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Topic # 201463 19-Aug-2016 14:10
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Gordies Bins is a fairly large rubbish collection firm in Wellington. July last year they were bought by a company called "Waste Management". Around that time they stopped doing fortnightly pickups and moved to weekly, however the communication around this wasn't clear - we had no idea it had changed to weekly pickups and payments. They had a direct debit, and they started billing us every week instead of every two weeks - I'm not sure if we ever actually agreed to this, though they tell me they sent me a letter. We kept putting bins out every two weeks. It was our mistake, and we should probably check the bank more carefully, but it's relatively tiny amounts so slipped under the radar. I'm not going to pursue it, it's too little money for the hassle.

 

My main point: anyone using Gordies Bins (or any other service really), make sure you know what you're paying and what the service is.

 

I asked Gordies if they'd give some kind of a "good faith" credit for a customer who'd been with them for probably 5+ years. They said no, they weren't at all sympathetic, so goodbye Gordies.





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  Reply # 1614371 19-Aug-2016 14:29
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Heh, I've just moved away from Envirowaste back to Waste Management.

Envirowaste only want to take payments via monthly Direct Debit and will accept no other method of payment. I hate Direct Debits! It's too easy for changes like those mentioned by the OP to go through unnoticed.

Waste Management still allow annual payment via Credit Card, so they won me back as a customer, having previously left them because Envirowaste had an offer that was a lot cheaper. Now the price is about the same, so meh.




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  Reply # 1614374 19-Aug-2016 14:36
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When paid annually in advance envirowaste is $289 per year, either direct debit or on credit card. Gordies is $325 if you pay up front, or $390 if you pay $7.50 per week.





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  Reply # 1614375 19-Aug-2016 14:37
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timmmay:

 

they tell me they sent me a litter. 

 

 

Freudian slip there? :)


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  Reply # 1614376 19-Aug-2016 14:39
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"I'm not sure if we ever actually agreed to this, though they tell me they sent me a litter".

 

Seems harsh - they are supposed to take litter away, not send it out to you.....

 

But I digress, I also would have asked for some goodwill, and in your shoes I would have walked too. I wonder how much extra coin they've made.... There's only one thing for it - Fair Go, or at least get Stuff on the case....


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  Reply # 1614384 19-Aug-2016 14:49
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We signed up for year contract for our rubbish, was fine, then following year they asked if we wanted to continue, we said yes. A month later we got a letter from them stating they were putting up our rate for various reasons.... they totally ignore the contract we had just signed and paid. Took a few calls before they finally said they'd stick to the contract....

 

Got to watch anyone who gives you a contract these days, they all try sneaking things in/out...

 

 





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  Reply # 1614409 19-Aug-2016 15:35
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timmmay:

 

Gordies Bins is a fairly large rubbish collection firm in Wellington. July last year they were bought by a company called "Waste Management". Around that time they stopped doing fortnightly pickups and moved to weekly, however the communication around this wasn't clear - we had no idea it had changed to weekly pickups and payments. They had a direct debit, and they started billing us every week instead of every two weeks - I'm not sure if we ever actually agreed to this, though they tell me they sent me a letter. We kept putting bins out every two weeks. It was our mistake, and we should probably check the bank more carefully, but it's relatively tiny amounts so slipped under the radar. I'm not going to pursue it, it's too little money for the hassle.

 

My main point: anyone using Gordies Bins (or any other service really), make sure you know what you're paying and what the service is.

 

I asked Gordies if they'd give some kind of a "good faith" credit for a customer who'd been with them for probably 5+ years. They said no, they weren't at all sympathetic, so goodbye Gordies.

 

 

 

 

Surely you have to agree to direct debit changes? That is scary that they can start pulling out more money without your knowledge. They may say they sent you a letter, but letters go missing, and there is no way to prove it either way that you saw it. If you didn't get the letter then they should be sympathetic, as it is their change of service that caused the problem.

 

Surely you would have to agree to the changes and potentially fill in another direct debt form for the new payment interval. I would suggest  with your next provider, that you use direct credit instead of direct debit, or pay annually, so you can get a discount.


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  Reply # 1614412 19-Aug-2016 15:37
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xpd:

 

We signed up for year contract for our rubbish, was fine, then following year they asked if we wanted to continue, we said yes. A month later we got a letter from them stating they were putting up our rate for various reasons.... they totally ignore the contract we had just signed and paid. Took a few calls before they finally said they'd stick to the contract....

 

Got to watch anyone who gives you a contract these days, they all try sneaking things in/out...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contracts these days have to be 'fair', as a company who is proven to have 'unfair' contract clauses can potentially be fined. 




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  Reply # 1614453 19-Aug-2016 16:36
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mattwnz:

 

 

 

Surely you have to agree to direct debit changes? That is scary that they can start pulling out more money without your knowledge. They may say they sent you a letter, but letters go missing, and there is no way to prove it either way that you saw it. If you didn't get the letter then they should be sympathetic, as it is their change of service that caused the problem.

 

Surely you would have to agree to the changes and potentially fill in another direct debt form for the new payment interval. I would suggest  with your next provider, that you use direct credit instead of direct debit, or pay annually, so you can get a discount.

 

 

You'd think so, right? I filled out a direct debit form which doesn't specify payment frequency or amount. The form says they have to notify me in writing (digital or paper) of each payment going out. I never received a single notification, so they've breached the terms of the contract. Because of that I'll ask for a full refund of all money paid. Doesn't hurt that my wife is a lawyer for a large law firm either.

 

Here's what the contract says.

 

[The Initiator] (a) Has agreed to give advance Notice of the net amount of each Direct Debit and the due date of the debiting at least 10 calendar days (but not more than 2 calendar months) before the date when the Direct Debit will be initiated. This notice will be provided in writing (including by electronic means and SMS where the Customer has provided prior written consent (including by electronic means including SMS) to communicate electronically).

 

The advance notice will include the following message:- "Unless advice to the contrary is received from you by (date*), the amount of $........... will be directly debited to your Bank account on (initiating date)."





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  Reply # 1614498 19-Aug-2016 17:18
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Direct debit is designed for variable bills, and was intended for a time before wide spread CC use.
It allows you to give the company permission to take what they're owed when they're owed it. They're designed for power bills and the like, that change every month.

When used properly, it works well for everyone.

The benefits are:
1) Companies don't have to worry about people randomly cancelling AP's, and the associated costs of chasing that debt.

2) People don't have organise variable payments every payment period or check they've paid enough.


The two major problems are:
1) It's an old system, and you mostly just can't trust big companies any more. Even if they want to be honest, their systems are usually crap.
As far as I'm aware they just give the bank a list of transactions that need to take place and provided the authorisation is in place, it happens.

2) You must notify them and have them stop the payments. You have almost no control. I believe that you can ask the bank to remove the authorisation, but I've heard of people having trouble with that too.




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  Reply # 1614524 19-Aug-2016 17:23
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It should've been set up as an automatic payment, not a direct debit. I revoked their authority to take money from my bank account to them in writing and to the bank, but the bank says they can still take money if they want to. It's a great system for power and things like that. I should've just paid the annual fee, it was cheaper anyway.

 

Anyway, hopefully they come to the party now that it's clear they've breached contract. If not and it's taken to the appropriate authority it could become quite annoying for them, and potentially expensive - even one hour of a lawyers time far exceeds the refund I've asked for.





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  Reply # 1614529 19-Aug-2016 17:40
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Ah yes, Direct Debits. They can work great, or be awful. Lovely Vodafone were gonna bill us around $800.00 a few months ago. Because of various mistakes on their part; they'd double charged us for a router for UFB, courier charge, an early termination fee, etc.

 

If I hadn't gotten straight on the phone to get them to fix up all the cock ups they'd made, they woulda withdrawn all that money from our account. yell


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  Reply # 1614564 19-Aug-2016 18:43
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The wording about notice for direct debits reflects what (almost certainly) their agreements with their bank say. This just reflects what @andrewNZ said about direct debits not really being intended for a "set and forget" style payment.

 

There's an interesting argument that they might also be in breach of the Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance Act by charging a higher amount for a weekly/monthly payment than the equivalent annual payment (arguably the additional amount involves either interest or a credit administration fee that hasn't been disclosed in accordance with the Act). Never tested so far as I know, by the Comcom released this about gym contracts. By analogy, applies to a whole lot of things. If Mrs Timmmay is in full on lawyer mode that could be another bullet in the magazine.

 

 




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  Reply # 1614576 19-Aug-2016 19:21
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Thanks mdf, useful perspective. It's $150 so we don't care all that much, but because they were rude and dismissive I'll push this a little. Their risk is significant given they've breached contract, I would hope common sense prevails and they do what would seem fair and reasonable.





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  Reply # 1614579 19-Aug-2016 19:34
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I think it is a good lesson to avoid direct debits like the plaque. They leave you with no control, and there is no independent organisation to handle any disputes over payments that have been taken out of the account. At least with credit cards, you can easily dispute the payments with the bank and do a chargeback if needed. 


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  Reply # 1614630 19-Aug-2016 20:06
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DarthKermit:

 

Ah yes, Direct Debits. ....

 

 

Yep, it's like giving an organisation a book full of blank signed cheques.  I try to avoid them whenever possible.





Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. (T.S. Eliot)


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