December debit catches Virgin clients by surprise


cellphone talking

INLSA

Virgin Mobile is accused of being a Christmas Scrooge.

Virgin Mobile stands accused of being a Christmas Scrooge to many of its subscribers by debiting their bank accounts two days before Christmas instead of at the usual end of the month.

When you take out a contract with a company that includes a debit order instruction, you’re asked to stipulate on which day of the month you wish that debit order to be activated. Most choose a date sometime between the 25th and the last day of the month, to coincide with pay day.

But come December every year, some companies get a bit ahead of themselves. They assume that all their clients will be paid early, and decide to do an early money grab from their accounts.

The companies usually cover themselves by alerting their clients to this in advance.

Virgin Mobile did the early December debit order thing last month, and Alan Chetty of Phoenix, Durban, is among its many subscribers who didn’t appreciate it.

The first he knew of it, he says, was an SMS he received on December 28 from Virgin Mobile, informing him that his line had been locked and urging him to contact the company.

When he did, he was told that payment was required by December 23, and that he’d been sent an SMS to this effect on the 18th.

“I did not receive any notification,” Chetty insists.

“According to my contract, my debit order goes off on the 30th of every month, as I only receive my salary on the 29th or 30th of every month.

“So my service was disconnected although the account was not in arrears, and it was was only reconnected on January 3, yet the company refuses to pass a credit for the days I was unable to use my contract, or reimburse me my bank charges.”

Chetty points out that none of his other creditors sought to extract their money from his account earlier than usual in December.

“I was left without a cellphone service, which I’m paying for, over Christmas and New Year, and when I complained to my local branch of Virgin Mobile, I was treated as if I was over-reacting,” Chetty said.

“I feel completely violated.”

Consumer Alert asked Virgin Mobile why it chose to override the debit order instructions on its post-paid subscribers’ contracts, how many subscribers were affected, how and when they were notified, and whether the company intended to compensate Chetty in any way.

Responding, the company said it took “a business decision” to initiate debit orders earlier in December “due to the fact that most companies pay their employees earlier in December”.

All customers with an outstanding balance on December 23, with debit order instructions on or after the 25th, were affected, I was told – but predictably no number was revealed. I’d say it would have affected pretty much their entire contract subscriber base.

The company said this decision was communicated to customers via their monthly bill and a “courtesy” SMS sent from December 12, which read: “Due to the festive season holiday, we will be debiting your account on December 23. Please call 129 should the above date not suit you.”

As for compensating Chetty, the company doesn’t believe “that compensation is required”.

“We communicated the change on the invoice as per our agreed channel of communication set out in our terms and conditions of the customer’s contract.

“The customer had ample time to contact us and arrange for later payment.”

Incidentally, many other Virgin Mobile subscribers have complained bitterly about the early debit on consumer complaints website HelloPeter, a lot of them claiming, like Chetty, not to have received that SMS.

I think this practice is highly disrespectful to consumers, especially in the case of those whose track records reveal that they have never defaulted with their December payments.

Even if they are notified by the company in advance, it puts the onus on them – at a time when many are on holiday – to take the time and trouble to ensure that the early debit order is not actioned, if they aren’t among those receiving their salaries earlier than usual in December.

Just don’t do it.


sign up
 
Newspaper Subscriptions
Kosmos075
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Charms1203
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
DelightfullyTipsy
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 38.
View Profile
thrillsandfrills
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 41 and 45.
View Profile
Chanex
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 26.
View Profile
Diena_van_die_Eike
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 62.
View Profile
HoopvolleToekoms
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 39.
View Profile
Liesie
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
00butterflygirl00
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 36.
View Profile
kristella
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
dreamsoftly
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 47 and 58.
View Profile
butterflykisses14
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 51.
View Profile
Cymbidium
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 47 and 60.
View Profile
devotedlady
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 55.
View Profile
PixelFairy
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 18 and 35.
View Profile
AmaJ
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 42 and 50.
View Profile
lenQ313
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
Grace62
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 42.
View Profile
sunshinebright
I'm a 55 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
MustLoveDogz
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 43.
View Profile
love_passionately
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Changingseasons
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 42 and 50.
View Profile
Athena
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
MonaLisa100
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 52.
View Profile
Lonleyheart007
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
KayBee75
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 49.
View Profile
veldmuis007
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
Comet43
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 54.
View Profile
Lib227
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 55.
View Profile
Natz79
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Stella143
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 45.
View Profile
AMy_303
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
PearlyGem
I'm a 55 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 60.
View Profile
Gem24
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Boulderhopper
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 50.
View Profile
AGX
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 44.
View Profile
iamclassy
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 62.
View Profile
JustAnna
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 55.
View Profile
pesin15
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
KaraatPlus
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 41 and 54.
View Profile
ioio
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Gem31
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
molletdelvalles
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Viv42
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 55.
View Profile
ContagiousLaughter
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 44.
View Profile
Lisa_Jayne
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 35.
View Profile
Ldp123
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 44 and 58.
View Profile
chicky582
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
Lvit2C
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 39.
View Profile
LilaBlom
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 33.
View Profile
Poppielap007
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 29.
View Profile
Pretty_Nerd
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 37.
View Profile
Lady66
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 47 and 55.
View Profile
xine_414
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
AngelBabe1
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
mystiqueZN
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
Stiletto1
I'm a 53 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 57.
View Profile
Xtine
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 38.
View Profile
Veronica2477
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
bluemon
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
_Alwayssmiling
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 41.
View Profile
PhoenixLin
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 42.
View Profile
Gypsey4Life
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 62.
View Profile
ddb65
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 60.
View Profile
Sparkie92
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 29.
View Profile
Smarag
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 30.
View Profile
blondgirl
I'm a 57 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 53 and 60.
View Profile
ChatRouge
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 46.
View Profile
Duifie038
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 50.
View Profile
KarooBoereMeisie
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Graciousheart
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 44 and 56.
View Profile
ThisIsTheRemix
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 41.
View Profile
OneWay
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 47.
View Profile
itu22
I'm a 22 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 37.
View Profile
supe24
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 65.
View Profile
Softberry
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 55.
View Profile
lookingsexy200
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 45.
View Profile
LOVINGLIFE417
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 50.
View Profile
verloreWC
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 45.
View Profile
Sosialemeis2
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 46.
View Profile
LuckyCharm_440
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
KiTella
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 42.
View Profile
voelkos
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 56.
View Profile
Lemoenbloeisel
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Sugababe
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 42.
View Profile
Lulu_101
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
DaffodilTulip
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
foxy583
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 20 and 27.
View Profile
JustLooking69
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 60.
View Profile
KissFromARose
I'm a 58 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 64.
View Profile
Marianda
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
CC82
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Magnolia52
I'm a 52 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
Dreamer1987
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
AM1234
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 46.
View Profile
Elyn1980
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 42.
View Profile
HottFoxx
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Belind4_M
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 19 and 30.
View Profile
This_is_m3
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 50.
View Profile
Fairtalk101
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
TheDuke_99
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
henisright
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 53.
View Profile
Thebestone1
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 52.
View Profile
IceDad66
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
WagOngeduldig
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
koolstoof55
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 63.
View Profile
PerfectGentleman_700
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
Lifechanger_7
I'm a 25 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
WanderingShadow
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 40.
View Profile
Mfactor
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Rich_H
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 48.
View Profile
Woody777
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
arew
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 55.
View Profile
Summerstorm_007
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 58.
View Profile
Ben_57
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 55.
View Profile
boersoekvrou14
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
cloudhopper
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
matiekat
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Double_N
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
Quartz_880
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 55.
View Profile
MysticKitesurfer
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
LiveLifeAlways
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 33 and 41.
View Profile
sailor_X897
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 60.
View Profile
Carden
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 30.
View Profile
Mark_tv
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Eugene053
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
earthwormjim1968
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 48.
View Profile
Gster1
I'm a 64 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
JustJve99
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 45.
View Profile
B_B_B
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 45.
View Profile
waitingforgodot
I'm a 68 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 53 and 60.
View Profile
heartroll
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 60.
View Profile
eks_joe
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 53.
View Profile
annns
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 56.
View Profile
Stressfree
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 52.
View Profile
bellagio
I'm a 69 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
Soulsearcher72
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
saks001
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 59.
View Profile
Determined_69
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 47.
View Profile
GenuineJ
I'm a 64 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 64.
View Profile
Stream_Net
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 32.
View Profile
drurie
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 60 and 66.
View Profile
Free_Spirited
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 42.
View Profile
Liefasb
I'm a 63 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 60.
View Profile
LoveFriendFirst123
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 72.
View Profile
Mais_171
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
philip_unplugged514
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
FeaturedProfile
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 54.
View Profile
Kawa1000
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Breukes
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 26 and 35.
View Profile
POKEY
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 45.
View Profile
BobTheExtremeBuilder
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 47.
View Profile
happymaker66
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Boereman
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 52.
View Profile
niemandsland
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
OldGoat4400
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
TheRisingSun
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Cruisingoldie
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
shadowwarrior
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 55.
View Profile
LEO1982
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 40.
View Profile
umustbsomewhere
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
CapeLover
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 50.
View Profile
cornrlius205
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
rossi46
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
letslook
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Geard1977
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 26 and 40.
View Profile
JONGKEREL
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 55.
View Profile
Red_Red_Wine
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 39 and 59.
View Profile
Glorious_Quest
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 45.
View Profile
gentlebutcrazy
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Rick1508
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
Marley77
I'm a 37 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
MOOLMAN
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 62.
View Profile
longingforu
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 38.
View Profile
audiess
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 39 and 64.
View Profile
big_guy_soft_heart
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
Pete_1
I'm a 70 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
Btt76
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 42.
View Profile
oth1982
I'm a 32 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
deeptime
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 58.
View Profile
Romanticseb
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 57.
View Profile
maybe_111
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 23 and 39.
View Profile
Jurgy62
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 55.
View Profile
tigercat
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 22 and 54.
View Profile
TheRealPeterPan
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
QuietDreamer
I'm a 34 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 29.
View Profile
chester3
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 76.
View Profile
Dreamzzz
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 45.
View Profile
ch_nb
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 45.
View Profile
Brad88
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
JustCallMeBwana
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 38.
View Profile
skyandsand
I'm a 31 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Rebelinbluejeans
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 62.
View Profile
Bushbaby210
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 21 and 35.
View Profile
DoctorSpin
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Espavo
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 48.
View Profile
Rumrun
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 44 and 56.
View Profile
ekke_706
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
srchinluv
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 46 and 65.
View Profile

Business Directory