Licence Safe - dont touch them with a barge pole!

My driving licence needed renewing so I typed it into google and went on to what looked like the DVLA site. Entered my details and paid the £14 renewal. Easy. Except it wasn't DVLA. It was licence safe (a checking company), not illegal, but they charge you £93 for the privilege of "checking" your licence before it gets sent off. And the £93 is apparently for a years subscription. The only reason I realized was that I checked my bank balance straight after and realized I had made a mistake. Of course, there is no number to ring, only an email. I emailed them straight away and they replied saying my licence had already been checked and sent of and therefore I had received a service. I replied saying that I had made a mistake, accept that I had received a service but that this was a years subscription and I was not happy with the charge. I also asked about a cooling off period. Approximately 50 emails later, having been told many times that "the cooling off period doesn't apply in this case" and them firstly offering me £20, then £30, then £40, I threatened them with small claims court. I requested various pieces of information from them and threw every piece of legislation possible at them. They stuck to their guns a bit longer and I didn't back down. They finally offered me £60 which I accepted, purely because I was sick to death of contacting them. The moral of the story - make sure you are on DVLA when you renew your licence. This company is horrendous! And if you do get caught out, don't back down. Keep pushing for your refund. Its the first thing that comes up on google when you search for renewing your licence. 
Kathy
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  • flashg67
    flashg67 Posts: 3,980
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    I thought at one point that Google were supposed to be relegating these ads so they weren't the first results. I guess ad revenue makes them more money that actually pointing to the correct site like you might expect a search engine too.... 
  • zagfles
    zagfles Posts: 20,173
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    This was supposed to be sorted by those clever engineers at google!
    What search criteria did you use? I've just searched "driving licence renewal" and "uk driving licence renewal" on google and both come up with the genuine gov.uk site top, no ads.
    See this thread re passports and these type of sites losing in court when they try to sue their customers, so not surprising they gave you most of your money back

  • IvanOpinion
    IvanOpinion Posts: 22,131
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    I just ran a google search and there was one ad followed by the correct gov.uk site.  How many more times does the government have to tell us that if it doesn't say '.gov.uk' then it is not the official site.  Sadly you made a mistake and should count yourself very lucky that you managed to get most of your money back.
    Past caring about first world problems.
  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,503
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    edited 26 March 2021 at 4:41PM
    zagfles said:
    This was supposed to be sorted by those clever engineers at google!
    Certainly has been sorted by those clever people at UBlock Origin B)

  • forgotmyname
    forgotmyname Posts: 32,476
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    Google has adverts?   Cannot see any.
    A fan of Ublock Origin also,   switched from AdBlock+ and its a big improvement.

    I may have one of the cleanest Youtube pages available.  Although they spoilt it a little with their double line
    spacing of the subscriptions.   Previously all my subs fitted on a single page, now it only shows 7 and a
    "Show 28 more"  link.  

    That gets my OCD....  YouTube.. WHY!!!!!!!     :D


    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • Pollycat
    Pollycat Posts: 34,461
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    Google has adverts?   Cannot see any.
    A fan of Ublock Origin also,   switched from AdBlock+ and its a big improvement.

    I may have one of the cleanest Youtube pages available.  Although they spoilt it a little with their double line
    spacing of the subscriptions.   Previously all my subs fitted on a single page, now it only shows 7 and a
    "Show 28 more"  link.  

    That gets my OCD....  YouTube.. WHY!!!!!!!     :D


    The problem is - lots of people can see Ads.
    But don't always realise that they are Ads.
    And that's why these threads exist.

  • Tokmon
    Tokmon Posts: 628
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    My driving licence needed renewing so I typed it into google and went on to what looked like the DVLA site. Entered my details and paid the £14 renewal. Easy. Except it wasn't DVLA. It was licence safe (a checking company), not illegal, but they charge you £93 for the privilege of "checking" your licence before it gets sent off. And the £93 is apparently for a years subscription. The only reason I realized was that I checked my bank balance straight after and realized I had made a mistake. Of course, there is no number to ring, only an email. I emailed them straight away and they replied saying my licence had already been checked and sent of and therefore I had received a service. I replied saying that I had made a mistake, accept that I had received a service but that this was a years subscription and I was not happy with the charge. I also asked about a cooling off period. Approximately 50 emails later, having been told many times that "the cooling off period doesn't apply in this case" and them firstly offering me £20, then £30, then £40, I threatened them with small claims court. I requested various pieces of information from them and threw every piece of legislation possible at them. They stuck to their guns a bit longer and I didn't back down. They finally offered me £60 which I accepted, purely because I was sick to death of contacting them. The moral of the story - make sure you are on DVLA when you renew your licence. This company is horrendous! And if you do get caught out, don't back down. Keep pushing for your refund. Its the first thing that comes up on google when you search for renewing your licence. 
    Kathy

    Well if you think the license safe website looks like the DVLA website and didn't see all the information saying it was and missed the amount you were paying then is your eyesight/situational awareness good enough for you to be driving a car on the road?
  • deannagone
    deannagone Posts: 1,030
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    Thanks to this thread, just installed Ublock extension.  Thanks to this thread, when searching for a new energy supplier I don't get five ads in front of the energy suppliers website that I actually want.  Octopus Energy ads are particularly persistent and appeared even when I put in alternative search terms related to utilities.  I used to use Adblock, didn't work very well.
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