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Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

Last post Sat, Dec 03 2011, 7:14 PM by Spoofy. 22 replies.
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  •  Sat, Dec 03 2011, 7:14 PM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    I have never nor never will use the expression stop moaning and live with it [or words to that effect].

    this is a matter of principle and the only reason these companies are willing to behave in such a way is purely because most people say.... gah...i cant be bothered. i would suggest that if more people actually took the time to complain then there would eventually be less need to complain. with regards to the principles well.... you can have no principles and thus become a politician or a banker or you can have principles and be human.

    i cannot give you much advice about the legal aspects of this only a little advice about all those screen shots you have been taking.

    did you know you can download the entire page and save it to a folder?

    each browser you use will download the complete page adverts as well into a folder of your choice on your hard-drive I use this method always when dealing with companies online.

    I was taught at an early age that it is the one with the last piece of paper who wins and when dealing in commerce its always good to practice CMAJIC [Cover My Ars* Just In Case]
    • Post Points: 5
  •  Sun, Oct 23 2011, 10:06 AM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    I paid £3.50 for what I thought was a one-off search, but have subsequently been charged £3.50 each month for the last 10 months. Although I usually check my credit card statements it's been a busy year for me and for some reason I just let the tracesmart debit through without noticing. I'm not normally caught out be these things, so the service was obviously worded in a way to catch the unwary. I've cancelled my subscription. Lesson learned.
    • Post Points: 5
  •  Wed, Mar 03 2010, 4:16 PM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    Just for the record. The reason I didn't read the T&C's more carefully was because I had used them before when they did one off packages and not had any problems. I feel this was an abuse of customer trust.

    I suspect someone will put a stop to it in time but not before Tracesmart have raked in as much cash as possible.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Wed, Mar 03 2010, 3:56 PM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    smilla:

    I wonder how long it will be before someone at the Office of Fair Trading pulls the plug on this.

    Dream on, unless there are votes in it.

    I'm not defending this at all, but I've never experienced any problems cancelling via the member login. What you are describing is the difficulty cancelling a credit card which you have "authorised" a recurring authority on. That is a seperate, and IMHO, a much more serious issue which Government and/or Regulators have yet to address though they surely must know of the issue.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Wed, Mar 03 2010, 3:30 PM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    I got embroiled in this scam - and scam it is! - but what I found was that cancelling the subscription was far from easy. You're very lucky you were fortunate enough to get a call at all. What a nightmare it's been. I discovered by chance when I tried to cancel a credit card that they'd been taking money from me since last spring. I wonder how long it will be before someone at the Office of Fair Trading pulls the plug on this.

    I'm going to post on every forum I can find about it. I recommend everyone who has experienced this do the same.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Sat, Jan 30 2010, 10:43 PM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    chayyliel:

    I have just had a call from the lady at tracesmart, and she said that there are "several T&C's, depending on what package you buy" So basically I told her this was disgusting, as once a person clicks that box, they agree to whichever set of T&C's they decided to apply!!!!!!! Which, no matter what I am going to have this fully investigated now, as we have done our research, and no matter what, when you sign up, you should only ever sign up to one set of T&C's (unless clearly stated otherwise), and there should only ever be one set, unless clearly stated otherwise, this is disgraceful!

    They are still only offering to refund me for 300 credits - but I have told her that on the 5th of march when they reckoned I upgraded my subscription - I did NOT make any changes to tracesmart, that involved me even ignorantly buying any further credits that may have caused an accidental upgrade! So basically they have just "helped themselves" to money from my bank account - I'm livid!

    The lady is having this looked into - but you know what? I feel that tracesmart think if they dig there heels in long enough I'll just quietly disappear - they have no idea how determined I am when I know I have been conned, and I will NOT just disappear.

    Can you believe a large corporation such as this are quite prepared to only give me half of my money back and more than happy to reap in the benefits of taking all the credits back?

    Also, my youtube video will be going up depending on the outcome of this next call, I will leave a link for you all to watch here, if it does indeed go up.

    Thanks again guys! - Chelle xXx

    Hi All

    Just found this forum about Tracesmart.

    Same has happened to me, purchased 5 traces in November 09, great service however i have found they have set me up for "my converience" a subscription and have been taking money from me for the last two months, I know its only around £10 they have taken so far but its not right, i certainly to my knowedge did not sign up to a monthly subscription.

    Please keep us informed of any progress.

    I have ased for a full refund, we will see !!!

    Stu K

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Thu, Dec 03 2009, 1:50 PM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    They'll probably have come across this through google alerts and there is such a thing as bad PR. Now what you should do is create as much noise about this as possible, consumer programmes, forums, trust sites/review site. It'll cost them more in administration and counter PR than it'll be worth.

    Good Luck

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Thu, Dec 03 2009, 1:41 PM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    "Can you believe a large corporation such as this are quite prepared to only give me half of my money back and more than happy to reap in the benefits of taking all the credits back?"

    I not only believe it, it's pretty much unwritten standard practice for some companies. It's plausible deniability, their standards of service will dictate that they would never do such a thing. What the call centre operators are told to do however, is entirely different.

    On another note, the red line through the padlock indicates that they have made changes to their website without re-submitting their digital security signature to the correct approvers yet! ;o)

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Thu, Dec 03 2009, 1:25 PM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    I have just had a call from the lady at tracesmart, and she said that there are "several T&C's, depending on what package you buy" So basically I told her this was disgusting, as once a person clicks that box, they agree to whichever set of T&C's they decided to apply!!!!!!! Which, no matter what I am going to have this fully investigated now, as we have done our research, and no matter what, when you sign up, you should only ever sign up to one set of T&C's (unless clearly stated otherwise), and there should only ever be one set, unless clearly stated otherwise, this is disgraceful!

    They are still only offering to refund me for 300 credits - but I have told her that on the 5th of march when they reckoned I upgraded my subscription - I did NOT make any changes to tracesmart, that involved me even ignorantly buying any further credits that may have caused an accidental upgrade! So basically they have just "helped themselves" to money from my bank account - I'm livid!

    The lady is having this looked into - but you know what? I feel that tracesmart think if they dig there heels in long enough I'll just quietly disappear - they have no idea how determined I am when I know I have been conned, and I will NOT just disappear.

    Can you believe a large corporation such as this are quite prepared to only give me half of my money back and more than happy to reap in the benefits of taking all the credits back?

    Also, my youtube video will be going up depending on the outcome of this next call, I will leave a link for you all to watch here, if it does indeed go up.

    Thanks again guys! - Chelle xXx

    • Post Points: 35
  •  Thu, Dec 03 2009, 12:55 PM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    First of all I apologise for not signing off my post!

    And also forgot to say, yesterday when I spoke to consumer direct they agreed with me that the T&C's down at the bottom that are there for everyone to read BEFORE, and while considering signing up - are to be the T&C's that one would expect to read. It says absolutely nowhere in those specific T&C's anything about "subscription" "payment (monthly or otherwise)" or anything else with regard to canceling your account and losing any credits. These where the T&C's that consumer direct went through with me yesterday, and told me on that fact alone I am not bound by anything and am in law entitled to a refund. So I know now that after finding all these conflicting T&C's and getting the evidence of them, TS and CD, also I would think that the office of fair trading would be very interested.

    The only time that monthly subscriptions, or anything else is mentioned is in the link titled "terms and conditions" which is next to the box you have to click to agree to them (and all it says is "please click this box to agree that you have read our terms and conditions), but in all honesty - unless you place you mouse over it, you have no idea it is a link, and would almost certianly assume that you were just ticking the box to say you had read the T&C's on the main page (which if you read them on the main page, BEFORE joining or being logged in, BUT, one you have joined, or are logged in, those on the main page are then a different set of T&C's) Which once you have joined, and/or are logged in, and you then click to read them on the main page again, they are then a different set of T&C's to the original ones you'd read before signing up Fair? most certainly not - misleading? Most definately.

    I have just phoned again, and the lady is in a meeting with management, so have left a message for her to call me as a matter of urgency.

    Looking over everything that I have collected for evidence with the help of my very techy friend (she also is extremely knowledgable about rights, T&C's etc, which is why she said she would have read those on the main page before even contemplating signing up for anything) and she said that if I wanted to I could argue the full amount of invoices, but all I am asking is for the refund of the 600 credits, They could even sell the remaining 30 for £5 each!

    As I've said, I'm not asking for something for nothing - I just want a refund for what is owned to me. And I'd also ask that they make the T&C's exactly the same no matter what link to them a customer clicks on, whether logged in or not. I wonder just how many others this has happened to, and they've been fobbed off?

    I will post as soon as I hear from them, and hopefully it will be good news that they have done the decent thing by a customer.

    Thank you both so very much - Chelle xXx

    P.s. Almost forgot - yesterday when i was going through the site with the lady at tracesmart, I noticed on the page you get up to sign up and put your card details in - the security padlock had an alert on it, by way of a red exclamation mark, saying it "contained unauthorised content" - which we all know that means your card details are not guranteed to be safe, and can possible be used without your consent, the funny thing was, the lady at tracesmart said she didn't have that on her screen?. I wonder if this is what has happened when my so called "subscription" all of a suddenly jumped from a "5 credit" sub "100 credit sub"? And as we all know, any website will not take responsibility for that, they say it's up to the customer whether or not they take the chance.

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Thu, Dec 03 2009, 12:30 PM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    Yes - I have ALL three versions of their T&C's screen shot, and the real gripe here is, the one that they obviously have changed, has been changed to the exact precise amount that I have indeed been getting charged (rather than the set amount for just 100 credits with no extras)

    Below is a list of my so called invoices, the very first two - one for "5 credits" and one for "100 credits" I DID order and pay for, as "one of purchases" The rest I did NOT, nor did I authorise. As you can clearly see (and I do hope I'm getting this right) I originally bought 5 credits, so by there estimation I should have "subscribed to 5 credits per month, every month" - then why is it when I bought 100 credits almost immediately after (on the same day infact) was I only invoiced for "5 credits" for a further six months If i'd then changed it to 100 credits? The lady yesterday said they were "just top up" - so why is it then, that on the "5th March" they started charging me for "100 credits" without me EVER authorising anything (I can prove this and will involve the police if needed, as this by anyones estimation is theft, I did NOT ever authorise anything on the 5th march, and only ever authorised anything at the very beginning when I bought what I thought was 2 one off amounts of credits)

    I am still waiting for my phone call, and if I have heard nothing by the end of business today I am contacting the police, aswell as the other relevant authorities, This may seem a little over the top course of action, but the way I look at it, it's bad enough I've been conned up until the 5th March - but for there to then be a change (which would mean I would have had to have authorised it with my card, which I did NOT) then this is either a big mistake that they can rectify, or it is somesort of fraudulent activity on my card.

    • Post Points: 5
  •  Thu, Dec 03 2009, 10:31 AM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    mrstella0: The only conclusion i can draw from this is that we have here a company that is providing a good service (i.e. the ability to trace family members), yet needlessly giving itself a bad reputation?

    I've used the Tracesmart from time to time and it provides a useful service. But then I only found out about renewal the hard way and know now to use Solo. Conned moi? Unlikely as it may seem, yes.

    But the apparent "buy 5 get signed up for 100" which I can "prove" from screen prints taken yesterday (and interestingly still there today) is needlessly misleading. No doubt their sales model has been signed off by a "legal adviser", but as I argued yesterday that is sometimes a company's money down the drain with the wrong legal adviser or advice, when a modicom of fairness and common sense is required in addition.

    • Post Points: 20
  •  Thu, Dec 03 2009, 10:01 AM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    What bugs me about this whole situation is the fact that not one person has complained about the actual service being purchased. The only conclusion i can draw from this is that we have here a company that is providing a good service (i.e. the ability to trace family members), yet needlessly giving itself a bad reputation?
    • Post Points: 20
  •  Thu, Dec 03 2009, 9:59 AM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    Unfortunately on today's internet, anything you write is public domain, which means anyone can access it (unless you've restricted access) and it can be used for or against you, companies have become wise to this.

    the fact that there is, or was, 3 different sets of T&Cs is, in my opinion, highly misleading, so you can make that score 2-0 Jalexa! ;o)

    Chayyliel, please tell me you took a screenshot of the original 3rd set of T&C's before they "disappeared" off the Tracesmart website? If you did do this, then i'm sure Consumer Direct would be very interested to look at them.

    • Post Points: 35
  •  Thu, Dec 03 2009, 9:11 AM

    Re: Tracesmart will not refund me, greatful for any advice

    Just thought I'd say that the T&C's with the £11+ amount in has now disappeared, they have replaced it with another amount that I have screen shot - the amount is the exact same amount that I have been getting charged, but what they forget its, I'm supposedly paying £16.43 because I have other things added to the package (it's only meant to be £14.95), however I have it screen shot - so no worries there lol!Not very bright of them huh?

    Also - I've been checking my invoices (I didn't know how to find them before now) And as I thought I only bought 5 Credits, then 100 (thought i'd actually bought 2 lots of 5 but i didn't) I was then charged for 5 credits for a further 6mths - then all of a suddenly I am charged £16.43 there on in till I queried it!

    How do they justify this?

    I tell you what - i don't get serious answers today, and a satisfying outcome, as in the money refunding for ALL of the 600 credits (they can have the 31) - I will take ALL my evidence to the relevant authorities, and I will be posting up that youtube video with each and every T&C's (all FOUR them now it seems, even though one has disappeared and been replaced, I still have the copy of it) in it, and also my invoice - and all the peoples names who I have dealt with.

    I have a feeling they will deny this - but let them, they're digging a deeper hole for themselves to be quite honest, as I don't say anything I can't ever back up, and I can back all of this up, ALL the relevant authorities will be getting screen shots of ALL FOUR T&C's I have read on there in this past 24hrs.

    Shoddy, misleading, and an incredible con!

    I hope whoever is involved in the quite obvious "once you register we can charge you what we feel like when we feel like" con, realises that they're doing it to decent honest people who have at one time given them some custom, keeping them in jobs. People who don't have a great deal of money to begin with.

    I wonder how many more this is happening to?

    • Post Points: 20
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