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Changing Direct Debit amount

posted by powerless | A month ago

Yet again SP make it as difficult as possible to change direct debit downwards.

If everyone is struggling with trying to pay the right amount for their energy and not the inflated amount makes you wonder how much surplus SP is sitting on.

Yes I know all the arguments about seasonal etc.

Just renewed too. Think I might use cooling off period.

Frustrating or what.

Martin Lewis nil points for SP customer service

3 comments
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posted by Jonnel | A month ago
Re: Changing Direct Debit amount

@powerless Thing is, most people don't understand what 'direct debit' means - they confuse it with the Standing Order. In simple terms, direct debit means a payee can ask for any amount of money from the registered payer's account without having to ask for authorisation each and every time. That's all it means. Really. It doesn't mean the amount will stay the same, or even that the day it will be taken will be the same every month, it just means whenever the payee (Scottish Power in this case) want some money from you, they don't have to ask you before they take it, because you've already agreed to let them take it. And how much they want, and whenever they want...

If people want control over how much they pay registered payees, they should use a standing order. Payers have full control over standing orders - both dates and amounts. Which is exactly why big firms like energy providers like direct debits...

posted by powerless | 4 weeks ago
Re: Changing Direct Debit amount

Thank you. I do understand payment systems. That’s not my issue. Perhaps I didn’t explain the issue properly. 

posted by Jonnel | 4 weeks ago
Re: Changing Direct Debit amount

@powerless Shoot, I've got all day. Thing is, with direct debits you're on to a loser right from the start, because even if you do suceed in lowering your dd, SP have the option to raise it again as soon as they like - all they have to do is give you 10 days notice, which they do by the online account messaging system that no-one ever looks at and doesn't trigger your daily email, so you never know you've been given that notice till your bank tells you.

It's clever really, because most people DO actually want the convenience of direct debit and most people DO want to spread their higher winter bills over the summer months when they use less. I know, it's  the huge variations that SP do that makes all the difference, but that's why it's clever... they make their cheaper tariffs dependent on paying by dd then harvest huge credit balances from their millions of customers, recorded in their business accounts as liquid assets. People WANT dd's and SP want people to want them. Business sense, you see - give the people what the want, but make what they want profitable.