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Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

mapletree
Grafter
Posts: 644
Registered: ‎28-07-2007

Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Recently for some unknown reason plusnet did not take my monthly payment by direct debit.  Obviously the first thing I tried to do was to log into the member centre to check that the direct debit details were correct.  However I am locked out of the member centre.  All I get is a button "Make payment".
This is way over the top. I can understand plusnet need to deal with non-payers but to lock a loyal long-term customer out of the member centre immediately is excessive.  Angry
Please change this procedure.  I suggest that you delay locking peoples accounts until some attempt has been made to correct the problem and then only restrict certain functions.
12 REPLIES
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: ‎16-06-2010

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Hi mapletree,
I've had full access restored for you. Also, as well as the take payment option there are also links to see your transactions, raise a ticket and help and support, so it's not completely blocked. I've asked one of our billing team to call you this afternoon to discuss the issue.
Jojo Smiley
mapletree
Grafter
Posts: 644
Registered: ‎28-07-2007

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Jo,
Thanks for restoring access to the member centre.  I know there were a few things possible to access on the member centre but the vast majority of features were blocked, including the ability to check my direct debit details.  I'm sure you'll admit this is not desireable?  I've been a customer of PN since at least 2003.
I hope you will take onboard my comments.  Immediately blocking most features on the member centre is innappropriate and excessive in the circumstances.  I am dissappointed that my post was moved away from the feedback forum since my main aim here is to pursuade you to change your procedures a little.
With regard to payment I have now checked the direct debit details on my account and it looks correct (although part of the account number and sort code are obscurred).  I did notice that the reference is not the same as the one contained in the failure email, which is strange.  I must stress that I have NOT changed the direct debit information.
I am still not clear what will happen now.  As I can see no problem with the direct debit information you have I cannot understand why it should have failed and therefore cannot be 100% confident that things will work when you try to take the direct debit again.  I do note on the ticket there is the threat that if payment is not taken then my service will be "restricted".
I really like PN in many ways: particularly because you, Bob and others actively monitor and post on these forums and usenet.  However, if my internet access does get restricted, I will be looking to change ISPs.
mapletree
Grafter
Posts: 644
Registered: ‎28-07-2007

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Update:
I've just had a call from somebody from PN.  The conclusion is, although I have only one direct debit showing on my account and have done since before the bill was due, PN attempted to take the direct debit from a different bank account.  However even this mistake should not have mattered since the old direct debit information that PN used to have should still be valid.
Therefore there seem to be at least two problems here:

  • The information about direct debits shown on the member centre must be different to that used internally by PN.

  • For some reason a DD was rejected even though there was still an active mandate.


And aparently I am not allowed to pay by DD this Month now and have to pay by another means.
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: ‎16-06-2010

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Hi mapletree,
If you were to make a payment via card I could make sure the non-DD charge was removed. I've certainly highlighted your case to the failed billing head with your points so I'm sure if there's something that needs to be addressed they will take this on board.
Jojo Smiley
mapletree
Grafter
Posts: 644
Registered: ‎28-07-2007

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Thanks.  I've now paid by card for this month.  I hope it works next time.  Roll eyes
I've got lots of direct debits on my bank accounts.  It's only the ones from PN that seem to go wrong.  I had an almost identical problem to this a couple of years ago too.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 13,575
Thanks: 1,252
Fixes: 103
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Hi there,
I've just replied to your post over in p.s.customer-feedback. To add a little clarity to the situation:
You/we submitted a new Direct Debit instruction for approval on the 22nd of last month. This typically takes about a week to set up. We submitted a request for payment on the 26th though  *before* the new instruction became active.
Because of this the request for payment was submitted against the old instruction and failed for this reason:
Quote
We have been informed that your Direct Debit transaction PNET*****2-6 has failed with reason code 3 (Account has been transferred to a new bank/building society).

Notice the '-6' at the end of the Direct Debit reference. That's the old one. The new one (that's since been made active) has '-7' at the end.
When your  browsing was interrupted there should have been an option to ignore the notice and continue browsing. Why this wasn't there I don't now however it's a little tricky to replicate now Wink

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

mapletree
Grafter
Posts: 644
Registered: ‎28-07-2007

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Thanks for the clarification.  There is still one thing puzzling me.  There are still two active PN direct debit mandates showing on my "old" bank account.
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: ‎18-07-2007

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

There's definitely only the one active showing on your account at the moment, it's probably worth asking your bank about this. Please let us know if we need to do anything.
mapletree
Grafter
Posts: 644
Registered: ‎28-07-2007

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Which bank?  Wink  There's active direct debit mandates showing on both my bank accounts for PN. 
I guess we'll only know for sure when next month's direct debit suceeds or fails.
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 13,037
Thanks: 4,332
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Interesting problem - I wonder if the OP is with RBS?
I am - I know that RBS is changing the sort codes on a number of their branches ready for the take over by the big red Spanish bank.  Beyond the fact that the bank has told me this would happen, the first that I knew it was happening was an email from PN about my new DD arrangement... NEWS TO ME I thought.
I do hope that I do not find my self in the same mess as the OP.  I guess that there is always the risk of the automated billing system requesting a payment whilst a change of DD arrangements is in progress, especially if the PN systems do not recognise this and 'back-off' the request for a few days AND the original bank / account is prompt on refusing payment, rather than passing the request across to the new account / bank.
As the OP suggests, may be PN's systems might detect this and be a little more understanding?
mapletree
Grafter
Posts: 644
Registered: ‎28-07-2007

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

@townman:  Not RBS.  However my old bank account was taken over by the spanish bank already.  In that case I don't recall having so much hassle.
It looks like part of the problem for PN is the significant lag in updating things so what you see is not what you get. Then their system is far too agressive reacting to the problem.
mapletree
Grafter
Posts: 644
Registered: ‎28-07-2007

Re: Please change procedure when a direct debit fails

Quote
I've got lots of direct debits on my bank accounts.  It's only the ones from PN that seem to go wrong.

Oh Dear! I spoke too soon.  The DD for my main credit card failed too this month.  The fallout from that was much worse.  Cry