cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

Capvermell
Rising Star
Posts: 466
Thanks: 11
Registered: ‎16-12-2007

Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

I recently complained to Plusnet that after I had to leave another ADSL2+ supplier (www.vivaciti.net) that I had a disagreement with at short notice and moving on to a 1 month contract with Plusnet and planning at the time to try and get on to the Plusnet FTTP trial (which never happened as my mother became serious unwell shortly afterwards and died at the end of the following year) I had instead been over paying at a very expensive £33 per month for broadband plus phone line compared to £22 a month routinely offered to new customers on a 12 or 18 month contract or more recently £18 per month.

Plusnet rejected my suggestion that if they compensated me with the circa £520 they had overcharged me over the last 4 years for an ADSL2_+ broadband service with no phone calls included that I had also scarcely used (due to being based at my mother's house the vast majority of the time) I would then be prepared to sign an 18 month contract with them at £18 per month.  Instead they offered me a £50 token gesture of goodwill.  I suggested this was inadequate and that at least £100 was in order, which their complaints investigator managed to get authorisation for from his supervisor.  But I was told the £100 could only be paid to me by cheque even though I indicated repeatedly that I preferred BACS transfer or a credit card refund.

I now have this cheque that still hasn't been paid in to my bank account (not least because my nearest bank is a 14 mile return trip away and NatWest branches were until recently closing at 1pm) but I have since discovered that under Regulation 34 (7) of The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 "The trader must make the reimbursement using the same means of payment as the consumer used for the initial transaction, unless the consumer has expressly agreed otherwise."  See https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/5673664/do-i-have-to-accept-a-refund-by-cheque-if-i-... for more information on this point.

Since I paid Plusnet throughout my time with them as a customer by first direct debit and more recently by Mastercard credit card can Plusnet please explain to me why they insist on breaching Regulation 34(7) of the The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013 " by issuing a cheque and will not either pay the £100 in to my bank account or pay it back as a credit on to the credit card that I have been paying my Plusnet bills wth?

I am firmly of the opinion that large cynical corporates issue refunds and goodwill gestures only as cheques because despite the fact that cheques are a more expensive actual payment mechanism (than an electronic money transfer) they know that most private individuals are no longer used to dealing with cheques or paying them in and as a result many of them get lost or moulder in the back of people's wallets until they time out at 6 months old and Plusnet or their owners BT Group then trouser the refund or goodwill gesture that should have reached the customer.

In view of the above can Plusnet please tell me why they cannot comply with the current law by cancelling this unwanted cheque for £100 and instead crediting the £100 involved to my bank account or putting it back as a refund payment on to my credit card.

By the way this refund cheque is linked to the user account [Removed]  rather than this one ([Removed]l).

Note also that this same issue was being discussed on the Which website back in 2013 at https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/why-am-i-refunded-by-cheque/ but despite that large corporates like BT Group (who also have some of the most frightening and penal terms for terminating contracts early on the broadband products of BT Retail) are still at it trying to only pay money back to customers by cheque.................

Moderator's note by Mike (Mav): Personal information removed from a public forum (to an area that staff can see).
31 REPLIES 31
Capvermell
Rising Star
Posts: 466
Thanks: 11
Registered: ‎16-12-2007

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

It appears that Plusnet's insistence on only making refunds to customers by cheque is not only illegal and out of date but also in contradiction of the policy of Plusnet's parent and owner BT Group.

See https://www.bt.com/help/account-and-billing/i-m-in-credit-with-bt---how-long-do-i-have-to-wait-to-re...

"You'll get your refund via your last payment method. So if you regularly pay by debit card, we'll refund back to that card. If you pay by cash or cheque, we'll refund by cheque. If you pay by Direct Debit, leave it in place and we'll send the money back by Direct Debit."

Baldrick1
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9,205
Thanks: 4,175
Fixes: 323
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

As you are keen on quoting the law it seems logical to my non legally trained brain that you would be entitled to a subscription refund to be paid back as you suggest.

However my reading is that this is not a subscription refund but 'a gesture of goodwill' made without Plusnet accepting that you are entitled to a subscription refund and therefore not subject to this requirement.

Can't you pay Natwest cheques in at a Post Office?

Moderator and Customer
If this helped - select the Thumb
If it fixed it,  help others - select 'This Fixed My Problem'

Capvermell
Rising Star
Posts: 466
Thanks: 11
Registered: ‎16-12-2007

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

My decent level of customer service trained brain says that you are just a Plusnet loyalist trying to justify any customer crunching behaviour of this once proud brand that the BT Group is cynically running in to the ground.

Please can you tell me why it would not be highly inconvenient for me to have to make a special 14 mile return trip to a local town and pay car parking to pay in the cheque at NatWest bank banches until recently closing at 1pm and may well still be doing so.  And before you ask no there isn't a 24/7 machine there that lets you pay in cheques at the branch in Dorking.  Also NatWest have no onine scanning solution for paying in chequesm even after all these months of COVID-19.

Please can you explain to me why you do not think Plusnet should pay me the goodwill gesture the way they have been taking money from me via my Llloyds Bank Mastercard.

Of but I forgot that a Plusnet loyalist just gets up every morning and keeps singing the hymn "whatever Plusnet does is always right and I will never leave no matter how rubbish the router they provide me with or how technologically obsolescent their platform may be with no support for either FTTP or IPv6".............

Baldrick1
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9,205
Thanks: 4,175
Fixes: 323
Registered: ‎30-06-2016

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

@Capvermell 

I think that you should stand back and read my reply again. In no way have I supported Plusnet's policy here. I am responding to your strident claim that Plusnet are breaking the law by pointing out that this might not be the case.

 

 

Moderator and Customer
If this helped - select the Thumb
If it fixed it,  help others - select 'This Fixed My Problem'

Alex
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,477
Thanks: 908
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

@Capvermell 

Sorry to hear of your loss.

Yes I see what you mean, depends on how far your local bank branch is. Mine is a 10 minute bus journey from here. So not too difficult. Obviously with the fun and games which are going on at the moment it is not adviseable to be travelling.

For a realtivaly small amount they can just do a BACS transfer. I remember having to transfer £40,000 to my solicitors account about my house. I had to do a CHAPS transfer and pay a pony (£25). Was really nervous. Got a call about half an hour later to say it went through fine.

Cor, did I need a pint or three after that good news. Too right. Luckily the Wetherspoons is right opposite Barclays. So I had to calm down a bit. 😁

BrightonRock
Pro
Posts: 469
Thanks: 124
Fixes: 7
Registered: ‎09-04-2016

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

I apologise if this is going too far off-topic.

Just for information, NatWest currently offer a service to pay in cheques sent by post to a central unit.   https://supportcentre.natwest.com/Covid19/1470746412/How-do-I-pay-in-a-cheque-if-I-m-self-isolating....

Capvermell
Rising Star
Posts: 466
Thanks: 11
Registered: ‎16-12-2007

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

@BrightonRock Thanks for your post with the link to the NatWest postal cheque inpayment service.

However it seems to me that NatWest is not trying at all hard to make this as user friendly as it could given the following:-

A. The address is not a Freepost one and/or they do not offer Freepost envelopes to send cheques in this way (even during the COVID-19 emergency).

B. Needing to have a paying in slip is inconvenient and they could have also provided a method to enter the details of the cheque through online banking that then the printed out a piece of paper to accompany the cheque as an alternative.

C. The unambitious 5 working day time to start processing the cheque after receipt, which I assume means the cheque would not clear for a further 3 working days after that.

Also in my opinion NatWest and other banks should be having a major drive to deter the prime offenders in issuing cheques from doing so.  And the prime offenders are not little old ladies of 95 who have not moved with the times but are large corporates like utility companies and share registrars who still insist on issuing cheques rather than providing a simple way for someone they want to pay to go online and use a reference and code they provide to the payee to enter the account name and sort code of the destination where the payee wants the money to be sent.

In respect of both CHAPS and cheque payments NatWest have demonstrated themselves to be a clearly Luddite Bank that is quite simply failing to move with the times while it is also in particular putting our safety at risk in respect of the requirements of the COVID-19 emergency to minimise direct face to face contact and physical interaction as much as is possible.

Plusnet is also of course still a prime offender in this respect by insisting on issuing cheques when it could clearly have made this payment to myself electronically.

newagetraveller
Pro
Posts: 639
Thanks: 131
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎03-08-2012

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

"they have been taking money from me via my Llloyds Bank Mastercard."

Does this mean you have a Lloyds Current Account?

Only a suggestion, if you do. Their smartphone banking app. does have a provision to deposit a cheque through that. App. needs access to the phone's camera. I have used it with geat success.

Please ignore the above if that's not possible for you!

Capvermell
Rising Star
Posts: 466
Thanks: 11
Registered: ‎16-12-2007

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

@newagetraveller 

I would have thought that it would have been quite obvious that I don't have a Lloyds Bank current account or any other bank account with it from my referencing of paying in the cheque with NatWest.

I had a Lloyds Bank Avios Amex and Mastercard pairing and still have a Lloyds Bank Avios Mastercard (no Amex any longer provided by Lloyds and I now have a direct Amex Gold card instead) but I have never had a current account with Lloyds Bank.

In addition to my main NatWest current account I also have current accounts with Metrobank, Nationwide and Halifax but so far as I am aware not one of them provides any means to scan a cheque and pay it online or send it in free of postal charge by post.  In fact Metro Bank do not provide any other means to pay in a cheque than going to a branch, even though their branch is not exactly nationwide or evenly spread in terms of its distribution.

Rather than constantly telling me how I can alter my life and/or my banking arrangements to fit it with the inconvenience caused by Plusnet issuing a cheque I would prefer those responding to this thread to instead focus on the issue of why it is that Plusnet is still issuing cheques to customers who clearly don't want them (I told them at the time of the £100 offer I didn't want a cheque but they told me there was no other way to receive the money from them and basically I wouldn't get the £100 if I didn't accept the cheque) and why it is damaging the environment with more global warming and also increasing the chances of its customers contracting COVID-19 by doing so.

Alex
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,477
Thanks: 908
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

@Capvermell 

Well I have to go to the bank today - don't want to (read that as can't be bothered). I need to take some cash out of one account and put it in the other and I can't do a transfer. Well there is a Wetherspoons opposite, if that is open I may pop in there for a pint 😁

I have already been to a pub - my friend was saying how much he missed them. Nothing special.

Don't you have a NatWest near where you live? My Barclays is a 10 minute bus journey.

Can't remember the last time I paid in a cheque. I think the last time was about 4-5 years ago when I got something like a £2000 tax refund from HMRC. Cor did that put a smile on my face when I opened that letter! I am sure it would for yourself or anyone else 😛

For that amount of money I went straight down the bank like speedy gonzales.

Capvermell
Rising Star
Posts: 466
Thanks: 11
Registered: ‎16-12-2007

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

@Alex I can't really understand why you can't do a transfer from one of your bank accounts to the other online and have to visit the bank branch instead.

I have four different bank accounts and one of these with Halifax Easycash was dormant and had not been used for several years .

It now turns out that out of NatWest (my main account), Nationwide (used to use it when savings rates were decent) and Metrobank (use it for taking cash out in Europe exchange rate fee free) and Halifax (used to have it for a Visa Electron card that Ryanair did not charge card fees on but now replaced with an ordinary Visa Debit and Ryanair also can no longer charge these method of payment related fees, if that is I ever have to risk travelling with Ryanair again, that I will try to avoid at all costs) only the Halifax account has a way to pay in cheques online by scanning the cheque using its App.  I suppose that makes sense since you tell me Lloyds also suports this for its current account holders and both Lloyds and Halifax are part of the same HBOS banking group.

So it seems like I need to reactivate my long dormant Halifax current account in order to be able to pay in cheques online by using their smartphone App and then move the money online to my NatWest account.  But it seems to me that involves Royal Bank of Scotland free riding on the coat tails of their competitors.

Alex
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,477
Thanks: 908
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

I have to take money from my credit card and pay it in to the bank.

Had to look after my mum and dad (during their final days), so that's what I did.

"The secret of happiness is accepting things the way they are, not how you'd like them to be". Alexander Pope once said that I think.

Capvermell
Rising Star
Posts: 466
Thanks: 11
Registered: ‎16-12-2007

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

@Alex Might work for Alexander Pope (your name sake I note although the third of my three first/Christian names is also Alexander) but I don't think it works for anyone of a political or campaigning background as otherwise they wouldn't bother doing what they are doing.

Perhaps as a poet he was rather more philosophical about life.....................

It seems this issue is too hot to handle for Plusnet staff since none of them have so far chosen to engage here in respect of the cheque only repayment issue................

RealAleMadrid
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,111
Thanks: 931
Fixes: 44
Registered: ‎07-07-2009

Re: Plusnet's Illegal Insistence On Cheque Only Refund/Goodwill Gesture

I would be perfectly happy to receive any amount of cheques from Plusnet if they wish to send me any, I actually did get one when I re-joined Plusnet late last year. As for your comment regarding Plusnet staff they probably have far more important things to do than respond to your persistent ranting.