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    • ForeverRenting
    • By ForeverRenting 25th Feb 16, 1:46 PM
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    Variety of Leisure Membership - Scam?
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 16, 1:46 PM
    0 WOW
    Variety of Leisure Membership - Scam? 25th Feb 16 at 1:46 PM

    I was offered a trail membership of the Variety of Leisure discount card after completing a telephone survey. My two week trail membership started on 25th January, however I noticed that the £72.88 annual fee was taken from my account of 5th February, which is 3 days before my two week trial was supposed to end.

    I called your customer service number and I spoke to a member of staff who said that he could see that the fee was taken from my account prematurely and he requested a refund. I called back later that day to confirm that I would like to cancel my membership and was told that they could see that the refund had been requested as a priority and the funds should be with me the week after and my membership had been cancelled.

    I called a week later because the funds still hadn’t reached my account, and i was told that they could see the refund on the screen and that the funds would be back in my account on February 24th.

    I called the Variety of Leisure customer services again today (25th February) and I was told that “the managers had decided not to issue” my refund. I asked to speak to a manager and was told that no one would speak to me as "managers are not client facing"

    I am very disappointed with the way I have been treated by Variety of Leisure, and of course I would like my money back, but more importantly I was hoping you Money Saving Expert guys can look into this company further, as I imagine a lot of people have been suckered into the same scam I have.

    Thanks in advance!
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    • Sammiipip
    • By Sammiipip 5th Jul 16, 1:33 AM
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    I had a call about 2 weeks ago just over. They were SAPPHIRE VIP SERVICES and they done the phone speech that id done survey etc. I did complete some surveys so assumed that they were legit. I got info including details to claim £20 off grocery shop. As a single mum that was what drew me in. 9 days into 14 day trial they debited £59 from my bank under name VIP SERVICESi emailed and called was advised by a lady that they couldnt see transaction on there system. I emailed them a secure attachment of that transaction to which i have heard nothing. I noticed 2 £1 debits on 30 June for PSL DINING AND LEISURE. I have now emailed again advising very clearling they have no permission and never did have to debit from my account or abuse the financial information they had and I have requested that they call or email within 24 hours of my email and credit full £61 within 10 working days. The email address i had was

    Fingers crossed ill keep you updated
    • Jake0307
    • By Jake0307 11th Jul 16, 9:29 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Phone your bank and claim the payment back. That's what I do.
    • kate_ingham
    • By kate_ingham 13th Jul 16, 2:28 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    I've had issues with this company twice now! My (rather long) story is below, but the nutshell version of it is - If you've given them your card details, call the bank, get your card cancelled and have a new one sent out - they'll only come back next year and take money under a different name!

    About this time last year, I had a call from them, calling themselves The PS Group. They did the same thing other people have mentioned - offered me a fuel voucher if I paid the postage, which being very naive, I agreed to and gave them my card details! The voucher never arrived but to be honest I'd forgotten all about it, until I saw they’d taken £78ish out of my account. I called them and they said I’d signed up for the free trial, but because it had been more than 14 days and I hadn’t contacted them to opt out, I had been charged the membership fee, and their company policy is “no refunds”. I told them the voucher had never arrived, nor had any membership information, and they said they’d arrange for more/replacements to be sent out (never arrived). I asked to speak to the manager, was told no, but they said if I sent a letter they would be in touch. I asked to hear the recording of the original phone conversation as I didn’t remember agreeing to the free trial, and was told no, due to data protection. Apparently to hear the recording of MY conversation I’d have to call the police!

    I phone my bank (Nationwide) and they blocked The PS Group from taking any more money out of my account. They recommended that I try to claim the money back directly from the company myself, but if I had no luck they could try on my behalf, as “goods and services not completed”, seeing as I never received the vouchers or membership. I wrote a letter to the manager but never received any response. In the end the whole thing stressed me out so much I didn’t get back in touch with my bank about it, so never got the money back. I regret it slightly but made my peace with it!

    This weekend just gone I checked my online banking, and a company called “PSL Variety of Leisure” had taken £78.22 out of my account at the end of June! I was straight on to Nationwide, and the lady I spoke to confirmed it was the same company, but had changed the name under which they took out the money. I explained the whole story to her and she said that although they can block this company, chances are it would just happen again next year under another name, as they still had my card details (which I had asked on the phone and in my letter to the manager to be removed from their system)! She wrote my card off as damaged and I’m due a new one in the post this week. She also flagged up my case to be investigated, and today the £78.22 landed back in to my account. She tried to submit a claim for last years money too which I really appreciated, but they only have 120 days to investigate a claim, which is fair enough, as I said, it was my decision not to follow it up.

    I wish I’d known last year that cancelling the card you paid with is the only way to permanently erase this company from your life. So I’d advise anyone who’s given them your details – please contact your bank, cancel your card and get a new one!

    Thanks for reading my slightly epic rant!
    • markjones83
    • By markjones83 20th Jul 16, 12:40 PM
    • 1 Posts
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    AS LTD CATERHAM is actually an Ann Summers online order. So you maybe wanna rethink about that one haha
    • a-real-fairy
    • By a-real-fairy 1st Aug 16, 3:41 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    PSL Dining and Leisure Victim
    Where do I start?
    Similarly to everyone else, I have fallen trap to this situation with PSL.

    They took the £78.22 from me just a few days after the trial period started on the 15th May. I contacted them on the 17th May, and a refund was arranged since they could see the payment had been taken without my authorisation and within my cooling off period.

    I will summarise the various things that have happened since then.
    1/06/2016, 29/06/2016 and 27/07/2016 1.00 debited from account
    despite changing my card and reporting the company to my bank (they are investigating).
    6th, 8th, 10th, 14th and 29th June AND 5th, 7th, 18th July and 1st august, calls accumalating to over £36 on my phone bill.

    phone calls to PSL: 1.5 hours
    Bank: 0.75 hours
    Administration to gather bank charges, call charges: 1 hour

    All in all this company has cost me £162. I have written letters of complaint, and also involved my bank. I'm not sure what more I can do, but this is a lot of money! Is anyone on here familiar with civil cases.. is it worth it if there is a group of us making a claim as I know individually it's not.

    Strength in numbers?!
    • Ladybug32
    • By Ladybug32 2nd Aug 16, 10:41 AM
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    Still no refund!
    I too am 'fighting' with the company to get my money back. Last year I got the phone call offering the free petrol voucher for just the cost of postage, and to be honest agreed just to get the guy off the phone (won't ever do that again!). He too assured me that no other money would come out of my account. I received the voucher pack and to be honest, did not read it very well, went away on holiday and when I got back the 14 day cool off period was over, and £78.22 (as The PS Group) had been taken out my account. When I rang them and explained I had been on holiday, they said that I could not cancel for the year or get a refund. As I hadn't read pack properly I accepted some responsibility but asked that they please ensure that the membership was cancelled so that no further money would come off, which they assured me they would do.
    Lo and behold on the 8th of July this year, £78.22 comes out of my account by PSL Variety of Leisure which turns out to be the same crowd. I rang them to ask why this money had been deducted as I had expressly asked that my membership be cancelled. The very nice gentleman I spoke to in Customer Services assured me that it did show that my membership was cancelled on the system and apologised profusely for the error and said he would arrange an urgent refund. A week later I rang again as still no money only to speak to an incredibly rude woman who told me it was a standard 14 working day refund policy to refund money to a bank card. So again I waited, still no refund. I called again last week, spoke to a helpful lady who said she would arrange for the refund to be done by BACS. This was on Wednesday, should take no longer than 72 hours, still no refund today. Rang them again today, got to speak to the gentleman I spoke to the first time. He has assured me he will get onto the accounts department, but I have told him I will be taking this to Trading Standards as in my eyes, taking money out of someone's bank account without permission is theft!

    So fed up with this lot and all the money I have spent of phone calls, but will not be backing down!!!!
    • RudolphHucker
    • By RudolphHucker 10th Aug 16, 2:17 PM
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    Exactly the same problem for me. Signed up & received card January 25 2016. I rang and cancelled immediately, but £78.22 taken out on 10 Feb (after 14 day cooling off period).

    Rang numerous times:- Cancellation Acknolwledged....Refund on it's way...Managers don't take phone calls...Need the card back (why, it was never activated)...Card received but damaged (I cut it in two)...etc

    Still no refund, so I have contacted Trading Standards

    Does anyone have a standard rate phone number for this company? Only number listed on their website and paperwork is 0 (+44) 844 567 9395 Customer Services....(Contrary to Consumer Contracts Regulations)

    Excessive call charges

    The Consumer Contracts Regulations also prohibits helpline phone charges in excess of the basic rate for calls by existing customers to the retailer or trader about products purchased.
    For example, if you are ringing to make a complaint, enquire about your order, or to cancel your order, retailers can't use premium rate numbers. They must provide a basic rate number for you to call.
    • CHiggy
    • By CHiggy 10th Aug 16, 10:22 PM
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    • 1 Thanks
    Very similar issues. I only received my card after the 14 day cooling off period. Phoned them straight away but the money had been taken. The first assistant I spoke to said it wasn't a problem and would issue a refund. Three calls later and they were insistent that a refund was being processed, then about a month and a half later they told me I wasn't getting a refund! No managers available to talk to, and the staff I've spoken too have been exceptionally rude. In the end we decided to just keep the card and get our money's worth out of it if we could.

    A few months later and two separate £1 deductions came from our account closely followed by another £78! When I phoned them they just said they didn't know why and I'd get a refund. A few days later no refund so it was off to the bank who thankfully credited the money and instigated an investigation. However they did warn that if the payment had been made 'legally' they would take the money back. They also said the £1 deductions were to check if the account was still active so they could bill for the bigger amount. As others have said, the only thing to do at that point is cancel your card. Thankfully Nationwide were really helpful about the whole thing.

    CAB didn't seem to think there was much recourse other than going through the small claims court, but if anyone is going to try Trading Standards I wish you the best of luck!

    Oh, yeah and my card is only valid till the end of Nov even though it was Mid January when I got it!
    • Ladybug32
    • By Ladybug32 15th Aug 16, 9:47 AM
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    Following on from my earlier post, I have still not received my refund and am waiting for a phone call from their accounts department (not confident that will happen!). I have however contacted Rip Off Britain about this and hopefully they will decide to look into it.

    Think the only way of gettin my money back is to go through my bank, but I really don't want to see this company getting away with what they are doing!!!
    • SarahE21
    • By SarahE21 13th Sep 16, 4:57 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Upay information
    Hi there,

    I'm sorry to hear that you have had problems with Variety of Leisure membership. I cannot help with that I am afraid, but I do know who Upay are. Upay process some payments for Roadchef service stations/ shops across the UK. This is what the ROADC stands for.

    I hope this helps you. You can find their contact details online under the company Uniware Systems as this is the managing company (if you need them to look in to the transaction history for you).

    Hey everyone.
    Update to my previous post.
    I have contacted variety of leisure twice to request a refund. Initially they said they would refund me and three weeks later still no sign of a refund. I rang again and they said it should have been processed but for some reason it wasn't so put it in as a priority. Again no sign of the money.
    I checked my bank statement today and 3 other payments have been taken from my bank from different companies, none of which I signed up for:
    AS LTD Caterham £23.75
    Upay Ltd ROADC £10.61
    MSFX Cardiff £160.68
    And the original fee for variety of leisure for £78.22
    I can only assume vol have given my card details to other companies or they are part of the same thing. In total they have taken almost £300 from me.
    I would advise you check your banks to see if any of the same payments have come out.
    Today I rang my bank HSBC. They have cancelled my card and are issuing a new one and the lady I spoke to seemed to be confident I would get the money back this week. They are also investigating the matter with the companies.
    Please check your bank statements and change your card details so these thieves cannot steal anything else.
    Hope people manage to get their money back.
    Originally posted by chikeree
    • mumzilla47
    • By mumzilla47 10th Oct 16, 10:28 PM
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    Hi to all the others whose ranks I have joined.

    My personal foolishness, meant I was taken in by a promise of a free petrol offer, and the chance to receive offers and special prices for goods & services Dec'15. It sounds depressingly familiar - as with other 'customers' the 78.22 was taken immediately, and then £1 debits soon peppered my account. I have managed to stop most of them, but then in July a second debit of £78.22 was taken, and despite regular calls to the company and promises from them, all in the same vein as mentioned by others, they have not refunded the amount.
    Action taken: contacted CAB, trading standards, my bank, and companies house.
    Advised to write (send by recorded delivery), stating they are in breach of contract. Bank is unable to refund the July 78.22. checked companies house on the company behind VL. 'Precision Affinity Specialists Ltd'. a FREE check of the basic directors details and limited previous filed returns which includes changes of Company Name.< remember this its important. I have the name of the company director and further sleuthing, obtained a private address (two in fact) from company name changes, and associated companies, - 9 of them in fact.
    Did look at the possibility of issuing a winding up order/petition but there is a minimum level debt figure of £750, so presume it would take a group of us.
    Proposed : send the recorded letter to company complaints dept and the Co Director home addresses.
    Then wait.
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