Fraudulently billed for Look4* services, looking for others

DavidJ

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Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
181
Fraudulently billed for Look4Me and Look4Help services, looking for others?

Hi, I was unknowingly automatically signed up last year by Vodacom for various 'Look4' subscription services after trialling what was advertised as a 'limited three-month trial', only realised it in January, and have been trying unsuccessfully so far to get a refund from Vodacom, even though they keep claiming they will refund me it's now two months and it's just not happening:

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=141457

I'm interested in finding out if they did the same to anyone else, if they did this to a lot of people, i.e. IF it is widespread (and not just an "honest mistake"), I'd like to try take it further and get legal advice on whether or not some kind of class action might be possible, similar in principle to the Wynsam Discovery case (http://www.wynsam.co.za/courtcase.htm) - I don't actually know if it's possible, but it might be worth finding out. So if they did this to anyone else here, please PM me.
 
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Gunny

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Jan 13, 2006
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It was activated on one of my contracts as a 3 month trail. I called after 2 months and cancelled.

The sales person at the place you took the contract out at is responsible and should have explained that if you do not cancel after 3 months you will be billed.
 

Omac

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Sep 7, 2006
Messages
1,384
Hi, I was unknowingly automatically signed up last year by Vodacom for various subscripting after trialling what was advertised as a 'limited three-month trial', only realised it in January, and have been trying unsuccessfully so far to get a refund from Vodacom, even though they keep claiming they will refund me it's now two months and it's just not happening:

http://www.hellopeter.com/my_comment.asp?recid=141457

I'm interested in finding out if they did the same to anyone else, if they did this to a lot of people, i.e. IF it is widespread (and not just an "honest mistake"), I'd like to try take it further and get legal advice on whether or not some kind of class action might be possible, similar in principle to the Wynsam Discovery case (http://www.wynsam.co.za/courtcase.htm) - I don't actually know if it's possible, but it might be worth finding out. So if they did this to anyone else here, please PM me.

It would seem that the same thing has happened to me! I just checked as far back as July last year to find that I have been fraudulently charged for this service. I know I didn't sign up for this BS!

Damn! More weeks of fighting!
 

DavidJ

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Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
181
Did a little more searching on hellopeter.com, seems this is common, looks like they have a nice scam going here, here are just a few:

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=78754
"VAS-Look4Help and Look4Me costs automatically added to my bill. Upon receiving my bill, I immediately phoned to enquire about these costs. It was made very clear 'up front' that NO reversal would be made but it would not be charged for on next months statement"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=77688
"When I got my phone , the lady ,say vodacom is giving my 3 months free service for the following services : Look4me and Look4Help . Yesterday i got my bill ,and they billed me for the service after 3 months"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=84381
"YOU SHOW ME WHERE I HAVE ASKED FOR VODACOM LOOK4ME & LOOK4HELP.I AM BEING CHARGED FOR SOMETHING I HAVE NEVER HAVED AND ALSO NOT WANT"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=82402
"I looked at my Vodacom tax invoice this month and noticed that Vodacom has subscribed me to VAS -Look4Me, which I HAVE NOT GIVEN CONSENT TO!!!!!!!!!!!!"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=82168
"Vodacom has added two services to my account without asking me - look4me and look4help"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=85712
"Vodacom has been charging me for Look4me service which I never subscribed to. I am battling to get my refund. I belive there are other customers who are also being charged for this service and they are not aware of it."

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=113303
"Vodacom phones me to offer me look4help and look4me. I declined both services and just saw now that contrary to my intructions they added these services without my permission"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=105444
"I have cancelled the look4me service over 3 times and it is still being debited from my account, I NEVER requested this service at all, everytime I call they promise me that is is cancelled, but it still isnt"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=107142
"'n Maand gelede het ek gesukkel met vodacom om my van die Look4Me diens af te haal. Ek het nooit vir die dens aansoek gedoen nie"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=115904
"In August 2007 I was offered Look4Me and Look4Help services which I specifically declined. Nevertheless these were loaded onto my account and I was charged for them for September. I immediately contactd Vodacom and advised them to cancel the services and refund the charges. The services were cancelled, but despite 2 follow up calls, my refund has not been forthcoming."

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=117447
"Earlier in the year I received a call from Vodacom asking if I was interested in a free trial for their Look4me service. I declined. I did not want to even try it out over the free period. However, for the last couple of months I have been charged for the service"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=141145
""This is now the third time I have requested that you cancel the "Look4help" and "Look4me" from my contract. I DO NOT WANT THESE SERVICES!!!!"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=131438
"I don't want look4me, I never asked for it - I told you so many times in the past, but you just ignore me. PLEASE take it off my phone account"

http://www.hellopeter.com/the_comment.asp?recid=125162
"A LADY FROM VODACOM PHONED WITH TWO SERVICES, LOOK4ME & LOOK4HELP. I TOLD HER I WAS NOT INTERESTED. ON CHECKING MY BILL I AM BEING CHARGED FOR ONE OF THESE SERVICES, LOOK4ME. THE LADY IN YOUR ACCOUNTS DEPARTMENT – GAIL - ASSURED ME THAT THESE CHARGES WOULD BE REVERSED. I WAS BILLED A PRO-RATA FOR THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER & A FULL AMOUNT ON THE SAME MONTH AS WELL AS BEING BILLED AGAIN IN DECEMBER!"

http://72.14.235.104/search?q=cache:bP6CHlBFexYJ:hellopeter.co.za/the_comment.asp?recid=59594+look4me+site:hellopeter.co.za&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=za&client=firefox-a

http://72.14.235.104/search?q=cache:WRz8rERrRUEJ:hellopeter.co.za/the_comment.asp?recid=107142+look4me+site:hellopeter.co.za&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=za&client=firefox-a

http://72.14.235.104/search?q=cache:If0F1f5e1l4J:www.hellopeter.co.za/the_comment.asp?recid=125162&comp=85+billed+for+look4me&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=19&gl=za&client=firefox-a

Wow! Not only is it clear they're signing people up 'en masse' without consent, there is also a clear pattern of (a) ignoring requests to be removed, as they did in my case, and (b) people struggling to get refunds, as in my case too.

Hmm ... it's also come up on this forum before, where others have had the same problem:

http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php?p=978609#post978609
http://mybroadband.co.za/vb/showthread.php?p=974181#post974181
"3 months is over and I check out my online April invoice and I see Look4Me and Look4Help still going strong, but without the discounts. Why would Vodacom expect me to want to pay for a service they forced onto me and from which I couldn't unsubcribe?"

Again this had been advertised as a "trial period". There is a huge difference between a "free trial period", and "a full-on billed subscription with the first three months free", it is obvious they have done this on purpose to deceive people, and it is clear they are aware that it is a problem. Vodacom, this is disgusting, I am ending my contract with you when it expires.
 
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Steinie

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Mar 30, 2006
Messages
568
At the end of my 3 month trial, I received a call from VC, asking me whether I wanted to carry on or cancel this service. I cancelled and have not been billed once.
 

Gothan

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Joined
Oct 31, 2005
Messages
4,714
Yip, I also struggled, I think one of the quotes from hellopeter you posted is mine.

Noticed it the first time somewhere in march last year, informed them about it, according to them they fixed it, then by the end of last year, it was back. Well posted on hellopeter, and they stopped it (or maybe I should go and check again), and they refunded me also
 

silwer123

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
3
Response

Hi there,

Please contact Cellfind's at 0860105774. They will be able to check for you what is going on with your subscription.

You will notice that one of two things appear on your bill: Either you are billed at R0 for the services or you are billed Rx and then also have a credit for the same amount. As such, you are not paying for the service and Cellfind can help you to unsubsribe. So, as far as being fraudulently billed at R0 and wanting a refund, I'm not sure you have a case.

As far as that you don't want to be subsribed to the 3 months free service, you definitely have a case and the guys at Cellfind will sort you out.

The services will be removed and will not become billable automatically after 3 months unless you have agreed to this via some other means.

Thanks,

Silwer
 

DavidJ

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Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
181
Hi Silwer,

I'm not sure what you're trying to say?

- I wouldn't be complaining if they hadn't billed me, I didn't count the first three months where I was re-credited. Why would I ask for a refund for R0? Or are you referring to some case of your own?

- Re: "check with you what is going on with your subscription". What do you mean 'check for me' - I know EXACTLY what is going on, I have been billed fraudulently for services I didn't subscribe to. There is nothing to "check" and I'm not "trying to find out what is going on".

- Re: "I'm not sure you have a case". I have a case. This isn't up for debate, and I wasn't asking if I had a case.

- Re: "The services will be removed and will not become billable automatically after 3 months unless you have agreed to this via some other means." That's FALSE, I did NOT agree in any way, and have most definitely been billed. And I've demonstrated amply that this is not an isolated incident or "mistake", this is happening to a lot of people.

Who are "cellfind"?

I'm not going to go phoning numbers now to "try find out what is going on", it is clear what is "going on", and the only thing left to be done is for me to get my refund, which I still do not have.
 
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silwer123

New Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Messages
3
Hi David,

I'm not even going to make the effort of answering you.

IF you are serious about resolving this, please e-mail me your Cell number to silwer123@yahoo.com and I'll see if I can get you the info you need and your refund for the services billed.

Silwer
 

Moederloos

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Joined
Aug 18, 2005
Messages
12,476
Hey! Just checked mine - same thing. Almost two years!

WTF?

Bad Bad me for never checking, I normally just toss the statement as I am on a TopUp so the bill is the same every month. Never realised VC had been stealing from me all this time.
 

DavidJ

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Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
181
I'm not even going to make the effort of answering you.

IF you are serious about resolving this
!! Gosh, well that about sums it up, doesn't it. Such arrogance. If I "wasn't serious", I wonder why I'd have been fighting with Vodacom for over two months now just to get my own money back. And then you unashamedly insult me and suggest that I'm the one in the wrong here and that I must grovel for assistance and go through processes just for the hope of 'maybe' being refunded. The mind boggles.

I only started posting to this forum AFTER struggling for over two months, so what are you insinuating anyway? I patiently worked cooperatively with Vodacom for months until it was obvious I was getting nowhere, now my hand has been forced. No, if you are serious about helping, then PM me.
 
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JBFRobisher

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Dec 12, 2005
Messages
1,393
Suddenly one month, sometime within the last 18 months, all 3 Family top-up contracts I pay for were hit with this Look4help and Look4me crap. No authority. No consent. Just illegal billing. I cancelled via sms. Two contracts got them cancelled, one kept being billed. Last month one contract got one of them back. I have called that 0860 number to cancel - we will see.

I am firmly of the view that this whole operation is running completely illegally, adding these crappy "services" to any valid number they can find. They must hope that, because the amounts are small, people will just let the billing ride. If I had the energy I would lay a complaint with Dept T&I for a harmful business practice. If the 0860 effort does not sort it out I will muster some energy.

Bastards!
:mad::mad:

Edit - Where is vodacom3g when you need him - what light could he shed on this?
 
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DavidJ

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Joined
Jan 21, 2006
Messages
181
Well, it's about three months and I still don't have my refund in spite of several promises now. Next invoice should arrive soon, then we'll see.
 

kayvee

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Jan 3, 2008
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One of the reasons I steer clear of 'em at all costs. They did the same for my missus, but I managed to cancel, just lost 2 months' worth. That will be the last time she is with Vodacom.
 

DavidJ

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Jan 21, 2006
Messages
181
Over three months now --- I finally got some money credited BUT it is only a partial refund, they have STILL kept some of my money :mad: ... so, I continue to struggle with them.
 
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lamis

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Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
3
Hi

I was billed even though i didn't want the crap. This guy was feeding me stuff about "you never know when something could happen to you and you may need help". I normally tell these people to get REAL jobs when they call. He asked if he could send me few sms's to give me more info on the service. And to ad insult to injury, they had billed me twice for two different services...bastards! I asked for a refund, she sent me a text to confirm that my request was being processed. But they've billed me again for that crap this month.
 

donn_edwards

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Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
174
You may be interested in my blog posting about these scumbags.

They obtained my wife's number from AutoPage, who have been told before that we do not with to receive marketing calls. I intend to prosecute these bastards in terms of the ECT Act. They avoid giving the ID number to their VAS Services partners, so their partners have no way of checking the numbers against the DMA's Do Not Call List, thereby exposing them to liability in terms of the ECT Act. The penalty for vilation is 1 year in jail, with no option of a fine.

So not only are we dealing with billing fraud and refund incompetence, we may have a case of violation of privacy on the marketing side.

Update: I actually got an apology from them, but not much else. Time will tell if the refund comes through or I get a copy of the voice recording. I'll post it on my blog.
 
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DavidJ

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Jan 21, 2006
Messages
181
Well it took four months, and yet more complaining, to finally get the remaining portion of my refund.
 

donn_edwards

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Aug 17, 2005
Messages
174
I complained to my service provider via HelloPeter.com, and I have my full refund. Autopage takes those complaints very seriously.

The MD of Cellfind.co.za was defensive and admitted nothing, other than to give me the name of the person running their call centre. They are good at ducking and diving and shifting blame.

Digicall, the call centre that made the call, sent me a case of red wine as an apology. I dropped my insistence on an apology ad in the Sunday Times after they fired Bullard, and the wine is very good.

It's amazing what a blog can do, not to mention forums like this.
 
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