those who've seen my "been naughty" thread will know that Virgin Media have agreed to give me a monthly credit of £5 due to me having a major complaint with them recently. It's simply a case of "don't ask, don't get"...

 

So use the letter template and kick some botty...


The BidsterMeister

Helper of the hapless and hopeless...

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Virgin have just restated that if I should arrange to pay by DD in order to avoid charges, I have sent the letter not only suggesting this charge is a penalty but asking for the penalties to date to be refunded, - imagine going to buy your groceries or buy a book online or your garage bill and being told you must pay by DD or pay more than the profit they already work into the services on offer!??


'rise like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number, shake your chains to the earth like dew, which in sleep had fall'n on you, ye are many, they are few.' Percy Byshse Shelly 1819

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I sent Orange the template letter over a week ago and have had no response....any ideas on this one please folks?

Regards Cherry:-?

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when claiming unlawful penalty charges from banks, the claims have been for six years and sometimes pre six years, is there any reason why those phone companies that have been applying non DD charges for some time should not repay this penalty charge, whent the OFT published their findings on this, most folk expected the money back, I feel the same about any other unlawful penalty charges.


'rise like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number, shake your chains to the earth like dew, which in sleep had fall'n on you, ye are many, they are few.' Percy Byshse Shelly 1819

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not sure if im in right thread,last month i set up a dd with virgin media now i changed banks tried phoning no succses,i was put through to a india call center couldnt speak english ,today i get a bil with charges so what do i do from hear.

 

b.t.w this mon 26 -3 i sent a letter asking for a dd form after this bill im moving to some 1 else ..


DPA SENT TO MBNA

 

7/4/07 40 DAYS MAY 16 ..

 

 

 

Send the DPA letter for all the statements include a £10 postal order and write "DPA request fee only" across the back of it. Send the letter by Special next day guaranteed delivery. Keep the receipts. Keep a copy of the letter as well.

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Hi Caro

 

Did you see the other template letter?

 

The one to send to the TV licence people

 

Naughty old Watchdog:D :D


lazybones :D

 

All opinions expressed by me are my own personal ones........

If in doubt seek Professional Advice

__________________________

 

MBNA....... S.A.R....Posted..12/3/07

Delivered..13/3/07..Replied..20/4/07-- Incmplete

Non-compliance letter sent...01/05/07

LTSB........S.A.R. ..Posted..14/3/07

Delivered..20/3/07..Replied..21/4/07--Incoplete

Non-compliance letter sent...07/05/07

AL+LE...... S.A.R... Posted..14/3/07

Delivered..15/3/07..Replied..20/4/07--Complete

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I am in receipt of a letter from BT (yesterday) that's in response to a complaint I made on the 19th March about BT's proposed penalty if you don't pay by direct debit.

 

Has anyone else had this letter? I assume it's a standard one.

 

Thank you for your correspondence. Every single customer is important to us and we take your views seriously.

I am glad that you have written because there has been a lot of confusion about what we are planning and l am grateful for the opportunity to put the record straight.

It is true that from May 1; BT is introducing a fee for customers who do not pay their bills by Direct Debit or Monthly Payment Plan. This is not a penalty charge but a discrete fee for methods of payment which cost us more to process.

In summary; the effect on any individual customer will be either 50p up or 50p down a month. Let me explain why. The £4.50 a quarter increase will be offset by a £3 a quarter cut in line rental for non-Direct Debit customers so the net effect is £1.50 a quarter or 50p a month. Non-Direct Debit customers with both phone and broadband from BT will see a cut of 50p a month, because broadband pricing is going down by £3 a quarter.

BT's fee for non-Direct Debit payments is amongst the lowest around. For example, Virgin Media charge £5 a -month. Many companies, such as Gar phone Warehouse, will only accept customers who agree to pay by Direct Debit.

I also want to reassure you that the fee will not apply to customers on BT's special rates for low income and vulnerable customers, such as In Contact Plus, the Light User Scheme and Pay & Call.

We have introduced these changes because it costs more to accept non-Direct Debit payments from customers. This is not just because of the cost of taking the payments, but because on average customers are more likely to forget to pay or not pay, and this leaves us with bad debt of around £100 million a year.

At BT; we are committed to offering our customers a wide choice of ways to pay their bills; 23 at the last count: Whilst we encourage choice of payment, it is worth pointing out that Direct Debit has benefits for customers. It saves time and is convenient. It means that your BT bill is one less thing to worry about.

If you choose to pay by Direct Debit, we try to give you ten days from the time of receiving the bill before processing the Direct Debit payment giving you plenty of time to ask questions, and we tell you on the bill when the amount will be taken from your account. There is also a Direct Debit Guarantee which protects you and your money. If any error is made by BT or your bank or building society, you are guaranteed a full and immediate refund from your branch of the amount paid.

We will also waive the non-Direct Debit fee if you choose to switch to Direct Debit or Monthly Payment Plan after receiving your first biII after May 1st.

_

If you do not have a bank account, but would like to take advantage of Direct Debit or Monthly Payment Plan, a basic bank account is now available to almost everyone in the UK through the Post Office or many high street banks. You can contact the Financial Services Authority for a list of current basic bank account providers.

I hope this lengthy explanation has been useful. As I said at the outset, we do value your custom however you decide to pay your bill. We are also committed to offering our customers great value which is the reason last summer we announced over £200m of price cuts and from June 1 we are extending our special offer of free evening and weekend calls as a 'thank you' to our loyal customers.

Yours sincerely

pp

Gillian Lewis

Head of Complaint Management, Customer Services

 

What's most annoying is that Gillian Lewis couldn't even be bothered to sign the letter herself - it's PPed from someone else. What's worse than that is that it's a scanned signature! Jeeeeez, why can't they scan Ms Lewis' signature?


Abbey - Won DPA Claim - Aug 06 and got bailiffs in to recover my court costs of just £30.00

Abbey - Won Charges Refund of £1050 - Nov 06

Egg - Recovered £220 due to Customer Services misinformation - Feb 2007

Nat West - Prelinimary Letter to recover on Credit Card charges £30.00 sent March 2006. £25.40 offered - rejected and the bank reckons that this is it's last word on the matter. We'll see if that's still the case when it reads my N1 form sent recently. It has until the 17th April to respond or the N1 will be submitted.

 

Please check out my web site www.BankChargesScandal.co.uk for Research, Useful links and my story.

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what kinda of response can you put to that?


Me Vs AA/Blair Oliver - Defaulted on CCA, Committed Criminal Offence, started chasing payment

 

Me Vs Great Universal - Wrote off the 2k balance, couldnt supply docs

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collectors-debt-collection/74209-me-littlewoods-catalogue.html

 

My Friend Vs Lowell Portfolio - Balance written off, all action stopped!

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collectors-debt-collection/75075-my-friend-lowell-victory.html

 

My Friend Vs Empire Catalogue - Balance Cleared

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/debt-collectors-debt-collection/75713-my-friend-empire-droyds.html

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has anyone taken them to court yet for this, or threatened it.


Won....:D:D:D...£3778.50

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Hi, I am just about to file a court claim with tmobile, I have sent the letters and they havent even responded to one. I am waiting till the end of the week before i file with MCOL.

Jenny

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l have had the same letter as Odd Fellow so where do we go from here?

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deleted message

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Hi all,

 

6th paragraph of BT letter...

 

"This is not just because of the cost of taking the payments, but because on average customers are more likely to forget to pay or not pay, and this leaves us with bad debt of around £100 million a year."

 

I thought penalty charges should only reflect actual costs, not what might happen. Why should those who do pay on time be penalised???

 

Alan.

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Good point Alan!

 

Thank you to Caro for this thread and the template letter, which I have downloaded and sent off by way of my own official complaint today.

 

Lets hope lots of members with BT do this. Maybe they will get the message that we are NOT happy little buzzbies about it :mad:

 

Did anyone else notice in their "keeping you informed" letter that they intend to charge a fee for the 1571 answerphone service as well??? There are conditions and I quote :

 

From 01/03/2007 customers who do not make some chargeable* or inclusive* calls with BT will be charged for their BT Answer 1571 service. Monthly billers must make at least 2 chargeable calls with BT in that month, otherwise BT will charge £1 (inc VAT) a month for the standard BT Answer 1571 service. Customers billed quarterly must make at least 6 chargeable calls with BT in that quarter, otherwise BT will charge £3 (inc VAT) a quarter. *Note: excludes calls made with BT Broadbank Talk.

 

Also, late payment charges are increased from £5 to £7.50 from 01/05/2007; and the one off charge for restoring your telephone line from outbound calls barred will be increased from £11.75 to £17.50. This is AS WELL as the penalties for not paying by direct debit. :mad:

 

Considering the profits they already make I think these new money grabbing tactics are disgusting!

 

Spiritgirl ;-)


Please note I am not legally qualified, I am offering advice based on my own personal experience in the hope that it may be of help to others in a similar situation.

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Hello my partner is with virgin previously eurobell for his broadband. He was paying by direct debit every month through my account, until he got his own account sorted out. I then stopped the payment from my account. Because of some mix up with his new bank account not recieving the forms, he had changes put on his next bill of £20 for admin changes. So he then decided to pay by bill through the post office and noticed he had to pay more a month. He phoned and asked why and they told him it was because of admin changes again for sending out a bill. Which does not seem right because they send him a reminder every month telling him what date his payment is due.

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Thanks for this thread, will be sending off my complaint letter tomorrow.....oops today.

How about his.

My daughter had money problems and had her BT phone cut off. After many weeks she found the money and wanted the phone re-connected. She came to use my phone to call BT and went through all the options to get it connected. No luck. She then called the BT operator who was very helpfull and connected her to the correct department. All went well.

When my bill came in they had charged me £1.28 for the 2min call. Cheeky b*****s. I phoned and queried this and they said it would be refunded on this bill. It wasn't. I also got the £5.00 for late payment charge.

I will be on the phone to them shortly.

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In most cases companies trying to impose a surcharge for certain methods of payment might well, if challenged legally, have to justify their costs of collection and, indeed, their original terms of contract, should there be no provision for such a surcharge. However, particularly with a new company, or an existing company offering a new range of services (with no previous pricing scale for comparison) they would probably be within their rights to offer a discount (as opposed to a surcharge) for payment by their preferred method, the cost of which would, of course, be factored into their commercial costings when setting their prices. Obviously, if the discrepancy between the 'normal' and 'discounted' rates was excessive this might be subject to challenge as an unfair contract term, however, under current legislation, this might be more difficult to challenge.

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I sent off the template letter to Orange as they'd been charging me £3 a month for not paying by direct debit.

 

I've just had this letter back:

 

Dear X

 

Thank you for your recent correspondence, regarding our charges when bills are not paid by Direct Debit.

 

We introduced the charge for payment by means other than Direct Debit in 2005. This charge genuinely reflects the costs incurred in processing payments and is no way a penalty charge. In a recent statement the Trading Standards Institute confirmed that these charges are lawful.

 

Payment by Direct Debit is simple and easy to set up and gives you the added benefit of the Direct Debit Guarantee.

 

We trust this addresses your concerns.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Hakim Alazaibi

Executive Assistant

 

-----

 

So how do we find out if the Trading Standards Institute have indeed pronounced on this and what they said exactly?

 

Also, never been entirely sure of what benefit I gain from the Direct Debit Guarantee?

 

Any thoughts?

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Well, theoretically, hah, if the billing company mess up, under the DD Guarantee you're meant to get an immediate refund from the bank, and the bank then look to the billing company for recompense. However...


-----

Click the scales if I've been useful! :)

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