Questions Of Cash: I ended up being charged for my 'free trial'
Saturday 24 March 2012
Q. In February I booked some tickets with Flybe. At the end of the transaction I was offered a cashback of £20 if I took out a free 30-day trial with Rewards First. I accepted this offer, but cancelled before the end of the trial, on 29 Feb 2012.
When I received my next credit card statement I found an unauthorised debit of £14.95 to Credit Rating Matters. I rang Rewards First and was told that it was the same company and they had sent an email warning me of this deduction. I received no such email and nothing on the emails from Rewards First mentioned this subscription. I did not authorise this subscription and had no knowledge of it. As far as I can see, this is identical to cases investigated by the Office of Fair Trading last year. MN, Hampshire
A. Rewards First, Credit Rating Matters, QuickCreditScore, HighCreditScore, CreditScoreMatters, High Street Max and Rewards Now are all trading names of Adaptive Affinity Ltd, which was the subject of an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading. This was completed in December last year. The OFT undertook the investigation because of concerns that some consumers had unwittingly signed up to online subscription schemes, which in some instances were costing them monthly fees of almost £60.
The OFT was concerned that some consumers wrongly believed that the credit score service was free; did not realise they had entered into a binding contract; thought they had supplied credit card details only for the purposes of identification, not for payment; and only realised that payments were being taken from their accounts when they received statements from their banks. Adaptive Affinity fully co-operated with the OFT investigation and provided what the OFT termed "comprehensive undertakings" that addressed the investigated concerns.
Adaptive Affinity provided us with a detailed statement regarding your complaint. A spokeswoman for the company said: "[The reader] did enrol to the Rewards First programme on 9 February 2012, cancelling her membership within the 30 days' free trial period on 29 February 2012. I believe that there are no questions surrounding the sign-up to this programme and that [the reader's] questions relate to the programme Credit Rating Matters." The company says that it is only after a person has signed up with Rewards First that they may be presented with an offer to join Credit Rating Matters on a free 10-day trial. It says that the terms for this are set out clearly in that offer. Adaptive Affinity insists that payment details are not obtained from a partner, such as Flybe.
The spokeswoman continues: "Like with the Rewards First programme, an email is sent to the member upon registration. Our records show that an email confirming registration was sent to [the reader's] email address. This was the same email address to which the Rewards First emails were sent. The emails in connection with both programmes were delivered successfully.
Adaptive has never knowingly misled consumers; everyone who signs up to its products have to provide the necessary details requested on the sign up page(s) and accept the terms and conditions of the relevant programme. Our practices include and have always included multiple disclosures about how and when a member will be charged and how they can cancel... Following our discussions with the OFT in 2011, Adaptive agreed to make a number of changes to its sign-up process. Adaptive fully complied and remains fully compliant with these changes and implemented all the changes requested in 2011."
The company adds that it despatched the promised £20 cashback to you within the agreed timeframe of four to six weeks and that this had been processed at the time we took up your complaint. In addition, the company is refunding your £14.95 payment to Credit Rating Matters "as a goodwill gesture".
Q. I read the letter from your reader SM of Dorset about her problems with Thomas Cook vouchers that she had given to her son, but which he was unable to use online (Questions of Cash, 10 March). I have had a similar problem with Jet2. I was very kindly given £150 worth of Jet2 gift vouchers for my birthday in January. I looked at the Jet2 website to see where we could go for either a weekend break or a week's holiday.
I read the terms and conditions, then called the number printed on the back of the voucher to reserve two return flights to Palma from Glasgow. When I eventually got through, I was able to confirm the dates and flight details, but these were not available at the same prices as displayed on the website. Instead, the flights were £15 more expensive on the way out and £20 more expensive on the way back.
In addition, because we were booking through the call centre, there was a fee of £25 extra per person per flight. This added a whopping £170 to the cost of exactly the same flights if we had booked them online! Why does Jet2 not have the facility available to pay by gift vouchers online? And why such a huge cost in extra charges? Is this fair and just? Consequently, we booked the flights online and have our gift vouchers lying in a drawer! CL, Glasgow
A. Jet2.com accepts the criticism and will amend its systems. A spokeswoman for the airline says: "We are currently reviewing the process for gift vouchers and will contact the customer in question once this new system is in place, so they can redeem their voucher." Questions of Cash is keen to hear from any other readers who have had problems in using gift vouchers online, or who have found that prices for products or services are higher when paying by vouchers than by other means.
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we'll do our best to help. Please email us at: email@example.com
Independent Partners: See how much you could save by switching credit cards. Compare now
elephant appealThe first 23 lots in our charity auction have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
From rainforests and reefs to beaches and boat trips
The Silicon Valley awards which treat scientists like rockstars
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
- 1 Italian court annuls prison sentence for elderly paedophile after 11-year-old victim tells investigators in Catanzaro that she loves him
- 2 Australia incest case: Deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 3 Woman who miscarried in private prison 'made to clean up after herself,' court told
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
- < Previous
- Next >
iJobs Money & Business
£800 - £875 per day: Harrington Starr: Programme Manager, (OTC Trading, CMMI, ...
£500 - £525 per day: Harrington Starr: Business Intelligence Consultant/Develo...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: A leading prov...
attractive: Citifocus: Leading Asset Management house, wish to identify a temp...
Day In a Page
A six-bedroom farm house with separate, detached cottages and 371 acres of land
A two-bedroom cottage with parquet floors, chunky beams and an open fireplace
A Grade II-listed home with six bedrooms, secluded landscaped gardens and views across Hadley Green
A Grade II-listed mansion with two apartments and a cottage, near Gretna Green
A three-bedroom Grade II-listed mews house with vaulted ceilings and roof garden
A spacious Grade II-listed family home with annexe and equestrian facilities among four acres of land in Itchingfield
A four-bedroom home with exposed brick walls and open fires in the picturesque village of Northill
A Grade II-listed property with five bedrooms and unique tower, overlooking Hastings Old Town
A charming five-bedroom detached family home, set within half an acre in Kew
A two-bedroom maisonette set on the top two floors of a period building, close to Kentish Town Tube.
Take advantage of the extra space provided by former stables and outbuildings at this five-bedroom farmhouse.
This three-bedroom Victorian terrace is near to Queen’s Road Peckham station, Nunhead station.
A five-bedroom modern house with terrace, swimming pool, Zen treehouse and large carp pond
An unexpected gem with four bedrooms, remarkable vaulted reception and a galleried study area
A five-bedroom house in one of Lymington's most sought after tree lined avenues, moments from the marinas and sailing clubs
A grand early 19th century B&B close to the historic harbour, with four en suite bedrooms
A four-bedroom, 17th century home with walled gardens, a landscaped terrace, cellar and open fires
A six-bedroom house with five bathrooms and four reception rooms spread over 4,000sq ft of luxury living space
A stunning three double-bedroom apartment with two decked terraces in the exclusive gated community, Bromyard House
A 10-bedroom period, family home amid beautiful surroundings in the centre of the Wentworth Estate in Longcross village
A stylish three-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms and private landscaped garden, moments from Fitzroy Square
A Grade II-listed Elizabethan barn with landscaped gardens, exposed elm beams and four bedrooms, all with lovely views
A six-bedroom family home, dating back to 1280 with four reception rooms, barn, swimming pool and tennis courts in Harwell
A spacious two-bedroom flat, refurbished to a very high standard with private landscaped garden, close to Kentish Town station
An exceptional two-bedroom apartment with balcony and underground parking in the centre of Richmond
A one-bedroom, luxury, duplex apartment in the grand landmark building, Imperial Hall
Run a fabulous boutique shop, live above it in a one-bedroom flat and let a second one-bedroom flat that comes part and parcel
A Grade-II listed, thatched cottage in Hundleby village, with five bedrooms, a coach house and three and a half acres
A spacious two-bedroom flat in the heart of Hoxton Square with wooden floors and roof terrace
A five-bedroom family home with stunning pool and gym complex set among two acres of land
A six-bedroom period house with heated swimming pool and a separate two-bedroom annexe cottage in Townlake, £795,000
A spacious and contemporary two-bedroom flat arranged over three floors, with garden patio close to St George Square, £600,000
A one-bedroom flat in a beautiful Regency building opposite the beach in Kemp Town, £190,000
A two-bedroom flat with London skyline views close to Surrey Quays. £395,000.
A seven-storey tower with three bedrooms and a stunning roof terrace. Guide price: £850,000.
A 16-bedroom country pile with nine reception rooms, four self-contained flats and a 13th century Peel Tower. £850,000.
A classic six-bedroom Victorian Manse house 10 miles from Edinburgh. £495,000.
John Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool to be sold at auction. Guide price: £150,000-£250,000.
A six-bedroom detached period property with secluded gardens, ample parking and a double garage in Rye, £675,000.
A large split-level property with three double-bedrooms and roof terrace, close to Crouch End Broadway, £625,000.