Direct Debits. How hard can they be?


A little over 3 weeks ago I decided to do some cost cutting by switching all my insurance (car and house) and utilities to the cheapest services available. Most of the changes were fine, but the power company is proving to be a complete nightmare. It seems they are not even capable of setting up a direct debit. It’s been one screw up after another. Each time I have new instruction on my account waiting to be used, but each time they claim the bank has rejected it, which they obviously haven’t, and throw away all details of the direct debit instruction. So I’m left with a perfectly good direct debit instruction on my account, but a piece of crap power company who can’t draw cash from it.

It started to get escalated up the chain in the power company today. This afternoon I had the pleasure of speaking to a customer services representative who felt the need to explain the concept of a direct debit to me. As bored as I was I would have accepted it provided she had actually understood what a direct debit was. When I suggested she was actually describing a standing order I was told in no uncertain terms that they deal with thousands of direct debits and they know what they are doing. I then read out the definition of a direct debit and a standing order over the phone, at which point she back-tracked and tried to suggest she had said the correct thing and I had misunderstood her.

Next stop, her manager. He blamed the bank, then blamed me, then blamed the bank again. It seems the power company, populated by staff that don’t understand the difference between a direct debit and a standing order, can not possibly make a mistake…

I can only assume their cheap rates are possible because they cut costs by hiring complete muppets. Maybe as part of their training they could include a link to the following pages:



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

3 thoughts on “Direct Debits. How hard can they be?”

  1. …put me out of misery purleeze….was it my current client, or not?

    Clearly, before you answer, I must state that I have nothing to do with that side of the business 😉


  2. SDGE now has smart meters, so I can check my usage on the web. They (or rather, their contractor) blew out my router installing it.

    Note the link to “find out more.” Click on that and note the link “to learn more.”

    They also have a program to turn off electricity when fire danger is high. Which also shuts down cell communication, water delivery, and school power.

    As far as direct debits go, I expect in the near future there will be a whole new vocabulary dealing with what happens when all the money goes bye-bye and the jackals attack.

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