6 facts you should know about direct debits

1) Your bank or building society monitors and protects the efficiency and security of your direct debit. Those using the system go through a careful vetting process before they’re authorised, and are closely monitored by the banking industry. The efficiency and security of direct debit is monitored and protected by your own bank or building society.

2) If there are any changes to the amount, date or frequency of your Direct Debit the organisation will notify you (normally 10 working days) in advance of your account being debited or as otherwise agreed. If you request the organisation to collect a payment, confirmation of the amount and date will be given to you at the time of the request.

3) If a mistake is made with your direct debit you are covered by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

4) 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.

5) If you receive a refund to which you are not entitled, you must pay it back when the organisation asks.

6) According to the Financial Ombudsman, common fob offs made by banks and building societies when a direct debit is wrongly paid are; “The customer didn’t give enough notice”, “We don’t operate the direct debit guarantee”, “You’ll have to contact the originating company for a refund” and “The guarantee doesn’t apply – because you haven’t suffered a loss”. None of these are correct and should you not receive a refund take the matter to the Financial Ombudsman.

For more information on how to complain see the Tips. Also see the book for more information guidance and template letters for complaining about direct debits.

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