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Regular Payments off a Credit Card Discussion

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Regular Payments off a Credit Card Discussion

edited 6 August 2012 at 9:48PM in Credit Cards
286 replies 259.7K views
MSE_MartinMSE_Martin Money Saving ExpertMoneySaving Expert
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edited 6 August 2012 at 9:48PM in Credit Cards
Please read our full Recurring Payments guide, updated more recently than this thread.



Did you know?

Authorising a regular payment off a credit card known as a ‘Continuous Payment Authority’ is much more dangerous a bank account ‘direct debit’. !The problem is you can’t cancel it, only the company its set up with can. !

The major, but not exclusive, culprit of such dodgy dealings are internet porn sites leaving people taking !‘embarassed’ monthly payments. !Always make sure any CPA is set up with a legit company, and try to use direct debts not credit cards. !I once reported on this for Moneybox, read a report based on that here

To discuss this click reply


Insert of clarification: !Thought i should say, a CPA (also called a recurring transaction) applies if you do it off a debit as well as credit card. !You need to do a Direct Debit off your bank account, not a regular debit off any plastic.
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.
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Replies

  • Thanks for this alarming piece of news, Martin. Like any good moneysaver with a cashback credit card, I try to pay for everything on my credit card. This now includes CPAs for my internet service, mobile/landline services and magazine subscriptions. Getting people like Freeserve and OneTel has been hell in the past - I didn't realise how lucky I'd been to end up even.

    Is it possible for a CPA to be set up "by accident"? Does a retailer legally have to make it clear what you are signing up for, and how boldly? I am thinking of services akin to creditexpert.co.uk - we buy the service once, but then can't get in touch with them for weeks, while they merrily charge our credit cards.
  • SystemSystem
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    Had problems with two ISP's who had continuous authority ,phoned credit card company and told them I had lost my c.card.It works they are unable to take payment form your new card.Hope this helps.
  • SystemSystem
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    I used to have a mobile phone through a company called Genie and paid monthly on my credit card at the time. A year later when I found a better deal, it took me ages to cancel it because the card company couldn't cancel it and Genie were just, well stupid - they kept saying they would cancel it but the payments kept going out. Every month I had to phone and they had to manually pay it back. In the end, I got a very helpful person at the credit card company who advised me to "lose" my card so they could cancel it and issue a new one. They weren't supposed to do that (which is why I'm not saying who it was [think oval shaped food :-X]) but it solved the problem ;)
  • divadeedivadee Forumite
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    I have had this problem recently (last week) with freeserve (on another thread) http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=Telephone;action=display;num=1082180444

    they took money out of my bank account 2 years later!! without asking and without warning!! It was for £40.

    It gets worse cos the card they took it off was cancelled but the bank still authorised it!! The bank claimed that some companies work on the first 11 digits of your card not the last 4 but when you get a new card ot is only the last 4 that change!! when i argued that it means they could take money whenever they like the bank agreed!!

    I did kick off with freeserve and wrote to ofcom etc.... and got my money back (yipee!!)

    AS MARTIN SAYS BE WARNED!!
  • ksh123ksh123 Forumite
    1.2K posts
    aaarrrgggghh!! This is alarming news indeed because, like Arbit I have used my credit card for various money saving deals (NOT porno!).
    Thanks for the "lose it" tip. Hopefully this will work if things become difficult.
    Worrying tho isn't it? :-[
    Stop looking for answers....
    The most you can hope for are clues.....:)
  • SystemSystem
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    Fortunatly I learned the hard way about CPA's at the cost of a fiver a month. Thankfully I managed to sort it out with help from my credit card company and the use of slightly abusive emails, but it took the company in question FOUR MONTHS to finally close said account. The company in question claimed to have closed the account in January, but were still taking money until last month.
    Anyone want to know who this internet based friendly company is? Email me and you shall know. ::)
  • SystemSystem
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    We had a dreadful experience with Virgin internet subscriptions about 8 years ago, we cancelled our subs but still were paying for it for about 18 months despite several letters etc - never again - direct debit for us! It was an expensive lesson to learn. EW
  • Not Bt Openworld by any chance Mr B ? I am having great difficuly trying to cancel a CPA with them - being going on for months and months. They keep reassuring me that the payment is cancelled - then take the money - I call again a month or two later and all records are magically lost. This CPA was off a debit card - and I need each time to tell them its them not me that needs to cancel. Has got to the point where the bank are ready to set their fraud team on them.
    I can prove that I've not used their service - have used a different internet supplier.
  • Sorry allthatmularky - are you sure you mean Debit Card, as this is effectively a Direct Debit surely, and you can cancel it yourself.
  • divadeedivadee Forumite
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    Sorry allthatmularky - are you sure you mean Debit Card, as this is effectively a Direct Debit surely, and you can cancel it yourself.

    nope MM you cant just cancel it as they take your card number and exp not your account number and sort code.

    This is exactly the prob with freeserve i had. with a debit card, and even when you cancel the card my bank still gave them the money!!
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