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24 Sept 2018

Temporary suspension of direct debit payments

West Affric
This is an update on the issues affecting a small proportion of people during our IT system upgrade.

The National Trust for Scotland has been undertaking a major project to modernise and enhance our IT system.

Unfortunately, while this has been going on, there have been problems affecting a small proportion of the Trust’s membership.

Of those who choose to pay their membership subscription by direct debit, a limited number have in the last month experienced system errors which have led to either the wrong amount being deducted from their accounts or the direct debits being actioned on the wrong day. Some have also received letters with out-of-date contact details.

Our contractors are working hard to resolve these problems. To give them space to complete the task and to ensure that we do not inconvenience any of our members again, we’ve taken the decision to suspend direct debit payments for a short period.

The Trust’s Director of Customer & Cause, Mark Bishop said:

‘The new system will ultimately enable the Trust’s members to personalise the information and benefits they receive, and quickly and easily change contact details and undertake renewals.

‘This is a big project, involving millions of lines of code being re-written and the details of over 370,000 members being transferred from old systems to the new. Inevitably, as with most IT projects of this scale, there have been teething problems.

‘A small number of people had the wrong amount taken from accounts during the last direct debit run. Apologies and refunds are being made to the few who had too much taken.

‘While we fix the underlying snags, we’re going to suspend direct debits to make sure none of our members are affected in this way again. We’ve written to all of our members to explain what we’re doing and will write again before we resume processing payments.

‘In this way, no one will lose out and we can make a fresh start soon with a system that delivers many more member benefits than has been previously possible.’