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MSE guide discussion - shyster sites

edited 11 March 2014 at 5:58PM in Campaigns Corner
56 replies 64.4K views
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  • edited 13 March 2014 at 7:01PM
    ChrissykChrissyk Forumite
    4 posts
    edited 13 March 2014 at 7:01PM
    I was charged an extra £30 by bookingsdirect.org.uk when my son booked his driving test. I realised I'd been overcharged when I read about these sites in one of Martin's emails a week later. bookingsdirect.org.uk ignored all my emails and there was no contact number. I had booked through Paypal but they were useless. I wrote to my credit card with Nationwide and they gave me a full refund of the £30 'admin charge'.
    I also wrote to my local MP who was very sympathetic but could not do much apart from complain to the DVLA on my behalf, which I had already done. The site looked just like an official site and was first in the list of sites after a Google search for driving test bookings. After I had made this fuss, things have improved: the DVLA is now clearly the first option available and there are no ads popping up above them . I hope this helps others get refunds - don't give up!
  • My son got caught out by one of these shyster firms when he went to book his driving theory test. He tried emailing the company a couple of times to find out what they were doing about the booking and then to try and get his money back. After no response we rang citizens advice who were really helpful and put us on to action fraud to get a crime number. The bank refunded his money. So in the end no financial loss, simply frustration, disappointment and anger and lots of wasted time . He knows now what to look out for - excessive fees, premium phone numbers etc. a lesson learnt.
  • flopal70flopal70 Forumite
    1 posts
    Sixth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    MoneySaving Newbie
    My son was recently scammed by a site when getting his provisional driving license which has cost me £90 instead of £50....
    How can I access your template letter as I do not seem to be getting anywhere with them?
  • edited 16 March 2014 at 4:13PM
    raymie37raymie37 Forumite
    1 posts
    edited 16 March 2014 at 4:13PM
    Passport.co.uk looks alright but like an idiot when I used it and paid I think £69. I got back a passport form which the Post Office will give you for free. This firm had filled in my details but I still had to pay for the passport from the Passport Office. Tried to get my money back but got a curt email saying that they only advised had fulfilled their brief and that was that. The bank said as I had paid via a visa debit card they wouldn't refund my money.
    I checked these people out on Google and the Daily Mirror did an article back in 2013 on these scams. A long list of people who had been scammed followed, some really sad, young families paying out a fortune to these scammers with money they could ill afford to lose. I contacted Google about this firm and also Trading Standards but neither have shown much interest. Google need more pressure from us to regulate these sites. After all they would ban obvious illegal sites so why not these, which, in spite of their claims to be advisory, are crooked taking money for very little return
  • edited 17 March 2014 at 10:45AM
    AnnejpayneAnnejpayne Forumite
    1 posts
    edited 17 March 2014 at 10:45AM
    My partner got caught out by googling a passport renewal site. He paid £72.50 to this site and got just a passport form with all my details on it, which I the had to sign and send to the passport office myself. It was only when the passport office sent the application back asking for payment, that I checked the site he had used, and it said on the first page...we are not affiliated to the passport office....this meant that I could not get our money back, as it was not deemed illegal. It was the first website that came up on Google, when you search for passport renewal. Please beware.
    The website was uk-passport.net
  • I did this last week. As i am going to Belgium on Friday i checked that both my passport and EHIC card where in date. So i went onto google and searched for E111 and clicked on a link that seemed legit and is very close to the proper one. Paid my £9.95 as i wanted it fast tracked and received it in the post. Thought nothing more of it, only because Martin was on the telly this morning and my wife saw it and rang me do i know that it is one of these sites. A quick google of their Limited Company name IMAP (UK) Ltd on the PayPal receipt (why i didn't twig with them having PayPal as an option i don't know) i found a page on the OFT website saying that they were under investigation with a load of other sites.

    I'm now going to raise a dispute with PayPal and see if i can get my money back, i doubt it but it will hopefully put their PayPal account under investigation.
  • Actually it seems i have been done twice ! once when i initially got my card in 2009 by IMAP and now by E111ORGUK (how it appears on my statement) ! Both where £9.95
  • I've just been caught out by UK Passport Renewal - it's the first entry to pop up on Google. I must admit it looks the part and as I knew a renewal was around the £70.00 mark I went for it (x 2 as I did the same for my husband) I am not usually that gullible but I never considered that a Government body would allow something like this to operate. It didn't become apparent that all was not as it seemed until the printed forms arrived and I realised I still had a passport fee to pay. I've just found out I might be able to make a claim so I've adapted the template letter on this site and emailed it off. I am not holding out much hope but I'll post if I am successful.
    Feeling like an IDIOT
    Bitofflash
  • ncl698ncl698 Forumite
    1 posts
    Beware there are Land Registry copycat sites too.......just paid £20 for a search that should have cost £3 !!
  • Land_RegistryLand_Registry Organisation Representatives - Private Messages may not be monitored
    3.8K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    ncl698 wrote: »
    Beware there are Land Registry copycat sites too.......just paid £20 for a search that should have cost £3 !!

    We posted a Blog article not so long ago re such sites

    Appreciate that this is too late in your case ncl698 but may be of interest to others
    Official Company Representative
    I am the official company representative of Land Registry. MSE has given permission for me to post in response to queries about the company, so that I can help solve issues. You can see my name on the companies with permission to post list. I am not allowed to tout for business at all. If you believe I am please report it to [email protected] This does NOT imply any form of approval of my company or its products by MSE"
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