Martin Lewis: UK account holders must check if they are signed up to little known payments
Martin Lewis reveals how your bank may owe you ‘thousands’
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Martin Lewis warned bank account holders across the UK they could be having their money taken out of their accounts every month without even realising. The Money Saving Expert made the revelation in his most recent Money Show episode in which he urged consumers to note a key difference.
Martin warned consumers may not be aware of the difference between direct debit and recurring payment setups and if they’re not, they should check their bank statements immediately.
Angellica Bell, Martin’s co-host, noted she had heard of recurring payments but said many are likely to assume they’re the same thing as a direct debit.
Martin quickly refuted this, noting: “A direct debit is when you give your sort code and your account number and they take the money each month.
“A standing order is when you set it up yourself to make a regular payment each month, quarterly or whatever.
“A recurring payment – this is crucial – is when you give the long number on your card. A credit card or a debit card.
“Then they can take money from you each month.
“You have far less rights with that one. You used to not be able to cancel it without contacting the company.
“You can cancel it now. So, if you want to get in touch and cancel it, contact your bank. If they say they cannot cancel it, they can.
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“And they owe you the money. You can go to the Ombudsman.”
According to the financial Ombudsman themselves, the main types of complaints they see, with standing orders and direct debits specifically, is when a current account provider has paid a direct debit or standing order it shouldn’t have done – or has failed to make a payment that was due.
For continuous payment authorities, consumers sometimes complain about the difficulty in cancelling such a set up, either with a business taking the payments or with a card provider.
Alternatively, consumers may complain about the continuous payment authority themselves.
Examples of what they may say include that they:
- Didn’t give permission for a CPA to be set up on their account
- Were unaware they were entering into a CPA agreement – this sometimes happens when signing up to a ’free trial’ offer
- Didn’t agree to the amounts or frequency of the payments
- Didn’t agree to renew the agreement after a fixed term
When examining these types of complaints, the Ombudsman will ask the complainant to provide certain information.
They will then make their decision about what happened using evidence provided by the complainant, the bank involved and any relevant third parties.
In reaching their decision, they’ll consider:
- The relevant laws
- Any regulations that applied at the time of the complaint
- Any industry codes of conduct in force at the time
- The terms and conditions of the account that the disputed transaction was made from and
- Any specific considerations concerning direct debits or continuous payment authorities
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