Make sure you check bank statements

CONSUMERS must check their bank statements for unauthorised debit orders .

CONSUMERS must check their bank statements for unauthorised debit orders .

Tebogo Olifant, who checks his bank statement regularly, was shocked that 0861 Homeloan was taking R200 a month from him without his permission.

He has now been refunded R1400, which had been debited from his account over seven months.

He said the company was stealing from him because he did not sign a contract with it.

It all began in August 2009 when he wanted to buy his uncle's house. Last July he completed an offer to purchase document and attached it to his bank statement, pay slip and ID to facilitate the bond application. The documents were later submitted to First National Bank, but his application was turned down.

A month later, he noticed that a debit order from his account was going to 0861 Homeloan. He contacted them, but they ignored his complaint so he came to Consumer Line.

Elderin van Nikkelen Kuyper of 0861 Homeloan said their agent, SEG Communications, gets clients for them and that it was possible that Olifant had signed up with them. He could not provide any proof.

He explained the reason for their delay in responding to Oliphant: "Over the last four weeks, we were hardly at the office since we are negotiating a big development deal."

He said he would refund Olifant because "we don't know if SEG Communications communicated our terms and conditions to the client".

He said they had worked for almost three months on the transaction.

"This costs money. Clients can't apply, keep us busy with paper work for months and then withdraw the application. Banks penalise us for declined and incomplete transactions.

"We have to pay the bank a fee for these transactions and we recover our fees from the client."