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I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

sinewave
Grafter
Posts: 297
Registered: 17-08-2007

I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

Something weird happened around the 9th of April. I received an email from plusnet saying my subscription payment had failed and could I "click here" and sort it out. I checked my payment details that have always been in place in my account and all was well. A little glitch I thought, so I followed the email instruction and payed the bill manually. I then received an email saying "thanks" and that my account had now been "reactivated" (I didn't know it had been deactivated!)
Now that I get my Credit card bill I see I have been charged twice:
9th April : £17.16 (Plusnet pro + referrals)
10th April : £19.99 and a separate credit of  £2.83
12th April : - £2.83 [Credit] (this is my referral amount but its not normally shown on my credit card statement - just the final bill of £17.16)
Something has gone wrong.
I've called support and have been told I have to send in my credit card bill to prove this has happened.
This means I have to scan my bill, or screen grab from my online credit card statement and then censor all the stuff I'd prefer not to share with Plusnet folk.
Not to mention the time its going to take me to get all this done, I'm a bit miffed that I have to prove that plusnet have taken money from me by mistake.
On my "view transactions" web page there is a weird entry labelled "account credit note" (I've not had one of those before!) and the main subs payment of £19.99 is labelled "part paid". This certainly suggests something has gone wrong. The last three invoice entries...
20235814 £-2.83 £0.00 12/04/2010 Credit Note Account Credit Note
20203716 £-2.83 £0.00 09/04/2010 Credit Note Reduction of subscription charges by the referral scheme
20203712 £19.99 £0.00 09/04/2010 Part-Paid Scheduled Payments
I've just called support again and I'm just told the only thing I can do is send in my credit card statement. That can't be right can it? Can plusnet just look at its one bank statement to see that an extra payment was taken from me around the 10th April?
The email sent regarding the "failed payment" have refs...
E0021
E0103
I really hope someone from plusnet picks this up and sorts things out without me having to waste more time on this.
13 REPLIES
Plusnet Help Team
Plusnet Help Team
Posts: 13,263
Thanks: 199
Fixes: 62
Registered: 27-04-2007

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

Hi sinewave,
I've just checked your account and have to agree with our answer to ticket 33262500. Your account transactions show no record of the double billing I'm afraid, this is the reason we would need a copy of your card statement to be able to credit you or issue a refund. Please bear in mind that this does not mean that we are denying that this has happened.
If you are not happy with us seeing certain information from your statement please feel free to blank out anything you don't want us to see but we would need to see at least the last 4 digits of the card number and also the 2 transactions which you believe were taken by us.
It is very unusual for double billing to occur where no evidence is seen shown on our records like this, so I can't see you being affected again. Apologies for the inconvenience.
Adam
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Adam Walker
 Plusnet Help Team
Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

It is very worrying that the PN system can take money from a customer account without creating an audit trail.
I'm pretty certain that it not only shows PN in a very bad light, there is a real possibility that PN could be committing a criminal offence in relation to their accounting/tax declarations.
(If you don't know how much money you transact, how can you know how much to send to HMRC)
The fact that this is described as 'unusual' rings bells and suggests that this does happen at times.
I would expect this to be raised at the highest level and investigated thoroughly.
I'm glad I'm not a shareholder any more!
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

Ever worked on a system that processes half a million payments a month?
I would say that with that number of transactions, it is very likely that the *occasional* transaction will be posted against the wrong account.  Thus, having the details from the statement can help Plusnet identify the date and time of the transaction, and trace where the payment was booked against.
They're not denying that the money was taken, it's just that without further information it's likely hard to determine where the payment actually went.
B.
P.S.  Banks suffer from this problem daily - payments can be credited to a holding account at the bank as they can be in a situation where they have no direct method of determining the intended destination.  Generally automated system will pick up the amounts and transfer them on once more information (or a re-stated transfer request) allows them to identify the destination.

Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

I dunno Baz - the great thing with computers is that they are great at repetitive tasks.
Whether it be 50k or 500k transactions, they should all be in compliance with instructions issued by whatever application is running.
If the app gets borked, and does something unexpected, it should still be pretty obvious what has occurred, even if the why is less obvious.
If PN have no evidence that they requested the money, nor that they have received it, the matter must be one for the credit card issuer.
Although they tend to only move peoples money about when they get an instruction to do so.
:/
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

I had this trouble with Lloyds Amex, paid the bill on time, they said not received, and it happened to be a high month over £1000, then had the cheek to say pay again or we will charge interest, my banks audit trail proved it had been received by LL Amex three days after my posting.  It took LL amex nearly three month to get it correct and to pay me a large amount for phone bills to various departments over the South Coast, their system is far worse than PN's
sinewave
Grafter
Posts: 297
Registered: 17-08-2007

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

I agree with you James_G. Something does not feel right about this at all.
Quote from: Barry

They're not denying that the money was taken, it's just that without further information it's likely hard to determine where the payment actually went.

That is bull.
I can provide the last four digits of my credit card without having to scan my credit card bill. There is no other information whatsoever on my bill that plusnet can glean.
This is tall the info they can get from my bill...
9 Apr    Plusnet PLC, 08451400200------------£17.16
10 Apr  Plusnet PLC, 08451400200------------£19.99
12 Apr  Plusnet PLC, 08451400200------------£2.83CR
and the last 4 numbers of my credit card is "XXXX"
Right that took me a few seconds to type and that is all there is for "further information" for plusnet to know.
I could have given this over the phone. I have repeatedly asked during two phone calls a support ticket and now on here, why they need to see my statement and the answer is always  "we have to see it to progress the refund".
I ask again WhyHuhHuhHuh
The answer can only be that plusnet cannot trace the money taken from my account and that seems rather odd to me. Don't they have credit card payment statements? I'd like to think it is some sort of security procedure to prevent customers having to quote their credit card numbers over the phone or something but who knows. Plusnet wont say why. It certainly feels like they want proof that I'm not making this up. The fact I could easily mock up a credit card bill entry in photoshop seems to be beside the point. In fact that gives me an idea... maybe that second entry should read £1119.99 ;-)

Anyway, I'm tired with this. My statement is now scanned and about to be sent.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 902
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

I like this game:
3 Apr Plusnet PLC,08451400200-------£19.99
5 Apr Plusnet PLC,08451400200-------£105.99
The last four digits of my card are XXXX
Plusnet please pay me a refund of £105.99 Grin
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Lurker
Grafter
Posts: 1,867
Registered: 23-10-2008

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

Quote from: pierre_pierre
I had this trouble with Lloyds Amex, paid the bill on time, they said not received, and it happened to be a high month over £1000, then had the cheek to say pay again or we will charge interest, my banks audit trail proved it had been received by LL Amex three days after my posting.  It took LL amex nearly three month to get it correct and to pay me a large amount for phone bills to various departments over the South Coast, their system is far worse than PN's

You have it back to front though Pierre - in your example you sent money, and they had no record of receiving it.
In the OP's case, his money has been taken from his account, under the guise of it being PN, but PN don't have a record of it associated with his account.
Somebody must have initiated the movement of funds, and it wasn't the OP.
If PN initiated the transfer by requesting the money under their continuous authority, they *must* have a record of it or they have a system that is allowed to take payments without creating an appropriate audit trail*.
If PN didn't request the money, then the credit card company will refund the money straight away to the OP.
*Note that it is the lack of a proper audit trail that irritates me most. Even if it is recorded somewhere, it is not a suitable system if it does not allow you to track everything that you have done, without requiring extra information.
(And I work at a factory that has full audit trails for everything that is used in manufacture, of every single [billions] bottle we have produced in the last ten years.)
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

I'm concerned that there is no record of this on your account, I've passed your ticket to our finance team for further investigation.
sinewave
Grafter
Posts: 297
Registered: 17-08-2007

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

Just as a closing comment (hopefully) to the the saga, I have now had a ticket telling me I've had the money refunded. Which is the main thing.
I'm still not totally clear about what happened exactly, but I have no reason think it was anything other than a mistake. And mistakes happen, fair enough.
What I am still very unhappy about is the fact nothing would be done and nothing would happen until I sent Plusnet a credit card statement. This is why I'm unhappy:
1) Plusnet would not believe me at my word, that there were those transactions on my statement. Quite literally it was me saying "this is on my statement" and PN saying "well show us then". I have been a customer for many years now (since plusnet was called "force9"!), I subscribe to one of the more expensive packages and have referred other customers. Yet I receive zero trust or faith from the company when something goes wrong.
2) If it is company policy to get folk to send in their credit card statements when billing goes wrong, then this needs to be seriously reassessed. This policy is a threat to customer credit card security. Is it really safe to leave a copy of your credit card bill in the hands of some large company with hundreds of employees? For CC security, the message is clear: keep your details secret - even to the point that you should shred your bills so that no one can find them in your rubbish bin, but my ISP tells me  to send a copy of the bill to goodness knows who. When I query this request, the message is that I wont get my £17 back that was taken from me if I don't send in my CC bill.
I am not saying for a moment that plusnet employ anyone dodgy, but there is a principle here. I wonder even if the request to see my bill is legal. (does it say in PN's T&C's that they reserve the right to see your credit card bill in a case where Plusnet make a billing errorHuh)

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,678
Thanks: 902
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

See my reply #7 - I've totally made it up. If Plusnet paid out with no proof and it became known they'd go bust in no time at all.
Requiring proof seems eminently sensible to me.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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sinewave
Grafter
Posts: 297
Registered: 17-08-2007

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

Quote from: jelv
See my reply #7 - I've totally made it up. If Plusnet paid out with no proof and it became known they'd go bust in no time at all.

As my sarcastic comment (which I thought you were supporting with reply #7) pointed out, a scanned copy of a credit card bill can easily be doctored and so provides no solid proof. If plusnet relied entirely on such a method to determine refunds, I agree, they could loose a lot of money!
Quote from: jelv
Requiring proof seems eminently sensible to me.

Of course. And the proof plusnet needs is in their own database/accounts/paperwork (whateveryoucallit). A scanned copy of my Credit card bill is no "proof" at all, thanks to photoshop.
If a customer tells a business that a mistake has been made in some transaction, then the business must investigate. If the investigation requires further information from the customer then, of course, the customer should oblige - but not if it involves putting the customer at risk to credit card fraud, identity theft or some-such.
In this case, I believe plusnet wanted to see my bill simply to show that my claim, that a billing mistake had been made, was a valid one. In other words my phone call to report a mistake was not enough for plusnet to investigate the issue. The customer has to somehow provide evidence of a billing issue before plusnet will do anything at all. A customer's word is worth nothing. ...
me: "it says this on my CC bill"
Plusnet: "we won't believe you till we see it for ourselves"
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: I've been billed twice for April, so I have to send in my CC statement???

It's more that it needs reconciling against our own records than the proof, though that is a help to our finance team I must admit. With regard to the possibilities of fraud, that's why we ask for the relevant line of the statement rather than the whole thing.
As for requiring proof, would any business not require the same? I can't think of any that would offer a refund on demand without any I'm afraid. I understand what you're saying with regards to the proof existing, but if a discrepancy isn't immediately apparent then evidence from both sides is usually required.
I'm sorry this happened and took so long to resolve, and also that it's made you feel this way.