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Utterly Pathetic and Crap (UPC)

Whenever anyone asks me about my experience of getting TV and Broadband from UPC, I always tell them one thing: the service is great if you just set it up and leave it, but if you try to change anything they will make an utter mess of it. And true to form, they’ve done it again.

A couple of months ago I switched my current account to a new bank, and as part of the switching process the old bank notifies every company that takes a direct debit from me of the new account details. Now for every other company I deal with this worked fine. They received the details, changed the direct debit mandate, and took payment from my new account. But not UPC it seems.

The usual April payment didn’t come out of my account, but I was reassured by a text message form UPC saying that a double payment would instead be taken from my account in May. So I naturally thought they have received the new account details, but hadn’t managed to set them up in time for the April billing cycle. And so I waited. But then I got another text message a couple of days ago saying that I need to update my Direct Debit details online. So I dutifully logon, and give them the same details as supplied about a month ago.

But then I get a phone call this morning from the UPC credit control department, demanding immediate payment over the phone. They say that there’s no Direct Debit set up on my account, and that they will not set it up until I pay not only the April payment, but the May payment too (which isn’t even due yet). I ask them to simply collect this money by Direct Debit as per their original text, but they refuse to do so, saying that they can only set up Direct Debit mandates for accounts that have a zero balance. And they refuse to acknowledge they they’ve messed up at all. In their eyes it’s all my fault that the April’s Direct Debit was rejected, and further that I should have been in touch to rectify the situation, despite the reassuring text message suggesting that it’s all in hand.

So anyway, I eventually agreed to settle the balance owed over the phone, and gave them my card details – only to be told that they don’t accept Visa Debit card. I must provide either a Credit Card or Laser card for payments over the phone. But they do tell me I can pay by Visa Debit online, although I should select ‘Laser’ when I make the payment – but this turns out to be a lie, as they don’t accept Visa Debit online either.

Richard

Richard has been blogging since 2000 about technology, cycling, singing, and life in general. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

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