Card transactions by proxy

Ian Batten igb at
Tue Apr 5 14:53:41 BST 2011

On 5 Apr 2011, at 13:53, Matthew Pemble wrote:

> On 5 April 2011 13:40, Roland Perry <lists at> wrote:
> But the principle remains, that you lose control of the money and all the initiative is with the customer to chase up 'errors and omissions'.
> Or, frankly, as Jeremy Clarkson found out to his cost (and I have experienced with my wife being able to set up a DD on the one non-"joint and several" account I have), anyone can set up a DD with your account because there is no effective checking.

Well, if you think that (for payments of a few hundred pounds or less) there's any greater policing of cheques or standing orders, I've got a bridge to sell you.  And if your fear is that DDs can be set up by anyone without checking, the saloon bar "oh, DDs are dangerous, that's why I don't have any" won't help you --- unless you can convince your bank to tag your account "no DDs to be set up", which I suspect that this side of Coutt's you can't.

> Which can be inconvenient, embarrassing or could even be job threatening.  

Failing to pay your phone bill can be equally bad.  We shifted all our utilities and suchlike onto DDs when my wife was ill during her first pregnancy: it meant that if we had to suddenly drop everything and decamp to hospital for a month, we wouldn't have our utilities cut off for non-payment.   I've noticed a strong correlation between "DDs are evil and I don't have any because I pay all my bills over the counter with cheques" and "man living on own" --- for most people, there's a time/money/risk tradeoff for which DDs are an entirely rational response.    Running my eye down the last payment dates and amounts on the DDs takes a couple of minutes, online, once every few months; paying ~30 regular bills per month by cheque would take rather longer, and be a great deal more error prone.

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