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Thread: Debit orders and companies who take them early

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    Debit orders and companies who take them early

    Hi All

    Can a company legally take a debit order up to two weeks early without invoicing you or giving you advanced warning? Can it be considered a breach of contract if they do? Or should I happily pay the extra R112.86 for their failed attempt at taking my money?

    The T&C state the following on the matter (they took the money on the 22nd Dec (which I reversed) and only invoiced me yesterday, i.e. 1 Jan).

    "11. Ordinarily invoices shall be issued on the 1st day of the month and be due for payment and full settlement immediately, however circumstances may arise that cause invoices to be issued on a different day from time to time . In the month of December invoices may be issued early with payment due before the 16th of December."

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    It says Dec 2 weeks early - so I'm confused why you are asking

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    Quote Originally Posted by HR Solutions View Post
    It says Dec 2 weeks early - so I'm confused why you are asking
    ? Just read properly.

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    The money should have come off today, i.e. 2nd January. However, they took the money off on the 22nd December instead, i.e. almost two weeks early. They did not invoice me until yesterday.

    They charge for service in advance and not in arrears, therefore the money they took off on 22nd December was for services only commencing in January.

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    The matter would seem to be settled in terms of Law of Contract.
    Quote Originally Posted by leonbrits View Post
    The T&C state the following on the matter (they took the money on the 22nd Dec (which I reversed) and only invoiced me yesterday, i.e. 1 Jan).

    "11. Ordinarily invoices shall be issued on the 1st day of the month and be due for payment and full settlement immediately, however circumstances may arise that cause invoices to be issued on a different day from time to time . In the month of December invoices may be issued early with payment due before the 16th of December."
    I expect the view of the company is that they acted correctly within the terms of this clause.

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    No you read properly ! As Dave said they acted within the law - they clearly said the 16th !

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    Quote Originally Posted by leonbrits View Post
    The T&C state the following on the matter (they took the money on the 22nd Dec (which I reversed) and only invoiced me yesterday, i.e. 1 Jan).

    "11. Ordinarily invoices shall be issued on the 1st day of the month and be due for payment and full settlement immediately, however circumstances may arise that cause invoices to be issued on a different day from time to time . In the month of December invoices may be issued early with payment due before the 16th of December."
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    I expect the view of the company is that they acted correctly within the terms of this clause.
    My understanding of OP is he was debited but not invoiced early, and the clause implies that debiting will only occur after being invoiced.

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    Greig, I agree the clause could be better worded to avoid confusion as to intent.

    This portion is particularly vulnerable to a difference in understanding between company and client (which it seems is the ultimate cause of the OP's complaint) -

    In the month of December invoices may be issued early with payment due before the 16th of December.
    It really makes December a joker month. Could they even issue next February's invoice in December?

    When it comes to interpretation, I would also point out there's a difference between the date an invoice is issued and the date the invoice is dated. This is ordinarily particularly pertinent when it comes to prepaid contracts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    It really makes December a joker month. Could they even issue next February's invoice in December?

    When it comes to interpretation, I would also point out there's a difference between the date an invoice is issued and the date the invoice is dated. This is ordinarily particularly pertinent when it comes to prepaid contracts.
    That's exactly the way I see it. I would understand if they invoiced me early in December saying they will be taking the debit order early.

    Dave, the invoice I received on 1st Jan was dated 1st Jan and said nothing about the money that they took on 22nd Dec. It was just the standard invoice they send every month.

    This is a matter of principle for me. Any thoughts?
    Last edited by leonbrits; 03-Jan-18 at 12:07 PM. Reason: Corrected month

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greig Whitton View Post
    My understanding of OP is he was debited but not invoiced early, and the clause implies that debiting will only occur after being invoiced.
    Yes, that is correct. The money was taken on the 22nd December without an invoice or any advanced warning. They are however claiming that because it is in the terms and conditions which "I accepted" when I signed up that I should have know. Their exact words on the matter regarding advanced warning: "Advanced warning is provided for in our terms which are available on our website on all pages and are required for acceptance on sign up."

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