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Ifitness Scam

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2: Seeker

[Removed]

 

This is a scam and to keep telling people to be responsible for something outside their control is just plain stupid.

 

Get a grip - we know what is real, useful and worth paying for.

 

I am now typing STOP to you.

 

[MOD EDIT: This post has been edited to remove inappropriate content please see Community Guidelines]

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2: Seeker

Same here but 12.00 per month taken and I cannot even get on the internet and no i phone to use! Fed up with people who scam off others.  Vodafone tried to help but they cannot do anything about it we have to contact the ifitness or payplus first to sort it out and try and get refund. 

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2: Seeker

I was advised to phone payplus with the information, phone them and they cannot help get a refund and I do not have the contact details of ifitness so looks like I will lose 39.00 for 3 months charges now.  I contacted a phone number for i fitness I found on a community and it rings and cuts me off.  Great help from Vodafone as the facts were not correct as to where I go to get refunded. 

 

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2: Seeker

Thats exactly how I feel   Even feel I will never take a contact out again. I am now losing 39.00 as there is no way I can get any help.  Vodafone tried, but gatve me payplus number and as I do not know how to get hold of i fitness its useless as they just cut you off if havent done that first.  I found an ifitness contact and when I phone it just cuts the call so thanks Vodafone for leaving me out of pocket and with fear that this will continue. Only way will be to end the service with vodafone it seems.   See what happens on next bill but certainly moving as soon as contract ends as never had this with Tesco or EE. 

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2: Seeker

I spoke to the PS Authority who know about Ifitness.

 

They told me to email support at pmconnect and ask them how they got hold of my mobile number.

 

Tell them that they must provide this information in 3-5 working days.

 

I have then been told to get back in touch with the PD Authority on 0300 303 0020 and register a complaint.

 

I will be trying PM connect directly as some on this thread have had luck in getting at least £30 back. We will see.

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2: Seeker

Rang 03333217014 - you have to make sure you speak to someone. They will tell you how they got your number.

They got mine because I apparently interacted with one of their online adverts?

I supposedly got 24hrs free then a text saying I would be charged from now on.

The guy at PM Connect is going to send me a cheque for £30 - apparently this is some limit that ifitness have put on!!

I complained about this being a scam - the guy seemed unperturbed - so when I pushed him he also registered a complaint from me.

SHOCKING

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17: Community Champion

After you've taken into account speculative downloads of broadly legitimate apps, interaction with pop-ups and inadvertent sign-ups, there are a few cases of charges coming through for no clear reason.   Some of these would appear to be scams - charge points adding random numbers in much the same way that those PPI texts get sent out.   Others may be people signing others up maliciously, or simply mistyping their own number on a genuine sign-up.

Payment by premium rate SMS is, in theory, a good system, but it's massively abused and there's a definite question mark over whether it's really necessary now.   In the days before smartphones and good data connections, it was a reliable and convenient way of paying for things like parking.  It still is, of course, if you don't have a smartphone or only a very basic signal (2G won't hack it for most data work these days).

A responsible service will cancel on request and should also refund at least some charges.  Scams, of course, won't, but can be closed down by the relevant authority.  They also rely on the fact that most people don't check their bills any more than they check their bank statements.   In some cases, the network may be able to block them on your phone.

Whatever the reason, it's important to understand that the network is only the middleman in this and is passing on a charge that's been raised on a legitimate system.   There are, however, bars you can put in place yourself and it's worth investigating them.

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2: Seeker

http://www.pmconnect.co.uk/contact-us.htm      Contact these and you can check if your number is registered and cancel it

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3: Seeker

How very strange.

When i first found out about this scam i contacted the Vodaphone team and got fobbed off by a very anti advisor who told me it was not Vodaphones problem and they could do nothing about blocking the payments and i needed to contact the PhonePayPlus people to report this problem. The advisor was very aggresive in his tone and i did ask him if i was phoning him at work or down the pub after a few pints.

Anyway long story short, i tried to sort this on line  and was faced by non existant pages etc etc.

So decided to phone Vodaphone back.

Got a much nicer advisor who said he would sort the problem straight away and could i hold the line while he spoke to the customer team........he came back telling me the payment had now been stopped and he was putting me through to the customer team to sort this out.........Imagine my suprise when the next person i spoke to was the Ifitness customer team, explaining how this payment had been set up. I explained i had received no messages or emails and no meal plans and fitness plans as the £3 weekly payment i supposed to provide.

How can one Vodaphone rep say its nothing to do with them, yet the next ones got a hot line directly to Ifitness.

It seems that Vodaphone know more than they are admitting to. My subscription is now stopped apparently and i have got a 28 day wait for a £30 refund (the maximum amount.....how they set this 10 week cut off i dont know, maybe it takes customers an average of 10 weeks to discover the scam)

I want a reply from a Vodaphone team member to this post and want my recorded conversations to be investigated and the first Customer advisor taken to task. I will also be seeking the rest of my payments refunded from Vodaphone as clearly they know about this scam.

Lets see if i get a responce folks.

 

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Administrator

@CLYDE68 As we'll need to access your account to investigate into this further, please contact us using the link in private message I've sent. 

A member of the team will then be in touch. 

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3: Seeker

Done

 

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3: Seeker

As expected ive recived nothing from Vodaphone as a responce to my complaint

 

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2: Seeker

So, here is my version of this experience.

After several years on pay-as-you-go, Vodafone enticed me to move to them on a pay-monthly plan in July.

A couple of weeks later I receive the text in the screenshot below.

I never clicked on any adds, or entered a competition, or had any interaction with this company whatsoever (as I have been accused of), so I reported it to Vodafone instantly.

Vodafone said in their response that they would "look into it" for me, and "thanks for helping us combat spam"...

No more texts received from ifitness, so I assumed Vodafone looked into it and dealt with it.

 

So when I queried my bill, I was quite annoyed to learn that these scammers had been allowed to raid my bank account via Vodafone to the tune of £3/week.

The support personnel at Vodafone refused to do help, saying it was my fault, and there was nothing they could do about it. Curiously they had the company behind ifitness on speed dial for me, where no one answered. And, after faffing through the layers of my account myself,  worked out that it is possible to block these clowns from charging me.

 

So Vodafone, I signed a Direct Debit form entrusting you with access to my bank account, and not 2 weeks in your version of 'Security' allowed scammers to gain access to my money as well.  Your a leading technology company, so please stop with the 'There is nothing we can do' apologies, and put an end to this for all of us. 

And whilst you are at it, and in light of the text conversation below, can you own up to the negligence afforded to me and refund everything that was fraudulently charged to my account, as the only contract I have signed is between me and you.

Screenshot_20171212-095952.png

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17: Community Champion

The problem is the method of paying for services by incoming premium text.   It's a generic thing and not limited to any particular network.   When it was set up, it was a good idea - you can (say) pay for parking by texting your location and reg no and receive a reply which pays for the stay.   It was quickly expanded to horoscopes, weather, ringtoes etc and then the scammers took over.   Initially, it was difficult to cncel things you'd signed up to, or not apparent that some things weren't one-off purchases but an ongoing subscription.   There is also some anecdotal evidence that there's a degree of slamming going on - numbers being added to a charging system without any action by the owner of the number.   There may also be malicious/prank sign-ups.

In the early days, before widespread mobile data, SMS payment made a lot of sense.  Even now, in areas of poor data coverage, it has a place, but, a bit like internet banking, security hasn't kept up.

Vodafone does have a well-granulated system of bars that you can put on your account, accessible via My Vodafone either on the web or the app and it's worth having a look at them.   Setting the appropriate one for you may hamper charitable donations or paying for parking but, if you don't do that (and parking is increasingly handled by app anyway), it's worthwhile.

As far as the network is concerned, a chargeable text  is a valid transaction which they are not in a position to police - that is, or should be, handled by the regulator.  iFitness does seem to be a reputable service - there's an app on the Play Store, though whether all charges are actually from it, I'm not sure.  It's very easy to spoof an incoming number (people have been caught out by apparently genuine texts from their bank that even appear on an existing thread).

It's an unfortunate fact of life that there are always people trying to get their hands on your money and vigilance is essential.

The Vodafone text replies you've received look as though they've come from an automated system and there may have been no human intervention or investigation.  I'd suggest contacting Customer Services to see whether they can refund at least some of the charges.

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Moderator

@CLYDE68 I've checked the email address registered to your Community account and we haven't received an email.
If you used an alternative email address, please let us know the reference number you've received (it will look something like this: [#12345678]).
If you still haven't received an automated response, please resubmit the form sent to your private message inbox by @Alex.

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2: Seeker

hrym wrote:

In the early days, before widespread mobile data, SMS payment made a lot of sense.  Even now, in areas of poor data coverage, it has a place, but, a bit like internet banking, security hasn't kept up.

 

Oh, but my internet banking has kept up, in fact it's light years ahead, and more importantly: they take responsibility for it.  The last time they detected fraudulent activity on my account, they blocked it, called me up straight away, sent me a new card, and my money was reinstated.

 


hrym wrote:

 

Vodafone does have a well-granulated system of bars that you can put on your account, accessible via My Vodafone either on the web or the app and it's worth having a look at them.   Setting the appropriate one for you may hamper charitable donations or paying for parking but, if you don't do that (and parking is increasingly handled by app anyway), it's worthwhile.

 


And I have already stated that I worked this out, after Vodafone told me there was nothing they could do to stop them. I'm pretty confident if Vodafone can stop all, then they can stop some. I'm sure I'm not the only one getting tired of the 'charity and parking' argument, as there is a big difference between pay-to-send and pay-to-receive (or not receive in my case).

 


hrym wrote:

iFitness does seem to be a reputable service - there's an app on the Play Store, though whether all charges are actually from it, I'm not sure. 


Sorry, but that is not even close to true. Just google them and start reading. There are threads and articles everywhere, this thread has 19k in views atm. And if we are expected to think having an app on the play store is proof of legitimacy, then we've swallowed the bait.

 


hrym wrote:

 

It's an unfortunate fact of life that there are always people trying to get their hands on your money and vigilance is essential.


Sure, blame the victim. As if this kind of problem isn't bad enough, we also have to get moralized because we didn't make a conscious decision about something we couldn't have been conscious about. No-one is pretending the world is flowers and rainbows, but an unfortunate fact of business is that when customers are paying you good money for a high tech product, they should be able to expect to be shielded from low tech scammers.

 


hrym wrote:

 

The Vodafone text replies you've received look as though they've come from an automated system and there may have been no human intervention or investigation.


To be fair, I just contacted Vodafone with the information, via the method in which they provided. Maybe it's a monitored service, or maybe it's digital black hole they provide to make customers feel engaged with. Either way, it's not my problem that they post or preemptively chose to ignore it. If the official Vodafone want to shed light on the details, that would be interesting.

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17: Community Champion

Enter a wrong digit in a transfer and pay someone else, then watch your bank deny all responsibility.   There's no system of double checking, just as there isn't for SMS subscriptions.  This is a serious weakness in both cases.

I think you have the some/all equation the wrong way round.   If it was possible to block some, then it would be possible to block all, but the other way round doesn't necessarly apply.   However, selective blocking isn't possible as there are legitimate services which some people want and others don't.   There are also scams and it looks as though some of these may masquerade as legitimate services.   The whole thing is out of date and needs an overhaul, but a single network can't do this.

Yes, iFitness does have a Play Store app (several in fact).   What they do and how quickly they start charging you if you install them, I don't know, but they are there.   There may also, as I said, be a scam that imitates them.

The simple fact is that you do need to be careful at all times.  In this case, it's not a question of blaming the victim - I merely pointed out that there are steps you can take to protect yourself in future.   It you're the victim of a drive-by (a charge being set up without any interaction from you), all you can do it take action after the event.  But do look at the account bars as they can stop things before they happen.

I don't know the method you've used, but it does sound like a means of reporting scams.   If that's the case, I don't think it's appropriate in this case as you want someone to look at your account and maybe get a refund.   I have seen this happen in the past, but I don't know what the options and mechanisms are.

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Moderator

@swaginon As we'll need to access your account to look into this, I've sent you a private message with details on how to get in touch with us. 

 

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1: Seeker

This link is not workng

I have the same problem

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Moderator

@aelgawad We'll be happy to help and take a look into your account.

So we can do this, I've sent a private message to you with details on how to contact our team.

Once we've received your details, we'll then be in touch.

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