/ Money

Trouble cancelling recurring card payments? Not anymore…

Credit cards fanned out

Continuous card payments have become notorious for being difficult to cancel. But thankfully, the Financial Conduct Authority has stepped in to make sure this is no longer the case.

Continuous payment authorities (CPAs), also known as recurring card payments, allow regular payments to be taken from peoples’ debit or credit cards.

Each year, payments of more than £7.5bn are made through CPAs, with each transaction worth £45 on average. So if you’ve ever taken out a gym membership for example, it’s likely you’ll have set up a CPA.

And while recurring payments are relatively simple to set up, some Which? Convo commenters have told us they’ve found them a bit tricky to cancel.

Cancellation complications

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been looking into how easy it is for customers to cancel continuous payment authorities. So far, it’s found that some banks are failing to cancel CPAs following customer requests, despite the fact that the banks are obliged to do so.

We carried out our own research, making 60 calls to banks and credit card providers to test their staff’s knowledge of the rules surrounding recurring card payments. Unfortunately, in two thirds of cases, the advice given was incorrect. Callers were often wrongly told they’d need to cancel the CPA with the service provider.

Following the FCA review, the largest high street banks and mutuals have agreed that they will always cancel a recurring card payment following a customer request. This means that customers so no longer be asked to contact the original merchants.

Compensation for non-cancellation

But what about those who have been let down by cancellation problems in the past? There’s good news on that front too: the FCA has announced that around 30,000 customers who lost out because of a bank failing to cancel a recurring card payment are eligible for compensation.

This applies to all complaints made since November 2009, so if you’ve lost out during this time but didn’t complain, now’s the time to do so.

Have you experienced problems cancelling a CPA in the past? Will you be submitting a complaint to claim compensation?


This is really good news for customers who will be back in charge of their own bank accounts! Well done Financial Conduct Authority!

Ironic (if you are being charitable) that it is not obvious how to cancel my Which account!

David says:
9 July 2016

That is exactly why I am viewing this thread! I cannot find my account details and a search led me here.

Hello David, sorry to hear about the trouble you’re having. I’ll ask our member services team to get in touch with you.

Ross says:
4 January 2016

Found this page while trying to work out how to cancel my Which account. Which would seem to be slightly hypocritical when it comes to account cancellation as they don’t make it obvious how to do this (perhaps I should contact my bank to cancel the continuous payment authority!)

Hello, I’ve reported this to the Member Services team. Someone will be in touch shortly.

Adrean says:
30 January 2016

Why doesn’t Which? Just make a post on here to tell us how to cancel our continuous payments? I to am looking to cancel before the next payment comes out in Feb and see any detail on how to cancel.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Garry says:
28 March 2016

Agree that there is no reason for Which to add details to this forum on how to cancel Which membership. However, there is no option in Which account setting to cancel Which membership. It is considerably easier to cancel a Netflix subscription that it is Which. That does not seem right for a consumer organisation.

steve says:
4 March 2016

Surely websites should make cancelling subscriptions as easy as signing up for them. Doesn’t appear to be the case with Which?
Is there an easy way to cancel subscription?

Deb gurney says:
18 April 2016

I to am trying to cancel my Which on their website, very frustrating It is… Struggling big time.
Which are not making it an easy process. 🙁

Hi Deb, sorry to hear that you’re struggling to cancel. I’ll notify our member services team and someone will contact you shortly.

Mike says:
14 June 2016

Am I missing something? Does Which.co.uk really not have a way to cancel a subscription online? If so I’m sure there is a great reason but I can’t think what it would be. I can’t even see where to ‘update’ my payment details. Never used a site like this before.

@Lauren Deitz can you refer me to the ‘customer cancellation team’ too?

Cheers – Mike

Hi Mike, thanks for your message and sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with the Which.co.uk site. To make changes to your membership you’ll need to speak to our Member Service Centre on 01992 822800. I’ll contact the team now and let them know that you’ve contacted us on Which? Conversation, someone should be in contact with you soon.

Chelle says:
11 July 2016

Ironic I have been attempting to cancel my which membership for at least 3 months and still it is being paid from my account

Hello Chelle, I’ve shared your comment with our Member Services team who will be in touch with you.

Raymond Smith says:
13 July 2016

What can I say, but to repeat more or less previous comments ,about ending my membership.There is no obvious way to do this on line,and as the payment does not show up as a Direct Debit,I can only assume it is a ‘recurring card payment’,I shall have to incur further cost, by contacting the membership services team.
As you have recently increased the monthly payments ,I would have thought you might have expected a level of terminations, and made the exit procedure ,a little more straight forward.
Thankyou R Smith

Good morning Raymond, I’m sorry about the trouble you’ve been having. I’ve let our Member Services team know who will be in touch with you to sort this out as soon as possible.