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'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

audiorover
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: 30-07-2012

'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

With all my other services - mobile phone bill, utilities etc - I receive an invoice in the post or by email which clearly states both when the invoice has been raised and when the invoice is due to be paid. They state something like "Please make payment in full by xx/xx/12" .
Plusnet however does not state when the invoice is due to be paid.
I have never heard of a company sending an invoice and expecting it to paid on that very day (Plusnet don't even send me an invoice, it is only viewable when I log on to member services).
So, the questions are:

From when does the clock start ticking on their countdown to imposing restrictions?
Can anyone from Plusnet explain when an invoice is considered 'due' and also why I'm not being given this date?
Thanks in advance.
19 REPLIES
BryanP
Grafter
Posts: 138
Registered: 21-11-2011

Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

I recieve my invoice on the 6th of the month and money due is normally taken by Direct Debit on the 12th of the month
audiorover
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: 30-07-2012

Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

Those are your words I take it,  "the money due" rather than Plusnet's wording?
I have a direct debit set up and usually I receive an invoice dated 25th. Then I'm sent an email saying that the direct debit will be taken on 30th.
Last month however the invoice date was dated 25th and the email said the direct debit would be taken on 28th.
So, you get 6 days, I normally get 5 days but last month got 2 days.
That variation must mean that the direct debit dates are down to banking procedure rather than an official,  "Must be Paid By" date.
The reason it matters to me is that my last bill had something to pay (have paid upfront for line rental and still on my free 6 months). Last month I went over my broadband limit and had something to pay, only to find that the direct debit isn't set up properly, I think my bank's fault not Plusnet. I was away and so took over 14 days from invoice date to sort out and incurred a restriction charge.
The terms only mention action after payment is outstanding 14 days after being DUE but if no due date is communicated then how can this term of the T&Cs come into play?
Can anyone from Plusnet help out here?
What are other people's experiences with time from invoice date to payment needing paying?
Community Gaffer
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Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

Your payment is due on your billing date, ie the day we generate the invoice, this is generally the anniversary of your activation date. Take a look here for some more info: http://www.plus.net/support/customer_service/billing/billing_guide.shtml#when
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
audiorover
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: 30-07-2012

Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

So an invoice is due IMMEDIATELY?
The T&Cs to which I agreed says:
"24. You agree to pay the charges on your billing date. You may also need to pay a deposit or a payment upfront before you can receive the service or goods."
So I'm breaking the contract if I don't pay on the first day that the invoice is raised? This becomes an unfair term because it is impossible to adhere to. Equally, Plusnet itself doesn't activate the direct debit untill some days later so Plusnet itself is breaking it's own terms by taking my direct debit 5 days late?
So surely the idea that an invoice is due immediately it is raised is incorrect! Surely?

Plusnet's code of conduct says:
        "You will be notified via email prior to your scheduled billing date of any charges to be applied."
I am only getting to see the invoices online on the same date as they are raised. If this is also the billing date then I am not getting them in advance as the Code of Conduct says I will.
It also says:
        "If you fail to make payment of charges when they are due, we may suspend or cancel your service, in part or in full until payment is received. If we need to cease your broadband or line rental and calling service because you have not paid and you then later decide to resume the service, there will be a re-activation and administration charge where applicable, for which you will be liable."
So if the date that the invoice is raised is also the bill due date, then your code of conduct says you may suspend or cancel my service the very next day?Huh

Of course you could be wrong about the invoice date and billing date being one and the same. If it IS the same then it raises many questions, questions of unfair terms and Plusnet breaking their Code of Conduct by not notifying me of my invoice prior to my scheduled billing date. So surely you're mistaken?

The only emails I am receiving are on the SAME day as the Invoice Date and only telling me when the direct debit will be taken. For this to be an advance notice, then it must be the Direct Debit date that is in fact the 'Billing Date' mentioned in the T&Cs and in which case why does it vary between customers and even between my invoices? That isn't a fair way to treat customers, varying the due date and only telling me 2 days before..
Personally I just think that this aspect hasn't been set out or thought out properly in either practice nor in the legal terms, just muddling along somewhat amateurishly to be honest..
audiorover
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: 30-07-2012

Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

Thanks for the reply though Chris  Smiley
Could I get some confirmation from someone in the company, perhaps up the line (sorry, don't know your level in the company Chris) rather than quotes from the website. It could well be that the website is incorrect.
Community Gaffer
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Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

Without going into T&Cs and legal items (not my area of expertise), we email you on your billing date (the anniversary of your account activation) advising of the charge to be applied and when this will come out of your account (normally 3-5 working days in the future). So even though you billing date is the 18th (for example) the money won't come from your account until the 21st-23rd, which means we give notice prior to taking the money.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
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Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

As an example - received on the 23rd July
James
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Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

Quote from: Chris
Without going into T&Cs and legal items (not my area of expertise), we email you on your billing date (the anniversary of your account activation) advising of the charge to be applied and when this will come out of your account (normally 3-5 working days in the future). So even though you billing date is the 18th (for example) the money won't come from your account until the 21st-23rd, which means we give notice prior to taking the money.

What Chris has stated is how the system operates.
I can see that you have raised a ticket to the complaints team (which has been responded to) and also another ticket to our ticket team (which we have not yet responded to your reply).  I would suggest that if you want to take it further to close the ticket with the ticket team and reply to your complaint one (sorry if this sounds a bit daft) should you wish to take things further.
audiorover
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: 30-07-2012

Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

Thanks Jamesh - They might be different things... I can't remember which is which as I had a few questions going.

What Chris has stated may be how the system works.. but how Plusnet decide to do things internally doesn't effect me (or shouldn't).
I have agreed to the T&Cs and obviously I have no clue as to what systems are in place internally . Therefore I am only guided by the T&Cs and can only act in relation to the T&Cs. Legally too, I must act in accordance to the T&Cs, as they are what I've agreed to.
The T&Cs say I may face a fine or a suspension if I don't pay when the payment is due.  There is no reference in the T&Cs to paying by the 'Invoice Date' for example.
In reality, I get this "Invoice Date" only on the invoice the very same day and an email saying I don't have to do anything, stating yet a different date is used for taking the payment. There is no clear statement that a bill must be paid by any particular, specific day, a payment due date as per the T&Cs.
Basically I am left guessing!  If I am left guessing which date a bill is due then I cannot be expected to comply with the T&Cs and therefore shouldnt be facing charges relating to specific timings from an unspecified date..
Can you see where I'm coming from here?  It is all to easy to only see it from the inside and company policy procedure but from the outside I'm left in the dark with only the T&Cs to go by, T&Cs that don't relate specifically in wording to any other information I am given.. It's also very easy to see it in relaxed general terms but then if it is relaxed and variable then charges cannot be raised.
So, in terms of the T&Cs and the legal bit, can I have official confirmation that the payment is due (the wording used in the T&Cs and Code of Practice) immediately that an invoice is raised?

@Oldjim 
If I receive an email relating to a new bill at noon, do I seriously only have 6 hours in which to pay before I am then missing my due date?
What happens when that direct debit doesn't go through as in my case? Direct debits are re-presented 7-10 days later (as stated in your notification email) so if that then doesn't go through either I could be facing suspension or late payment fee before I've even been notified that the payment hasn't gone through. Before I am even fully aware that a payment hasn't gone through, I'm near 15 days late already and possibly immediately suspended before I know about it. That can't be right surely?
So either the Payment Due date = Invoice date and your T&Cs are completely unworkable and unfair,
or..  
.. there is an official, legally binding, "Payment Due" date that is some time AFTER the invoice is raised and that date is not being communicated to me (might be different for people not paying by direct debit as they are expected to take action and therefore sent different emails with different info).
I hope you can see this from my point of view.
audiorover
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: 30-07-2012

Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

Quote from: Chris
Without going into T&Cs and legal items (not my area of expertise), we email you on your billing date (the anniversary of your account activation) advising of the charge to be applied and when this will come out of your account (normally 3-5 working days in the future). So even though you billing date is the 18th (for example) the money won't come from your account until the 21st-23rd, which means we give notice prior to taking the money.

What emails do people not paying by direct debit get?
Do they get an email saying that an invoice is raised, please pay within 14 days, for example?
Community Gaffer
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Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

3 days before the billing date (again the anniversary of the activation of the account) we email and say that we're taking payment on X date from the card details held.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
James
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Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

Hi,
I appreciate the confusion.
To clarify the real world situation.  You have an invoice date.  On your invoice date we request the payment.  Due to the nature of direct debit payments, these take a few days (normally 3-5 working days) to be processed.  Card payments are near enough instant.  From your invoice date, you have 14 days to make payment.  If we have not received a payment at this point restrictions are applied to both broadband and phone services - from a phone point of view this means that route to credit control (ie our call centre) is applied. It costs £5.86 to have this removed, which is the wholesale cost that we pay to do so.
The following is our failed billing policy (I don't think I've seen reference to this in this thread). This should clarify how and what we do and when.
http://www.plus.net/support/service/policies/failedbilling.shtml
Whilst I do generally deal with all of our legal disputes, I am not legally trained and do so with the support of our (BT Groups) legal team, but would rather not engage in such a dispute over a public forum Smiley. You're welcome to contact me by PM and I'll be more than happy to give you a ring next week (as we are running out of hours in this one!).
audiorover
Grafter
Posts: 33
Registered: 30-07-2012

Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

Quote from: Chris
3 days before the billing date (again the anniversary of the activation of the account) we email and say that we're taking payment on X date from the card details held.

I see, thanks for that.
So really, people paying by card also only get told about when Plusnet will try to take payment but not actually when payment is due.
I mean, there's no reason not to assume that Plusnet will get their system to take the payment some time in advance of when the payment is officially due so that any problems can be accounted for.. so that date isn't necessarily the Due date either. It's guess-work for the customer which is fine when all runs smoothly..
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Re: 'When are invoices due to be paid? - Lack of 'Payment Due By' date on invoices.

I really don't see where this is going.
When you go to https://portal.plus.net/view_my_broadband_usage/index.php it tells you your billing period which in my case finishes on the 22nd of the month and this is what the email states
Quote
We hope that you are enjoying PlusNet Broadband Pay As You Go (Annual Contract, No Modem) with included 4GB bandwidth account and finding our services of exceptional value. 
This is just a brief note to let you know that we will be taking the next subscription payment for your PlusNet Broadband Pay As You Go (Annual Contract, No Modem) with included 4GB bandwidth account on 2008-01-23
The subscription fee for your account will be reduced if you currently earn a My Referrals
discount or you have been awarded a number of days service free of charge. For more
information on how much you currently save with My Referrals, visit
http://www.plus.net/my.html?action=mydiscount_static_info.
In the meantime it is important that you make sure your account details are up-to-date and that your PlusNet Broadband Pay As You Go (Annual Contract, No Modem) with included 4GB bandwidth account is correct.
Please note - It is important that your payment details are valid and you have sufficient funds on or just after 2008-01-23 as failure to do so will result in your PlusNet Broadband Pay As You Go (Annual Contract, No Modem) with included 4GB bandwidth account being disabled..
So you get 3 days notice and the payment is taken on the day after the end of the billing period