Rejected direct debit at Three


I used the switch service to switch to Starling last month. All my direct debits are listed and active in the app as they should be and have been for weeks.

I’m pretty vigilant on all my payments going out - so, I noticed today that my mobile phone bill hadn’t been collected by direct debit. I phoned up my provider (Three), and they said that the direct debit had been attempted but had been rejected by the bank and had therefore been cancelled.

I’m kind of obsessive about checking this stuff - so I caught it before any damage had been done. But this has kind of dented my confidence a bit. I’ve never had anything like this happen ever before with any bank.

Known Payment and Direct Debit Issues

Please contact customer services, they will be able to assist.


Have done - they’re going to investigate and message me when they find out what happened. Was posting to see if this is a known thing that others have experienced.

There must be other Starling customers on Three, who have or haven’t had problems.


It happened to me too after I used the account switch service. Out of all of my direct debits, Three were the only company who failed to move and instead cancelled them all (I have multiple accounts).

I didn’t report it as I reckoned it was more Three’s problem with the current account switch than anything related to Starling.


It all appeared OK in app - the direct debits were listed as they should be (I actually have two, my account and my wife’s). Three got me to confirm the last 4 digits of my bank account number, so that confirms that it was actually set up with them on their side.

Their explanation was that the money was requested by direct debit from Starling but Starling rejected the request (obviously this was just a customer services person who I don’t imagine could actually see any real detail).

I’ve used to switch service several times to switch before and Three have always been fine. - I was wondering if it was a new bank/sort code thing.

It shouldn’t matter in future - as we’re moving our phone bills over to our joint account anyway (we’d always planned to do this).

It’s made me think though - I do have a few other direct debits that I think should have gone out by now. I wasn’t taking much notice of these as they aren’t vital. They’re charity donations and the monthy extra payments to my pension and stuff like that.


I don’t think it was related to the sort code, I was able to immediately log in to My 3 and re-set up the direct debit without a problem. As this worked first time, I didn’t think it was worth the effort of trying to call Three.

This was all 2 months ago, and has worked fine since then.


I don’t think it would have been set up in the first place if it was, I guess. Not on both ends anyway.


That is worrying with regards to three payments not going through when you switched. I am fortune all my dds seem to be working since I switched for last three months. @Pipefish I am vigilant like yourself and check all my dds going out have gone every month. Thanks for sharing with us.


I had exactly the same issue from Three when all my direct debits in favour of Three failed, despite them being listed within the Starling app. They too told me that Starling rejected the payment requested and went on to surcharge me £5 per account for not paying by direct debit.

However, in fairness to Three, they did refund those charges eventually.


I have setup a direct debit with ID Mobile and it has been rejected. There is no way to contact them to try to solve the issue.


I have just seen this with someone at work, who used the Switching Service between 2 legacy banks (don’t worry he has been flogged and the holy scripture of fintechs read :grinning:) and he has the same issue with 3, it turned out that 3 used a different reference to the one on the original mandate that got moved over, hence it got rejected by the banks.

I would assume the same applies here so would get in touch with 3 and check the DD reference.


Considering that iD is a joint network between Three and The Carohone Network, I’d assume it’d have the same issues as Three’s direct debits have with being transferred.


The thing is, I’ve used the switching service before to switch between other banks and it’s never happened before.

I’m not saying is Starling’s fault - but there’s obviously a difference in the way they’re handling the Three direct debit.

I’ve switched from Natwest to TSB, from TSB to Nationwide, from Nationwide to B then from B to Starling over the last few years and never had any problem with Three.

(The only problem I’ve ever had is when companies create a new DD on the new account instead of transferring the old one across, but the new bank still transfers it - meaning you get an inactive duplicate and can’t tell which is which until they claim it or you contact them to ask - This is something that’s happened on every switch!)


@mozzauk thanks for letting us know also is the same on some legacy bank switching. @thom_horne is right ID mobile is a MVO on three in partnership with carphone warehouse.


I have had 3 rejected DirectDebit requests from Three since using switching to Starling. On my switch day I could see the 2 Three DDs had been transferred correctly. But then when payment was due, they failed and Three cancelled them. So I set them back up again on their website. They failed again, so I set them up again.

They’ve just failed for a third time today and I’ve called Three to ask them to set them up, which they tell me now it will all be fine for the next payment to be requested (but I don’t somehow believe them!)

This is the only Direct Debit I’ve had problems with.


I think this is definitely more of a Three problem than a Starling problem. They don’t seem to be very good at stuff like this and it’s not helped by the fact that their call centre people don’t always understand some of the more complex issues, if you know what I mean.

I’ve had a problem recently where I checked my credit score due to the Equifax breach and discovered that not only were Three still reporting I had an active credit account with them (I switched to EE early last year), they will still reporting my old address (because I didn’t think I needed to update them, not having an account with them anymore). I therefore had a Fraud Alert on my credit file because I had an open credit account at an address other than my current! Trying to explain the issue to them was like trying to get blood out of a stone.

It was then that I discovered that it’s pop luck as to the continent you will go through if you keep calling the number and also that if you phone multiple times concurrently the first phone that dials isn’t necessarily the one that will be answered first (I’m talking 7+ minutes apart)!

They’ve send a letter saying they’ve corrected it, I’ll believe it when I see it! When I asked if I would be compensated for my time and the fact that my credit score had been affected, they said that if I was still a customer I would but now that I’m not (even though they thought I still was) I get nothing. I think Ombudsman Services: Communications might have something else to say on that matter!

So I’d definitely keep badgering them and make sure they don’t charge you for any failed Direct Debits due to their negligence and most importantly make sure they don’t mark your credit file with a late or missed payment!


EE did exactly the same to me. I closed my account but they didn’t inform the credit reference agencies - just lucky that I’m kind of obsessed with checking this kind of stuff and I spotted it.

They then gave me the wrong email address to contact to get it sorted.

I know what you mean about the Three call centre though. The service is fine - but if you have any kind of query or something goes wrong then you’re completely stuffed. I don’t know what it is, why they’re so bad? - I guess they’re not properly trained and only have certain scripts and functions, plus they’re so remote and only seem to have access to basic account details. You go off script and they fall apart.

EE have made it a point on their advertising that all their call centres are in the UK or Ireland and when you phone up they actually say, “Hi this is -name- at EE in -town-”

I actually feel bad slagging off foreign call centre workers :frowning:


Had the same issue with Three as well when switching accounts to Starling. Noticed the DD hadn’t been taken and then got a text from Three saying they couldn’t take the money. Set it back up again via the website and sent them a complaint via Resolver to alert them to the issue. Took a while for them to respond but they did offer me a months free line rental for the inconvenience :slightly_smiling_face:


Really informative account. Thanks @Chalky


@chalky, might be worth also reporting 3 to the BAC’s helpdesk, who may be able to assist in getting 3 to play ball.

BAC’s can also kick ass with 3. :slight_smile: