“Continuous payment authority” is supposedly a hassle-free way of making payments. This can be to magazines, gyms or dating sites. However, if you want to stop a “continuous payment” you have to contact the bank; otherwise those payments could be taken again and again without your knowledge.
This is what happened to Lucinda Taylor from Hammersmith. She signed up with dating giant match.com last December and arranged for a 6-month contract totalling at £89. Around six weeks before that contract expired she contacted match.com to say that she was not going to renew.
No, apparently not.
She later discovered that another £89 had been taken from her account.
‘I emailed to cancel the contract because there was no phone number on the website. It was only when a friend told me my details were still on view that I checked my account with the bank. It was shocking to discover they were continuing to take money. I then had to order the bank to put a stop to future payments but the dating website has kept the cash.’
An FSA spokeswoman said:
‘You can stop any payment – whether it be continuous payment, direct debit or standing order – simply by telling the bank. Should a payment be made to a company later it will be deemed to be an unauthorised transaction and the bank will be liable for the payment.’
Double-check the payment method before signing up and, if in doubt, go to your bank.