Blog DOB: 22 Aug, 2006
Name: Mark O'Connor
Me in the Antarctic
Really Annoying Sh##
This is my blog where I can dump all the sh## that really annoys me. It stays here, I can get on and enjoy myself. It's like therapy, and you can join too for free. Just add yourself as a blogger and get rid of all your sh##.
In late April I acquired a dedicated server from an internet hosting company and paid for three months in advance. The price for the quarter was £211.47 (including VAT). Stupidly, I hadn't looked at my bank statements until today, to discover, the company, due to an obvious accounting error, have been debiting my bank account each month since April for £211.47, leading to an overpayment of just under £1,000 even though I had cancelled the server after a week of use because the solution was unworkable.
Interestingly, this aim listed company, reports a 46% increase in profits for its last financial year.
Notwithstanding the fact I hadn't authorised the company to debit my account at all (that's another story), the fact it occurred is a reminder, that:
Recurring payments on your credit cards are the same. Some companies will automatically renew your purchase without advising you, and make it particularly difficult to cancel. I remember it taking months to stop AOL direct debits.
When I joined Ecademy, the social business network, I paid the twelve month subscription fee in advance. I lost interest in the network after a few months and stopped using it. On the anniversary of my joining, Ecademy renewed the subscription automatically. The first I knew of it was seeing the debit on my bank statement. The next year they tried to do the same, but as I had changed my card the payment failed. I then started to receive a series of automatically generated emails. These lasted for a few weeks and then stopped. This was the sum of the Ecademy customer service experience.
Most companies rely on our complacency. We don't study our bank statements and transactions or manage our cash as we should. With recurring payments and automatic renewals you may not get the best deal. This is particularly so with car or home insurance. If your car insurance is on an automatic renewal, you're unlikely to get the best deal.
Three last points: