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Greens Health & Fitness in London had to say sorry to its 4,400 members when it inadvertently took £5,900 from members bank accounts instead of the normal £59! It’s estimated that members accounts were overcharged by around £30 million.

What a wonderful thing technology is. Now when I was health club operator (those were the days), our clever bank used to apply a `ceiling` to our direct debit collections. It’s really quite simple – if you regularly send a request to debit all members accounts for say £240,000 and then one month you ask for £2.4 million, your request won’t get processed because it doesn’t fall within normal guidelines…a simple, yet effective system. Imagine, you’re standing over a conveyor belt of the latest Action Man commando toy and its your job to check for any defects as they move slowly along…suddenly, one appears with three heads and no arms. What’s this you think? Is it a defect or the latest innovation from the new product development team. So what does this bank do?…normally, this club submits a file for £260,000, but this request is for £26 million. Yes, that seems all in order – perhaps they’ve been running a 2 for 1 promotion!

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