Monthly Archives: November 2013

Companies who scam and just after your money, or they just don’t provide the service they promised

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Today after watching Watch dog last night, after my mum text me to say they were going to be doing a feature about BT Open Reach who are supposedly a separate company to BT, had been letting people down whom had a fault or issue with their line, I decided to write to Watch dog myself about my story regarding the problems I have had with BT Open Reach and BT in general when we decided to have all our TV, internet and phone services with them, and how it was a complete nightmare from the first engineer visit.

If you to have had an issue with BT or any company and want to know how to complain to Watchdog then you can via the BBC website: www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog

Please do let them know as the more these companies get exposed the more it helps protect others and see that they haven’t got away with scamming or letting people down by not practicing what they preach. I never used to complain or write to any company before, but I have become so sick of companies who are just out to scam and take your money, and those who appear to offer a reliable service but don’t, and I am sure there are many people out there whom feel the same, and since I have written to companies whom have tried to scam and let me down, a few have compensated me. Don’t get me wrong I don’t do it just to receive my money back, but I am of the mindset that if a company lets you down and doesn’t do what they said they would, wasted your time and money I do think it is my right and other customer right to stand up and fight against these companies who scam or let you down as they will just continue to get away with it.

I am going to research and start naming and shaming companies too whom have been known to scam people or who have scammed myself or whom have not delivered the service they promised, to help protect other people, as I think it is so wrong that these companies especially like BT whom make a lot of money should not have the right to let people down and not provide the service that they offer. And no one should have the right to scam people, and right this minute someone could be getting scammed as I am writing this blog. As the technology advances there a new scams being created by people all the time and it is important that you do keep vigilant all the time. Also working for many companies and my own knowledge especially call centres, they have a script or email templates which you will most probably find have been used for a lot of customers, and the words you hear or see are just that, words, but not meant.

Web Hosts

Be careful of these companies such as 1&1.com I had a massive issue with them, who kept taking money from me and not just the monthly £20 oh no, I am talking up to £100, and when you try and cancel, because they don’t want you to, you have to go all around the houses too. They wanted me to write in and provide a copy of my passport for me to cancel, and took over 5 phone calls to have them cancel. I kept getting letters from their billing company saying I owed money, which I know I hadn’t as far as I knew I had already cancelled once, which of course according to their records wasn’t the case. What is astonishing is that web host should have the facilities for you to easily cancel online without hassle but not 1and1 and you may find that others will be the same too, as they want to hook you in, so they can take more money from you.

In researching this company I saw that I was not the only one, please see the specialised website page that has been set up, because of their scam. What you see on their TV advert is not how it is, to get all that fancy graphics you have to pay them or you just get a basic one page website. On their website the offers look great, but then suddenly they start taking more than what they claim, and when you buy a domain name, that doesn’t become yours like they say, because as soon as you try to transfer the domain to another website, a lot of companies won’t let you, or will try and charge you a fee for doing so.

Here is the link to the Facebook page about 1&1 and the scams they have pulled on people: https://en-gb.facebook.com/Boycott1and1Internet

I had originally when I started to create my first website and create a domain name, I bought one from 123reg.com, however after doing this I saw that someone had taken this domain name and yet out of the blue 123reg.com was taking £15 to £25 each month and one month twice. I blocked them from my PayPal account and even tried to contact to stop but had never had a response. I then looking into this see that others have also had problems with 123Reg web host also.

Please see details regarding why you should not use 123reg, as they too like 1and1 cannot be trusted http://websitebuilderguide.co.uk/123-reg-review

350.com web host isn’t so bad but if you don’t buy a domain name you get some weird random too long a domain name, but you can have a free website with them, and their packages are from about £4.49 to 33.00 a month or 39.99 to 339.99 annual fee. The charges are clear so you know what you are paying for. I went for the free website, and still they offer a lot it appears in their packages but as said if you don’t buy a domain name then you get some random very long one, where no one would find you unless you send it to just people you know, and lot of these companies charge you for things such as guaranteed large traffic to your website, and to be guaranteed listing on google, and yahoo, which if you have set up good keywords for your site, internet search engineers will list your website, so this should not be chargeable. If you don’t pay for a domain name with 350.com you will never find yours listed as the domain name is way too long.

In investigating about web hosts I have come across a really good article called “5 signs of a bad web host” see link to read this now: http://blogsuccessjournal.com/blog-tips-and-advice/web-hosting-reviews/web-hosting-bad-web-host-5-signs/

Timeshare and travel packages scams and companies I would not recommend.

Ever bought a holiday through Thomas cook, flown with their airline or booked a long haul holiday?

Well my brother in law recently flew to Florida with his two sons in August and was treated so badly that after all the holidays he has had through Thomas cook, he will never go with them again.

He first off had problems with his Visas, which he did ages ago through the American Embassy and checked with Thomas cook and American travel information that they were ok, so could not understand the problem as they were told they were when he first received them fine. When he got onto the plane he was called off, as they had taken his luggage off just for him to identify that it was his, and not because he had done anything, but it was in their policy that they had to do these random checks. That I can understand, but he didn’t even get an apology for the inconvenience caused by it. Through the flight the hospitality was awful and the flight attendants didn’t seem to have time for anyone on the flight, and so the holiday my brother in law and his sons had been looking forward too was being demolished even before they had got to their destination. It appeared that Thomas Cook staff didn’t seem to care for their problems they had, and for anyone else on the flight too.

He has since complained and is still waiting for a response from Thomas Cook, but the flight going back was 10 times better because they were American Thomas Cook staff and seemed to have better customer service and people skills.

I have looked to see if there were other complaints about Thomas cook of the same nature and it appears there are. I am surprised as I have always had a high regard for the company as I have had good experience with them when booking holiday through their travel agency shops, but it appears that what you appear to see is good on the outside is not always good on the inside, and from my brother in law’s experience I wouldn’t travel with them now either.

Please visit forum of the complaints made by travellers on their flights: http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/thoscook.htm

There are also fake travel agencies created to scam and take your money, knowing that the holiday you have booked does not exist, please see this article about travel agency scams:

http://scam-detector.com/travel-scams/fake-travel-agency

Please see this article about Top 10 Signs of a Possible Travel Scam: http://budgettravel.about.com/od/planningtoolsstrategies/tp/ten_scam.htm

I have also looked on the watch dog website to check for names of any bad or scamming companies posing as a Travel agent, please see this video on the BBC news website:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/7743127.stm

I couldn’t in my research find many names of companies known to commit these scams, but I am not surprised as soon as they are found out or taken people’s money they go and set up another company to scam more people. If you have been scammed and you know the so called company name then do let me know so we can list them to make sure they are known should someone else be targeted by their scam. I have seen this other article and it is one of the highest scams going: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/6867582/

I was scammed by a guy, an English guy in Tenerife who was very chatty and offered us a free scratch card, so we did as we thought ok this is free why not, but then we funnily won and got a chance to win a bottle of champagne and a possible holiday. We then to claim the champagne had to visit his office around the corner, so we did and then was given a chat about a holiday club scheme where we had to pay a deposit up front (alarm bells should have rung but didn’t) over £300.00. For this upfront fee we got a shopping card that supposedly could be used at many stores and a choice of places and accommodation for future holidays. The cost of whole thing if we had continued would have been over £3000.00. When we got back from our holiday we thought about what had happened, as we were due to fly out that evening and was suspicious had we had not just been stitched up? Did we do the right thing? I then looked up on the internet and saw that this was a massive scam and many companies were being set up in various tourist countries doing the same. When I looked people whom had also paid for the so called scheme had used the holiday club offers and, the hotels that people could stay in were not luxurious as they claim they would be and the shopping retailer card couldn’t be used in any of the stores that they said it could be used for in fact it was just a card they had obviously had made to look professionally and appeared legit, but it wasn’t.

I then cancelled and used a template letter that I had found on a website, which highlighted this scheme and was even on watchdog too, and they did try to call us but was told not to answer any calls from them, and they wouldn’t take legal action because they were not a real company and was set up to take people’s money and they would get found out if they did so, because they what they were offering wasn’t what they said at all and was just a scheme to target tourists who loose all sense of security when on holiday and get their money.

There are and has been scams too on so called companies offering timeshare holiday accommodation, see this article in the Mirror newspaper:

http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/investigations/timeshare-holiday-clubs/

If you have been victim of holiday club or timeshare scams then you can get advice from the Advice guide: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e/consumer_protection_for_the_consumer_e/consumer_scams_e/consumer_common_scams_e/consumer_holiday_club_and_timeshare_scams_e.htm

Travelling Visa scams:

Believe it or not there are scams on visas now too.

For some countries such as America you didn’t have to have a Visa but you had to fill in a green card form which allowed you in the country and you stated the purpose of your visit. Now it has changed and you do need a Visa to be allowed access in to countries such as the USA, plus fill in another form which is usually handed to you by the flight staff, making sure you aren’t importing items that you shouldn’t be and declaring any items you are importing.

There are so called companies who offer a visa to people travelling abroad, but when they get to the country they are travelling to the visa is not valid and not even worth the paper it is printed on, and these scammers also charge people extortionate prices to apply and receive the visa.

The visa you need is not country specific but if travelling abroad on holiday then it is a non-immigrant visa you need.

The best place to go for a valid Visa is via the countries embassy websites, which will provide details and link to applying for a visa and will be the correct official one you need.

Don’t go with the first link you see when looking up “Travel Visa” on the internet, as it could well be a company committing a scam, and the visa is incorrect and just a piece of paper that means nothing.

Here is a link to the citizen’s advice site which will tell you more details if you do need a visa or not:

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/consumer_e/travel_leisure_and_food_e/consumer_holidays_e/consumer_pre_booking_holiday_advice_e/travelling_abroad_will_you_need_a_visa.htm

Here is another article in the following link about ongoing Visa scams especially for those travelling to America for a holiday:

http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/773835

I have also provided a link to the USA embassy visa details and they are the best places to visit for visa information. Depending on the country you shouldn’t have to pay a high fee to claim one, and it will state clearly on the embassy’s websites details regarding visas if you do to pay a fee or not.

http://london.usembassy.gov/visas.html

There are so many scams out there and when you do travel or plan a holiday or run a website and open yourself to web hosts, you can be especially vulnerable and unaware of scams. This can lead you to paying a lot of money for items you shouldn’t even be paying for and if you a travelling on holiday and you become a victim of scams booking a holiday or actually travelling abroad you can end up not having a holiday too.

If a travel agent has let you down and the hotel has not been like it appears in the brochures and the flights is not to your expectation and has affected your holiday then do let yourself be heard by these companies and do complain, as you’ve paid the money for the service so they should provide it to you.

I will be writing about more scams that you may not be aware of in more blogs and companies not to trust. Let’s fight together and stop these scammers and companies from letting us down, and protect others.

Many thanks for reading,

Carrie X