Getting useful information from BT

Hi all,

I'd like to pick your brains over something I'm getting stuck with at work. I'm tidying up some old unallocated transactions from one of our bank accounts. This isn't my usual area, but I'm being rotated around the department we're all pitching in to spring-clean the ledgers (figuratively speaking). It's clear that everyone else who's looked at it before has tried, got stuck and moved onto something else, but it's the oldest unallocated item we have and it's bothering me.

About two years ago, BT took a direct debit payment from our bank. We do not know which BT account it relates to. I have the date of the payment, the amount of the payment, and a reference number from the bank statement. The reference number "should" be the BT account number. It isn't. It doesn't even look like one.

I tried calling BT, but their credit controllers seem to have a strict script they won't deviate from. And the fact that I can't tell them which account it relates to means that they're unable or unwilling to help. I did go in with a list of ten accounts that I know we had active at the time, but drew a blank with each one.

As I say, this isn't normally my area, and the person who maintained the direct debits at the time has now left. I did try fishing in some likely areas of the business in the hopes I could jog someone's memory, but had no luck. Can you think of a clever way I can find out what this transaction could be for?


  • ademoore
    ademoore Registered Posts: 146 ? ? ?
    I see two options - first you could look back at the bank statements, see the date it came out, check the transaction ref on it, then go back further in time, i..e a month and see if anything else came out with that same transaction number (in the bank statements). If there is a trail of payments going back through time with the same reference number, then there must be something the business had. As you are locating back through time, try to see if you can find the first payment and then look back through your business records to see if there is any copy of the original paperwork for it!

    Other option is to look back through your expense accounts and see if the data entry person has input that reference any where, then allocate this particular payment to the same place, to clear it.

    I think the first thing you need to ask yourself, what is the cost benefit of the exercise? If you are looking for an insubstantial amount, then don't spend too much time on it.
  • cheapaccounting
    cheapaccounting Registered Posts: 77 ? ? ?
    I would write to the bank to confirm name, sort code and account number. Then write to BT complaints dept for a refund or at least request an explanation of the amount. Good luck
  • Monsoon
    Monsoon FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 4,071 ? ? ?
    You can claim back from your bank under the DD guarantee.

    Then the onus is on BT to tell you what that money was for. Then if you owe it, you can pay it again.

    There is no time limit on DD guarantee so I suggest it may be your best bet.
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