Consumers complain about difficulty stopping recurring debit or credit card payments

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Credit cards for payment.
Photo: 123RF

Consumers complain about the difficulty in canceling recurring debit or credit card payments.

Banking ombudsman Nicola Sladden said the program has received numerous complaints from customers frustrated with their bank’s inability to stop recurring payments, most often for streaming services, antivirus programs and free trials or Low cost.

Banks could only cancel payments made by direct debit, but not recurring payments made with credit or debit cards.

“The only way to reverse these payments is directly with the company,” Sladden said.

Proof of cancellation was usually required by the bank, so consumers had to keep a record of the cancellation.

“If a business ignores this reversal request, the customer’s remedy is with the business, the bank cannot stop the payment, but in certain circumstances they can recover it through a chargeback,” Sladden said.

Many people mistakenly believed that they could stop future payments by canceling their card or closing their credit card account.

Sladden said card provider rules allow a business to charge a customer even if the customer has canceled the card or closed the account.

“The authorization remains valid until it is canceled with the company.”

Chargebacks allowed card providers to reverse payments after the customer canceled service.

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