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Message 1 of 5

Problems with monthly direct debit - random amounts and twice in one month

Hi there,


I've seen some talk about this already but I didn't get a sense for how it was resolved, so if someone could clarify what to do that would be great!


Basically, I am having SO much trouble with my monthly direct debit payments. I have been with BT Infinity for a year and have had this ongoing problem with the amount I am being charged and so far customer services have failed to explain why this is or to stop it from happening.


Since reading the forum threads I have now understood how it works with the advance billing and that you can basically never pay what you actually owe for your monthly services which is what I have been arguing with customer services (£42 per month in my case), and that you will continue to be billed random amounts to clear your "debt" of services billed in advance for a quarter - I can't help but think this is designed to be unclear and to disadvantage the customer.


I have been promised on 4 separate occasions by customer services staff that my monthly payments will now be £42 and "You'll never be charged more than that from now on". Why do they make this false promise over and again? Do they themselves understand the billing system or are they told to lie?


Earlier I used the customer services chat and was promised that from next month onwards I am being charged £42 per month, and she also asked when I wanted that to come out of my account so I am under the impression that she set up a new DD.


However, this month I have also been charged TWICE. Once for £59 and once for £31. Totally random. There was no explanation for this, I was just told to make an indemnity claim with my bank.


I am not in a financial position to have random amounts taken out of my account at random times of the month and for this to happen monthly is so frustrating!! I had a small amount to last me until payday next week and an unforseen £31 taken by BT was incredibly unhelpful!


If I had known about the way BT works, I wouldn't have signed up. I really wish that I had stayed with Sky, as it was a cheaper and better service! I can't wait to leave when my contract runs out and I am so, so disappointed all around. 


Look forward to some help from others who have had this problem....

Many thanks! Karolina


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Aspiring Expert
Message 2 of 5

Re: Problems with monthly direct debit - random amounts and twice in one month

Hi Karolina

It's not random amounts, the amounts BT is resetting too is enough to pay your future bills, clear your debt, and leave you a few pounds in credit. Trust me BT would much rather you called them, paid off any outstanding balance, and then just paid the exact amount each month (whole bill direct debit).

You can call as many times as you want and the advisors may reset the bill to an artificially low amount, but that must be too low so the BT system will override and put it back to where it should be (enough to pacreditably debit, and cover future usage).

If any of that doesn't make sense and you don't mind if you let me know your package price and if you have an outstanding debit on your last bill I'll be happy to help further

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Message 3 of 5

Re: Problems with monthly direct debit - random amounts and twice in one month

Thanks for that. I do still think it's insane when you sign up for a service you think will cost you £42 per month and end up paying £60-90 per month. Whatever the reasoning is for this, it's designed to mislead and confuse in my opinion. I've never signed an agreement and then ended up with something completely different. There is no regard for people who may have carefully calculated what they can afford to pay.

I've never had anyone explain to me that I need to pay a lump sum in advance in order to then pay the right monthly amount. Is this really the ONLY way to do this? Then what happens when your contract is up and you want to leave, do they refund you the quarter you have paid in advance??

So far, living in a really expensive area on one income, I can't afford to pay one quarter in advance in a lump sum. So in other words I have no ability to pay only what I thought I signed up for? I have to accept that my monthly payment will be anything between £60-90?
I'm actually flabbergasted a utility is allowed to function like this.
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Aspiring Expert
Message 4 of 5

Re: Problems with monthly direct debit - random amounts and twice in one month

Hi, without your package price, average call cost and debt on your last bill I can't really advise.

Maybe your payment plan was originally set at £42 and your first few bills were £50 or so and a debit built up?

Or maybe your monthly payment plan was set at £30 but it turned out your normal monthly usage was £42. You may then want your plan to be £42 but in reality a debit had already happened so the plan needs to be much higher.

Either way a debit built, BT are letting you pay it off slowly months at a time and not demanding it straight away ( I don't see how this is in their favour).

If you leave them and your in credit they credit the money on your final bill. If you leave them in debit they take the full amount owed on the final bill. Being on whole bill monthly billing is better if you don't like paying 3 months up front

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Aspiring Contributor
Message 5 of 5

Re: Problems with monthly direct debit - random amounts and twice in one month

 I changed from whole dd in september because they wouldn't take the money on the same day each month (how does Barclaycard manage it then?) and on the monthly dd I apparently 'owed 136.06 so my payments were being raised to cover it'. I was going from paying around £44/45 per month to £68.50 and they took that on 4th Oct.  I  wasn't happy with how the monthly thing worked as it was never correctly explained (sound familiar??) so, after endless lies from customer services about the amount getting changed,  I changed back to whole direct debit in mid october . On 30th Oct BT took the rest of the £136.06. I've just done live chat and told them I assume no more money will be taken before beginning of January as they've now had the entire 3 months bill in 1 month. Was told yes, so I requested proof in writing and she's apparently emailed the conversation. Do I believe they won't take more money out my account???? Don't bet on it. 

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