They are all at it!!

  johndrew 16:47 16 Jan 08
Locked

Recently various utility companies were slated for introducing/attempting to introduce charges for any customers that paid by other than Direct Debit. Today I received an e-mail from Orange which reads:

Orange Home Services
Hello,

We wanted to let you know about a change that affects your current broadband package, and we've summarised this for you below. This change becomes effective on 19th February 2008.

payments not made by Direct Debit
If you pay your monthly bill by anything other than Direct Debit, there will be a £2 monthly charge. If you want to start paying by Direct Debit, it's quick and easy to set this up online and should make paying your bills a bit simpler too. Just click here to sign into your account, and change your payment details.

Thanks,

Customer Support

Like many (or probably most) I use Direct Debit for convenience, but yet again it will be those who either are unable to get a current (or similar) account to make payments from or can only afford to pay from other income who will suffer.

  georgemac © 17:19 16 Jan 08

I like the direct debit system, and if it reduces admin costs for companies why should they not offer discounts for people willing to pay this way? I am always paying part up front but this does not bother me at all - good way to budget monthly.

  Stuartli 17:59 16 Jan 08

There is no evidence, as far as I'm aware, that paying by direct debit saves companies administration expenses above or below the norm.

The most probable reason is that it's almost guaranteed that they will be paid - and on time...:-)

  robgf 01:40 17 Jan 08

I have drainage insurance (I had a lot of trouble with my pipes -- ouch :) )and they pestered me continually to swap to direct debit, instead of paying by cheque.
So last time the premium became due, I decided not to renew, as it had got a bit expensive and I was fed up with being pestered.
They rang to query why I hadn't renewed, so I told them I was fed up with being pestered to swap to DD.
A week later a letter arrived, offering another years cover for half price and I could pay by cheque. So I took the offer.
So it's not all bad news. Perhaps if you tell Orange you no longer require their services, the extra charge might be dropped.

  jack 10:12 17 Jan 08

DD is undoubtedly an efficient way to may repeated payments for both parties.
However I stopped DD for gas/Electricity many years ago because of the way they overestimated potential charge and I wound up with a healthy credit which at the time I found difficult to recover[I understand it is not so difficult now]
But some other DD's are beneficial-
MY BB account was set up on the credit card -as indeed at the time it was the only option on offer.
How ever as my card was compromised last year resulting in a new card being issued- then of course overlooking to re arrange the DD on it- a problem ensued
So that has now gone DD to my current account.
BT I think were the first to initiate a charge for non DD settlement and I expect other to follow suit one they see it can be got away with- that and the decline of the use/acceptance of cheques
the time is coming [ If not already here]when your wages are not your own.

  johndrew 10:24 17 Jan 08

To me it`s more the principle. You take a service and agree to pay one of the choices offered (say cheque or Direct Debit for this example). Having paid for some time and on time by cheque the service provider effectively withdraws this option by applying a charge to it. The notice period given is often very short; in this case 33 days. Thus your option of finding an alternative supplier who offers the choice of cheque payment are reduced.

As I said before it doesn`t impact me but there are those who are penalised because they are unable to pay in any other way (except cash which is not practical).

I wont deny that suppliers offer discounts for payment by Direct Debit, but this is their prerogative and, perhaps, selling point. But it would appear that such discounts will disappear when all customers are on the Direct Debit system and until then others who pay by cheque will be penalised. As an aside to this, I am not aware of any ISP that offers a discount to any customer who pays by Direct Debit rather than in any other form.

  Pamy 11:25 17 Jan 08

"you want to charge extra to non-direct debit payers people complain." Thats why, because they are charging EXTRA.

  laurie53 12:26 17 Jan 08

I have no objection to those paying by DD getting a discount. What I do object to is those who do not wish to pay by DD having their bill increased.

I have a bill for a certain amount of usage of a utility. I am perfectly willing to pay that bill, but BT want me to pay more because I wish to pay on line.

That I do object to, particularly as we are a vulnerable household with a community alarm, for which I must have a BT line, so BT are in a monopoly situation.

I am also not convinced that on line payment is more expensive than DD. The bill is calculated automatically, it is e-mailed to me automatically and when I go on-line the cash is transferred to BT automatically, and if I want a receipt I can print it off, at no cost to BT. Where's the extra expense?

  Pamy 15:39 17 Jan 08

It's not a question of paying less for the product or service, but paying more because of the way it is paid for. Wherever possible I would pay with cold hard cash.

  Pamy 16:17 17 Jan 08

"otherwise, they are charging me extra to spread the extra cost of banking your cash across all customers." Just because you think your method of payment is more efficient, doesn't mean that other methods of payment should be charged extra.

  interzone55 16:51 17 Jan 08

A company that takes payment by cash or cheque has to get that cash to the bank somehow, this is where the costs come in.

No company in their right mind would send an employee to the bank, if they get mugged the money isn't insured and it's an immediate loss.

So they have to send it by Securicor or G4, these companies charge hefty fees, especially as vans that travel in town centres often have police escorts, which incurs an extra charge.

If it costs a company more money to service your account they have every right to charge you more.

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