Some families pay more than they are required to as their contribution towards the cost of their internet connection and this can lead to a situation where we need to make a refund. Our guidelines are as follows:
- Coordinators should never “promise” a refund, even if Xero is indicating that there have been overpayments. There could be an error with our invoicing, e.g. invoicing has been incorrectly set up as monthly when it should be weekly.
- We do not make refunds for overpayments of $20 or less. The cost of doing this exceeds the amount of the overpayment, and while we understand that every dollar counts for CIH families, we have to balance our overhead cost with the overall benefit that families are getting from the programme.
- If a coordinator identifies a family who appear to have overpaid by more than $20, they are required to refer this to Kristina for her to investigate.
- We do not normally make any refunds during the initial 12-month subsidised period; we know some families like to get ahead with their payments in case they miss payments later on, but it is prudent to retain any overpayments against the possibility of future missed payments.
- The most common problem is that families “forget” to cancel their automatic payments at the end of the 12-month subsidised period. Some coordinators prefer that families do not specify a termination date when they complete their AP forms, but this needs to be balanced against the cost of managing the refund process. It is therefore proposed that from now on all APs should include a termination date, being 12 months after the start date. Families who have missed payments during the year will be asked to clear any arrears when they receive their 12-month transition letter.
- If a refund is necessary, coordinators must ask families for their bank account number where we can make the refund, and forward this information to Kristina.
- Refunds will be made as soon as possible, but coordinators should not make promises about specific dates or specific amounts. Processing and authorising refunds have to fit in with other accounts processing and this can easily take two weeks or longer.