allanb Posted January 16, 2007 Share Posted January 16, 2007 [quote user="Andyphilpott"]I know it is difficult to cancel Direct Debits in France, but it is possible with help from someone who speaks French and understands the systems.[/quote]No, unfortunately, it isn't, and it's one of the worst features of French banking in my opinion.An ordre de prélèvement is not an order to your bank to accept transfer instructions from your supplier. It's an authorization to your supplier to take money from your bank account. It may seem like just a technical difference, but the effect is that your bank cannot cancel it, which means that you cannot cancel it by writing to your bank. All you can do is tell your supplier to stop using it. (You can, and should, use registered mail - but this isn't foolproof, as I've discovered. I'll post separately on this topic, since it's relevant to many things other than banking.)Now, if your supplier is honest, it doesn't matter. But I am being taken to the cleaners by a supplier who is taking advantage of the fact that I made a mistake under the contract in response to his failure to provide the service. He is acting quite unethically in my opinion, and my bank agrees. But the only thing I can do, as far as the bank is concerned, is to tell them not to honour the supplier's instruction (faire opposition) - but this is only a temporary thing, renewable every 6 months, for a fee of course.This whole thing seemed to me so absurd that I made a fool of myself by arguing with my bank, saying it couldn't be so. In the end I said: "Do you mean that even if I have good reason to distrust the supplier - he's hired someone I know to be guilty of fraud, or he's been taken over by the Mafia - he will have the power to remove money from my account for ever, or at least until I close the account or die?"They said yes. So I'm getting ready to close the account. If anyone has been through the process of changing bank accounts in France (not necessarily for the same reason) I'd be interested to hear how it went. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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