Category Archives: Complaints

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JD Sports Complaint: The worst online ordering experience ever encountered

It’s fair to say I’ve had some pretty awful experiences with businesses over the years. Carphone Warehouse were outright liars and I caught them out faking customer reviews, BT have been a shower of shite forever, Direct Line allowed insurance fraud and cost me thousands and, as for YODEL, don’t even get me started on those imbeciles.

JD Sports, however, have contrived to take the crown for worst customer service. While some people at BT do attempt to help you, and when you eventually get high enough at Carphone Warehouse you get results, every single person at JD Sports was utterly useless and, as it turned out, simply made matters worse.

The story started when I placed an order for Continue reading

Banking error costs woman her credit rating

This is a guest post from Sylvia Milton, who wanted to share her nightmare story of banking errors, confusion and dreadful customer service – a nightmare which has so far run for 16 months and still hasn’t ended. If you’ve encountered similar problems in your life, please let us know about them in the comments below…

It started with a simple query about my bank account, and grew into a nightmare that hijacked my life and destroyed my credit rating.

On 19th November 2012 I asked Halifax to identify two Direct Debits on my Bank of Scotland business account: £238 to Halifax, £40.85 to T-Mobile. They could not. I asked a BOS Relationship Manager to cancel the DD’s, in the expectation that Halifax and T-Mobile would contact me for missed payment and I could then clarify what I was paying for.

Halifax and BOS subjected me to a six hour long ordeal on the phone that day, shunting me between BOS and Halifax. After five hours a Relationship Manager offered to call me back to stop my phone bill running up further and transferred me to the business department dealing with indemnity claims to see if they could help. BOS advised me to Continue reading

1and1 Internet and their shambolic service

I have been a customer of 1and1 Internet for over ten years now – though I can’t for the life of me understand why. When it comes to customer service they are, by far, the worst company I have ever used – and I’ve used BT!

Other website hosting companies, such as United Hosting, have a response time to emails of around two minutes – 1and1’s response time can be measured in weeks. I am not kidding. If you send an email to their server247@1and1.com email address you may as well be writing your message on a piece of parchment, rolling it up, sticking it in a bottle and lobbing it in the Mersey. They’re a joke, and they don’t care.

They recently emailed their long standing customers to notify us (with just a couple of weeks’ notice) that they were Continue reading

Cash4Phones Complaints

If you’ve ever wanted to recycle your mobile phone, the chances are you’ll have come across a website called Cash4Phones. When you use those phone recycle comparison websites, looking for the best price for your phone, they’re the ones who usually come out on top as offering the most money.

However, before you leap straight into accepting their offer you should read what really happens, or at least what really happened to me and a friend of mine when we both Continue reading

eBay bidders who don’t pay

If, like me, you’ve been a member of eBay for many years (13 years for me) you’ll know the website has gone through a few changes. One of the changes I’m not so keen on is the loss of the ability for sellers to leave negative feedback for bidders who never pay. If a bidder proves to be an utter timewaster now you can report them as a non paying bidder, where you’ll receive a credit for the final listing fee, and that’s supposed to be recorded on their account as a black mark – restricting their ability to bid.

But does it? I’ve just had two non-paying bidders for items and, after checking their feedback, have seen many sellers who have left them ‘positive feedback’ (as that’s all you can leave) but with a decidedly negative comment on how they haven’t paid. eBay doesn’t want you actually doing this, but some sellers are so angry they’ve felt compelled to do it.

Today I contacted eBay’s online support team to find out what a seller can do to ensure these timewasters don’t bid on their listings when they have no intention of paying, and to find out exactly how many times a buyer can be a non-paying bidder before they’re banned. eBay does actually have a good system to stop timewasters from even bidding on your items – it’s just well hidden. Read on and you’ll see how to do this.

I’ve also linked to the two non-paying bidders for you – so you can block them yourself. I’d do that if I were you.

Elsie Logan
Welcome to eBay Live Help, my name is Elsie. How may I be of assistance?

thetransformers.net
Hi – why has eBay removed the ability to leave negative feedback for buyers? This buyer, and another I reported today, haven’t paid or made any attempt to communicate. I can see other sellers have left ‘positive’ feedback for both of them with ‘non-paying bidder’ warnings in the comment, which you don’t actually allow – so what protection to do sellers have against timewasters such as this?

Elsie Logan
I’d be happy to help you out with leaving feedback to buyers. Please stay connected while I check this for you.

thetransformers.net
OK – the non-paying bidders, who I can see from their feedback have done this before, are cloudedruby and grumpykat22 – they should be warned or banned from using eBay.

Elsie Logan
Thank you for staying connected. As sellers like you will not be able to leave negative feedback to buyers, our Trust and Safety team keeps a track of such buyers & their bidding activities, and when we discover unethical bidding practices, such cases may also lead to suspensions, restrictions on the buyer’s account. The system keeps track of number of unpaid item recorded on a buyer’s account. Multiple records of this can cause them restrictions to continue with their buying activities.

thetransformers.net
How many is ‘multiple’? I can see from the feedback both of these buyers have done this before, more than once, and that’s just from the sellers who have left positive feedback with a negative comment. How many times can these people bid on items, win auctions and never pay? They’re wasting my time and yours if they’re bidding on items they have no intention of every paying for.

Elsie Logan
We also added protection for sellers aside from the usual filing of cases against buyers by removal of negative and neutral Feedback from suspended buyers and you can report to us if you are dealing with fraudulent buyers so we can take appropriate actions towards them.

thetransformers.net
How many times can bidders, such as grumpykat22, win auctions they don’t intend to pay for before you ban them?

Elsie Logan
I know how this concerns you Darren. To prevent non-paying buyers from bidding on your listing, I would advise that you set up your Buyer Requirements. This tool enables sellers like you to prevent or limit the buyers from bidding or buying their items if certain criteria are not met.

Elsie Logan
In order to resolve your issue, I will connect you with our UK Trust and Safety Team now. Would that be fine?

thetransformers.net
What are the buyer requirements? I have blocked these two bidders.

Elsie Logan
Buyer requirements is a tool wherein you can limit the buyers from bidding or purchasing on your items when some criterias are not met.

thetransformers.net
Ah – found that. That’s a good idea. Does it show the buyers they have been blocked and tell them why?

Elsie Logan
Yes, buyers will receive a note that they’re unable to place a bid or purchase an item from you and they will be able to see the reason.

thetransformers.net
Excellent, I like that. I’ve set that up now to block people with 2 unpaid notices in the last month. That should sort the problem out. I still want to know how many times they can do this before they are banned.

Elsie Logan
That’s great Darren. Non-paying buyers will only be restricted on purchasing items on the site if they received more than 2 unpaid item record on their account.

thetransformers.net
Surely grumpykat22 has more than that already? The feedback certainly suggests so.

Elsie Logan
I understnad your concern about buyer grumpykat22. Once they received more thn 2 Unpaid item record, they will be restricted on purchasing items.

thetransformers.net
In fact I can see loads of unpaid warnings on their feedback – they’ve done this many times since joining in January this year.

Elsie Logan
In order to resolve your issue, I will connect you with our UK Trust and Safety Team now. Would that be fine?

thetransformers.net
Seems they bid on items then decide whether they want them. Many sellers have gone through the same thing I have.

thetransformers.net
I have to leave the office sadly – but I would like an email about it if that’s possible. It looks like this buyer has got away with not paying since joining eBay.

Elsie Logan
I realise how this concerns you Darren. I will escalate this case to our relevant team in order for this to be looked into as soon as possible.

thetransformers.net
Positive feedback rating Buyer did not pay for item!! Seller:
Member ID happygurl60 ( Feedback score of 114Teal star icon for Feedback score between 100 to 499)
23-Mar-13 14:44
— (#290876631724) —
Positive feedback rating TOTAL TIME WASTER – DID NOT PAY – HAD TO OPEN EB\AY CASE!!! ;-( Seller:
Member ID redhouse52012 ( Feedback score of 126Teal star icon for Feedback score between 100 to 499)
23-Mar-13 13:48
— (#121079146345) —
Positive feedback rating *****NEVER PAID***** Seller:
Member ID volvoman66 ( Feedback score of 982Purple star icon for Feedback score between 500 to 999)
22-Mar-13 18:59

thetransformers.net
that’s just three in a short space of time

thetransformers.net
Please escalate it, thanks. I look forward to hearing from someone.

Elsie Logan
You’re welcome Darren.

Elsie Logan
Is there anything else that I can help you with?

thetransformers.net
Nope, that’s great thanks. You’ve been very helpful.

Elsie Logan
Thank you for contacting eBay Live Help, have a good evening.

thetransformers.net
And you, thanks.

When I hear back from eBay regarding this I’ll post the response. The bidder grumpykat22 has received loads of negative comments yet they’re still happily bidding away on listings without paying. Will they be banned? Does eBay even ban bidders anymore. I’ll try and find out.

drivinglicence.uk.com Scam – the DVLA Con

A friend of mine emailed this week asking if I heard of the website drivinglicence.uk.com as they had just paid them for, what they believed to be, a driving licence for their daughter. They Googled DVLA, as you would, and found this website at the top of the search results – the sponsored search results.

drivinglicenceukcom-website

They filled in the form, paid their money and waited patiently for the driving licence – only to be sent a form which they then needed to forward onto the DVLA and pay AGAIN for the driving licence they thought they had already paid for. In effect they have to pay twice for the driving licence, all because they fell for this awful trick.

So how did this happen?

The sad truth is most people who don’t work online don’t know the difference between Google’s organic results and the paid results, which is where sites such as this manage to fool people. Where the DVLA website ranks #1 in Google for a search on DVLA (as it should) and it also ranks #1 for many associated search terms, it’s only sites like drivinglicence.uk.com which pay for sponsored listings and thus ‘appear’ to rank #1 to people who aren’t quite so Internet savvy.

drivinglicenceukcom

In good faith these people will click on the first result and pay their money for what they believe is an application for a driving licence, when what they’re really paying for is a ‘checking service’, one which isn’t needed in the first place. The website simply checks the data you’ve entered to make sure you’ve filled in the right boxes, and charges you for the privilege. So you’re paying for nothing.

So how is this even legal?

The website says on its homepage:

The checking service we provide can be obtained from a DVLA office directly at a reduced fee or you can apply without a checking service where there will be no checking fee payable.

It’s this statement which keeps this website on the side of the law, but a statement many people won’t read or even notice. They’ll simply see the site ranked at the top of Google, click ‘apply’ and pay their money, as all of these people have done, and these people.

As you can see from the comments on the site, many have telephoned to make complaints to drivinglicence.uk.com (as my friend did) but few receive a satisfactory answer, with some even being cut off from the call. The company knows it is conning people who believe they’re paying to renew their licence, and it doesn’t care.

There are many website such as this charging people for services which are otherwise free, such as the many PPI claims websites and companies charging people a percentage of their winnings for simply sending a letter – a letter you can send yourself for free. They’re parasites sucking money from people who are fooled by their tricks.

My advice is to avoid websites such as this and ensure, before you enter any payment details, you’re on the official site for whatever it is you’re trying to do and you carefully read what it is you’re going to get. Under the Distance Selling Regulations you can demand your money back from scammers such as these, but they don’t all play by the rules or the law, so you may find that’s a dead end.

SWALEC and the disappearing invoice

Forgive me Internet for it’s been a while since my last complaint. I recently moved house for work reasons and found the house in which I am now living had a pre-pay meter for gas and electric (the last tenant was a bill dodging scally by all accounts). Naturally I had no intention of being one of those ‘top-up-Tommies’ who scuttles down to Londis every week to put £10 on his ‘leccy card, so insisted the letting agent had the meters removed. They agreed, only I had to do it myself and present them with an invoice for reimbursement. Not a problem I thought, I’m a landlord myself so sounds reasonable.

Anyhow, I telephoned SWALEC, who controlled the electric, and asked about getting the chavmaster 2000 meter removed and a normal one put in. They said it was no problem, and could be done within a few days. Excellent, we’re onto a winner. I then asked about the invoice for the landlord. ‘No problem’ the girl said, we’ll get one sent out to you.

All seemed fine, dandy, ship-shape, Bristol fashion and every other naff phrase meant to express satisfaction with the circumstances. The meter was replaced, job done.

Several days went past. These days turned into a week, and no invoice. I telephoned SWALEC again, this time getting through to a Scottish call-centre rather than the Cardiff one to which I previously spoken (not sure if this relevant, just setting the scene) and a rather blunt chap told me they don’t do invoices.

Errrm… what now? I explained the situation, that I’d been told one would be sent out and why I needed it. He wasn’t having any of it; they don’t do ‘invoices’ or ‘bills’.

Despite my protestation that I had already been informed (before I signed up, funny that) that an invoice would be sent and that I needed one for the letting agent he just kept repeating ‘we don’t do them’. I then asked that I, as a landlord also, would need the bill or invoice in order to submit it for my self-assessment if it were my house, as my landlord will no doubt also need to do and, yep, he repeated again ‘we don’t do those’.

How are SWALEC allowed to take money for a service and not provide a receipt or payment or invoice when requested?

Finally a manager agreed to send me a letter detailing what I have paid for and what I paid, although it won’t include VAT as she can’t work that out so, if my landlord is VAT registered, they can’t claim that back.

You can get a bloody receipt at a car bot sale, never mind from one of the largest energy providers in the UK.

Worse yet, when I tweeted about the debacle as it was happening I received a reply from @SWALEC almost immediately. Seems if you have a problem you need to go public, rather than phone up to complain. Phone calls can be ignored. Anything you’re told can be denied. Twitter is the way forward.

Jonathan Howson at Evolution Recruitment

Over the years I have dealt with a number of different recruitment agencies with differing results (I don’t think BD Recruitment will forget their mistake a few years ago) but one thing that has consistently annoyed me is the way recruitment consultants with whom you have had no dealings persist in contacting you, even after you have asked them not to.

One such recruitment consultant is Jonathan Howson at Evolution Recruitment. I have never spoken to Jonathan, nor have I had any dealings with Evolution Recruitment, yet, for some reason, I cannot stop this man from trying to contact me offering me various jobs around the country.

I have been bombarded by emails, as is normal, from Jonathan Howson and have deleted each one without giving a second thought. However, he hasn’t stopped there; Jonathan is also bombarding me with text messages about random jobs, even though I have replied and asked him to stop.

I have also tweeted at Jonathan and Evolution Recruitment asking them to stop, but still I keep getting these texts and emails. It is annoying, it is unsolicited and it has been requested that he stops… but still he continues. He’s like the Terminator in the sense that he cannot be reasoned with but, unlike the Terminator, he’s just trying to earn some commission for sending candidates to job interviews and, in my case, job interviews I’m really not interested in at all.

So, if either Jonathan Howson or Evolution Recruitment are reading this (as I’m sure you will be) please stop emailing and texting me. It’s seriously getting on my nerves… and getting on my nerves, while quite easy, isn’t a good idea.

If anyone is interested, the number used for these unsolicited spam texts is 07515 522 056 and the email is jonathan.howson@evolutionjobs.co.uk.