Blog DOB: 23 Oct, 2012
Name: Beats by Dr Dre han
As I said they tried it, they attempted to take the 2 Direct Debits totaling ﾃ｢つｬ279.42. My new bill arrived today with a balancing statement showing the following,
After that there is no point in detailing the finer points as it only contains shite
So to summise never have your bills paid by Direct Debit....
Still no news on my invoice for all the calls that I made during the Dec. so when they pay me I'll pay them, with a bit of luck they'll sue me, as I have all my bits, somehow I d'ont think they have.
The first line of my renewal notice from the AA says "We've checked to make sure that your renewal quote is the very lowest we can offer."
This should be reassuring coming from a company like the AA. You can almost picture the dilligent, suited executives making calls, negotiating for you, well in advance. You can imagine, aided by their TV advertising campaign, perhaps a month before the renewal date, at one of their Monday morning meetings the Boss quips "Oh, by the way, Mark's insurance is up for renewal, go out there and get him a good deal, the best deal. That's what we're here for."
Even as you visit the AA website you're greeted with and reassured by statements like "We'll shop around to find the best car quote for you" and "..our recent survey (July '06) showed we could save up to 40% on your car insurance."
This all sounds very positive. How is it then, with another year added to my no claims bonus and my car depreciated further in value, that my premium should increase by 17%? Last year I paid £350.25, this year I am being quoted at £409.43.
What happened to the "outstanding deals" being negotiated for me, by the AA, as "the UK's biggest car and home insurance broker, dealing with over 20 leading insurers"?
How is it I visit one other website, moneysupermarket.com, and obtain 21 better quotes? One of the quotes is from AXA, my current insurer through the AA? The best quote was over £100 cheaper. I settled with Direct Line in the end, paying less than the premium I paid in the previous year for an identical policy, saving about £60 when compared with the AA quote
Another insurer, another story, but I guess they all do this..... Direct line offer to "securely store your payment details so that we may automatically renew your policy for subsequent years. Select NO if you do not agree to this."
Having a healthy disdain for direct debits and recurring payments I select no. Recurring payments rely on your complacency, you're unlikely to ever get a good deal if you agree to them. I have a feeling a few percent is bunged on top of what you paid the prior year, right or wrong, I certainly feel that way about my AA quote
A note to the wise: always say No to Direct Debits. Always get a second opinion, always get a second quote.
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 ﾃつ｣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 ﾃつ｣211.47, leading to an overpayment of just under ﾃつ｣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: