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DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON

1 recommendation

Why is automatic withdrawl mandatory?

I am looking to switch to Start after the latest iktel outage but I am surprised to see that they only allow automatic withdrawal as form of payment.

I understand this guarantees they get their money on time and up front so it benefits them, but it is horrible form a consumer stand point.

I never trust anyone with my credit card/ bank account to take money from me indefinitely, and if/ when there is a dispute it is on me to try and get them to stop taking money form me not the other way around.

The old saying goes, the most important part in any contract is the part about how the contract can end.

my latest experience with automatic withdrawal from my credit card was with 411.ca. I had agreed to advertise on their site for 28.00/ month. everything was fine until I noticed a few month's in they started to take out random amounts, $16.00 here, next month $58.00 then $47.00. After finding this out I called them (which was a challenge in itself to get a hold of anyone) only to find out they decided to raise their rates without informing myself... and that still didn't explain the random charges. I cancelled with them and they still tried to take money out. I ended up having to change credit cards and the bank refunded the money they stole.

After that I no longer trust anyone with automatic withdrawal.

Is here any way I can do things the old fashioned way, receive a bill, pay it within 30.00 days? I always pay my bill on time I just don't trust anyone with my credit card automatic withdrawal, regardless of how creditable everyone else says they are.

This is the only ting stopping me from signing up today. If there is no other option other than automatic withdrawal then I guess my only other option is back to tekkavvy, even though they are 10.00/ month more expensive.

Please someone from start tell me you are not forcing automatic withdrawal on all your customers.


jmck
formerly 'shaded'

join:2010-10-02
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Start Communicat..
you can make manual payments instead but if you forget to do it, it will come out of your bank automatically. it's been mentioned before why, but essentially it lets them not hire people focusing entirely on doing collections for late payments.

to do a manual payment, simply go to the web site and click the 'Make Payment' link. as long as your account has a proper balance before the 1st it will not touch your bank account.

DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON
said by jmck:

you can make manual payments instead but if you forget to do it, it will come out of your bank automatically. it's been mentioned before why, but essentially it lets them not hire people focusing entirely on doing collections for late payments.

to do a manual payment, simply go to the web site and click the 'Make Payment' link. as long as your account has a proper balance before the 1st it will not touch your bank account.

lol, That is not a manual payment, it is an option for you to prepay before your next month. You do understand that right?

It does not protect the consumer in the case of unauthorized payments being taken from their credit card.

Which is why I am looking to protect my self from as I swore I would never put myself in that position again no matter how good and reputable the company seemed to be at the beginning. There is always a risk of policy change, management change, even ownership change that completely change the way the company does business and treats it's customers. Allowing them to take money out of your credit card/ account indefinitely is major risk for every consumer.



jmck
formerly 'shaded'

join:2010-10-02
Ottawa, ON
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
·Start Communicat..
it is a manual prepaid payment. you have to pay before the 1st if you want what you're looking for. also accidents can happen anywhere and I know Start would refund any money if it was ever done accidentally. if you don't trust them with that then maybe it's better to look for an ISP you can trust.

DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON
said by jmck:

it is a manual prepaid payment. you have to pay before the 1st if you want what you're looking for. also accidents can happen anywhere and I know Start would refund any money if it was ever done accidentally. if you don't trust them with that then maybe it's better to look for an ISP you can trust.

I don't trust anyone to take money from me indefinitely, and you shouldn't either.

Saying "I know start would refund your money" if there was ever a discrepancy is simply ignorant on your part. You do not know this to be a fact from now and into the future. I am sure there will be a dispute between customer and client regarding billing and I would be very surprised if there hasn't been one already as it is a part of business.

I already said if this is the only option I will take my business elsewhere. I am waiting to hear from someone form start regarding this.


jmck
formerly 'shaded'

join:2010-10-02
Ottawa, ON
i'm not ignorant on the issue. myself and countless others here obviously have established trust with this company.


Davesnothere
No-BHELL-ity DOES have its Advantages
Premium
join:2009-06-15
START Today!
kudos:7
reply to DjEclipse
 
Lots of info (and further links) about this in here :

»How to PRE-PAY Start


cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
I have no problem giving my credit card info for automatic payments. It's very easy to refuse and reverse payments on your credit card.

You bank account, not so much, and that's where the trust is needed.

DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON
said by cybersaga:

I have no problem giving my credit card info for automatic payments. It's very easy to refuse and reverse payments on your credit card.

You bank account, not so much, and that's where the trust is needed.

It's not as easy as you think. Call your bank and ask them what the process really is.

The truth is the credit card company can not refuse any automatic withdrawal from our card now and in the future even if you call them up and tell them you no longer authorize start communications (for example) to take money from your card any more. Once the pre authorized payment is set up the only way it stops is when Start decides they are going to stop. That goes for the amount as well, they raise their rates, add extra fees, they can take what they want without having to tell you (as far as the banking transaction goes).

If you want to stop a company form charging your credit card and they decide to continue to charge you the only way is is to change your credit card number which is a pain in the ass.

2nd You may get your money back form the bank but the bank itself has to go after the company themselves. This is a long and costly process, usually it is not worth the banks time and / or they don't have the resources so they take a loss. They refund you your money out of their expenses.

Who cares as long as you get your money back you say? They make it up with banking fees, transaction fees what ever way they can so don't think for a second that you don't pay for every dollar they refund that they aren't able to collect form the company that charged it.

This is the way it really works.

So once again, everything is fine if you and the company agree on everything, and that may be for ever. But if something happens where they decide to take more than you agree upon there is nothing you can do except to change your credit card number and force the bank to take a loss by refunding the difference.


yeepsyeeps

@204.101.17.x
Yep auto payments from a credit card is a contract and the CC companies will tell you that you have to contact the company to get them to stop they will not stop them for you. Even if you cancel the card they can and will still charge that card. I used to work for Amex.

If you don't want to use a CC or bank account get a prepaid CC.


cybersaga

join:2011-12-19
Welland, ON
I stand corrected then.

Though I still have no issues with Start taking pre-authorized payments.


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
reply to yeepsyeeps
A prepaid CC is definitely a good option for anyone concerned about our billing practices.

DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON
reply to yeepsyeeps
said by Anon80:

Yep auto payments from a credit card is a contract and the CC companies will tell you that you have to contact the company to get them to stop they will not stop them for you. Even if you cancel the card they can and will still charge that card. I used to work for Amex.

If you don't want to use a CC or bank account get a prepaid CC.

Exactly, and that opens up a whole other form of headaches that can be very damaging to your credit and take month's if not years to correct.

When they charge the credit card you just cancelled because they were "stealing" money from it, they will (without you knowing) keep charging that credit card until they build up enough money owing to send it to a collections company.

You will one day get a call from a collections agent saying "you owe 800.00 to start communications (for example), pay it now or we will report it to Exuifax or Trans union and destroy your credit".

You can explain to them the situation all you want but they don't care, they get a commission for every dollar they collect so they will use the threat of damaging your credit to get you to settle for say $400.00 or what ever amount. They don't care if the company that sent them the file was in the wrong, they want money.

If they do sent it to Equifax it is now a permanent hit on your credit and collections extremely damaging and can take a 750 down to sub 600 in one foul swoop. Now you have to deal with Equifax to get that removed and good luck with that, it will take month's upon months and a great headache. Have a house? When it's up for renewal enjoy increased interest rates (if they will even keep you as a client with your new bad credit). Have a look at what payments on a 200,000 mortgage is at 3.5% vs 6%, look at how much more interest you are looking at paying. Looking for a new house or a car, again say bye to any half decent rate and say hi to extremely high payments you probably can't afford.

This is why I do not allow any pre-authorized payments from any credit card or form account. It literally is a contract for the company o steal from you and be very damming to you/ make your life hell.

Too much power to give any service provider over you. You are the customer, they are trying to gain you as a customer, there are other options out there, you have the choice.

Think this would never happen to "insert creditable company here" think again, any and all businesses have a possibility to change the way they do business, new owners, managers, policies. In time anything can happen.

DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON
reply to rocca
said by rocca:

A prepaid CC is definitely a good option for anyone concerned about our billing practices.

Prepaid credit card is a pain in the ass and still gives you the option to bill the credit card without the consumer knowing about it.

Your prices are pretty much the same as teksavvies prices, if you are saving money you sure aren't passing it on to the consumers. I don't believe the line "we don't have regular bills as we would have to pay someone to look after them and charge you more line".


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
Sorry we're not able to accommodate your request. We tried the "bill and hope people pay" method for several years and our debt and collection ratio was through the roof. While our prices may compare to your previous ISP I think you'll find there is a significant difference on the service and support side of things.

Again, sorry I can't help you out in this regards.

All the best and have a nice weekend.


UmmmMoveAlon

@204.101.17.x
reply to DjEclipse
Maybe you and your paranoia may need to go to another ISP then.
said by DjEclipse:

said by rocca:

A prepaid CC is definitely a good option for anyone concerned about our billing practices.

Prepaid credit card is a pain in the ass and still gives you the option to bill the credit card without the consumer knowing about it.

Your prices are pretty much the same as teksavvies prices, if you are saving money you sure aren't passing it on to the consumers. I don't believe the line "we don't have regular bills as we would have to pay someone to look after them and charge you more line".


DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON
said by Anon80:

Maybe you and your paranoia may need to go to another ISP then.

lol, it's not paranoia it is a reality. I can guarantee you that if rocca is honest with you he will tell you there have been many occasions in his companies history where there were billing disputes, the wrong amount of money was taken or charged to the credit card. It was then up to the customer to dispute the charges, in the mean time Smart Communications held that money from the customer while the dispute was being resolved.

And I can guarantee you there have been instances when someone decided to cancel Start communications for what ever reason and having the automatic withdrawal allowed Start Communications to take another payment, or what ever monies they deemed suitable while the customer did not agree to that amount taken out of their account.

You are very naive if you believe otherwise.

Smart Communications may be the best ISP in north maerica right now and the most creditable, it does not mean they should be trusted with automatic payments as I said things can change at any time.


rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
While we'd like to be perfect, of course the rare mistake does happen but we've made good on it 100% of the time. I can't imagine any reputable company torching their goodwill by trying to keep $40 that they weren't entitled to. Regardless, I completely understand that preauthorized isn't for everyone and is not acceptable for you, but unfortunately it is required for our services.

Looks like your ISP is back up so perhaps moot at this point.

In any case, all the best and have a good weekend.

DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON
reply to rocca
said by rocca:

Sorry we're not able to accommodate your request. We tried the "bill and hope people pay" method for several years and our debt and collection ratio was through the roof. While our prices may compare to your previous ISP I think you'll find there is a significant difference on the service and support side of things.

Again, sorry I can't help you out in this regards.

All the best and have a nice weekend.

I can guarantee you are significantly better in the service department over my current ISP, and probably many others. that is why I am here in the first place.

Also keep in mind teksavvy was once the new ISP on the block offering great rates, above and beyond customer service when they first started as well. Now you hear people that aren't as pleased as time has gone by and they have grown, keeping everyone happy is not easy. I am not saying you will go that way, or that teksavvies service is bad in anyway.

If it wasn't for your automatic payment policy I would be one of your customers. But knowing what giving you the ability to make automatic withdraws really means I would never agree to do business in such a way for reasons I mentioned already.

When you decide to do business in a fair and reasonable way let me know and I will give you a try (if I am not with an ISP that I am satisfied with by then).

Have a great weekend as well.



rocca
Start.ca
Premium
join:2008-11-16
London, ON
kudos:23
Thanks, I do appreciate your feedback and completely understand your concerns. We're just not able to accommodate manual payments at this time, but will continue to review our policies over time to see if circumstances change. Take care.

DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON

2 edits
reply to rocca
said by rocca:
While we'd like to be perfect, of course the rare mistake does happen but we've made good on it 100% of the time. I can't imagine any reputable company torching their goodwill by trying to keep $40 that they weren't entitled to. Regardless, I completely understand that preauthorized isn't for everyone and is not acceptable for you, but unfortunately it is required for our services.
But in the mean time the customer was out $40.00 until it was refunded. Nothing to a lot of people but for others $40.00 is the difference between paying all the rent and not paying all the rent, or food or what ever.

And I am sure there were disputes where the customer felt they shouldn't be charged at all and you felt they should and took it anyway. In the end you have their money and there is nothing they can do about it. Maybe such as cancellation (not sure if you have a 30 day cancellation policy), point is there are many situations that can arise where the customer has no say as you already have their money. As a good business those are hopefully few and far between, but as I said things can change.

I know I am not going to change your companies mind at this time, just showing examples/ proving a point.

said by rocca:
Looks like your ISP is back up so perhaps moot at this point.

In any case, all the best and have a good weekend.

I haven't been home yet to check, my ISP may be up but how much do you want to bet they won't answer the phone when I call, lol

How about if they answer I will agree to automatic payments and if they don't you agree to making an exception of regular old billing for me. Either way, you gain a new customer.

And I am still out 100.00 for anew modem, well i guess 127 after shipping and HST.

Guru

join:2008-10-01
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
said by DjEclipse:


How about if they answer I will agree to automatic payments and if they don't you agree to making an exception of regular old billing for me. Wither way, you gain a new customer.

And I am still out 100.00 for anew modem, well i guess 127 after shipping and HST.

I think you being silly now! Move on...


Davesnothere
No-BHELL-ity DOES have its Advantages
Premium
join:2009-06-15
START Today!
kudos:7
said by Guru:

I think you being silly now! Move on...

 
Now there's nothing wrong with being silly - I should know !

= = = = = = =

"I already know I'm paranoid. - The question is, am I paranoid enough ?"


cvc44

@hostnoc.net
reply to DjEclipse
So what I gather from this thread, is that you don't trust Start with your banking/cc info. OK, no problem, I get that. What I don't understand, is, why do you think Start should trust you?

GreenEnvy22

join:2011-08-04
St Catharines, ON
reply to DjEclipse
I love Dj (know him from another board), but he is a paranoid guy

Guru

join:2008-10-01
kudos:2
Reviews:
·TekSavvy DSL
said by GreenEnvy22:

I love Dj (know him from another board), but he is a paranoid guy

Most of us are paranoid here. But that doesn't mean that you don't live with the time.

DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON
reply to GreenEnvy22
said by GreenEnvy22:

I love Dj (know him from another board), but he is a paranoid guy

GreenEnvy, I haven;t seen that handle in a while. I hope all is well

I'm not paranoid, I just a little wiser to the potentials that pre authorized payments leave you open to.

DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON
reply to cvc44
said by Anon80:

So what I gather from this thread, is that you don't trust Start with your banking/cc info. OK, no problem, I get that. What I don't understand, is, why do you think Start should trust you?

That is a redundant question. I know myself, I know my credit score I know my payment history. I work my ass off for my money and the only one that should have authorization to take it is the one that worked so hard for it.. me

Start doesn't know me from a hole in the wall, but that is the way business is done. You don't go into a garage give them pre authorized credit card access before they do the work. They provide a service, you pay for said service after it is complete. That is how business is done.

Its not that I don't trust start. I trust them with my credit card information. I trust them as far as me giving them authorization to put a charge on it for say purchasing the new modem, a one time charge. I do not trust them with indefinite ability to take money out at their will (that is what you are agreeing to with pre authorized payments), there is a big difference.

DjEclipse

join:2007-11-20
Niagara Falls, ON
reply to DjEclipse
Maybe a solution is the way some utilities do things.

For new customers they require a deposit of sorts (maybe a few month's payments) until they prove they are able to pay their bill on time, every time. If a good payment history has been established the money is refunded. If good payment history isn't established the money is kept as insurance that Start gets paid in case the customer doesn't pay.


cvc44

@hostnoc.net
reply to DjEclipse
I'm just saying, that you are asking Start to do something that you are not willing to do: extend a certain level of trust.

I completely understand and agree with not permitting anyone access to a bank account, I don't ever do that myself, primarily because of what someone said up thread - mistakes happen, and the impact can be worse on a bank account vs a credit card.

I do permit certain companies to do auto-payment on credit card. We have tools at our disposal (this site, for example), to do some homework, check out a company's reputation, a "credit check" if you will, considering factors such as professional and customer reviews, message board posts, length of time in business, and so on, to satisfy oneself that they can enjoy a certain level of trust when it comes to the payment arrangements.

No reputable company is going to refuse to fix genuine errors if they happen, and a credit card gives leeway, in terms of time, to address errors, if any. If any ISP represented on this site routinely tried to steal, or refused to fix an error, I have no doubt they would be called out pretty darn quickly (for example, Canadian Broadband's Westlink thread).

I realize I'm not likely to convince ya, but the great thing is at least there is choice - the terms offered by Start don't meet your needs, but I think there are a few other ISPs out there that have terms that would. It means you may have to compromise, a trade-off, but it all comes down to which aspect of the service offering is most important to you.