Card transactions by proxy

Ian Batten igb at
Wed Apr 6 14:48:10 BST 2011


> Huge numbers of unauthorised DDs have been deducted by utility and other companies in the past few years and none of them have ever had their DD rights removed AFAIK, even when a consumer's complaint has been upheld.

You're claiming that companies set up DDs with people with whom they have no commercial relationship in order to recover, for example, (purportedly) mis-paid wages, and banks are entirely happy to do this.  In huge numbers.  Name one case.

No one is denying that DDs are  a complicating factor in commercial disputes between customers and suppliers, because the customer needs to recover mis-paid money rather than argue about an unpaid invoice.  Although in Roland's saga, the consequences of not paying the invoice are unpleasant anyway: it's not as though you can refuse to pay a contested invoice and the counterparty just says "Oh, OK then".  And no one is denying that bank staff sometimes make ludicrous claims about whose responsibility it is to rectify the situation, although I would hope that any sensible bank will realise that the FSA will fine them seven figure sums if they make a habit of it.  But you are going further in claiming that:

1.  There is a regular practice of unauthorised DDs being set up by companies with whom individuals have no commercial relationship, for the purpose of fraudulently abstracting money to which they are not entitled, a practice with which banks collude and make no sanctions over; and

2.  That banks as a matter of policy lie to customers about their rights under the DD guarantee, and in order to enrich companies who are potentially not their customer (and you realise, I hope, that retail and business banking is sufficiently distant in high-street banks that they may as well be separate companies) they will collude in defrauding their own customers.

Show us an example.   You cite two links, 


The first of these appears to be endless speculation without a concrete case, mostly consisting of complaints about how dangerous DDs are, and tinfoil hats being worn in profusion:

>  one option being looked at now is the possibility of wages being paid by the Inland Revenue (employer credit them, they credit you). That then opens up the possibility of "direct debit at source of funds" otherwise known as "attachment to earnings" which you would then have to accept in order to get e.g. utilities, and it would make it very difficult to be self-employed. 

The second of these is entirely about commercial disputes between parties who have legitimate DD authorities and are contesting the amounts, and includes such convincing arguments as:

> I've never had any problems myself with getting DD's returned by the bank just popped in said "that direct debit
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>  shouldnt have gone out" and boom it's refunded and cancelled.


> the council increasing the DD payment wasn't an error as their policy is to clear council tax arrears in the current financial year. The arrangement in effect was more of a concession which allows me to pay a bit off the arrears over a longer period of time and is more or less at the discretion of the person I made the arrangement with

But your claim is stronger: huge numbers of cases of DDs being set up without the customer's consent and then being used to fraudulently extract money, and the banks are siding with the unauthorised party.    Let's see a case.


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