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Help needed - what can I do re money paid into account

(50 Posts)
adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 16:58:55

Have name changed for this as is very specific. I have had a payment made into my company account back in October last year let’s say from company A. I assumed it was from a client and attributed it as such (it was for an amount which is regularly paid for my services).

Anyways I get a call from company B (a client I worked with once) saying that they had made a payment to me in error etc could I refund. I stared to do this and then realised that they are not company A. I assumed that they were maybe a subsidiary and asked that they give me the bank details for the company that the mistaken has come from.

Well it turns out - they have nothing to do with company A. They had filled in a refund form and put my bank details rather than their own on a form! So I have suggested that they get company B to contact me and I will obviously deal with them (it’s a significant amount and I fear that refunding this to company b still means that company a can come after me - as they are the ones who made the payment).

Now apparently company A won’t contact me as- to their mind, company b gave them details, and they have paid the right amount to the account they specified (mine!)

I have no issue in giving this money back - but how on earth can I when this company won’t contact me? Company b are harassing me but I’ve pointed out - when it comes to this payment I have absolutely no reason to give this to them and leave myself liable to company b coming back to me.

Am rather worried about this - but what can I do??

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:00:57

Gosh sorry that’s long!

Igmum Mon 01-Apr-19 17:03:16

Can you get written authority from company A to pay this? It would reassure you it is all legit and should mean they are involved in the payment (might be an idea to speak to a lawyer if it gets more complicated)!

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:06:32

Company A apparently won’t even call me as they feel it’s compnay Bs problem. (Which is true really). I’m also a bit shock at the sticking my bank details on a third party form as well.

DontCallMeCharlotte Mon 01-Apr-19 17:07:00

I've got that Andrews Sisters song on the brain now...

WWWWicked Mon 01-Apr-19 17:15:48

I think you got your A’s and B’s mixed up in the telling

but I would write to B telling them that due to data protection you will not discuss any payment made to you by anyone other than them, and B needs to take it up with someone other than you to resolve this.

The only company/bank account I would refund is the one that paid you in error, so there is a full paper trail to evidence the repayment.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:19:42

I really have got my A’s and B’s muddled there but yes I think that’s the answer! I will just refuse to discuss it with them further and await A to contact me (which it sounds like at the moment they are refusing to do).

imnottoofussed Mon 01-Apr-19 17:23:18

Could you speak to your bank and ask them to return the money to the sender. Then you're out of the equation completely.

Damia Mon 01-Apr-19 17:27:50

Definitely only do a refund to whoever paid you. Aren't there money laundering implications about transferring money between companies for no apparent reason?

Fluffyears Mon 01-Apr-19 17:28:45

I would return the payment to the originating bank account then let them sort it out. We donthosoften, incorrect payments get returned and the accounts department it goes back to sort it out. As long as it’s the the original payer there is no issue.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:30:00

May phone my bank - as the payment was made over 4 months ago - I don’t think they can just return it - I probably need the bank details of the company that paid it (which I don’t have - have never dealt with them etc).

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:33:44

Does anyone work for a bank - can you just return it (bank transfer not a card payment).

NewPapaGuinea Mon 01-Apr-19 17:35:52

Surely the company that hasn’t been paid should be going after the company that owes them money. If that company has paid you instead then they need to contact you to get it returned. I’m lost who’s A and B in this scenario.

VladmirsPoutine Mon 01-Apr-19 17:37:00

Can you please just not do anything until someone contacts you. There are all sorts of GDPR issues here. My advice would be to sit tight until you have further clarification. Remember that YOU did not cause the problem in the first instance therefore it should not be YOU who's running about the place trying to resolve it.

NewPapaGuinea Mon 01-Apr-19 17:37:38

The outstanding debt is still with the (mis) paying company so they should be contacting/chasing them.

lyralalala Mon 01-Apr-19 17:42:13

Whatever you do do not pay money to a company that haven't paid you!

This happened to my MIL, although thankfully for a tiny amount of money. She paid Company B, then eventually the wheels turned in Company A and they did some sort of claimback or payment reversal and took back the money they'd paid her in error. So she ended up out of pocket. As I say thankfully for her a tiny amount.

I would in your shoes write to both companies. One to Company A telling them that you have been informed they've given your bank details to another company and complain about that (what other details have they been giving out?) and secondly to Company B stating that you have no payment from them and therefore you cannot 'refund' them. They have to take up any issues with the other company.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:42:56

Sorry was so unclear! So B for some reason required payment from A. However when they gave bank details to A - instead of their own they gave mine. I received payment from company A.

Company B are chasing me - however I have said that I will only deal with company A - as they are the ones who I owe this to. However company A are saying to B that as far as they are concerned - they paid the amount to the bank on the form.

Mitzimaybe Mon 01-Apr-19 17:47:00

If I've got my As and Bs right, the situation is:

A owes money to B

B fills in a form telling A where to pay it - but mistakenly puts the OP's bank details in there instead of company B's bank details. [How? How on earth could they do this?]

A pays the money in accordance with the form submitted to them by B. This means that A pays the money into the OP's bank account.

B has not received the money. Presumably they chase A and A says "we paid it in accordance with your instructions." B checks the instructions they gave and realises that they put OP's bank account instead of their own.

B then chases OP. OP says, [fairly enough, imho] "The money came from A. I could refund it to A if they will give me their details. I can't send it to you, B, because I have no proof that it should have been paid to you. Therefore if I transfer it to you, A could still come after me asking for their money back. Get A to ask for it back."

A says "I made the payment in accordance with B's clear written instructions. It's not our fault if the instruction was wrong; you should have checked it before giving it to us. Therefore our debt is discharged and we don't have to do anything further. Sod off the lot of you."

Difficult to know what OP should do; sorry this is no help to OP but might clarify the A/B situation for some PPs.

Mitzimaybe Mon 01-Apr-19 17:47:28

Cross-posted, sorry.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:47:47

Oh and I’m seriously out of pocket anyways as the amount was incorrectly matched to an invoice (completely not related this - but for the same amount) which I’m very unlikely to be able to get paid at this stage sadsad

Purpleartichoke Mon 01-Apr-19 17:48:43

Company B never sent you any money? Do not speak to them at all.

Company A should contact you and ask for a refund. This is assuming they don’t owe you any other money. Since you said you assigned it to their account, does that mean they currently have a credit with you?

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:48:51

Think you Mitzi! That’s exactly it.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:50:13

@purple - no - I have no relationship at all with A (I don’t even have their details). Sadly it was a round figure (that I often get paid), and it we indirectly attributed to an overseas buyer - so I won’t be seeing that again sadly.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:52:41

Incorrectly not indirectly! God no wonder everyone’s confused. Imagine it came from a company with a name along the lines of “Jones” - so a mr jones owed me the same amount - I get a payment labelled “jones” and assume Mr Jones has paid and match the invoice.

TyrionsNextWife Mon 01-Apr-19 17:53:47

Since company A owed you money, they are not entitled to have any sent back to them - the payment was accepted as settlement of their debt.

Since you have no part in the dispute between a & b, they need to sort it out between themselves.

Why didn’t company A pay your invoice last year?

TyrionsNextWife Mon 01-Apr-19 17:56:30

JUSt saw your update, so ignore my post about clearing a’s debt.

In that case, you refund A and they refund B - send a firm email stating that payments will only be refunded to the originator and that you won’t get involved in any dispute between them.

If A don’t send you bank details to refund, then that’s up to them.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 17:58:48

Sorry sorry sorry!! I think I’m babbling... company A - I have never ever dealt with. They are obviously a supplier of company B. Company B I did a tiny amount of work for at some point last year (well before this payment).

For some reason my back details were obviously lying around in B’s office (I assume) and someone has used them when filling in a form for company A.

TyrionsNextWife Mon 01-Apr-19 18:04:13

Dear company B,

I am unable to refund any payment that did not come directly from yourselves. If a third party believes that they have paid me in error, then upon receipt of bank details I will refund them directly.

I can not discuss another persons account with you, nor can I act as an intermediary and process payments on someone else’s behalf.

If you are disputing a payment with another company, then you will have to deal with them directly. I am unable to assist and will not enter into any further correspondence regarding this issue.


TyrionsNextWife Mon 01-Apr-19 18:05:03

Send them something like this, and then don’t get dragged into anymore negotiating with them.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:08:34

They rather wildly were threatening the small claims court - however I’ve pointed out again that, in relation to this payment I have no relationship with them but will happily refund to A - but will only deal with A directly and can they please get A to contact me (a is refusing to do so).

I guess I could try and find the contact details for A - but fear that this won’t actually stop B from hassling me of A don’t then repay them iyswim. I believe that A is a large company. (b isn’t exactly small).

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:09:33

Sorry crosspost! I think that’s perfect thank you!

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:11:51

I’m also a bit pissed off about the bank details thing tbh- how on earth did my back detials end of up on their form? Sorry am just ranting really.

TyrionsNextWife Mon 01-Apr-19 18:12:04

They’re panicking because they screwed up and need to get the money back. Who is it that has been contacting you? I work in finance and have come across similar situations, and the ones threatening legal action etc tend to be junior staff who are trying to get it sorted before the boss finds out!

billybagpuss Mon 01-Apr-19 18:13:00

Whatever you do regards A and B it’s worth sending an outstanding invoice to company C that genuinely owes you the money.
But no only pay back to the company who paid you in the first place.

RUOKHUN Mon 01-Apr-19 18:14:17

So company A owes you money anyway? Tell company B to sort it with company A.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:15:54

Hi Billy - I have done (did it straight away), however they are overseas, outside of the EU, not a regular customer and haven’t come back to me - I very much doubt I’ll see it again sadly..

RUOKHUN Mon 01-Apr-19 18:16:13

Nope completely got that wrong... ignore me 😂 So confused

Peterpiperpickedwrong Mon 01-Apr-19 18:16:40

Oh and I’m seriously out of pocket anyways as the amount was incorrectly matched to an invoice (completely not related this - but for the same amount) which I’m very unlikely to be able to get paid at this stage

Still worth requesting payment from them, they will have a record that they haven’t paid you and still owe you.

Tyrion has posted a reply that sounds perfect.

NewPapaGuinea Mon 01-Apr-19 18:16:44

If you bank transfer to a random isn’t it hard luck anyway? They should have been more diligent.

Peterpiperpickedwrong Mon 01-Apr-19 18:17:05

X post

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:17:41

Tyrion’s - it is a junior member of staff - he was very polite and then it a bit “well My director is not going to be happy about this and will contact you” (in the manner of “I’m going to tell my mum” grin

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:19:16

@Newpapguinea - no it’s not - you do have to give it back - which I would if only the person who actually paid it was asking for it back lol.

TyrionsNextWife Mon 01-Apr-19 18:25:48

Yup, you can smell the panickers a mile away grin
A few weeks back I had a company that had a large overdue balance send us money, then 2 days later the accounts assistant was on the phone demanding it back as it was meant to go to another supplier. I pointed out that since they owed us money, it was mine now and most certainly was not getting refunded.

I got threatened with all sorts, including being told on to the financial controller. The FC called me a few days later, apologised for the aggro and promised that the remaining balance would be with us soon. Not sure that was the result the accounts assistant was after grin

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Mon 01-Apr-19 18:26:43

What a pain in the neck OP. Don’t pay Co B, I agree. Good luck getting it sorted out.

flitwit99 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:31:51

There is nothing more annoying than getting caught in the middle of someone else's mess when you're entirely innocent.
What a nuisance.

Hold firm though, you're doing the right thing.

Drum2018 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:35:27

Contact your bank and ask if they can trace the bank details of company A from when the payment was made. When I worked in the bank (many years ago I admit) this was possible. So I imagine there would be some way of doing it now. Then you can transfer the funds back to A. I'd flag it as a money laundering issue and ask the bank to help deal with it (whether it is an innocent mistake or not). Do not transfer directly to B.

And with regard to the amount genuinely due to you from 4 months ago, send a reminder to that company/person. There is no time limit to seeking funds owed to you. We are dealing with a CF company who drag the arse out of paying and are awaiting a payment from 4 months ago too, but we won't be letting it go. And we won't be likely to do business with them again.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:36:04

I think it’s befause I don’t feel entirely innocent - I should have clicked that it wasn’t for me - though of course I could never have connected it to company B.

Chloemol Mon 01-Apr-19 18:38:11

Return the m9ney to whoever made it, company A? Then they can sort it out

Cakeisbest Mon 01-Apr-19 18:41:52

Completely separate issue to A and B: Now you are aware an invoice is outstanding for another customer who you thought this payment was for, I would contact them to pay their overdue unpaid invoice. They can always check to see they never paid you although most likely they are probably fully aware they never paid. You could say something like following an internal audit it has come to your attention that their bill is still outstanding. Worth a try now you know they haven’t paid.

adviceneeded0101 Mon 01-Apr-19 18:51:31

I have chased C - but as I say one off piece of work, C is in Asia and an individual, and not replying - I fear that money is long gone now sadly .

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