Barclays Bank PLC, London
Complaint 120995 Details

  • Date Occurred: 03/09/2014
  • Reported Damages: $59.99
  • !

The complaint is against an online dating profile

The complaint is a listing fraud posted on public forums or sites against an anonymous entity

The complaint is mobile text spam or smishing related against an anonymous entity

The company or person contact no longer exists

International boundaries

Letter of complaint to my credit company
Ziinga claims that:
(a) all of our users agreed to our terms and conditions when they signed up and created a user,
(b) the user actively agreed to our terms and conditions
(c) the user had been actively participating in our auctions.

The company asserts that I agreed to recurring charges. It now highlights that “you will receive seven day platinum membership for free, normal monthly charges of £59.99 will apply....”.

I dispute much of what is above.

I arrived at the site through a special offers site that offered a 'free week's' use of the auction site. I registered at that time to use the site with the 'free week'.

This was February 15th. As Ziinga's own printed records show (page 9 of 13) it was listed as 'Daily Free Bid' and eight credits. As their records show I used those bids.

A closer look will show that the first bid I made was on £100 (gift card – it was not listed as such). Miracle of miracles, I won the £100. For me to collect and have the £100 dispatched I had to fill out details and use my credit card to provide postage and packing.

I did not discover that (1) the £100 was not cash or a gift voucher to be used in retail outlets or anything else, it was a voucher that would give me £100 of free bids. (2) I also thought I was till in the seven days free offer of the service and membership was not part of the deal.

On payment of this fee, the company sent me an email saying “Please be informed that the 7 days free Platinum membership included with this offer gives you exclusive Bid-for-Free auctions, an additional 10% on all bid package purchases, FREE shipping on all products, 7 free bid added to your account daily and another 8 free bid on each calendar day you log on to Ziinga.com. The subscription cost is £ 59.99 per month. You can choose to cancel your subscription at any time by contacting our Customer Service by email at [email protected] Platinum membership is binding for the first 3 months.”

Please note this says that you can choose to cancel your subscription at any time. It does not say there will be a charge for cancellation. It also does not say that it will take £59.99 anyway. (it should also be noted that the site has other membership types should you visit directly from the web rather than a special offer promotion and these were not offered at all).

Please note further that I have the email records with dates and times that show all of this took place on February 15th. (These are included in the fax transmission: PAGE 5.)

Immediately on receipt of the terms and conditions by email from Ziinga I contacted the company again by email saying:

Dear customer service,
DETAILS: user name - gokane
Email: [email protected]

I took a free offer to register and bid on an item. Luckily I won and paid the 'postage' etc. The resultant email from you also informed me I had won a 7 day Platinum membership:
"Please be informed that the 7 days free Platinum membership included with this offer gives you exclusive Bid-for-Free auctions, an additional 10% on all bid package purchases, FREE shipping on all products, 7 free bid added to your account daily and another 8 free bid on each calendar day you log on to Ziinga.com. The subscription cost is £ 59.99 per month. You can choose to cancel your subscription at any time by contacting our Customer Service by email at [email protected] Platinum membership is binding for the first 3 months."
I want to take this opportunity to cancel the PLatinum Subscription immediately within the seven days of the free offer. I'm afraid I cannot afford the £59.99 of the possible following months and I'm concerned that by not cancelling now my credit card may be debited. I certainly don't want to authorise that.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Regards

This was sent on the same day, in fact within minutes, of the receipt of their terms and conditions.

The same email was sent again the same day as I got no reply from the company. There was no bounce-back, no communication of any kind.

I sent another email on February 23 again cancelling my membership (Fax Page 6). Ziinga did respond to my requests for cancellation until March 22nd. (Fax page 7 & 8)

The emails of February were within the UK legal 'cooling off' period. I only used the site again on the last day of my 'free seven day' membership plan – the 22nd.

While their records show that there was action on my account until March 28th, it should be noted that all activity was part of their automated system – Bid Agent and Daily Bid Agent. I had no idea this 'engine' was operating.

I have no idea why the Daily Bid agent was bidding from March 19th.

This became clear when during ongoing email correspondence, Ziinga's people wrote on March 28th saying:
Mark Anthony, Mar 28 06:09 (CEST):
Hi gokane,

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.
Please be informed that your purchased of 100 GBP worth of credits is in conjunction with the Platinum Membership. All the details about the membership, its benefits and charges, are shown on the Payment page and in your receipt. More information are included in the Terms & Conditions, FAQs and How To page.
A Refund Validation E-mail has been sent to your e-mail address [email protected] Once you have agreed to the conditions, please click the link provided. This will cancel your 3-month binding and you will not be charged further.
Please be advised to disable the Daily Bid Agent and don't use first the remaining bids in the account while we are processing for the refund. Please note that Daily Bid Agents are "on" by default once you sign up for a membership, unless you turn it off. Your Daily Bid Agent will start to use bids that you have not used within the last 30 days. You can turn off your Daily Bid Agent by logging into your account and clicking on My Bids. Click on My Daily Bid Agents. Then set the "Enable your Daily Bid Agent?" to "No".
Should you have further question, please don't hesitate to reply on this email. We are available 24/7.

Regards,
However the company is still demanding £59.99 and a cancellation fee of £28. This is a whopping £87.99 yet I have received no benefits of membership, either winning anything – the £100 was not a prize but a way to use the site more cheaply, yet I wasn't using the site.
I have to reiterate that I have had not benefits from this site and feel the charges are ridiculous and ignore my rights to cancel.
I should also like to draw your attention to page 5 of 13 in Ziinga's submissions. It alleges that I called the company's number, 1332451516 on March 22. I have no recollection of this and checking both the itemised bills of my mobile and landline, no calls were made to this number. Co-incidently I made no calls at all from either phone on that date.
It also indicates that it was only on March 28 that I contacted the company by email to cancel my subscription and ask for a refund. This is a blatant lie.

I still maintain that Ziinga's luring of me to the site with a free week's trial was unclear since apart from looking at the site, the free week offered nothing free.
In hindsight, I find it highly suspicious that I managed to win an auction on my first bid.

The £100 prize was nothing of the sort and only by searching the site does it become clear this a voucher to use the site.

I got no benefit of the £100 prize, yet paid for postage and packing. Why would I pay postage and packing for a non-tangible item?

-I got no benefit of any membership and found that there was NO element of 'free' in any part of the deal.
-It ignored my first three emails cancelling my membership and made no effort to help me until they felt they had a right to claim £59.99 from my credit card.
-I had no idea the site was generating bids after the seven days they said I had as a free membership (supported by its mail to me on March 28).
-There is quite a list of complaints against this company including the upholding of a complaint against the company by the ASA (http://asa.org.uk/ASA-action/Adjudications/2012/2/Flamingo-Intervest-Ltd/SHP_ADJ_175856.aspx) and and a potential class action suit against it in the US (http://www.scambook.com/search/reports?search=flamingo+intervest).
-Should the company have responded to my initial queries under UK consumer law of a cooling off period, this would have been stopped within 24 hours. I might have paid the £28 cancellation fee just to stop this whole scenario, but the £59.99 charge was only made after ignoring my right to a cooling off period.
-The company claims that I have not right to a cooling off period in a mail sent on May 26 “All users disclaims any right to a cooling-off period when signing up to the platinum membership.” This means UK law does not apply to this company?
-I was not ACTIVELY using the site - its own bid generating engine was using the site.
-When I tried to use the cancellation URL in mail sent to me it would not work.
-Subsequently the company has threatened me with legal action prior to any conclusion of your investigation. (See fax transmission page 9& 10)
-The only way to pay the cancellation fee is to resubmit my card details, yet I have no confidence they will only take the cancellation fee.
-I have asked for a postal address in the UK to send a cheque but this has been ignored.

Please look at its letter sent on May 11. It's calling me a fraudster and now expects payment of £179.97 or it will take action against me. It is ongoing

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Business Profile Summary

  • Barclays Bank PLC, London logo

Company Statistics

  • Complaint Against Barclays Bank PLC, London
  • Complaints Filed: 31
  • Reported Damages: $8,772,730.39
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SBID is a unique id code that identifies the user's computer and location. SBID is used to prevent fraudulent postings and help our community find users who create duplicate user accounts.