'Companies are playing fast and loose with clients' debit order dates'

Customers usually choose the dates for their debit orders according to when they get paid.

It's a pretty important consideration.

When service and credit providers like banks decide to debit clients earlier than the contractually specified date, they hear the complaints loud and clear, says consumer ninja Wendy Knowler.

RELATED: Tis the season for debit order chaos: one firm covers client payment as apology

Banks usually don't penalise their clients if there are insufficient funds in their account when an early debit order is processed, she notes.

But what happens when it's not a bank doing the early debiting?

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Knowler relates the story of Mr Nkosi who reached out to her about an early debit notification from Webafrica due to the public holiday this week.

His debit order is scheduled for the first of every month as he gets paid on the last day of the month, regardless of weekends.

Mr Nkosi asked for the money to go off later rather than earlier.

I did explain to them that it will return unpaid and I will face a penalty of R180 from my bank, as well as mess up my credit record.

Mr Nkosi, Webafrica client

Knowler took up the case and was given the royal runaround - automated responses, 'tickets' already closed, etcetera, etcetera.

"It's diabolical that customer service and general engagement with the public is outsourced to technology in this way."

Why is it that companies always take the money earlier and not later than the agreed date? she laments.

Here’s an idea: how about processing on the 3rd of May, to avoid people like Mr Nkosi being stressed and financially prejudiced?

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

Do better... muuuuuch better!

Wendy Knowler, Consumer journalist

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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'Companies are playing fast and loose with clients' debit order dates'