Forum Home» Phones & TV» Broadband & Internet Access

Misleading Plusnet ad, CSR tries to redefine 'cash'

New Post Advanced Search

Misleading Plusnet ad, CSR tries to redefine 'cash'

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Broadband & Internet Access
15 replies 1.7K views
charleskicharleski Forumite
7 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Broadband & Internet Access
I moved away from EE a month ago to avoid the price rise, and Plusnet seemed to have the most compelling deal based on the provision of a £50 signing incentive. I double-checked the offer and it clearly talked about a 'cashback cheque' three times, and 'cashback' on the front page. I kept screenshots of this, but unfortunately the forum doesn't allow me to post links to them.

I duly activated my reward when instructed, only to receive an email this morning offering me a prepaid debit card instead. As anyone who's been sent these in the past knows, these are a pain in the rear. You're not allowed to withdraw the credited amount in cash and can only use them to purchase goods (no doubt so that someone down the line makes money back on transaction fees). You're inevitably left with a small amount on the card which will be difficult to recover. (It is possible to use this to top up your gift card balance at Amazon, but this can take a few tries and several months of waiting, as Amazon typically applies a £1 pre-authorisation to purchases on a new card, and you then have to wait up to a month for that to be refunded.) Basically, I wanted what I'd been offered, and that was clearly cash.

So I got onto the Plusnet support chatline and ended up speaking to someone called 'Mustafa'. He acknowledged that the card could not be converted to cash, but according to him, a cashback cheque 'does not mean a cheque' it 'means simply credit given to you'. I.e., according to 'Mustafa' cash does not mean cash. I was tempted to ask him if black meant white or up meant down but just told him to escalate the issue (several times).

I'm still waiting to see if the manager tries similar verbal trickery (I suspect he will), but this has severely diminished my opinion of PlusNet, and certainly means I'm a lot more likely to look around for a better deal once my contract is over.
«1

Replies

  • edited 28 June 2019 at 11:20AM
    iniltousiniltous Forumite
    2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    edited 28 June 2019 at 11:20AM
    Seems a bit of a first world problem, what’s wrong with using it in part payment for something more that £50 that you were going to buy anyway ?, perhaps the T&C’s show that the ‘reward’ comes as a pre-loaded debit card
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User]
    0 posts
    MoneySaving Newbie
    charleski wrote: »
    I moved away from EE a month ago to avoid the price rise, and Plusnet seemed to have the most compelling deal based on the provision of a £50 signing incentive. I double-checked the offer and it clearly talked about a 'cashback cheque' three times, and 'cashback' on the front page. I kept screenshots of this, but unfortunately the forum doesn't allow me to post links to them.

    I duly activated my reward when instructed, only to receive an email this morning offering me a prepaid debit card instead. As anyone who's been sent these in the past knows, these are a pain in the rear. You're not allowed to withdraw the credited amount in cash and can only use them to purchase goods (no doubt so that someone down the line makes money back on transaction fees). You're inevitably left with a small amount on the card which will be difficult to recover. (It is possible to use this to top up your gift card balance at Amazon, but this can take a few tries and several months of waiting, as Amazon typically applies a £1 pre-authorisation to purchases on a new card, and you then have to wait up to a month for that to be refunded.) Basically, I wanted what I'd been offered, and that was clearly cash.

    So I got onto the Plusnet support chatline and ended up speaking to someone called 'Mustafa'. He acknowledged that the card could not be converted to cash, but according to him, a cashback cheque 'does not mean a cheque' it 'means simply credit given to you'. I.e., according to 'Mustafa' cash does not mean cash. I was tempted to ask him if black meant white or up meant down but just told him to escalate the issue (several times).

    I'm still waiting to see if the manager tries similar verbal trickery (I suspect he will), but this has severely diminished my opinion of PlusNet, and certainly means I'm a lot more likely to look around for a better deal once my contract is over.

    can't say I've ever seen an advert for cashback or cashback cheque. Just post the link without the www. or https:// bit.
  • Posting an update here since this matter has now been sorted out. After over a month of bouncing around Plusnet finally agreed to give me a £10 credit on my bill. Since this will cover any lost residual balance on the card I accepted their offer.

    I also submitted a complaint to the ASA (Ref: A19-1026084), and they stated "we consider that Plusnet’s cashback offer was likely to be misleading". They've contacted Plusnet and as a result "Plusnet have given their assurance that they will ensure that cheques are sent, rather than prepaid cards from now on."

    It would be interesting to know the economics of these card schemes, as someone is clearly making money off them. The issuing card company will obviously make some money from purchase transaction fees, but I suspect there's a lot of small balances of a few pounds that are simply being abandoned, and that may end up to a sizeable sum for the card company.

    Luckily I kept screenshots showing the language they used in their advert, and if there's any message here it's always take screenshots, because they didn't furnish any other text of the agreement. Unfortunately the forum still won't allow me to post links, so I can't embed it here.
    And yeah, this is a first-world problem alright, just like 99% of the rest of the stuff here.
  • StompaStompa Forumite
    8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    charleski wrote: »
    ...but I suspect there's a lot of small balances of a few pounds that are simply being abandoned, and that may end up to a sizeable sum for the card company.
    Well if somebody chooses to abandon a few pounds surely that's their problem? There's nothing to stop them spending it. The last one of these I had ended up with a residual balance of 4p.
    Stompa
  • littleboolittleboo Forumite
    774 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    I would have thought that these days most people would prefer the convenience of a card over a cheque.
  • moleratmolerat Forumite
    23K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Conversely the offer I had was for a card and got a cheque.


    And I have never had a problem squeezing the last penny out of prepaid cards, the problem is that many retailers do not know how to put a split tender through the till.
  • Stompa wrote: »
    Well if somebody chooses to abandon a few pounds surely that's their problem? There's nothing to stop them spending it. The last one of these I had ended up with a residual balance of 4p.

    Well good luck to you then ... Of course no-one's forcing people to abandon the balance, that's how these companies are getting away with it. I've had several of these cards in the past and ended up with balances of £2-3. With a lot of patience I was able to extract that as a top-up for my Amazon gift-card balance, but hunting around the shops for something that cost almost exactly the amount I had left on it would have been even more hassle.
    littleboo wrote: »
    I would have thought that these days most people would prefer the convenience of a card over a cheque.

    How is depositing the money into your bank account, where you can spend it through your debit card or use it for other purposes, less convenient than having to carry around yet another card, remember its PIN and remember how much is left on the balance? This makes no sense at all. :huh:
  • molerat wrote: »
    Conversely the offer I had was for a card and got a cheque.


    And I have never had a problem squeezing the last penny out of prepaid cards, the problem is that many retailers do not know how to put a split tender through the till.

    Some payment gateways have implemented split-tender, but these tend to be the ones focused on innovation, like Square (which only implemented it a year or so ago). Some still balk at this practice, principally because it can be used to evade credit authorisation limits.
  • littleboolittleboo Forumite
    774 posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    charleski wrote: »
    How is depositing the money into your bank account, where you can spend it through your debit card or use it for other purposes, less convenient than having to carry around yet another card, remember its PIN and remember how much is left on the balance? This makes no sense at all. :huh:

    Depositing cheques is inconvenient, most people will more than one card anyway and seem to manage it without too much difficulty, its really not difficult. The funds are instantly available without having to pay the cheque in and wait for it to clear.
  • onomatopoeia99onomatopoeia99 Forumite
    6.4K posts
    Sixth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    [QUOTE=charleski;76173411The_issuing_card_company_will_obviously_make_some_money_from_purchase_transaction_fees[/QUOTE]
    If my workplace accepted £50 as a credit card payment we would have to pay our merchant services provider 95 pence in fees.

    I know people 20 years younger than me that have never had a chequebook and would be seriously annoyed to receive a cheque in the post due to the inconvenience of paying it in.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek. Home is where my books are.

    5.2kWp system, SE facing, >1% shading, installed March 2019.
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support