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DTMark

Direct debit

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Does anyone else here direct debit..

I stopped using it years ago, the final straw being stranded with no money after a loan payment left the account twice.

I relented and allowed one to be set up recently. £49 per month on the 15th of each month. Could hardly be clearer. No variability.

First two debits on the 15th of the month. All good.

The third one on the 14th.

I've called the bank and had them void that last one off and put the money back in my account, which they've done.

At some point the payee will presumably (hopefully) be landed with some paperwork and realise what's happened and contact me, and then they can try again.

It's the point of principle of the thing, having granted such privileged access to my account, they have a duty to get it right.

So that's the first direct debit in about 20 years and this recipient is already taking the same sort of liberties that I'd seen before with others.

Am I just incredibly unlucky with these things..

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There's no protection from the bank with these if they go wrong.  Banks are so outdated too - why can't I get an email / SMS a few days before a DD is due to go out so I have the chance to cancel it?

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1 hour ago, hiace_drifter said:

I have used hundreds of DDs since 2000. Never had a single problem. 

I've had one problem in over 20 years; a double debit by London Electricity (remember them?) in December 1995. Quickly rectified.

The Halifecked online system also allows you to see what's coming up and when.

 

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I still pay my mortgage by credit transfer following a month in 1995 when the building society took two payments in a week, leaving me stuck in Bristol where I was commuting weekly. The bank did refund eventually but in the interim I had to have an overdraft to get to payday. I also pay council tax the same way; no council will ever have access to my bank account. 

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5 hours ago, hiace_drifter said:

I have used hundreds of DDs since 2000. Never had a single problem. 

As hiace said.

Although my DDs are restricted to totally standard regular things where any mistake would be immediately obvious: Council Tax, Water, Electricty and Gas and an annual professional subscription.

The only problem I had was upon the amount of billing of council tax which was resolved; I suppose the downside of bieng on DD is that they have your money whilst it is being resolved so you don't have the option of saying "I'm not paying that".

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Can't stand the things but unfortunately still have a few.  Some organisations only allow payment that way which is annoying.

I much prefer standing orders because YOU control them.

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Re OP i guess there has to be some variation because of weekends, though it appears they are going for the Friday as opposed to the Monday when the DD falls at the weekend.

Really wouldn't want the hassle of not using direct debit....Council tax, Bolier and plumbing cover, Dual fuel, Phone and internet, TV licence.

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No problem with DDs... not had any double charges etc. but it really wouldn't be a problem besides the phone call to sort it out. I keep enough of a buffer in my account rather than running on fumes constantly.

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One slight annoyance with dual fuel charges,  the debits are always loaded in the company's favour. They aim for  a reserve cushion and always over-estimate future use, the balance is always in their favour.

 

I have an online account and the most I can reduce the DDs by is so I have a small credit balance at the end. Meanwhile the default DD which they suggest gives a credit balance well in their favour at the anniversary date. Shows the whole process is fixed and loaded aganst the customer.

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6 minutes ago, crashmonitor said:

One slight annoyance with dual fuel charges,  the debits are always loaded in the company's favour. They aim for  a reserve cushion and always over-estimate future use, the balance is always in their favour.

 

I have an online account and the most I can reduce the DDs by is so I have a small credit balance at the end. Meanwhile the default DD which they suggest gives a credit balance well in their favour at the anniversary date. Shows the whole process is fixed and loaded aganst the customer.

As was ever thus - it's certainly not for the convenience of the customer :)

I've just spoken to the payee concerned and I suspect I'm not the only one to have done so. They didn't seem very surprised. They've already had the money taken back from them by their bank.

Have given permission to resubmit that DD request.

I don't generally leave money sloshing around in my bank account, though £49 is hardly a problem - it didn't take it overdrawn, nor incur any charges. However, it could potentially have done. That, and the breach of trust is what really annoys me, though this might just have been a mistake so I'll give the benefit of the doubt here. Unless it happens again in which case that will be the end of that DD mandate.

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6 minutes ago, crashmonitor said:

One slight annoyance with dual fuel charges,  the debits are always loaded in the company's favour. They aim for  a reserve cushion and always over-estimate future use, the balance is always in their favour.

 

I have an online account and the most I can reduce the DDs by is so I have a small credit balance at the end. Meanwhile the default DD which they suggest gives a credit balance well in their favour at the anniversary date. Shows the whole process is fixed and loaded aganst the customer.

You're saying that as a solvent person who has no practical problem with that and would get diddly squat in interest on the money.

The utility has to protect itself from the many insolvent people out there who would cost it money and mean that we all had our bills raised.  I don't blame them and in my experience they don't take the mickey and do regular refunds.

 

I was exasparated by my HR head at one company I worked at who, because they wanted to be liked, would (and this a particular example) negotiate a one year payment plan for somebody leaving who owed the company ? £1,500, certainly less than their final salary cheque.  I said we should just take it all as we had several cases of people not paying; I was overruled.  We didn't get the first payment (or any others) and it was down to finance (me) to chase it up.  I refused to do anything as HR had created the problem in the first place despite my warning them not to.  They're probably still doing it.  At least it came out of their budget.

While I'm moaning about that particular HR head I advertised for a junior role ?£16k and got several applications including one from Pakistan.  I laughed at that one and said I wasn't intervieiwng them; she got in a flap and said I had to. I said she was welcome to do a telephone interview with him should she so desire but I wasn't wasting my time as he wasn't getting the job.

I think she was glad when I left :D

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13 hours ago, DTMark said:

Does anyone else here direct debit..

I stopped using it years ago, the final straw being stranded with no money after a loan payment left the account twice.

I relented and allowed one to be set up recently. £49 per month on the 15th of each month. Could hardly be clearer. No variability.

First two debits on the 15th of the month. All good.

The third one on the 14th.

I've called the bank and had them void that last one off and put the money back in my account, which they've done.

At some point the payee will presumably (hopefully) be landed with some paperwork and realise what's happened and contact me, and then they can try again.

It's the point of principle of the thing, having granted such privileged access to my account, they have a duty to get it right.

So that's the first direct debit in about 20 years and this recipient is already taking the same sort of liberties that I'd seen before with others.

Am I just incredibly unlucky with these things..

I used to live in a small flat on my own, and the only gas appliance was the hob (no central heating and electric immersion heater). The gas company used to estimate circa £2000 per quarter, and take the money by DD. I would then phone them with a meter reading, which they would say couldn't be right and send someone round to read it. Then they'd bill me circa £1.50 and refund the rest. After the third time I just cancelled the DD and went through the motions every quarter without them taking the money at the beginning of the process. It sounds unbelievable, but I never could get them to estimate a sensible usage in the 4 years I lived there. I never let energy companies use DD after that.

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Best usage of DDs is to pay your credit card bills, in full, each month.

I also use them for phone and utility bills.

I can't recall ever having had a problem other than not noticing a very high credit card payment for a couple of weeks, over ten years years ago, which was a result of my card being cloned. Once I noticed and reported it the CC company refunded it within a couple of months.

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33 minutes ago, Hail the Tripod said:

I used to live in a small flat on my own, and the only gas appliance was the hob (no central heating and electric immersion heater). The gas company used to estimate circa £2000 per quarter, and take the money by DD. I would then phone them with a meter reading, which they would say couldn't be right and send someone round to read it. Then they'd bill me circa £1.50 and refund the rest. After the third time I just cancelled the DD and went through the motions every quarter without them taking the money at the beginning of the process. It sounds unbelievable, but I never could get them to estimate a sensible usage in the 4 years I lived there. I never let energy companies use DD after that.

The only time you get a conservative estimate is when you get a tariff quote. As soon as you provide the first reading that tariff is then doubled even if you have used virtually no gas or electricty during the first month (say). It's almost laughable what tricks they try and pull. But as Frank says probably best to stand the credit you give them and get the lowest tariff.

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Worse than the DD early problem is Nat West at weekends. If you have a DD going out on a Monday, Natwest will 'earmark' that payment and reduce your available balance accordingly on the Saturday It caught me out when I had my wages going in on a Monday and the rent coming out on the same day.  My effective balance on the Satuday was -lots, even though technically I was solvent. Meant I couldn't get any cash or pay with debit card for the whole weekend.

This must hit some people very hard if they are on the breadline.

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3 hours ago, Northern Welsh Midlander said:

I keep enough of a buffer in my account rather than running on fumes constantly.

 

^^ 
This. 
Always have. Well once I cleared my student overdraft. 

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6 minutes ago, CunningPlan said:

Worse than the DD early problem is Nat West at weekends. If you have a DD going out on a Monday, Natwest will 'earmark' that payment and reduce your available balance accordingly on the Saturday It caught me out when I had my wages going in on a Monday and the rent coming out on the same day.  My effective balance on the Satuday was -lots, even though technically I was solvent. Meant I couldn't get any cash or pay with debit card for the whole weekend.

This must hit some people very hard if they are on the breadline.

I have a feeling that my Nationwide account used to do that. From what I remember, if a direct debit is coming out on say the 15th, it isn't your balance on the 15th that matters, it's the balance on the 14th. I had instances where sufficient money was available to pay on the day, having made sure of that, and yet it still bounced and Nationwide added charges. Which they did refund when I rang them up.

It does seem that I have been more unlucky that most with this payment method and having seen it abused again, I won't be allowing another one.

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5 hours ago, Northern Welsh Midlander said:

No problem with DDs... not had any double charges etc. but it really wouldn't be a problem besides the phone call to sort it out. I keep enough of a buffer in my account rather than running on fumes constantly.

 

Bit naïve really on how badly wrong things can go. If it's a DD where someone enters the amount manually there's plenty of scope for errors just with typos.

I would favour a system more like paypal payment requests where you can just approve payment with one click for any payment where the amount is not a fixed standing order type payment. The tech is available there should be no need to keep enormous cash buffers in current accounts to ensure all payments clear.

The whole banking system is due a massive shake up. Card processing still rakes in megabucks for the banks yet anyone with a smartphone can make an instant bank transfer anywhere for free.

 

 

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I have a spreadsheet for family money. I can tell you what I have in the account next march if need be :)

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If I recall correctly - I've had two or three minor problems with DDs in about 30 years of using them.

In all cases, the Yorkshire Bank have acted in accordance with the Direct-Debit regulations - and have refunded me as soon as I've called "shenanigans" on whatever the dispute was.

This Youtube video about the bloke who invented Direct-Debit in the UK is well worth a watch...

 

 

XYY

 

 

                                                                                                               

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