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Penalties for not paying by direct debit


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Hi Chap and chapesses. I sent Orange the form about the unfair charges for non direct debit and have just recieved this email back from them !. Does this mean go away we are going to charge you what we want to charge you or am I just thick?

 

Thank you for your email dated 23 August addressed to the Executive Office,

regarding 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. I refer you to the recent statement

issued by the Trading's Standards Institute confirming that these charges are

lawful:-

 

"Trading Standards officers have received a number of complaints regarding

the extra charge levied by some companies on consumers who pay other than by

Direct Debit. These charges are lawful. The Price Indications (Method of

Payment) Regulations 1991 allow differential pricing provided the indication

of the higher price is expressed clearly, unambiguously, and that it's easily

identifiable by a consumer as applying to the goods, services, accommodation

or facilities concerned, and given prominently and legibly."

 

I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy about the charge and feel that it is

unfair. I trust I have explained the reason why the charge is applied.

 

If you would like to discuss this issue further please call me on 0870

8700862 between the hours of 09:00 and 17:30 Tuesday to Thursday. I trust

this is acceptable.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Pauline Roberts

Executive Office

 

 

what do you think guy`s? cos I think that it just gives them the right to charge what they want when they want to charge it!

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Hi Chap and chapesses. I sent Orange the form about the unfair charges for non direct debit and have just recieved this email back from them !. Does this mean go away we are going to charge you what we want to charge you or am I just thick?

 

Thank you for your email dated 23 August addressed to the Executive Office,

regarding 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. I refer you to the recent statement

issued by the Trading's Standards Institute confirming that these charges are

lawful:-

 

"Trading Standards officers have received a number of complaints regarding

the extra charge levied by some companies on consumers who pay other than by

Direct Debit. These charges are lawful. The Price Indications (Method of

Payment) Regulations 1991 allow differential pricing provided the indication

of the higher price is expressed clearly, unambiguously, and that it's easily

identifiable by a consumer as applying to the goods, services, accommodation

or facilities concerned, and given prominently and legibly."

 

I am sorry to hear that you are unhappy about the charge and feel that it is

unfair. I trust I have explained the reason why the charge is applied.

 

If you would like to discuss this issue further please call me on 0870

8700862 between the hours of 09:00 and 17:30 Tuesday to Thursday. I trust

this is acceptable.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Pauline Roberts

Executive Office

 

 

what do you think guy`s? cos I think that it just gives them the right to charge what they want when they want to charge it!

 

 

 

Hi,

 

 

Sounds like a fob off to me.

 

If the fees charged genuinely reflects their costs to process payments, ask them to prove it! They won't of course, so unfortunately you would have the choice of taking them to Court or put up with it!

 

 

Regards, Jeff.

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to jeff & dave 123456

The views expressed above seem a little juvinile for in the Warsall County Court in Case No: 7WJ 02610 (Bond (nee Ferihough) -v- British Telecom) the Court has already ruled that the payment of £4-50 is not a penalty insofar as it is a core term of the service contract.

 

As I understand Mrs Bond's arguement was, that the imposed £4-50 non DD charge was unfair within the meaning of UTCCR 1998 and likewise if the charge was removed it would not effect any term or condition of the contract in any way. The Judge stated, that the £4-50 charge was a core term and as such was not subject to the assessment of fairness under UTCCR1998, because matters which are core terms relating to price and service are not assessable, providing, that due notice has been given to the consumer that there is going to be a change in either price or service.

 

British Telecom argued that non-direct debit charges, minimum contract periods and charges for itemised billing were core terms, because they are essential to the bargain which consumers will assess when making a decision to contract.

 

B/T submits that late payment charges, payment failure charges and restoring service charges are non-core terms.

 

Whilst this case does not set any legal precedent, it is nevertheless a signpost of things to come. It highlights the relevance that the Courts take in the on-going development of contract law. The Court did not consider the charge was a penalty, far from it, it considered the charge as an essential core term of the contract.

 

Equally, Ofcom considers non dd charge a legitmate business expense, and call payments by DD a discount. Their only arguement is that, non dd payments should not be used to penalize consumers who make payments on time rather than lumping them as bad debtors,

 

My understanding of contract law subscribes,.. that when a customer sign's on the dotted line, those terms and conditions as agreed rendered both parties liable to that agreement and both parties were responsible for adhering and complying to the terms agreed.

 

However, in respect of V/M, at no time did I sign a document with them agreeing to make payment for service by means of direct debit, yet they invoke charge against me and abjectly refuse to provide any express or direct evidence showing that I am liability for the charges imposed.

 

On the other hand, The Regulator Ofcom is charged with a duty to ensure fairness is prominent within the telecom service industry. To date, the behaviour and remonstrations within the current review raises the question of how fairness be achieved if Service Providers are permitted to notify customers (by generic means) of price or service changes when the consumers did not agree to that particular charge when making a decision to contract in the first place.

 

It appears that as the law stands now, neither the Courts or the Regulator is protecting consumers from Service Providers employing illicit tattics by way policy charges to boost profit margins. Just another hussle/ confidence trick for the hard pressed consumer to worry about.

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British Telecom argued that non-direct debit charges, minimum contract periods and charges for itemised billing were core terms, because they are essential to the bargain which consumers will assess when making a decision to contract.

 

This statement by BT presupposes that all of these items are fair, and so cannot be used in deciding whether or not they are core terms. It's saying "these are core terms because they are core terms".

 

"Core terms" as I understand it refers to the basic substance of the contract in the services provided by both parties, and as I recall it is defined this way in the Regulations (though I would advise anyone to check) - BT provide telecomms services, but they cannot argue that they will provide "payment handling services" (I prefer those of our respective banks, thank you), and would consider the idea that receiving payment from the customer is itself a service to be utterly nonsensical.

 

Next time I deal with Virgin, I shall be striking out a few pieces and attaching it to the signed contract.

 

Of course, you can argue that because their contract stipulates that you pay by DD the fee effectively amounts to a penalty for breach of that contract, but that way lies madness.

HSBCLloyds TSBcontractual interestNew Tax Creditscoming for you?NTL/Virgin Media

 

Never give in ... Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Churchill, 1941

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Hi Meagain,

I agree with you that because a you refuse to pay by DD, you incur a penalty, and that is madness, but that is the current state of affairs in respect to paying telecomunication billing.

 

As stated above, I do not have an express contract with V/M (being a telewest customer) wherein V/M (on take-over) imposed a non-DD charge and abjectly refuse's to provide evidence of liability. I cannot be liable to V/M if I have not signed a service contract stipulating payment by DD. Further, I have written inexcess of 37 letters to them and only recieve generic replies which do not address the issues at hand.

 

In terms of contractual obligations, I understand a basic contract has 2 parts, 'the substance and the effects, namely the core terms and non-core terms.'

 

The Substance, is those matters material to the service supplied together with the unbridled cost of the service,.. namely, The Bargain.

 

The Effects,.. are those matters that equates to purpose,.. wherein, access, permissions, responsibility, dispute/complaint, means of payment, suspention of service for non-payment ect,.. are central to the service but do not impede or impose upon The Bargain as agreed between supplier and customer.

 

The substance and effects are to all intents and purposes , two sides of the same coin. Also, in regard to those DD charges, I understand tha the telecommunications industry is the only utility industry that imposes this particular charge on its customers.

 

Having painstakingly read the responses published by Ofcom in respect of DD charging, the only persons to agree in favour of those charges are the Telecommunications companies themselves, all others were abhorrently against the charges and the chaos caused to the finances of those without banking facilities.

 

In a case (above)where a Judge can rule that payment by DD is a core term of a contract within the gamut of the numerous ways of paying bills, he is reflecting the nonsensically madnes that contract law is an ass and his words prove the point impecabely. I understand Mrs Bond is appealing this decision, and I wish her all the best.

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As stated above, I do not have an express contract with V/M (being a telewest customer) wherein V/M (on take-over) imposed a non-DD charge and abjectly refuse's to provide evidence of liability.

 

That'll be a legacy Telewest issue, I guess. Certainly, customers from the NTL side of things from 2005 onwards will find on the paper they signed (that'll be the yellow copy) words to the effect of requiring payment by DD. As for take-over, it was NTL that was doing any taking over - NTL bought Virgin Mobile and the right to rebrand their previous NTL-Telewest operation as Virgin.

HSBCLloyds TSBcontractual interestNew Tax Creditscoming for you?NTL/Virgin Media

 

Never give in ... Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. Churchill, 1941

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The views expressed above seem a little juvinile for in the Warsall County Court in Case No: 7WJ 02610 (Bond (nee Ferihough) -v- British Telecom) the Court has already ruled that the payment of £4-50 is not a penalty insofar as it is a core term of the service contract.

 

Hi there well I certainly don`t appreaciate being accused of being juvanile.secondly It is not a case of British trouble It`s a matter of this I have two phones on one account and recieve one bill for both phones.But they want to charge me £7 per month to pay for someone to do their job.The reason I don`t pay by direct debit is for this reason:-Any company can make mistakes and as this site proves they often do.If this occours more than once per month then I have to do with out certain things including my kids going short of their nessecities.Now on numerous occasions i have been billed for things I have not been informed about or they have made a mistake in the billing therefore making the bill unacceptably high and I just can`t afford for them to do this.(BT raped my wifes bank account for £175 for something that was not even our problem!)so I told them when I signed up for a contract November 2002(I was working at the time) that I would pay my bill in store in the frenchgate center in Doncaster.No problem they said thats fine.After 5 YEARS OF DILIGENT PAYMENTS NEVER LATE they start charging me for not doing something that we mutually agreed before I even took the contract out. If these costs truely do represent and accurate cost of processing my bill then no problem! All i`m asking for is the breakdown of the cost and who gets paid to do it! Why do you consider this juvanile? If you think about it this way if they chaged everyone £7 per month exactly how much would they make on top of charging us extortionate amounts to use their service!?

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The views expressed above seem a little juvinile for in the Warsall County Court in Case No: 7WJ 02610 (Bond (nee Ferihough) -v- British Telecom) the Court has already ruled that the payment of £4-50 is not a penalty insofar as it is a core term of the service contract.

 

Hi there well I certainly don`t appreaciate being accused of being juvanile.secondly It is not a case of British trouble It`s a matter of this I have two phones on one account and recieve one bill for both phones.But they want to charge me £7 per month to pay for someone to do their job.The reason I don`t pay by direct debit is for this reason:-Any company can make mistakes and as this site proves they often do.If this occours more than once per month then I have to do with out certain things including my kids going short of their nessecities.Now on numerous occasions i have been billed for things I have not been informed about or they have made a mistake in the billing therefore making the bill unacceptably high and I just can`t afford for them to do this.(BT raped my wifes bank account for £175 for something that was not even our problem!)so I told them when I signed up for a contract November 2002(I was working at the time) that I would pay my bill in store in the frenchgate center in Doncaster.No problem they said thats fine.After 5 YEARS OF DILIGENT PAYMENTS NEVER LATE they start charging me for not doing something that we mutually agreed before I even took the contract out. If these costs truely do represent and accurate cost of processing my bill then no problem! All i`m asking for is the breakdown of the cost and who gets paid to do it! Why do you consider this juvanile? If you think about it this way if they chaged everyone £7 per month exactly how much would they make on top of charging us extortionate amounts to use their service!?

 

 

 

 

My thoughts precisely!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

to Meagain, Jeff 2000 & dave 12345,

 

Apologies for the delay in responding,V/M disconnected the service and for some unknown reason made a reconnection, albeit they have not replied to corespondence other than the generic 'Sorry to hear you're Unhappy'. Seething is a more appropiate word, inasmuch as I don't owe them a penny other than the illegal demands for payment handling & late payment charges, approx £80 now.

 

In the articles above I apologise for the word 'Juvinile',... for during my submissions, it was not meant to cause offence. 'Un-informed' may have been a better word choice. The word 'Juvinile' only referred only to the circumstance of a penalty charge and the ruling in the Warsall Court, no personal connatations were intended.

 

The Judge ruled that a D/D is a core term in a contract, which to my mind is both illogical and out of kilter with current custom and business practices. It is hardly ever mentioned as a core term in advertizing and to all intents and purposes it may be considered a discount but not a charge. The legal concept of DD being a charge brings in its wake a gamot of banking rules that are a never ending quagmire.

 

Watching the Labour Party Conference on T/V I note the GB approving DD for payment of energy bills. Where does this man come from, my pension is paid into the Post Office and they don't do DD's, perhaps he intends to increase pensions to take account of his blunder.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In the articles above I apologise for the word 'Juvinile',... for during my submissions, it was not meant to cause offence. 'Un-informed' may have been a better word choice.

 

Where does this man come from, my pension is paid into the Post Office and they don't do DD's, perhaps he intends to increase pensions to take account of his blunder.

 

Thanks for the apolgy accepted and no offence taken..as for the government...well don`t even get me started on that bunch of lunatics!

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Apologies accepted.

Does anyone know when the Ofcom report is due on the 'Additional Charges Enquery' (ie dd and late payments charges) as I'm trying to prepare a submission for the County Court on my own dispute, and don't wish to be annointed or embroiled in the down-draught of the Regulators dispensations.

 

Since the service disconnection last month, I have now recieved more memo's from V/M with the generic 'sorry to hear your unhappy' diatribe. They abjectly refuse to respond to correspondence and provide no direct contact provision whatsoever to resolve disputes.

 

The disconnections they made last month has now introduced another issue into the mix, 'unjust enrichment' whereby I assume (rightly or wrongly) they will make charges for non-existant services. (not recieved the bill yet.) I find it difficult to understand why they abjectly refuse to respond to correspondence, it seems to me that they are not serious in resolving the issues in dispute.

 

Or perhaps, like me, they are waiting on Ofcom to utter the magic words and fill us all with glee, (not bloody likely.) I assume he will recommend more of the same, and leave it down to us mortals to fight for whats right and get rid of this dd charging nonsense.

 

And another thing, who trusts banks now, there they are pleading poverty and unable to provide loans, asking the state to bail them out when they squandered billions. I better stop before I get riled up and stick the money under the mattress.

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  • 1 month later...
This charge genuinely reflects the costs incurred in processing

payments and is no way a penalty charge. I refer you to the recent statement

issued by the Trading's Standards Institute confirming that these charges are

lawful:-

 

"Trading Standards officers have received a number of complaints regarding

the extra charge levied by some companies on consumers who pay other than by

Direct Debit. These charges are lawful. The Price Indications (Method of

Payment) Regulations 1991 allow differential pricing provided the indication

of the higher price is expressed clearly, unambiguously, and that it's easily

identifiable by a consumer as applying to the goods, services, accommodation

or facilities concerned, and given prominently and legibly."

quote]

 

Ok, Three advertised Mobile BB for £40.00 per month, but they charge me £44.00 per month because I dont want to give them my bank details.

 

Am I correct?

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Yes. Because the fee is achievable (assuming you pay by their 'preffered' method - there's no problem with their statement.

 

TS are quite happy to accept this - and to be this is their failing. Consumers should NEVER be bound to have variable rates depending on how they pay foisted upon them. It is their weak-willes acceptance of this that causes the problem.

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It is almost like going into a shop, paying by cash and then being told that they have to charge you extra for processing the cash. In the old days companies were grateful to get paid either way as DD was not around.

What I would like to know is what extra work is incurred when you pay by card, cheque or cash as opposed to paying by DD?

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Yes. Because the fee is achievable (assuming you pay by their 'preffered' method - there's no problem with their statement.

 

TS are quite happy to accept this - and to be this is their failing. Consumers should NEVER be bound to have variable rates depending on how they pay foisted upon them. It is their weak-willes acceptance of this that causes the problem.

 

Not sure I agree with this:

 

When I had an Orange contract phone I originally paid that and everything else by direct debit before I realised the folly of using that system (the day I was stranded in London with no money and no way of getting home thanks to a DD being taken twice). The following day I cancelled every direct debit I had.

 

Following this Orange charged an extra £4 per month. I refused to pay it because the charge was not quoted anywhere that anyone could find. All pricing simply assumed direct debit payment. I asked Orange to simply point me at where this is clearly and expressly pointed out and to explain how I could have known this would be charged, and I would pay it.

 

I was referred to a single line in the terms and conditions buried away on the website. This is not "expressed clearly, unambiguously, and that it's easily identifiable by a consumer as applying to the goods, services, accommodation or facilities concerned, and given prominently and legibly."

 

I'm not saying that Three were quite so dishonest here. Maybe it was prominently advertised, but the OP doesn't think so here.

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What I would like to know is what extra work is incurred when you pay by card, cheque or cash as opposed to paying by DD?

 

This would be irrelevant - in much the same way as how much of your time and effort, along with what doeas YOUR bank charge you to make an electronic payment? (In my case, 25p outbound, 10p inbound) but I don't start hassling mt suppliers saying it cost me 25p to pay you, so I'm deducting this amount from all subsequent patmenrs.

 

Would they accept this? I doubt it. We, as consumers, just roll over.

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Not sure I agree with this:

 

What they do, or my statement?

 

I was with Orange for 14 years - and as it was a business account, they NEVER made this charge, but I saw all the pre-launch publicity for consumers, so I was well advised of its introduction.

 

I'm fully with you - the only person you can trust is yourself, or close family - so why is it expected that we have to give up pur right to fiscal control simply because they structure their billing in this way?

 

This government know the complaints, but have done nothing. I'm not saying the Tories would be any better, but to think we have so many watchdogs and consumer councils, how on earth have we got ourselves be railroaded in this way?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just a question for you guys

 

1) Do we have to send a subject request? (to find out since when we have had our account with the company?

2) could we claim 8% interest on this?

3) what evidence would we need if it dose end up in court?

 

thank you people ;)

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Just a question for you guys

 

1) Do we have to send a subject request? (to find out since when we have had our account with the company?

2) could we claim 8% interest on this?

3) what evidence would we need if it dose end up in court?

 

thank you people ;)

 

(1) No, because you could only claim from when the fees were actually applied to your account then not credited. NOT from when you opened your account, so a SAR would be a diversion. If you can show your bills with the charge levied, that would be evidence enough that you were forced to pay the fee.

 

(2) Only on the amount sued for, if they lost and then didn't pay your claim. You couldn't simply add 8% to the total they owe you and sue for that, as they are not in default.

 

(3) Just proof that they made the charges to your account - so your monthly bills showing the fee is all you need.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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!??

 

SDFS (shop direct financial solutions - littlewoods) did exactly that to me and an untold amount of other customers earlier last year.

 

I have an additions account and last year they wrote to me to advise that the rates were being increased! by something like 5%. I now "should" pay more than the advertised price and they "should" make more profits BUT I have now refused to pay because they are being greedy.

 

I have asked them for a copy of the signed CCA which I know they do not have. Maybe this one is unenforceable! I dont know but do know they will have a lot of trouble getting any money out of me in the future!

 

If only they had decreased the rates?

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I have noticed that my business bill from BT doesn't include an additional charge for paying by cheque... why is this??

 

Because! as a business customer you are already paying a top premium for the business service. You pay over the odds for the business customer service / support :-o.

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Because! as a business customer you are already paying a top premium for the business service. You pay over the odds for the business customer service / support :-o.

 

 

Over the odds??? You mean you get priority repairs and higher compensation when the line goes faulty, along with a free Yellow Pages listing? I don;t call that 'over the odds' but an appropriate amount reflecting the needs of the customer type.

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