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6.6 million to face postal strike payment problems

Approximately 6.6 million adults across the country are in danger of facing problems paying bills on time as a result of the postal strike, research from Bacs Payment Schemes Limited (Bacs) has revealed.

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Figures from the not for profit organisation behind Direct Debit and Bacs Direct Credit, indicate that of the 12.9 million adults (27%) who pay one or more of their regular commitments by cheque, approx 6.6 million rely on the postal service to get their payments made on time.[1][1]

Michael Chambers, managing director of Bacs said: “Localised postal strikes up and down the country have already caused mayhem for consumers and businesses.  Our figures show that nearly 7 million people responsible for settling major household bills are vulnerable to postal strike problems because of the way they currently choose to settle their bills.”

With an estimated backlog of 30 million letters, parcels and bills in September[2][2], a national postal strike looks set to push the cost of the effect of lost orders, bank charges and administration costs well over the £300million level that resulted from the 2007 Royal Mail strikes[3][3].

Mr Chambers continued: “As a national postal strike looms, more people are recognising the value of automated payments such as Direct Debits to combat the chaos that will inevitably result in settling regular commitments such as electricity, gas, water, phone, cable/satellite, council tax or credit/store cards.

“We would urge those people settling their bills by sending a cheque in the post to set up Direct Debits as a guaranteed way to ensure they stay in complete control and don’t have to worry about their bills or payments being delayed.”

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Top five things to know about Direct Debit

  • Direct Debit enables customers to stay in complete control of their money, ensuring regular bills are paid on time, every time
  • The Direct Debit Guarantee is designed to protect the customer by means of a money back guarantee. This can be used in the event of a payment amount, date or frequency being changed without Advance Notice or if an incorrect collection is made.
  • With many companies now offering customers the opportunity to sign up to Direct Debit over the phone or  internet, it only takes a few moments to ensure bills are paid on time, every time
  • The discounts on offer by many companies for paying by Direct Debit mean customers can save around £230 every year
  • Consumers have the right to cancel a Direct Debit at any time

[1][1] These figures represent both regular household bills such as electricity, gas, water, phone, cable/satellite and council tax, as well as individual commitments such as credit/store cards.

[2][2] Daily Mail 25/09/09

[3][3] MailOnline 16/09/09

Posted by Scott Gray on 19/10/2009 within Direct Debit
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