Direct Debit - Money taken without my permission

cashmni1

Registered User
Messages
29
Hello there,
Just a question about a Direct Debit that I set up for the payment of my car insurance.
The cerdit company are taking two payments from my account where they should be only taking one. (an apparent "mistake") After contacting the credit company in question, I was told to contact the Insurance company, who told me to contact the credit company! You can see where this is going. This happened two years ago also and spent a lot of time and effort to get it sorted out. Most of the time was spent argueing with the bank. This time around I e-mailed the Finacial regulator, copied the insurance broker and made a formal colmplaint to the bank.
Almost immeadiately, a bank official took ownership of the complaint and everything seemed to be sorted outfor that month. However it has happened again this month.
I have singed a direct debit mandate with my ins broker for one direct bebt and not the others. How is it possible for them to keep taking money from my account without my concent or permission? Even after the mitake has been pointed out? Surley sombody is responsible?
Any feedback is greatly appriciated.
Thanks.
 

RightBanker

Registered User
Messages
15
The best option is to email the Financial regulator again with this problem. Insurance companies and banks are obliged to have a complaints system and to address them within set time periods as it looks like the "fix" that was made was only for one month and didn't address the root cause.

It's probable that the issue lies with the Insurance company as they will issue their bank with a data file of DD's. Somewhere on this file you are recorded twice.
 

cashmni1

Registered User
Messages
29
thank you RightBanker, will do. I know the process is teadus but as a matter of principle, I will follow through. :)
 

Crugers

Frequent Poster
Messages
436
I have singed a direct debit mandate with my ins broker for one direct bebt and not the others. How is it possible for them to keep taking money from my account without my concent or permission? Even after the mitake has been pointed out? Surley sombody is responsible?
Any feedback is greatly appriciated.
Thanks.
The originator is responsible for presenting too many DD's to your bank (via their bank).
But your bank is responsible for allowing it to happen. In their defence if they were presented with the authorisation twice by the originator and took it in good faith that you signed for two DD's then they should be able to get it sorted to your satisfaction once the error is explained / discovered.

Since you seem to have gone through the process of trying to cancel a DD you seem to know that it isn't, in reality, easy.
Quote from IPSO the body that sets out the rules for the DD process for all, originators, banks and customers:
The collection of a Direct Debit
The Originator will inform the payer in advance of the amount and date of the collection. The minimum advance notice is 14 days unless the Originator and Payer agree a shorter period. The notice can take the form of an invoice or a one-off notice detailing a series of payments over a period of time.
The originator will electronically forward the Direct Debit to the payer’s bank who will make the payment provided there are sufficient funds in the payer’s account, the account accepts Direct Debits and the instruction has not been cancelled by the payer.
The payer can cancel or amend the Direct Debit instruction at any time by informing their Bank in writing. They can also inform the Originator. All correspondence should be retained.
The payer’s Bank will then inform the Originator of the cancellation or amendment.
If the instruction is cancelled no further collections are permitted.
If it is established that an unauthorised Direct Debit was charged to a Payer’s account the Payer is guaranteed a prompt refund by their Bank.
So the originator (in your case the Credit Company) should notify you 14 day before DD presentation or a once off notice at the beginning of a series of debits. If the don't or didn't then they are in breach of the rules.

Your bank has an obligation to you to carry out your instructions. Talk to your bank and put it in writing too! Find out how many DD's they have authorisation for! Cancel, in writing, those you don't want to continue. Use reason, it will cost them time to keep rectifying their errors. And request a rebate for any transaction charges for unauthorised DD's.
Maybe contact the DD originator too and tell them you will need cancel the DD(s) and pay by cheque, or some other inconvenient means, since they, the originator, can't get their act together.

Good luck... and do tell us how you got on!
Here are links to a few other DD threads on AAM
http://82.195.144.147/showthread.php?t=64898&highlight=Direct+debit

http://82.195.144.147/showthread.php?t=60284&highlight=Direct+debit

http://82.195.144.147/showthread.php?t=39203&highlight=Direct+debit
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
39,588
Hi Cashi

Are there three parties involved in this transaction?

The insurance company
The credit company - who financed the premium
Your bank - from whom the direct debits are taken

If you have signed a credit agreement with a credit company, then it is they who initiate the direct debit from your bank account and not the insurance company. You must deal with them.

If you don't get it resolved, report it to the insurance company if it was they who introduced you to the credit company.

I don't think that there is any point in you referring it to the Financial Regulator as they don't deal with complaints from individuals. If you can't get satisfaction, go to the Financial Services Ombudsman. If he has complaints on this issue from a few customers, he will refer it to the Financial Regulator for investigation.

Brendan
 

Crugers

Frequent Poster
Messages
436
under the DD guarantee your bank will promptly pay back any unauthorised debit
Allegedly! :rolleyes:

The wording contains weasel words:
If it is established that an unauthorised Direct Debit was charged to your account, you are guaranteed a prompt refund by your Bank of the amount so charged.
And that seems to be where the problems arise. Your bank referring you to the originator, the originator referring you to your bank etc...
It can be hard to 'establish' what is unauthorised.
You, the account holder, are the only one who can authorise your bank to allow DD's on your account, then I suggest that your bank must be the first port of call.
Find out what instruction(s) they have from you (it will have come from you - to the originator - and then to your bank).
In the OP's case, the way the signed authorisation is worded, may be enough for the bank to allow multiple direct debits to be paid. If it doesn't, then your bank has not carried out your instructions and should
promptly pay back any unauthorised debit
If is the case that the wording does authorise multiple DD's, then the problem is with the originator.

According to the IPSO rules your bank MUST
Assist its customer in the resolving disputes with Originators
. So your bank MUST (should) assist you in getting the originator to present only the agreed one DD per month/week/year...
 
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Bronte

Frequent Poster
Messages
13,726
Maybe the easiest solution would be to cancel all (two in this case) direct debits and then when it goes unpaid the insurance company contacts you and you set up a new direct debit, from a different bank if need be as neither your bank and your insurance company are listening to you. Send the insurance company a letter outlining what you are doing so you don't get hit with fees etc. I've never done this but it might work.
 
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