Statement descriptions can require further scrutiny

Direct debits,
Aaron joined a gym and gave his credit card details, so a direct debit could be made each fortnight. The membership was open-ended, rather than for a fixed time.

According to Aaron, he called the gym two months later to cancel his membership. Two years after that, he discovered the gym was still making fortnightly deductions: he had contacted his bank to query a $20 credit card withdrawal described on the statement as “Ezi Debit” and learned Ezi Debit was the gym’s payment process provider.
August 2018

Aaron acknowledged he had an obligation to check his statements, and said he had done so regularly, although only briefly, but had not noticed the $20 deductions because they were for a relatively small amount and did not identify the gym as the merchant. 

He said the bank had negligently misrepresented the withdrawals on his statements. He also said the bank was obliged to ensure the service provider, the gym, rather than the payment provider was shown on the statement. This omission meant he was not alerted to the fact his membership had not been cancelled, and he had unnecessarily paid $1,100 in membership fees.

Our investigation

We examined the terms and conditions of the gym membership, which said payments would be made to a payment provider.  At the time, Ezi Debit was the gym’s payment provider. The bank had correctly recorded Ezi Debit on his statements. We explained to Aaron that the use of a payment provider is neither unlawful nor unusual. We also explained that banks are under no obligation to identify the provider of the actual service or product on statements. Finally, we noted the terms and conditions required written notice of cancellation of membership.


Aaron did not accept our view, and we issued a decision confirming we could not uphold his complaint.

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