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Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

blairjones
Newbie
Posts: 3
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Registered: 08-06-2017

Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

PlusNet had just taken my latest mobile payment at the end of May, so I decided last Saturday was an excellent time to switch my DD to a different bank. Subsequently my previous network's number was also ported to PN on Tuesday afternoon. Changing the DD details by phone and the porting of my number both went well.
Then the trouble started.
A couple of hours after porting was completed I was told by Text & Email that my account had been suspended as my DD had been cancelled and PN had been unable take payment. The messages were also slightly threatening: 'If we don't hear from you in the next few days, we will be in touch to collect the payment'!
I wasn't impressed by the wording as PN hadn't tried to take a payment as having only just paid, nothing was outstanding and 3 days earlier I'd supplied PN new acct details.
I rang up PN - listened to lots of music and got cut off twice. Finally when I got through, PN took my DD details again and the acct was reactivated.
Two hours later - my acct was suspended again, then reactivated following another call.
Two hours later - my acct was suspended for a 3rd time. Next time I called, the acct was reactivated, and I was told that I'd be emailed a DD form to complete and hand to my bank, as they couldn't identify the cause of the problem.
I'll be handing the form to my bank tomorrow .... even though the actual DD form instructs me to send it to PN's agent in Sheffield. Fingers crossed this works!
Anyone else experienced similar problems? Did it get sorted? 

21 REPLIES
MarkW1
Newbie
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Registered: 20-06-2017

Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

Yep. 

I used the current account switching service to move from my old bank to my new one, which is meant to be guaranteed.

 

Plusnet is the only company so far after 2 months that I've had an issue with. Every other company has sent me a note confirming new direct debit details and the migration has been mostly painless. Plusnet just seem to have cocked up.

 

So I moved across in early May - and the destination bank sent out a note to companies (including plusnet) 2 weeks beforehand with the new details.

 

Plusnet seemingly ignored this message - and they ended up taking payment off my credit card. I had NO communication from Plusnet at all.

I only found out when I checked my Credit Card bill and wondered why Plusnet had taken a payment and wondered if someone was using my card fraudulently - only when I logged into my account and dig into the billing did I see they had taken it themselves.

 

So I checked the bank details - all were correct. I spoke to one of the chat people, who apologised and refunded the £1.50 charge.

 

Fast forward to this month and I get a strongly worded email that my Direct Debit had been declined. Knowing I had plenty of money in my bank account, I checked the Direct Debit reference - it looks like Plusnet had cocked up again and not registered the new direct debit reference with the bank. The bank had the old reference (XXXXX-1) in it's list of Direct Debits, and Plusnet had a different reference (XXXX-2) which will be why the bank had rejected it.

 

So this time I had to manually pay via my credit card. But I've decided I'm going to make the change this time, so I've deleted my bank details out of the site, and re-added them which has generated ANOTHER direct debit reference (XXXX-3 this time) - so I'll keep an eye on my Bank account and check that it pops up properly.

 

It genuinely looks like whatever is running the Direct Debit process behind the scenes here is broken - like I said - all my other DD's (maybe 30 or so?) went across smoothly except Plusnet. I think when my contract is up I might have to defect back to Sky Sad

 

 

NorthPole
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Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

I had a similar issue when I switched banks earlier this year. It appears that some DD recipients, including Plusnet, don't use the DD details from the old bank which are transferred under the Switch Guarantee scheme, but set up another new one. I had several duplicated DD's (only one of each pair being active) when the transfer was completed. Plusnet were the only recipient to charge my card though, although they did have the grace to refund the surcharge when I objected.

Superuser
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

This just one of a number of known 'issues' with the old Billing System, the good news is that it is being replaced.  "Real soon now".  Grin

Community Veteran
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Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

@MauriceC

does this mean that you have already been infected with the Plusnet "SOON" syndrome Grin

Superuser
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Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

No ways! @Oldjim  Just my sardonic wit Wink

Superuser
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Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

@JonoH,

No PN staff touch here on a thread started 12 days ago.
Community Gaffer
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Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.


MauriceC wrote:

This just one of a number of known 'issues' with the old Billing System, the good news is that it is being replaced.  "Real soon now".  Grin


 

Assuming it's not delayed.... again. It should be sooner than you think Smiley

 

Oldjim wrote:

does this mean that you have already been infected with the Plusnet "SOON" syndrome

 

It's been coming soon for some time now, I'm assured though that it really is soon Cheesy

 

Townman wrote:

No PN staff touch here on a thread started 12 days ago.

 

Not much I can really add of any substance until the new billing engine is launched, we know the system is far from perfect. Hopefully once it's launched and we've worked through any teething issues, the customer experience will be much improved.

 Jono H
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
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Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

@JonoH,

Are you in effect saying that if a user changes bank then they can expect to have billing / payment issues with their DD as described herein for a month or two ... because of the known issues?

I can understand that there is little to be added about when the new billing system might be ready, but am surprised that there's nothing to add in respect of the OP's payment difficulties ... particularly when fall back to credit card payment involves additional costs and inconvenience..

Just why is there so much difficulty in the billing system picking up a new payment mandate?

Community Gaffer
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Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.


Townman wrote:
@JonoH,

Are you in effect saying that if a user changes bank then they can expect to have billing / payment issues with their DD as described herein for a month or two ... because of the known issues?

 

No, sorry if I gave that impression. What I'm saying is that changing a direct debit mandate should be a simple painless process and usually is, however whenever anything changes from payment details to premiss move there is always the chance of additional complication.

 

We do know that currently if someone changes banks that our current system will only allow us to cancel the old one and resubmit a new one, we cannot amend.

 

For clarity we also know that phase one of the new billing engine will not include this functionality, this will come later.

 

I can understand that there is little to be added about when the new billing system might be ready, but am surprised that there's nothing to add in respect oif the OP's payment difficulties ... particularly when fall back to credit card payment involves additional costs and inconvenience..

 

Aside from offering my apologies there is little to add. We know this is an issue and plans are in place to rectify it in the future. When a Direct Debit fails the system will automatically process the invoice against alternative payment methods that the customer has stored with us this results in an additional fee of £1.50, if this is because of one of our mistakes we will obviously refund this.

 

Hope that clarifies things

 Jono H
 Plusnet Help Team
Superuser
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Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

@JonoH,

Thank you for the clarified response.  What I was hoping for here was a PN response specific to the two users at the top of this topic sooner than my poke noting an elapsed 8 days with no reply.  Also that the response might identify why these users encountered the difficulties they had, requiring several attempts to set up new mandates ... even to the point of being advised to take the DD to the bank themselves.

 

Is there generic advice which can be gained from their experience which can be used to help others changing banks?  DD mandate issues when changing banks is a reoccurring theme in these parts ... is there any insight into why / how it goes wrong?  Is there any pattern with the banks involved (either loosing or gaining bank)?

 

If it's known that AMENDing has difficulty, is it possible to modify the business process to delete and create new upon receiving a bank swap DD mandate change from the bank?

Clearly this is a pain for all parties - if there are steps which can be taken to make this work more smoothly, then everyone wins.

Community Gaffer
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Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

The thread was closed in our internal monitoring software in error, I wonder who could of done that? @Gandalf Crazy2 and that is why we didn't automatically pick it up.

 

 Also that the response might identify why these users encountered the difficulties they had, requiring several attempts to set up new mandates ...

 

I can't reveal account specific information publicly and so I cant really answer that question.

 

blairjones wrote:

A couple of hours after porting was completed I was told by Text & Email that my account had been suspended as my DD had been cancelled and PN had been unable take payment. The messages were also slightly threatening: 'If we don't hear from you in the next few days, we will be in touch to collect the payment'!
I wasn't impressed by the wording as PN hadn't tried to take a payment as having only just paid, nothing was outstanding and 3 days earlier I'd supplied PN new acct details.
I rang up PN - listened to lots of music and got cut off twice. Finally when I got through, PN took my DD details again and the acct was reactivated.
Two hours later - my acct was suspended again, then reactivated following another call.
Two hours later - my acct was suspended for a 3rd time

 

I'm not able to see suspensions that have ever been placed on this account, are you sure that you weren't seeing the splash screen that advises that there is an outstanding balance due? we don't suspend internet access usually unless the invoice is over 14 days late.

 

Is there generic advice which can be gained from their experience which can be used to help others changing banks?  DD mandate issues when changing banks is a reoccurring theme in these parts ... is there any insight into why / how it goes wrong?  Is there any pattern with the banks involved (either loosing or gaining bank)?

 

It's nothing to do with the banks, it's our system, it does not allow an amendment of direct debits it will simply cancel the original one and set a new one up for the new bank. Sadly there is nothing the customer can do to mitigate this, if they switch banks this will happen. Most of the time though there will be no loss of service. Remember we will only restrict your account after your payment is overdue by 14 days.

 

If it's known that AMENDing has difficulty, is it possible to modify the business process to delete and create new upon receiving a bank swap DD mandate change from the bank?

 

That's what they system currently does and after speaking to our billing team they're reasonable confident that the majority complete correctly. I'll keep my eye out for any spikes in volumes.

 

 

 Jono H
 Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

@Townman - As Jono pointed out, I closed the thread Sad really sorry about that Blair.

It seems I (incorrectly) assumed your direct debit issues were regarding your mobile account and I couldn't help because (at the moment) mobile queries are dealt with by a completely different team/system.

Won't happen again, I promise.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Anoush Mortazavi
 Plusnet Help Team
smi891007
Newbie
Posts: 1
Registered: 22-06-2017

Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.

I'm having the same issue the bank can not do anything as the direct debit is not going through to them it's cancelling at plus nets end I went to the bank with a mandate they still couldn't do anything I've called plus net 10times in the last 2 days I never had this problem when I was with life mobile they said it's just the same my bank told me to go to the financial ombudsman And complain because this is not on I had a major stroke and this is just adding to the stress
blairjones
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Registered: 08-06-2017

Re: Direct Debit problems after changing banks and porting old mobile number.


blairjones wrote:

A couple of hours after porting was completed I was told by Text & Email that my account had been suspended as my DD had been cancelled and PN had been unable take payment. The messages were also slightly threatening: 'If we don't hear from you in the next few days, we will be in touch to collect the payment'!
I wasn't impressed by the wording as PN hadn't tried to take a payment as having only just paid, nothing was outstanding and 3 days earlier I'd supplied PN new acct details.
I rang up PN - listened to lots of music and got cut off twice. Finally when I got through, PN took my DD details again and the acct was reactivated.
Two hours later - my acct was suspended again, then reactivated following another call.
Two hours later - my acct was suspended for a 3rd time

 

I'm not able to see suspensions that have ever been placed on this account, are you sure that you weren't seeing the splash screen that advises that there is an outstanding balance due? we don't suspend internet access usually unless the invoice is over 14 days late. 


"We don't suspend ...."
Oh yes you do! This is from one of the three suspension emails I received

"We tried to take the payment for your latest bill but we've been notified that your Direct Debit has been cancelled, so we've been unable to take payment. This means we've had to suspend your account – to get it going again call us for free on 500 from your mobile or call 0800 079 1133 from any other phone.

If we don't hear from you in the next few days, we will be in touch to collect the payment. Once your payment has been received we can then re-activate your account".


After the 3rd suspension, I was sent a direct debit form to hand to my bank. I couldn't see how you would identify what the payment was for, so I added my PlusNet Acct Number. The DD form only contained an Originator's Identification Number and a Service User Number. I wasn't convinced that either of these identified the relevant account?