If you’ve got a magazine subscription or gym membership, there’s a chance that your payments come out of your account every month without there being a easily-cancellable direct debit in place. Yup, that’ll be a Continuous Payment Authority and the OFT are a bit worried about them.
Essentially, the CPA is like a direct debit, but with the regular, ongoing payment coming from your debit card or credit card – and therefore a little bit trickier to cancel. Those clever, sneaky companies.
The OFT has decided that too many of us are experiencing problems when it comes to cancelling a CPA and have ordered companies to polish up their act and give clearer information to punters about how to cancel CPAs if they no longer wish to make payments.
Jason Freeman, legal director at the OFT, said: ‘Continuous payment authorities, used properly, provide convenience for consumers and clarity about their commitments. However, businesses must make clear to customers what they’re signing up for, when payments will be taken, and how they can cancel. Where they do not, businesses face the risk of enforcement action.’
You should be able to cancel a CPA either with your bank or with the company that is taking your money, but we’d recommend informing both parties when you want to cancel. That’s because banks and business are riddled with incompetence.