Avoiding a CPA
- Be aware that any time you give out the long number of your card, the company you are giving it to can use it set up a CPA.
- When paying for goods or services online or over the phone, be cautious about giving out the long number unless it is a very reputable company. You may want to consider having a pre-paid card and only loading on enough credit for the purchase you wish to make.
- Be particularly cautious about entering card details if:
- It is to a company that you have never heard of.
- It is for a “free trial” or “free sample” – such offers are often only a way of trying to get your card details to set up a CPA.
- Even if dealing with a well known company, make it clear that you are providing the card details solely for a one-off purchase – or 1-year subscription – and that you are not entering into auto-renewal and you deny consent for those details to be used to set up a CPA.
Unsure if You Have a CPA?
If you think that you may have a CPA but are not sure, here are some ways you can check:
- Check your bank and credit card statements for any unexpected transactions.
- If you signed up to a service/product for a year, e.g. insurance, check with that company whether they have signed you up to auto-renewal.
- Check with your bank / credit card provider whether there are any CPAs against your account. In particular get them to check out any particular company you suspect may have set one up.
Cancelling a CPA
If you find out you have a CPA, here are the steps to take:
- Contact the company in question and instruct them to cancel the CPA. You are entitled to do so under clause 3 of Regulation 55 of the Payment Services Regulations 2009. [But note that if you are in a contract with the company, e.g. a 24-month mobile phone contract, you are still obliged to settle any money you still owe.]
- Instruct your bank / credit card provider to cancel the CPA. They are obliged to do so under the same regulation.
- You must then allow 8 weeks for them to do so.
- If they fail to comply after 8 weeks, contact the Financial Ombudsman to adjudicate on the matter.
- Claim back any payments that were taken after you asked for the CPA to be cancelled. These are unauthorised transactions and the money must be refunded to you.
A much more detail guide can be found on the MoneySavingExpert site.