Perhaps someone with some experience in this field can let me know how this works.
We have had an amount taken off a business account by debit order. It is not for our account, so I have politely asked the bank to reverse the transaction. The bank has charged us R45 for this pleasure and then another R22 to get the details of the recipient of the funds. They then say we must contact them to get the debit order cancelled as it has nothing to do with them but is rather an agreement between us and the recipient.
This process of contacting the recipient involves 3 different phone calls as we move along the chain. I do have to admit that in each case the phone was answered quickly and the matter dealt with promptly - well at least as far as registering the complaint. We still have to see if it resolved as it takes a few days.
Now seeing that there are only two authorised signatories on the account, and one is dead and the other had to ask me what the account details were, plus the account and business are practically dormant, and the charge is for a RAF assistance and its a business account not a personal account ..... I am really 99.99999% sure that the debit order was never authorised. The amount is a nominal R99.
My questions are:
1) How come we are being charged to rectify a problem that had nothing to do with us?
2) How can the bank allow just anyone to withdraw funds from our account, other than SARS, the bank itself or an authorised signatory, and then expect us to fix it?
3) Their standard answer is that it has nothing to do with the bank, but is an agreement between us and the recipient. But what if there is no such agreement? Surely then the bank has been negligent in protecting our funds?
4) How do I go about pretending to have a debit order agreement with say Vodacom so that I can withdraw a million Rand out of their account and then let them try and speak to my call centre to reverse the transaction?
(This last one is just me being sarcastic)
In this case the amount is small, but what happens when this sort of thing happens to someone on minimum wage? How can one expect them to be R67 out of pocket in bank charges through no fault of their own but rather through a fault in the bank and/or the recipient? How can one expect them to find enough money on their phone to deal with 3 call centres? How can one expect them to communicate the problem and resolve it in broken English where concepts of debit orders, authorisations, bank roles, and the chain of debit order agents/wholesalers are certainly anything but clear?
Should I get off my soap box now?