Managing direct debit payments
Telco providers are increasingly offering services on a direct debit basis only. These arrangements can be easy and convenient for both you and your telco, but knowing your rights can help you manage your payments if something goes wrong.
What are my rights?
The Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code sets out your rights, and what your telco must do when managing your direct debit arrangement. The TCP Code requires that:
- you must be able to check the charges before the direct debit transaction takes place
- your telco must abide by YOUR authorisation—for example, if you’ve agreed for your payment to be taken out on the 15th day of each month, it can only be taken out on that day
- your telco must ensure there is a simple way for you to cancel your direct debit authorisation—for example, by sending an email request
- if you request a direct debit authorisation to be cancelled, your telco must do so within three working days of receiving your request
- although your telco is not required to issue you a bill if the amount you pay each month stays the same, you are able to request billing information for the preceding two years, free of charge.
What my telco can’t do
Your telco is not allowed to:
- withdraw funds without your notice or authorisation
- withdraw greater than expected amounts of money
- take direct debits on dates other than that agreed in your authorisation
- take monies that are part of an unresolved complaint
- fail to action a request to cancel a direct debit authorisation in a timely manner, or at all.
What if I have a complaint?
When it comes to direct debit disputes, you should contact your service provider first. If your complaint is unresolved, contact the TIO, or your bank. View our complaints handling page for more information.
Last updated: 03 March 2019