Monday, November 27, 2006

Beware of direct debits

In the UK the rules governing who can help themselves to your hard earned cash are fairly stringent. Not so in Spain. Here is my rant that I posted on www.spanishpropertyinsight.com a week or so ago:

The site is run by Mark Stucklin, a journalist who writes on Spanish property issues for the Sunday Times. It has a helpful community attached to it.

I set up a direct debit with Terra to provide a dial up internet connection to my house. This was my arangement for around 2 years.

In the early part of this year, ADSL (broadband) finally became available in the part of Spain where I live.

So I signed a contract with Telefonica who now provide me with broadband. Obviously I did not want to carry on paying for the TErra dialup service as I now no longer needed it.

I searched the Terra website for support/how to/ FAQs any way of contacting them to cancel my dialup service and the 25 EUR per month I was paying. All I could find was an email address: support@terra.es (or was it sopporte@terra.es not sure). I emailed this address twice with no response.

I decided the best course of action was to cancel the payment through my bank (solbank) which I did.

I then find out this week that I have been paying this 25 EUR fee!

Maddened I went the bank who showed me that they HAD in fact cancelled the payment, but that Terra had requested the same amount using a different reference number and slightly different name! So it was paid out of my account - for the last 6 months!!

Unbelievable. The lesson I have learned is check your statement and query anything you are unsure of. You have the right to claim back any money within 20 days that you feel you should not pay.

Really happy.

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