MSE News: Paid-for EHIC site users could get refund

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  • My son got caught with I-Visa as well. He rang them up and they said they only give refunds on receipt of an email. He sent an email, but they kept insisting that it hadn't been received. He sent several emails and strangely none of them were received and they kept putting the phone down on him. Contacted his bank who initially refunded the £23.99, but today received a letter from them stating that I-Visa had acted legitimately and they debited the £23.99.

    The company is not registered as trading, but the bank doesn't care.
  • I have also been caught out and paid for the renewal of my EHIC card. Unaware that it is free I googled for an updated card and was directed to what seemed to be a legit website. The money has left my account as 'I VISA COMPANY'. I cant find the website I bought it from to be able to find an email to contact for a refund. Where do I go from here to claim a refund?

    Thanks
  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,487
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    I have also been caught out and paid for the renewal of my EHIC card. Unaware that it is free I googled for an updated card and was directed to what seemed to be a legit website. The money has left my account as 'I VISA COMPANY'. I cant find the website I bought it from to be able to find an email to contact for a refund. Where do I go from here to claim a refund?

    Thanks

    If you don't know which website you used, I doubt there is anywhere you can go from here.
    I assume Google hasn't helped?

    You would need to go to the website and contact them - usually to a specific email address - with the information they ask for.

    As you've probably read from the post above yours, getting a refund isn't always that easy - even if you know which company you used.
  • Hello all!

    Watch out for this place: EHICDIRECT.ORG.UK

    They were going to charge my wife £24.50 for action taken by them on 21/8/15.

    I noticed this on our credit card statement on 27/8/15 and sent them this email:

    "Dear Sirs

    My wife recently applied for and PAID for an EHIC card application.

    I've read your T&Cs and we shall challenge them through all appropriate channels. My former career as a qualified solicitor will prove very helpful in that case! We note that EHIC is a protected term by the NHS and MUST NOT be used in URL and advertising by companies which are not the NHS.

    WE REQUEST AN IMMEDIATE, FULL REFUND. We again note your T&Cs claiming that you will retain a £10 admin fee. This is not acceptable either, when in a morally repugnant and illegal business activity. You advise that you will start work immediately. All we have received is ONE email. My wife is pregnant and has serious health issues and was not in her right mind when reading your website details. I normally do these things and thought she was going to use NHS site. Your website is misleading and morally repugnant at best, at worst - completely illegal.

    Failing that, we have started a DISPUTE with our credit card company, which will commence as soon as payment is taken from our Credit Card.

    My wife applied with her email address which is in the CC section of this email.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon. We have completed a company search and have details for all your company directors, in the event legal action is required."

    WE HAD THIS REPLY THE DAY AFTER:

    "Thank you for your email.

    We are sorry to hear that you are unhappy with the service that we have provided to you. We must however make it abundantly clear that the service we supply is most certainly not a illegal in any way, and strongly refute the accusation you have made.

    You have made reference to your wife in your email, and according to your explanation, it was your wife who completed the application. Unfortunately we have no control over who wishes to use our website and service, despite any form of health condition, and would advise anyone who wishes to purchase a product or service online, to read the information provided on the website itself, before completing any form of transaction.

    We would like to briefly explain about the service we provide and the fee that is charged for said service. The fee that we charge is not for the delivery or the actual card but for the services that we offer and provide. EHIC Direct offer a manual check and send service. We also include in our package, a 5 year renewal reminder service, meaning that we will be in contact with you near to the time your card is due to expire, to prompt you to get the card renewed before it expires. This is a service the NHS do not provide. We also have the option for our customers to download an app for the Smartphone, to ensure that you will never travel without your EHIC details, as they can be stored on the app. This also provides you with a hospital locator for any emergency treatment that may be required whilst travelling in all EU countries. For this entire service we do charge a fee, as we are an independent company.

    We also clearly state on our website that a similar service can be obtained for free from the NHS without the added benefit of the additional services we provide. We also have a link which will take you directly to the Official NHS website if you wish to apply that way. We clearly state that we are a third party processing agent with no affiliation to the NHS or any other government body.

    After careful consideration, EHIC Direct will be happy to refund you in full, as you are clearly unhappy with the service we have provided to you.


    Kind regards,

    EHIC Direct
    Customer Services

    0844 559 1069"

    To date we have not yet received the refund, but we have this in writing for the purposes of stopping the payment from the credit card, should that be required.

    I ALSO FILED A FULL COMPLAINT WITH TRADING STANDARDS, which can be done @ THE CAB CONSUMER SERVICE SITE... CAN'T POST LINK - WON'T ALLOW ME TO AS NEW USER...

    Dear Sirs

    Below is a copy of a letter I have sent today to EHIC Direct (a trading name of Smith & Lawson Ltd), Equity House, 128-136 High Street, Edgware, Middlesex, HA8 7TT. The Directors|colon| Brett Adams, Paul MacAtonia & Steven Moore. The Company No.: 07955272.

    My wife paid to use the service which she accessed via her mobile phone, I believe, after having been asked by me to renew her EHIC card. I thought she'd use the NHS / Gov website for free, but she used this instead, by mistake. Having found she'd been charged for this service today, I've lodged the email below with them as a formal complaint. Having done some reading about such EHIC services, I've found the NHS has advised that the URL "EHIC" is protected and, as such, the OFT took action against former similar sites. PLEASE HELP! Thanks


    Dear Sirs

    My wife recently applied for and PAID for an EHIC card application.

    I've read your T&Cs and we shall challenge them through all appropriate channels. My former career as a qualified solicitor will prove very helpful in that case! We note that EHIC is a protected term by the NHS and MUST NOT be used in URL and advertising by companies which are not the NHS.

    WE REQUEST AN IMMEDIATE, FULL REFUND. We again note your T&Cs claiming that you will retain a £10 admin fee. This is not acceptable either, when in a morally repugnant and illegal business activity. You advise that you will start work immediately. All we have received is ONE email. My wife is pregnant and has serious health issues and was not in her right mind when reading your website details. I normally do these things and thought she was going to use NHS site. Your website is misleading and morally repugnant at best, at worst |minus| completely illegal.

    Failing that, we have started a DISPUTE with our credit card company, which will commence as soon as payment is taken from our Credit Card.

    My wife applied with her email address which is in the CC section of this email.

    We look forward to hearing from you soon. We have completed a company search and have details for all your company directors, in the event legal action is required.

    Many thanks
    With kind regards
    Mark & Yasmin Hannington

    NO response as yet. Judging from their Terms & Conditions, they seem to think they're entitled to circumvent the Distance Selling Regulations. As such they make a big thing about the fact that they start work on the form online with the NHS straight away. They also make out that they do more than you would do if you put the application in yourselves, which is nonsense. The URL is protected and, as such, even though they have blurb on their actual website which advises you can do it for free, as most people access these things via mobile devices more and more, and more and more people are lax and lazy around reading T&Cs in detail, these "get-out" / small print disclaimers FALL FOUL of UCTA 1977, amongst other key areas of law."
  • Surely as a former solicitor you should have gone to the official Gov.Uk website.


    If you couldn't manage to work out you get an EHIC free no wonder you are no longer a solicitor.
    If you go down to the woods today you better not go alone.
  • Yes I have been caught recently (£40) for an EHIC card...

    Is there anything I can do to get a refund these days ?? Or have some people in my situation being successful recently?

    Please contact me on [email protected]
  • ludemon
    ludemon Posts: 19 Forumite
    mhannington - Did you get anywhere with your action against EHIC Direct?
  • In a rush as all family cards expired end of last month and going away this month, unwittingly internet searched in the rush and this site was second to the top ... Smith and Lawson Limited trading as .... ehicdirect.org.uk


    Towards the end of the process they asked if you'd like Cloud service to 'save' cards to Cloud in case of loss or missing whilst abroad, for a fee of £5 so I expected credit card details to be taken.

    As soon as I'd finished the whole process realised my mistake, so annoying but I was rushing. Emails came through and called the company (first attempt the number said the office wasn't open) but someone did answer and they confirmed full refund of £34.50... though saw no breakdown of what the other £29.50 was for... there must have been 4pt font size on the page!
  • Bogalot
    Bogalot Posts: 1,102 Forumite
    SugarSnap wrote: »
    In a rush as all family cards expired end of last month and going away this month, unwittingly internet searched in the rush and this site was second to the top ... Smith and Lawson Limited trading as .... ehicdirect.org.uk


    Towards the end of the process they asked if you'd like Cloud service to 'save' cards to Cloud in case of loss or missing whilst abroad, for a fee of £5 so I expected credit card details to be taken.

    As soon as I'd finished the whole process realised my mistake, so annoying but I was rushing. Emails came through and called the company (first attempt the number said the office wasn't open) but someone did answer and they confirmed full refund of £34.50... though saw no breakdown of what the other £29.50 was for... there must have been 4pt font size on the page!

    The cost is detailed on the first page, in the same size font as the rest of the information. It also explains that you can apply directly at no cost.

    More haste and less speed in future.
  • I should have known better, and thought before I processed my application, but I have been scammed. The website came up first when I searched to renew my EHIC card and it had URL of Ehic direct with a government address so therefore I assumed it was legitimate. I was wrong and paid over £34.00. I immediately phoned my credit card company and they indicated that I had to phone credit card disputes at 8am the following morning. In the morning they could not help as the website stipulated it reviewed the application. What an idiot I am. Hopefully this post will stop others being caught out. I should have used the money saving expert site first.
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