Monday, February 03, 2003

Survey on direct debits by consumer union

The Dutch Consumer Union reports that a survey (1700 participants) shows that 20 % of the respondents have at some time experienced operational problems with the product direct debit. The problems are:

- wrong amount debited,

- banks too slow to respond and reverse the direct debit,

- amount debited without authorisation of the customer.

The Consumer Union has called upon the Dutch Association of Banks to improve the situation as far as the banks are concerned. See also the list of 40 complaints of the Union, in which it becomes clear that utility companies (bulk users of direct debits) make a mess of their billing/administration.

In my view, the solution for this problem would be to improve the feedback loop for individual banks and create a financial stimulus to improve a reduction of operational errors. See this link.