When I first left school one of my first job was delivering bread door to door. The person training me said that I had 240 customers and if I overcharged them all by a penny each week I would make an extra pound. Yes it was a long time ago and I didn't do it!
Up to date now and my mobile phone bill shows £9.23 by direct debit each month but every month I get charged £9.24. The company has 25 million customers and if they apply the same charging to all of them it amounts to £250,000 a month.
Nice little earner and who is going to complain about one penny?
"Also tell them you are going to inform BBC Watchdog and Offwatch."
I recommend ignoring that advice. There is no such authority as Offwatch, and BBC watchdog is unlikely to be interested in a scandal involving 12p a year.
Just phone and ask why there's a difference between the direct debit payments on the mandate and the amount actually taken. There's going to be a simple answer - probably an accounting glitch of some kind. If you don't tell the company it will just continue. There's no foundation for thinking the same thing is happening 25 million times a month - most people would be on the phone the first time they spotted it, and the overcharge would have to be refunded, or credited to the account.
This was years ago when I was busy and earning well and could not be bothered with such things. Now I am retired and with plenty of spare time I keep a watch on expenditure but still nowhere as closely as I should do.
In Britain you have it so good with the mobile phones. I didn't know this until I stayed in the US for a bit and then Canada.
When I was in the US I opted for a pay as you go sim on the T-Mobile network. Topped it up as I wasn't expecting to make lots of calls.
Got a few incoming calls that were international and to my shock my phone mid-conversation said I had no money left on my account. Called T-Mobile to discover what was happening and I was paying for incoming calls! Incoming calls were the same as outgoing, so picking up an international call meant that I was paying international charges even though I didn't make the call. I never answered it after that.
In the US and Canada "free incoming calls" are one of the bullet points on mobile phone plans. It's so common in the UK I didn't even know there was such an option.
In Canada I'm on a plan which is $50 a month, thing is that price is before taxes so to get the actual cost you have to add 13% to that total. Every single network does that, the price they advertise doesn't include the taxes and in some cases other fees.
I took the FEs advice and contacted my provider and wish I hadn't!
We seemed to go round in circles with me being told that every year prices are increased by the Retail Price Index and that accounts for the difference in price. I tried to explain that the difference between £9.23 and £9.24 was not 2.6% and was told it was! I explained that my bill used to be £9 and it was increased by 2.6% to £9.23 and that is what is shown on my online account but I always get charged £9.24. but they kept repeating that it was a 2.6% increase that accounted for the difference.
I'm afraid I lost the will to live and we parted, not the best of friends.
Ah, so it looks like the actual amount is £9.234 and one computer rounds it down to £9.23 and the one that actually takes the money rounds it up to £9.24.
As for talking sense to people, we went in a Coop supermarket and purchased four £3.00 meal deals and offered the assistant £12.00. She rung it up on the till and asked for something like £14.60.
We explained we had four £3.00 meal deals and she said, yes that's right, £14.60 please!
It took the supervisor and a calculator and 10 minutes to finally arrive at £12.00.