Wednesday, 4 January 2012

How do bankers do it?

I think I have been a bit of a meanie today - I charged someone an admin fee (£5) for sending them their own money back. I feel a bit dirty - I mean - charging money to move money - I must be practically a banker now (eeek!). I talked about turning to the dark side with a windoze box, but banking is going a bit far...

It is, I think, the first time we have ever implemented this even though it is in our terms.

Just occasionally someone will have a standing order wrong by a bit or make a mistake and send us too much or even send a payment twice. More often than not it is simply a matter of paying the correct balance next month to get it right. Rarely someone asks for the overpayment to be paid back. We have even had someone ask for an overpayment to be sent back the day before they get their next monthly invoice which amounted to exactly what they had over paid - they were asked to wait a day and bingo the balance was zero...

It is hassle! As I am sure you can imagine sending people money needs some authorisation - in fact the system won't let anyone but me put an outgoing BACS payment through. So it involves accounts staff and a director. That has to be worth £5?

On one occasion, someone asked nicely and even pleaded, so I had the extra hassle of doing a fast payment rather than a normal two day BACS. Even so we get a handful of these cases a year. Asking nicely helps - anyone who starts making demands and threats is likely to get a cheque by second class post...

But this particular customer has over paid four times now and asked for the balance back. Once might be a mistake, but four times is just careless, and, IMHO starting to take the piss.

Anyway, I can't see my making a habit of it, not like a real banker :-)


  1. Is the Admin fee liable to VAT, I wonder?!

  2. To be on the safe side, as it is a charge for the work we are doing rather than a "financial transaction charge", we have assumed yes.