Season of Goodwill

Why I abhor Direct Debit:

Tis the season of goodwill, and all over the country banks are helping themselves to yours. Courtesy of the Direct Debit mandate they can ask for money from your account up to 3 days earlier than the date you set – thereby bouncing the payment and triggering a £35* fee. If you don’t believe me, read the small print and/or query it with your bank.

I thought it was a fluke, the first January it happened to me, and I kept a more watchful eye on the account balance going forwards. Didn’t catch it the second year- again in January- but resolved it wouldn’t happen again. What’s the saying? –Once is chance, twice is coincidence, 3 times is enemy action. Right away, I cancelled all my direct debits. All but 2 of my bills have since been paid on payment plans or direct transfer, including water, electricity, council tax, and mobile phone. Paypoint has become my supplier of choice.

By voting with my choice, I send a message to the banks that their behaviour is unacceptable. Many more think the banks are fine to carry on as they are.

The singular advantage to retaking control is that I can postpone paying the bill until I know the money is in my account- I soon got the hang of it and it became low (but not zero) maintenance. For those on low incomes or benefits this is a crucial advantage, since even benefit income can be unpredictable. It’s bad enough to find yourself unexpectedly short- without having the additional burden of a £35* fee.

Merry Christmas!

* or whatever your bank charges for this service.

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~ by tgroom57 on December 23, 2015.

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