Business Personal Finance

Wednesday 13 December 2017

'I recently cancelled my monthly video-streaming subscription but they took another payment. How can I ensure this doesn't happen again?'

Picture posed
Picture posed

Aine Carroll

Director of Communications and Market Insight with the CCPC Aine Carroll answers your questions.

Question: I have been paying a monthly subscription for a video-streaming service using my credit card. I recently cancelled the subscription giving the required one month's notice. However, when I checked my latest credit card statement, a further month's payment had been taken off my card. I contacted the company and it said that it will take no further payments but I don't trust it. How can I ensure I don't lose any more money?

Geraldine, Raheny, Dublin 5

Answer: When you signed up to the site, you would have agreed to terms and conditions which may have stated that you need to cancel your subscription within a set amount of time or otherwise, another month's payment would be taken from your card. Some sites let you cancel at any time with no further charge so check the terms and conditions so you are clear what the site's cancellation policy is. This might explain why a further payment was deducted from your card after you cancelled.

Online subscriptions are usually set up as a recurring charge on a debit or credit card as opposed to a direct debit. You cannot cancel a recurring charge with your card provider (usually your bank) as you can with a direct debit. So, you must contact the company you have the subscription with to cancel the recurring charge. Do this in a way that you have proof that you asked them to cancel your subscription -such as by email.

Once you are clear about the company's cancellation policy, check your bank or credit card statements to see if the recurring charge that you have cancelled is no longer being taken out of your account. If that doesn't work, you may need to contact your card provider, and look for a chargeback on your credit card for any payment taken after you cancelled with the company. You should also provide evidence to your bank that you have attempted to contact the company to cancel the subscription but have not been successful - for example, send them a copy of emails you have sent to the company or a note of the telephone conversations including the time, date and who you were speaking to in the company. If all else fails, your last resort may be to cancel your card and apply for a new one. You should also continue to apply for the chargeback.

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