It’s a piece of advice I dispense regularly: “Go through your bank statement carefully every month.” Along with: “Always read the small print.” The habit has the potential to spare consumers untold financial and emotional misery.

But some service providers don’t make these self-preservation exercises easy: some small print is so tiny and faint as to be virtually illegible, and some debit order references on bank statements do little to identify the company doing the collecting...

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