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Not sure if this is the best place to ask the question. It's kind of related to finances.

I somehow got tangled into a scam (in my opinion) called completesavings.co.uk

I found out that somehow 3 years back according to their records I accepted an offer while buying National Express tickets to participate in their programme. It is some kind of cash back programme I never willingly and knowingly agreed on.

They have been charging my card £15 every month for the last 3 years. Totalling £540.

If not the email in my spam folder, I would have never found out I am a member of it.

Is there any legal way to get that money back?

I have bought National Express tickets many times, and somehow this company Complete Savings got hold on to my personal details and my card details via the National Express website I assume. At least this is what they are telling me. Not sure if this is true or is it just their trick.

If anyone had a similar issue I'd be grateful to hear how to deal with it.

If this is not the best place to ask the question, is there a place on StackExchange I can post it on?

Many thanks!

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    "They have been charging my card £15 every month" How does one not notice this for 3 years? You really need to pay more attention to your bank statements. – Philipp Aug 17 '18 at 8:23
  • @Philipp while completely true, most people (including me until about five years ago, and I'm staring down retirement!) just Don't Want To. They've got other things to do, and thinking about money is... stressful. – RonJohn Aug 17 '18 at 14:45
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    It's not stressful for me, I save about half of my income, and I have a tight budget which I follow every week. I just transfer a tiny portion of my company's money to my personal account every week and I live off of that. Because I am able to save quite a significant portion of my income I was never bothered to look at my personal account statements. – matewilk Aug 17 '18 at 14:50
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Answering my own question in case someone got hooked up in this thing.

After contacting the customer support, via the phone, hearing American accent every time I called (just an observation), I managed to get the 3 months refund straight away after the first call.

They promised me to send a refund form within 24h. It didn't happen so I had to make a second call and this time they sent me the form straight away. The form looks like this:

enter image description here

Fortunately for me, I never used any of the rewards, bonuses nor cashback, so this was sufficient to get the FULL REFUND BACK

The whole process took maybe around a week or so to get all the money from all the years back to my bank account. 35 * £15 = £525 (not £540 as I stated in the question)

Can I still call it a scam?

I leave this one to answer yourself.

9

Not sure if this is true or is it just their trick.

There are online sites that do ambush marketing. Try and sign-up customers without them knowing about it. This may not be outright scam; but more like unknowingly subscribing to a service.

The article on which suggests that sign in for complete savings is not just simple accidental click; but involves filling up an elaborate form with details of credit card. Since this was quite sometime back; it is possible that you may have signed up for it without being fully aware.

Mirror reports a similar situation where a lady got full refund after she established that she was not aware of the scheme and has not used it.

5

Your first step should be to contact the company, if possible, and ask for them to refund the money. There's a small chance they will comply, but the main reason is that credit card networks generally require you to give the merchant a chance to resolve the issue directly. If they refuse, then you can file a chargeback. However, you only have 60 days since receiving the bill to dispute the charge, so only the last three months are eligible for chargeback (the charge from three months ago would have appeared on your bill two months ago). For the rest, the credit card company isn't obligated to refund the money, but you might as well ask. If they refuse, then getting the other £495 back is going to be difficult. You can file a police report, file a lawsuit, etc., but it's likely going to cost more to pursue it than you'll recover.

  • Yes, I've been in contact with them for the last two days and just a few moments before I posted the question they replied they were charging me £15 each month for the last 3 years. I searched the internet and apparently, I am not the only victim of it. I never agreed to the service. Also, for some very fishy reasons, they got my newest card details, even though 3 years ago I had a completely different card! I really don't know how this works and how they got hold on to my data! – matewilk Aug 16 '18 at 21:46
  • @matewilk Is this a credit card or debit card? If credit card, are they charging the card directly or could it be indirect via something like PayPal? If debit card, are they charging the card itself, or perhaps taking a direct debit? – TripeHound Aug 17 '18 at 6:55
  • @TripeHound It is a debit card and I have no direct debit with an amount of £15, does it make any difference? – matewilk Aug 17 '18 at 13:20
  • @matewilk I was just exploring the "completely different card" aspect. If it had been a direct debit, then – because DDs are tied to an account/sort-code – getting a new debit card wouldn't stop them being able to take the money. – TripeHound Aug 17 '18 at 13:26
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    Dave Ramsey tells of a concept that he calls "Stupid Tax". This is shorthand for, "I did something stupid, and now I'm paying the price, but I will learn my lesson." In this case, the mistake you made was not reviewing your statements at least every month. The price is however much you are not able to recover. And the lesson is to review your finances. My recommendation is to use budgeting software and take it a whole step further. As you review, categorize your spending, look for areas where you're spending more than you realized. This can make the experience the opposite of stressful. – Xalorous Aug 21 '18 at 13:49

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