One in eight Canadian bank customers has had trouble with pre-authorized payments in the past two years, a survey suggests.

The survey done by the Environics polling firm suggests there were 900,000 pre-authorized debit problems over two years, or more than 1,000 a day.

The figures were released Thursday by a group of consumer associations lobbying the federal government for new rules covering electronic payments.

"The case for consumer protection legislation is clear," Charles Tanguay, spokesman for l'Union des consommateurs, told Canadian Press.

The Canadian Consumer Initiative, which represents six consumer organizations, said the problems include:

  • Withdrawals of wrong amounts (23 per cent of consumers affected).
  • Withdrawals on the wrong date (19 per cent).
  • Double debits (17 per cent).

Two-thirds of Canadian households have authorized automatic withdrawals to cover bills that range from mortgage payments to utility bills.

The group wants the government to use a review of the Bank Act to legislate protections for consumers who use electronic payments.

The Canadian Payments Association, which manages payments flows, said errors are rare, considering the two million transactions daily across the country.

The Environics survey, conducted March 9 to 31, interviewed 2,035 Canadians. The margin of error was not available.