I checked my online bank account and the rental package wasn’t included amongst my direct debits, so figured it must be something I was paying for through my debit card. Turns out it was a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA). I rang the Co-op, who provided the account in question, to ask them to cancel any future payments from the rental company. I was told that I needed to cancel the payments with the company themselves. I explained that I’d already cancelled the package but wanted to make sure that no further payments could be taken. I laid it on pretty thick, stating how important it was that the payment didn’t go out because I couldn’t afford it, etc. Again, they insisted that it was out of their hands and that short of starting somekind of long winded dispute that would have taken weeks; there was nothing within their powers to help my situation. I would have probably just accepted their word for it had I not vaguely recalled something I heard on the radio about banks not following the regulations in such circumstances. So I had a quick Google and came across a very useful page on the FSA (Financial Services Authority) website which very clearly stated what banks’ obligations were regarding regular card payments.
With my newfound consumer confidence I rang the Co-op a second time, simply requesting a cancellation for all future payments to the DVD rental company. Once again I was told that there was nothing they could do and that I really did have to contact the company themselves. I informed them that according to FSA guidelines they were obliged to stop payments directly if I instructed them to. Suddenly their assured but supposedly understanding and helpful tone changed. They became a little vague and non-committal but essentially said they would ensure no further payments were taken from my account. I told the chap on the phone that I thought it was a pretty poor service to be told by two of the Co-op’s representatives that I couldn’t do something that they knew full well was my legal right. They mumbled something about “taking note of my concerns”, so point made I left it at that.
In my case it was only £15 but it could easily have been a stress inducing larger figure, or a variable amount with questionable validity. Whilst you do have the right to cancel these payments, I should be clear that you are still liable for any money you may owe, but I know I’d rather dispute the matter with my money safely in my wallet.