Direct Debit taken in error

  AFoxyLady 12:06 02 Dec 2009

Twice within the last six weeks I have had a direct debit taken in error.
First was Car Phone Warehouse - We pay up front for an annual contract and have a direct debit for when the monthly allowance has been exceeded (usually nothing is taken, but it is always small and in the pennies)

They "mistakenly" took £18.60 via the direct debit, and are now saying that they will refund this, and a cheque will be sent out within the next thirty days. I have written and complained and advised that I do not want a cheque as I will have to pay bank charges, and they need to put the money back from where it came.

Second direct debit was a different company. Waste bin collection. They took two months payments in one hit on 20th November. When I called and asked why, they said I had not paid the previous month. I had, and when they looked into it, they apologised, said it had been allocated to another account, and they would send a cheque!

Where do customers stand with the Direct Debit Agreement, if money is taken in error? Surely they should be able to refund the money directly back into your account?

Car Phone did this to us last year, and I managed to get an extra 50p out of them to cover the bank charges, but this year they are refusing!

  Zorst 12:19 02 Dec 2009

If the payments were taken in error, then you can ask your BANK for a refund under the Direct Debit Guarantee Scheme. They will refund your account then reclaim the funds from the originator.

  AFoxyLady 12:48 02 Dec 2009

That easy? How do the bank know that what I say is true? And how come neither of the offenders has actually said that to me.... Do they perhaps get charged?

I have to go to the bank tomorrow so if I have not had a satisfactory reply from Car Phone will ask for a refund.

Thanks for your help.

  beeuuem 13:17 02 Dec 2009

As Zorst stated all you need to do is 'phone the bank and ask for a refund. From click here

'To request a refund under the Direct Debit Guarantee, contact your bank in person at the branch, by phone or write to them
'If an error is made in the payment of your Direct Debit, by the organisation or your bank or building society, you are entitled to a full and immediate refund of the amount paid from your bank or building society'

At the point you advise your bank they are obliged to restore the money to your account immediately. Reclaiming the money from the company is the banks problem - not yours.

  AFoxyLady 13:32 02 Dec 2009

Spot on - Thanks for that link, wish I had known last week, but hey - will be in contact with the bank later this afternoon by phone. If CPW DO send me a cheque I can destroy it, and send back the little pieces!

  GaT7 14:38 02 Dec 2009

Don't destroy anything until you have that refund back in your bank account!

"I have written and complained and advised that I do not want a cheque as I will have to pay bank charges" - why would you have to pay bank charges on a cheque? G

  AFoxyLady 16:57 02 Dec 2009

Paying cheques into our business account means I have to pay a charge. Hope the direct debit guarantee is still the same for a business account!

I have sent a letter to my bank this afternoon. Lets see what they say, and what happens.

I certainly won't destroy any cheque they might send until I have a refund sitting in my account.

Thanks for all the help

  spuds 17:04 02 Dec 2009

If I was you, I would check to see if you are paying by direct debit and not by another type of payment arrangement. The reason why I suggests this, is because refunding or reversing a direct debit is a very simple task for the company taking a payment in error or yourself. Sending a cheque would involve much more work and expense.

  AFoxyLady 17:13 02 Dec 2009

Def both payments that have been taken are direct debits. In fact I don't think we have any kind of standing order at all.

The bin collection company "claimed" that I had not paid in October, hence their reason for taking twice the amount in November. On checking their records more carefully, they apologised, and said my payment had in fact been allocated to another customers account.

CPW - we pay up front with our credit card for an annual plan. Allows our driver to have a phone on cnontract with around 50 minutes per month. Not a huge amount, but enough for a driver in emergencies. We have a direct debit agreement signed, so if the minutes do go over, they can take whatever they need, and usually it is around 12p! The mistake came when we had paid up front with the credit card, through CP Warehouse and their contact details, and O2 then subsequently took £18.60, as well as the odd 12p!

I wrote to CPW via their web site, as when I called the customer services department, the "gentleman" I spoke to me, said it would be "FANTASTIC" when I told him I would be leaving as soon as out paid up time had expired. Not impressed to be told that it would be fantastic I was leaving, and also the extra money being taken. I am sure it will all sort out in the wash, just a bit of bad luck that it has happened twice in a short period of time. I am sure a lot of companies do not check their accounts very carefully, and let a lot of things slip by un-noticed.

  KremmenUK 07:09 03 Dec 2009

Car Phone Warehouse !

What a surprise :-)

I wouldn't deal with them if they paid me. The number of complaints I read about is horrendous.

I do occasionally pop into their shop just to do some research and on the odd occasion I get approached I tell them I'm just browsing.

If they get pushy I tell that I'm not buying anything due to their Customer Service 'as advertised on TV and in the press'

Told the guy on the Sky stand the same as well when he tried to collar me as I walked past.

  ened 09:51 03 Dec 2009

Surely something like this could be sorted out by a simple credit being put on your account. I had dealings with CPH which were dealt with very satisfactorily - but only after I went to the very top!

Regarding bank charges, obviously I know nothing about you or your business, but I had a small business and found the 'Business Investor' with Nationwide not only had no charges but paid a reasonable interest (Then) on positive balances.

There are restrictions but we overcame these by running a current account alongside and paying the bills from that with one lump sum transferred from the business account.

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