Bizarrely, my direct debits have ceased entirely and when I call the helpline they are unable to advise. All they can tell me is when the date of my next bill will be. Well I know that. I am quite a bit in credit so it might be that they are waiting until I am back in balance again and then the direct debits will restart. But honestly I would prefer a straight rebate while continuing to make the monthly payments that cover the monthly charges. What is really frustrating is that the call handlers that I have spoken to don't understand the question and are unable to help.
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Welcome to the forum. There are two ways to pay for BT services monthly by direct debit. There's the awful Monthly Payment Plan, which involves paying a fixed amount each month towards quarterly bills, the monthly amount being adjusted every so often to account for any accrued credit or debit; as far as I'm aware, an accrued credit is dealt with by a reduction in the monthly payment rather than payment suspension. Then there's Whole Bill Direct Debit, which involves settling the account each month; by definition, there should be no accrual of credit or debit.
So the question is, have you recently switched from the MPP to monthly billing? If you do that while in credit, the usual practice is that bills are reduced until the credit is used up, meaning that there would be a number of bills for £0.00 if the credit exceeds a whole month's charges. For example, I was in credit to the tune of around a quarterly bill when I decided to get shot of the MPP woes; the result was that the first two or three monthly bills were for zero, followed by one reduced by the last bit of credit, before it settled down to payment of each bill month by month.
Thanks for the comments. Regretably, no - I checked the last bill and it doesn't contain any useful information like that. It would be really helpful if there were a clear statement like "you are loads in credit, don't worry, we won't take any more money from you until you are back in balance and then we will restart direct debits". That would make a lot of sense. But all there is the standard statement that I don't need to do anything, which is what anyone with a direct debit gets told.
I don't know the details of the law on direct debits but I thought the company taking the direct debit had to tell me, in advance, what it was going to do. That is how it works with my credit cards and that all works fine. And that is how it works if BT always take a standard amount and then tell me if it needs to be changed. The weird thing here is that they have stopped taking the direct debits, for three months now, and haven't told me anything. And when I spoke to a human (which is a difficult thing to do nowadays) all he could tell me was when the next bill would be, which wasn't the question. He couldn't say when the next direct debit would happen which was what I wanted to know.
The other issue raised was whether I had recently switched to MPP from whole bill? No I haven't switched anything. Actually what did happen though was that three months ago I tried to take out an additional contract for a mobile for my son. Delivery of the handset was time critical though and after discussing it with a human (much easier to find someone to talk to when you want to buy something) I agreed to go ahead. But for other weird reasons that BT have not been able (or actually even tried) to explain, the handset was returned to them from the depot and never made it to our house. So I cancelled the order and got a copper bottomed agreement that no, I would not be charged anything for the abortive and undelivered order.
So imagine my surprise (ok that was a bit sarcastic) when I was indeed charged for the mobile that never turned up. I compained about that and got a story about it being a mistake, and due to the timing of the bill etc, and I would be refunded in the next bill. Which was a bit clueless but marginally believable, and to do them justice the refund properly happened in the following month's bill. But from that point, the direct debits ceased, and they never told me why and have been unable to explain. As I say, I wouldn't mind if only someone could give a clear statement about what was going on. Just a simple statement like: "we are sorry we were a bit useless, we see you are in credit, tell you what, it's going to be a six month payment holiday", that would have been great and I would feel much better about BT.
I think BT folk monitor this forum. I would really appreciate it if a human would give me some contact details and I can discuss this with them.
I wouldn't be surprised if you've been switched to monthly billing - it wouldn't be the first time that an attempt to amend a service has been followed by an unintended consequence. I'm alerting the forum moderators to your further post to see if they need to examine your account. If so, they will post contact info here tomorrow.
Thanks for posting back!
Sorry for the confusion about your direct debit. It's clear from your recent post that you've been "round the houses" so we will take a look at this for you from here.
Click on my username here >> RobbieMac << and you'll see our contact link on the left hand side underneath my profile picture.
Thanks for posting Robbie, I appreciate it.
I have sent you a privte message, with the title "problems with direct debits".
Hi @registeringishard Please can you submit your query through the link on Robbie's profile where it says ** click here to contact the Mods as Robbie is off duty and one of the team will pick up your case for you.
I have enabled the link on my profile in case you had a problem with Robbie's.
Goodness me, you lot don't make it easy for us customers, do you?
It took ages for me to find my private message to Robbie. Until you know where to find the link to private messages it is really hard to locate them. Eventually I found another helpful message on the forum from some poor soul who had been searching for them. Once I could find it I could then copy and paste the message I sent to Robbie and put it into the form template on contacting the moderators. So I have done that and I await your response.