What is really pissing me off is some of the suppliers to A&A, big companies, that simply do not follow the DD rules. It drives me mad. The basic rules really are very simple: give the agreed advance notice of collection stating amount and date, and collect that amount on (or immediately after) that date and not before. Basically. They are allowed to collect up to 3 working days late, but not early. They can give a "recurring" notice that an amount is collected every month, etc, or a schedule of advance collections. But whatever, they have to give advance notice of collection one way or another.
When A&A collect by DD, we put a lot of effort in to meet the rules, including being very careful of the wording and layout of the advance notice we send, and ensuring we always send one with the agreed notice period, etc. We log what notice we send, and delivery reports in case of any query later. We have systems to allow any queried DD to be cancelled up to 2 days before collection and to immediately and automatcally refund any DD that we find afterwards was more than it should have been (e.g. if a credit note was issued later). It works well. We get almost no disputes and they are mistakes when they happen.
But suppliers charging by DD is really annoying. Almost none of them get it right.
- We have one supplier who don't mention DD on the bill, but still expect to collect tens of thousands by DD without saying what date.
- We have one supplier that thinks it is fine to collect thousands of pounds the day before the notice said they would.
- We have one supplier that send two bills each month for different services, one states DD collection and one does not - but they always collect whatever the balance is on their DD run later in the month regardless of what the notice actually said, and get upset if we pay the one that did not have a DD notice by BACS credit to them (as detailed on the back of that invoice as a valid and expected way to pay).
I am getting so fed up that we are now, as a matter of policy, reclaiming all incorrect DDs. This is the only way to get these people to follow the rules, and is entirely correct as per the rules. You can bounce a DD on the day (or maybe the day after), or you can later reclaim a DD. In either case you need a reason, such as disputing the notice given, etc. There are a list of valid reasons. The bank have to do an immediate refund, and Barclays seem to do that correctly. You don't have to cancel the instruction when you do that. You still owe the supplier what is validly due.
I just want suppliers to follow the simple DD rules, or failing that, if it is too hard for them, let me pay by BACS credit. We have a good system in place so we never pay anyone late and send BACS payments reliably with the right reference. Insisting on DD collection and then getting it wrong is just daft, as well as creating a huge potential liability for claw backs if they do it to everyone.