MSE News: Campaigners call for investigation into Bounts fitness app following...

edited 10 November 2016 at 3:33PM in Sports and Fitness MoneySaving
3 replies 1.7K views
Former_MSE_LucindaFormer_MSE_Lucinda Former MSE
46 Posts
edited 10 November 2016 at 3:33PM in Sports and Fitness MoneySaving
A campaign has been launched calling for an investigation into fitness app Bounts...
Read the full story:
'Campaigners call for investigation into Bounts fitness app following membership changes'
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  • LavendyrLavendyr Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Well I'm not surprised and have been horrified by the way Bounts has behaved. Blocking people from Facebook is one thing, but blocking people from their own support system after telling people to contact them directly is quite another. I have several screenshots of the angry responses from customers (I was a monthly Premium + member until recently, but frankly I have nothing more to say to Mr John Stuart, founder of Bounts - I cancelled my membership on the basis of his behaviour to customers) which mention that people have been blocked and many more upset that they haven't been informed of the changes and have not been offered refunds.

    Bounts are hanging this all on their terms of use, but I can't see how their terms are fair. Reading the campaign, this is the position taken on unfair terms by the OFT:

    "A right for one party to alter the terms of the contract after it has been agreed, regardless of the consent of the other party, is under strong suspicion of unfairness. A contract can be considered balanced only if both parties are bound by their obligations as agreed."

    "A reasonableness requirement is most likely to be acceptable where fairminded persons in the position of the consumer and supplier would be likely to share a common view as to what would be 'reasonable'– for example, where a 'reasonable charge' clearly means a charge sufficient to meet specific open-market costs."

    "A clause which allows the supplier to vary what is supplied is most likely to be considered fair if it is clearly restricted to minor technical adjustments which can be of no real significance to the consumer, or changes required by law.

    If the intention is to permit changes that are more significant, but still only limited in scope, another approach is possible. This is to ensure that the consumer fully understands and agrees to the change in advance. The contract will need to set out clearly what variation might be made, and in what circumstances, and define how far it can go, for example if the consumer orders goods of a certain colour but agrees to accept one of a range of others if that is not available."

    Bounts hardly seems to have abided by fair terms and in the news article it seems clear they have ducked the question.
  • edited 11 November 2016 at 11:56PM
    Louise_ScottLouise_Scott Forumite
    1 Post
    edited 11 November 2016 at 11:56PM
    I paid for membership in March. Complaints started in summer regarding lack of vouchers, little or no support and an unpleasant tone to the messages from support. Complaints escalated and a refund offer made to members. It soon became clear this offer was disingenuous. Complaints on social media snowballed and these were met by Bounts calling members trolls, greedy, whiners etc. Many of us were blocked on social media and then we discovered our accounts were suspended without our knowledge. Despite repeatedly asking why Bounts continued to suspend customers. They denied this was the case until proof was posted on social media. Support messages were deleted also. Bounts then withdrew paid membership but refused to refund those members who had paid for it. They also completely changed the concept of the app. Bounts then disappeared off social media. After pressure from MSE, refunds were once agsin offered. The refund process is still unclear and eligibility impossible to ascertain. Bounts appear to be picking and choosing who to refund. Most are still waiting for this refund, some as long as two months. Some councils now appear to be getting in to bed with this unethical outfit. They should be accountable for this appalling behaviour not given tax payers money.
  • edited 12 November 2016 at 12:00AM
    BARBS_2BARBS_2 Forumite
    1 Post
    edited 12 November 2016 at 12:00AM
    Had Bounts treated people with respect, not called them greedy, trolls, implied they were liars and whiners, refused refunds, blocked accounts.... need I go on? Had they behaved with even a degree of honesty, people, including myself, would have been very supportive, because we had bought into a brilliant concept. Many would not have demanded refunds and would even have swallowed the bitter pill of the changes. People feel cheated over refused refunds and now useless points which it took a great deal of effort for them to earn. It was very clear months ago that there were problems, there are many comments early on alluding to this, yet Bounts continued promising a good supply of vouchers and taking money for Premium memberships. In my case, I was reminded by Bounts to renew my annual Premium+ on 14 October 2016 and emailed for a refund of £14.99 on 28 October which was immediately refused. I went straight to Apple iTunes, expressed my dismay and disgust at Bounts' behaviour, and my full refund was confirmed in a few hours. Bounts accused me of lying when I wrote in a comment that they refused to grant my refund, but were forced to apologise when I uploaded a screenshot of their email to me. I still have 16000 now useless points which I worked very hard for through very serious illness. In my opinion, John Stuart, he alone, has set the tone throughout this whole debacle, people resented his almost palpable disdain, so they have rebelled. The lesson for today:

    Respect your customers and be honest with them, because you need them in order for your enterprise to prosper.

    Before he embarks on his new adventures with the NHS, Mr Stuart needs to realise that he has a truckload of unfinished business which isn't going anywhere. Too many people are upset, and rightly so.
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