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Unauthorised payments

sandwalk
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 01-06-2011

Unauthorised payments

Posting here now in desperation.  About 2 years ago my elderly mother-in-law took out an account with plusnet on my recommendation, I used to be a customer.  She had nothing but trouble from the start and in the first 6 months she was lucky if she was connected for 6 weeks.  Eventually that settled down and she had a reasonable time connected.  She is an avid book reader and really only wanted the internet for buying books from amazon etc. 
She is an elderly pensioner who unfortunately had breast cancer and her bowl removed and eventually in March this year she had to move out of her home because she was unable to look after herself.  All her direct debits were cancelled and where possible her family informed the necessary utilities BT etc.  The phone line was disconnected at the end of March.  Unfortunately for the last 3 months despite the DD being cancelled Plusnet have taken money from her account.  Despite the DD being cancelled it seems they have a Debit Card registered.  I contacted them complaining but the following month they took more money and I have just received an email saying they will take more this month.  I have contacted them on more than one occasion  telling them to stop.  They are fully aware of the situation, they know of her illnesses and that she is having to be looked after.  She is a pensioner and can ill afford for Plusnet to be taking money from her account every month. 
I am desperate now, can I report them to the police, is it theft?  Can they be sued for this? They know they are not providing a service because the phone is disconnected and I have been in contact with them by email for the last 3mnths.  She is a pensioner and is very upset over this.
Any help or advise appreciated
Steve
6 REPLIES
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Unauthorised payments

Hi Steve,
Sorry to hear of your trouble with this matter. I will look into this a bit further and see what I can find out.
Jojo Smiley
jojopillo
Grafter
Posts: 9,786
Registered: 16-06-2010

Re: Unauthorised payments

Hi Steve,
Looking at it, it seems that we sent you an email offering to cancel the service on the 13th May. In order to do this we would need a payment of £8.06. As the broadband has to be cancelled separately from the phone (as we didn't provide the phone service) we would have needed some sort of communication at the time. The cessation charge is £25 so the £8.06 takes into account payments you have made since march.
Hope that helps.
Jojo Smiley
sandwalk
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 01-06-2011

Re: Unauthorised payments

Thank you for your reply it is appreciated.  
I see you took another payment yesterday unauthorized from her account.  I wonder if she had died you would still be taking money.  What annoys me most regarding this is that you are claiming payment for a service you know you are not providing and haven't for the last 3 months.  To me that is nothing short of scandalous and I shall make it my priority to sign into as many consumer sites and broadband review sites as possible and ensure that your dishonest practices are well advertised.  Whilst I am not in a position to take legal action (although county court action for the return of monies already taken is a possibility)  I will be seeking assistance from Citizens advise bureau, trading standards and OFCOM
dick:quote
Wheel_nut
Grafter
Posts: 886
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Unauthorised payments

You need to set aside your angst and try to understand the true situation.
Your Mother-in-law:
1) Has a contract with PlusNet for Broadband Service which she has NOT cancelled as required by the terms of the contract.
2) The Broadband service is charged bt BT to PlusNet until the service is cancelled and the cessation charge is paid.
3) Cancelling a DD Mandate does NOT constitute cancellation of the Service. Indeed, the provision of a Debit Card has saved your M-i-l from having her account passed to a Debt Collector.
4) PlusNet are entitled to payment under the terms of their contract. PlusNet is an ISP, NOT a charity or a a social service. The omission that has resulted in the continuation of the service is yours, Not PlusNet's.
I don't expect you to like being presented with this but I have little doubt that the Police, CAB or a solicitor would come to the same conclusion based on the information you have given. Joanne is trying to bring this to a speedy conclusion and yo would be best cooperating with her efforts.

Community Veteran
Posts: 26,718
Thanks: 931
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Unauthorised payments

Quote from: Wheel_nut
2) The Broadband service is charged bt BT to PlusNet until the service is cancelled and the cessation charge is paid.

Not true!
When a phone line is cancelled all services on the line, including broadband, are automatically cancelled even if they are being provided by another company. If BT have continued to bill Plusnet thaqt is Plusnet's problem not the user's.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Wheel_nut
Grafter
Posts: 886
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Unauthorised payments

Yes, I agree. I apologise for being less than clear.
PlusNet should only be billing for the service to the date of cessation of the Phone Line plus the £25 Cessation charge.
Is there a systemic problem here resultant from the ISP not always (reliably) being informed when Broadband Service migrates to another ISP or is Ceased. There have been many cases reported where the Customer has had to inform PlusNt of the date of migration in order to trigger the reconcilliation of the account.
Again, my apologies to the OP.