Cancel recurring payments

Sometimes it seems difficult to cancel subscriptions and other recurring payments that you may have set up a long time ago

Do you have a repeating payment that seems difficult to cancel?

Many of us will have had the experience of trying to cancel a subscription, and finding it really difficult. The process often feels hidden beneath layers you don’t have time to deal with. Stories of struggling to find where to cancel your account on a company's website or being on the phone to customer support for hours are far too common.

Many consumers don't know that the reason you can't just cancel some subscriptions and payments at your bank, like you can with standing orders or direct debits, is because these subscriptions actually use something called a 'Continuous Payment Authority' (CPA) to charge you.

What’s a Continuous Payment Authority (CPA)?

A CPA is a type of regular payment made using your debit or credit card. CPAs are automatically renewed, making them easy to forget about.

As well as being difficult to cancel, there are two main problems with CPAs:

  • The service provider doesn't need your approval if it decides to raise the charge
  • CPAs are often not clearly marked on bank statements, unlike direct debits and standing orders, so they're easy to miss.

The most common types of companies that use CPAs include:

  • magazine subscriptions
  • dating agencies
  • gyms
  • adult websites
  • app subscriptions

The key to spotting CPAs or recurring payments is that the company will ask for the long number across your credit or debit card, rather than your bank account number and sort code.

Cancelling a CPA is more difficult than other types of payments, because you have to talk to the company yourself. Unfortunately, many companies make this process lengthy and time-consuming, even sometimes seemingly deliberately unhelpful.

That's why, at Rightly, we've made it easy for you to cancel any payment you’ve set up. Simply search for any company and send them a request to delete your CPA for free.

How can I cancel a CPA?

To cancel a CPA, you have to inform the company in question that you want to cancel it. You can do this quickly and easily through Rightly, simply:

The request automatically asks them to end any recurring payments you have with them.

We've already got thousands of companies in our system, so you can let them know you want to cancel without having to spend hours finding the right person to speak to.

If you can't find the company you're looking for, get in touch and we'll add it for you.

What if the company refuses to cancel my subscription?

Unless you've signed a contract, as is sometimes the case with gym subscriptions, a company can't just ignore your request to terminate your payments.

If this happens, you can contact your bank or credit card provider to cancel it. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated banks MUST cancel a continuous payment authority when asked. It also added that if further payments are taken in error after a customer asks for a cancellation, the bank must refund them.

What if I think a company has acted unfairly?

If you feel a company has acted unfairly, hasn't cancelled a CPA when asked or hasn't done enough to properly recompense you, it's best to speak to the Financial Ombudsman.

The Financial Ombudsman takes complaints about CPAs seriously, and state that they will look at the evidence to see whether:

  • the merchant got your agreement to set up the CPA
  • you clearly understood and agreed to the terms of the CPA (e.g. payment amounts and dates)

If the evidence shows that the merchant or company in question didn't get your informed agreement, the Ombudsman will consider the CPA to be unauthorised. If they do, you'll get your money back.

If you're unsure whether or not you have a case, or if Rightly can help, get in touch with our customer support team - we'd love to hear from you.