Potty Page

April 7, 2005

Pet Hates: People mixing up Standing Orders and Direct Debits

Woo. So, my series on pet hates never really took off...

Ah, well here's another one, that I've recently remined myself, to educate the uneducated and make them call things the right damned things.

I'm getting a tad annoyed in converstions (mainly because it means that at first I can't understand what's going on - until I realise the person talking to me doesn't really know what they are talking about) when people mix up Standing Orders with Direct Debits.

So, what's the difference I hear the uneducated asking?

Simple... Direct Debits are mechanism for pulling money out of an account and standing orders are a mechanism of pushing of money out of an account.

If say I want to pay my phone bill by Direct Debit, I fill in a form (or just tell them over the phone nowadays) that allows the phone company to debit money from my account when they see fit (say monthly or when the bill comes). They directly debit money from my account. They say to my bank "Hey, can we have to money to pay Ed's phone bill. It was this much..." and my bank go "Here you go".

If I wanted, to say, pay maintenance to my divorced wife with three kids (I didn't used to do this, but the CSA came after me) I'd probably set up a simple monthly standing order with my bank. I'd say "Wooo each month I'm going to give the bitch the £1500 we settled in court" and set it up with my bank so that each month the bank will move money from my account to hers. The bank would carry out the "order" (from me) which still "stands" (with them) and pay the money. The weasel and her bank have nothing to do with it, she just gets the damned money.

Heh. If you don't think that's clear... the Financial Obudsman has a page that pretty much says what I've said, but possibly involving clearer English and better examples...

That's all for now.

Posted by Ed at April 7, 2005 12:57 AM | Rant |