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  • FIRST POST
    1connect
    WARNING! Online bidding rip off at BCA British Car Auctions
    • #1
    • 17th May 11, 8:18 AM
    WARNING! Online bidding rip off at BCA British Car Auctions 17th May 11 at 8:18 AM
    ????? are they really ripping us off ?????

    I was at BCA yesterday, and I was SHOCKED and OUTRAGED at what I believe was happening...

    Firstly some background about traditional FAKE bidding, some unscrupulous auction houses and auctioneers will take a real bid from punter A at the front of the room and to artificially inflate the price they will then "pretend" to take a FAKE bid from punter B who doesn't exist to then force another bid from punter A, the problem with this is that then, if the auctioneer reads the body language wrong and goes too far of punter A he can be left on the higher bod which id fake, they then frequently come back to punter A and say "I can take 50 if it helps" (half the bid increment) to reset the end bid back on the real punter. effectiveley this is fraud.

    OK so now you understand this scam, what believe I saw at BCA Castle Bromwich in May 2011 was FAR WORSE!
    The auctioneer was taking bids from the Hall and the Net except this is what I saw happen, the hall bids finished, he then carried on rattling off fake bids against the internet bidder forcing up the price by some £800 or so, and when the web bidders bids where exhausted he was left with a fake hall bid, I then saw the bid click BACK to the WEB BIDDER , yes they clicked the software to get the max bid to re focus on the REAL bidder ... UNBELIEVABLE !!!!!!

    I should say I have been around cars and auctions all my life, with a family owned garage for half a century.

    This guy was not even looking up between fake bids he was BLATANTLY playing the guy on the web and backing it up with FALSE verbal web commentary, as if there was a REAL BIDDER IN THE HALL.

    I have to say I was disgusted.

    SO for this reason I would advise ANYBODY considering buying a car FROM AUCTION on the web NOT TO BOTHER , instead go to the auction hall and watch the auctioneers eyes and follow then to the person in the hall looking for REAL signs of a REAL BIDDER.

    Make this obvious top the auctioneer by tracking the bids and signals he is following, he might NOT bid you against a FAKE "fresh air" buyer.

    YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED - FROM SOMEONE WITH INSIDE EXPERT TRADE KNOWLEDGE - DONT DO IT ONLINE - GO TO THE AUCTION - FOLLOW THE BID SIGNALS - NEVER ACCEPT A FINAL BID IF IT HAS BEEN HALVED - DO NOT SHOW ANY BODY LANGUAGE THAT YOU ARE DITHERING ABOUT A MAX BID (USE YOUR POKER FACE) - SET A PRICE AND STICK TO IT

    RIP OFF BRITAIN STRIKES AGAIN :- I HOPE ANY AUCTION HOUSE DOING THIS IS INVESTIGATED FOR FRAUD
    Last edited by 1connect; 18-05-2011 at 8:29 AM.
Page 2
    • QuackQuackOops
    • By QuackQuackOops 2nd Jan 12, 1:06 PM
    • 1,692 Posts
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    QuackQuackOops
    Oh...and it isnt shill bidding thats wrong with Britain. That culprit is Greed.
    • RFW
    • By RFW 2nd Jan 12, 1:21 PM
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    RFW
    OP, The practice is called Shill Bidding and is illegal.
    Originally posted by QuackQuackOops
    I'm not sure if I'm allowed to express an opinion on this thread again, but I will anyway

    I don't know of any auction house that has ever been convicted of this, there were some cases over collusion of prices, that was in the US and involved one company 'grassing' on another.

    I'd have thought it was pretty difficult to bring a conviction. As an auctioneer customers often leave bids on slips of paper (I've done so as a buyer and as an auctioneer). The only time it becomes a problem is if someone buys something at an artificially inflated price, for shill bidding when something doesn't sell there isn't a victim and customers will act by not going back to that auction.

    I remember one saleroom where every customer knew the auctioneer was shill bidding and accepted it, I know I've bought in sales where the auctioneer has been the only other bidder, no auctioneer has ever yet been able to make me pay more than I want to for something.

    I'm sorry if that doesn't fit with the OP's world view.
    .
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 2nd Jan 12, 1:46 PM
    • 8,422 Posts
    • 6,196 Thanks
    esuhl
    A couple of months ago I was off sick and happened to watch one of those daytime jumble-sale-rummage-then-go-to-auction type TV programmes. The auction was held in a respectable auction house and as one of the contestant's items was being auctioned the dealer/presenter commented that the auctioneer was using this technique to inflate the price. Unfortunately for the contestant the "wall" outbid the real bidder and I think the auction house returned the item to the seller (and possibly even charged them for putting the item in auction).

    It certainly sounds like fraud - I can't imagine what special parts of the law are in play here. But from what I saw and heard, it's perfectly legal.
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 2nd Jan 12, 1:59 PM
    • 8,422 Posts
    • 6,196 Thanks
    esuhl
    Without anything to back this up this is slander at best and all out libel is a possibility. This poster obvious likes to be sued, BCA are a huge company, I hope for his sake they don't see this!
    Originally posted by Edvard
    This cannot be slander as the post was written. And it's only libellous if untrue.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 2nd Jan 12, 2:26 PM
    • 61,071 Posts
    • 43,632 Thanks
    soolin
    A couple of months ago I was off sick and happened to watch one of those daytime jumble-sale-rummage-then-go-to-auction type TV programmes. The auction was held in a respectable auction house and as one of the contestant's items was being auctioned the dealer/presenter commented that the auctioneer was using this technique to inflate the price. Unfortunately for the contestant the "wall" outbid the real bidder and I think the auction house returned the item to the seller (and possibly even charged them for putting the item in auction).

    It certainly sounds like fraud - I can't imagine what special parts of the law are in play here. But from what I saw and heard, it's perfectly legal.
    Originally posted by esuhl
    They are allowed to bid against a book or reserve price- I have not seen any TV programme where they take false bids.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 2nd Jan 12, 2:57 PM
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    esuhl
    They are allowed to bid against a book or reserve price- I have not seen any TV programme where they take false bids.
    Originally posted by soolin
    That's okay -- I wasn't suggesting that this technique was used so often that you would have seen it on TV yourself (unless you've watched every one, of course!).

    The presenter said this technique was legal and at the discretion of the auctioneer, but clearly quite embarrassing if the imaginary bidder wins! If I remember rightly the auctioneer looking a bit flustered and mumbling something about the "wall" winning the bid so the item was unsold. He kept his eyes down and rapidly moved on to the next lot. The real bidder was at the front, and the auctioneer was pretending to take a bid from the back corner of the room.

    Looking at the presenters, I think it was on Flog It (might be wrong - it's the only other one I can think of other than Bargain Hunt). I tried to find a clip of that auction online but I can't find one...
    • soolin
    • By soolin 2nd Jan 12, 3:11 PM
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    soolin
    That's okay -- I wasn't suggesting that this technique was used so often that you would have seen it on TV yourself (unless you've watched every one, of course!).

    The presenter said this technique was legal and at the discretion of the auctioneer, but clearly quite embarrassing if the imaginary bidder wins! If I remember rightly the auctioneer looking a bit flustered and mumbling something about the "wall" winning the bid so the item was unsold. He kept his eyes down and rapidly moved on to the next lot. The real bidder was at the front, and the auctioneer was pretending to take a bid from the back corner of the room.

    Looking at the presenters, I think it was on Flog It (might be wrong - it's the only other one I can think of other than Bargain Hunt). I tried to find a clip of that auction online but I can't find one...
    Originally posted by esuhl

    I suspect 'the book' won it rather than the wall- an entirely different matter and one which is common in all the auction houses I attend. Rather than start at the reserve they start lower and bid against the room. If the reserve is not met by a bid in the room then the book wins.

    I am aware though of one auction house that has been caught taking bids from a made up bidder. However, the dealers in the room called them on it and asked the auctioneer to identify the bidder they were taking bids from and he blustered and said that he may have been mistaken. They have been caught again more recently and when I go to that house now it is not unusual for people to watch exactly where the auctineer is taking his bids.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • esuhl
    • By esuhl 2nd Jan 12, 3:19 PM
    • 8,422 Posts
    • 6,196 Thanks
    esuhl
    I suspect 'the book' won it rather than the wall- an entirely different matter and one which is common in all the auction houses I attend. Rather than start at the reserve they start lower and bid against the room. If the reserve is not met by a bid in the room then the book wins.
    Originally posted by soolin
    If that was the case, surely the auctioneer wouldn't have returned the item as unsold, then? And presumably the explanation by the presenter wouldn't have been needed to explain it.

    I am aware though of one auction house that has been caught taking bids from a made up bidder. However, the dealers in the room called them on it and asked the auctioneer to identify the bidder they were taking bids from and he blustered and said that he may have been mistaken. They have been caught again more recently and when I go to that house now it is not unusual for people to watch exactly where the auctineer is taking his bids.
    Originally posted by soolin
    So is it actually illegal/forbidden? It must've been quite embarrassing for the auction house to have been "caught out" live on TV. As I said, the presenter said it was legal and down to the discretion of the auctioneer.
    • soolin
    • By soolin 2nd Jan 12, 3:30 PM
    • 61,071 Posts
    • 43,632 Thanks
    soolin
    If that was the case, surely the auctioneer wouldn't have returned the item as unsold, then? And presumably the explanation by the presenter wouldn't have been needed to explain it..
    Originally posted by esuhl
    About half of the houses I go to tell you in advance they will be making 'book' bids, but about half don't. So they will take bids and then if reserve isn't met just rstate the item is 'unsold'.



    So is it actually illegal/forbidden? It must've been quite embarrassing for the auction house to have been "caught out" live on TV. As I said, the presenter said it was legal and down to the discretion of the auctioneer.
    Originally posted by esuhl
    I always assumed making up false bids is illegal- but I have no idea what law or such like it falls foul of. The one house I know that has been caught out is not well thought of among dealers and they tend to be viewed as generally a little bit 'dodgy' and it is the only time I've seen fights almost break out between the auctioneer/staff and audience.

    I've had trouble with them as well, took a bid from me that I hadn't made and were quite abusive to me when I refused to give them my paddle number as they said I had bid, when I had not.
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
    • RFW
    • By RFW 2nd Jan 12, 5:22 PM
    • 8,780 Posts
    • 5,100 Thanks
    RFW
    I always assumed making up false bids is illegal- but I have no idea what law or such like it falls foul of. The one house I know that has been caught out is not well thought of among dealers and they tend to be viewed as generally a little bit 'dodgy' and it is the only time I've seen fights almost break out between the auctioneer/staff and audience.

    I've had trouble with them as well, took a bid from me that I hadn't made and were quite abusive to me when I refused to give them my paddle number as they said I had bid, when I had not.
    Originally posted by soolin
    When we first opened we regularly had Trading Standards officers visit, they were far more interested in what was being sold and never recall them even hanging around for the auction to see if the bids were genuine. Only a really stupid auctioneer could get caught for this, there are hundreds of excuses that could be made and difficult to prove that they weren't true.
    I know I could email bids to half a dozen auction houses and they would bid on my behalf, there's no way anyone in the room would know they were genuine.
    .
    • RFW
    • By RFW 2nd Jan 12, 5:33 PM
    • 8,780 Posts
    • 5,100 Thanks
    RFW
    A couple of months ago I was off sick and happened to watch one of those daytime jumble-sale-rummage-then-go-to-auction type TV programmes. The auction was held in a respectable auction house and as one of the contestant's items was being auctioned the dealer/presenter commented that the auctioneer was using this technique to inflate the price. Unfortunately for the contestant the "wall" outbid the real bidder and I think the auction house returned the item to the seller (and possibly even charged them for putting the item in auction).

    It certainly sounds like fraud - I can't imagine what special parts of the law are in play here. But from what I saw and heard, it's perfectly legal.
    Originally posted by esuhl
    It isn't illegal to bid up to the reserve price or to bid on behalf of the vendor to a reasonable price. If the item doesn't sell there is no possible crime. The illegalities arise when for example someone bids on a car worth £5000 and ends up buying it for £6000 with the only other bidder being the auctioneer. A court case would be very difficult to prove, it's quite easy for the auctioneer to say that he believed someone scratching their nose was bidding, apologise and refund the difference.

    I've often seen the TV auctioneers taking bids when no one was bidding, a lot of the time they edit the customers as some refuse to be on television, some of the early Bargain Hunt episodes had one man who bought nearly every lot!
    .
    • Danni-R
    • By Danni-R 3rd Jan 12, 4:03 PM
    • 594 Posts
    • 935 Thanks
    Danni-R
    Its not illegal. It *is* illegal on ebay but in a commercial setting a seller may also bid on their goods.

    The only time its illegal is if they dont delcare it. But then that means you have to read all the small print.

    Law goes back to the 60s I believe.
    £2200 £1950£1850 £1600 on my credit card
    £5000 £6000 Savings
    £40 fund for holiday
    • boomish
    • By boomish 4th Jan 12, 7:51 PM
    • 105 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    boomish
    I can't believe the number of people knocking this thread, I am off to an auction tomm and am very grateful for the warning , it's good to be reminded of these things wether you think they exist or not, lets face it there are lots of dodgy deals going on when buying a car and it's invaluable info to be able to spot something or just beware of scams. Well done poster for taking the time out and posting..
  • Stew125
    BCA Online Vehicle Auction - Beware
    I would also like to warn people of the BCA online con! BCA online service called - Live Online, or LOL for short do not provide accurate descriptions of their auctioned vehicles. Having bought many vehicles’ online, we the bidders(or mugs where BCA is concerned) are completely reliant upon an accurate description of the product you are bidding on. You are protected by the Trade Descriptions Act, Distant Selling Regulations, and section 75 of the Sale of Goods Act (if you purchase via your credit card and are not a business). But do BCA care about the law? NO!

    BCA will NOT tell you if the product is defective, smoking, rattles, etc.And they do not describe the vehicle as having dents, cracks in windows, oreven the sight of any warning lights such as the engine management light beingon. So when you buy a vehicle via the LOL (Live Online) service, be warned youwill NOT know if anything is wrong with the vehicle until you pick it up.

    As happened to me - I was sold a fully working vehicle (according to BCA) -I could not have access to the vehicle until I gained a release slip. No release slip until it had been signed off. No sign off until I had the keys, Nokeys until I paid for it! I paid for it alright!!! In more ways than one! WhenI was finally provided access to the vehicle, it would not start! Engine management light on! Windscreen smashed! Window open due to motor damaged! Anda hole in the roof! Yes that's right A HOLE IN THE ROOF!!! This was a vehicle costing several thousand pounds. After refusing to take delivery of the vehicleI was told by Trading Standards, some 2 months later, BCA had breached certainselling regulations. Great I thought! Not so! Yes I could get some money back,but taking 6 – 9 months. Having a few grand sat dead for 6 – 9 months is notgood for business. So I thought stuff it I’ll stand the loss and I received it‘under protest’. To top it all off BCA Measham delivered a vehicle without an engine management unit. A mere £1000 to replace! And a completely useless lump of metal with wheels without it. Someone has had it away whilst the vehicle wasstood!

    BCA has a duty of care to provide the purchaser with any information which they have from the seller which may indicate any faults. However, many sellers (Lombard in this case) do not tell you of the defects and ‘possibly’ ‘deliberately’deceive the potential purchaser to sell a shed! However, BCA probably, youwould expect, have seen many sellers try this and you would expect BCA to havetheir purchase customers’ best interests at heart. You would expect this if you are a decent person but as I have learnt BCA will sell you the shed and takeyour money and say goodbye. BCA will also say ‘it is down to the seller to provide an accurate description of the vehicle’ and ‘we cannot be held responsible for a defect on the vehicle being found after the auction’. Yes I agree if you attend the auction in person. But when you are at the other end of an internet connection BCA ‘YOU BECOME LIABLE’. Now lets give BCA a chance.Some sellers (Lombard) in this case may hide something. A seller may not say –the head gasket has gone; transmission is faulty; driveshaft is grinding. And how would BCA know? They won’t! However, when the fault is obvious ‘smashed windscreen’ engine management light on, HOLE IN THE ROOF, etc. Come on BCA.

    Now many of you will say – ‘that’s what you get if you buy from an auction’and I would agree from an auction where you attend. I have attended an auctionand bought a shed and took the loss. That is the luck of an auction. This DOES NOT apply to online auctions. What the people at BCA have to get used to is ‘it is not 1982’ there are laws against selling rubbish across the internet, and just because you are a massive company you cannot carry on the way it was!Update and improve or you WILL be left behind.

    My advice to anyone wanting to purchase a vehicle online is –

    1. View the vehicle first.

    2. If it’s too far don’t buy it, but if you must – Call the sellers and ask them lots and lots of questions and record the conversation.

    3. Screen print the description of the vehicle.

    4. If you do purchase a vehicle, insist on seeing it before handing overany money.

    5. If they do not let you see it first, don’t buy it. If you still want to risk it - Pay via your credit card (min £100). If you are a business it must be a business credit card.

    6. Be very careful!



    I have to say BCA Brighouse have been good! No issues,always courteous, products - some good, some poor. So all BCA auctions are not the same. But BCA Measham has been disgraceful. BE VERY CAREFUL, and DO NOT TRUST BCA Commercial Measham. If you still want to buy from BCA Measham, or any online auction (although many are better) follow the above.
    • StaffsSW
    • By StaffsSW 2nd May 12, 11:58 PM
    • 5,491 Posts
    • 5,622 Thanks
    StaffsSW
    ????? are they really ripping us off ?????

    I was at BCA yesterday, and I was SHOCKED and OUTRAGED at what I believe was happening...
    Originally posted by 1connect
    Do you read the Daily Mail by any chance?
  • martindh
    BCA Bridgwater run it up against the wall all the time even when you are in the hall bidding. Twice recently I've started bidding on a car, then when I've turned away the [same] auctioneer has restarted the bidding process! Selling there is no better either, my first car I entered they changed [up] the entry fee and on the second car they lost the V5 and tried to claim I never handed it in-only when they had detailed information from the V5 in the catalogue was this disproved.
    Last edited by martindh; 05-04-2013 at 3:55 PM. Reason: mis spelling
  • martindh
    More BCA trouble
    Well, I recently bought a car online through their 'buy now' service, but what a mistake. I took up their £99 + vat delivery service anywhere in the uk mainland, which promises delivery 'within 72 hours'. Well, 5 days later and lots of phone calls and my purchase was firstly 'on a transporter to you as we speak' then next day it's 'at Newcastle awaiting transportation to you on Monday the 4th' (9 days on) but now I'm told "it has n't even left the branch because it's not economically viable to get it to Plymouth"! I'm told (hopefully) it might be here next Friday, two weeks after purchase. They take your money with sky high commission, buying online and credit card charges, then don't give a monkeys. And don't even get me started on their condition and mechanical reports; two of the last four online purchases I've had to make an almighty fuss over misrepresentations to get money back, including one car at Peterborough with an A1 mechanical report that could not move one inch and another at Brighouse with a gouge along the entire length of a door that was not mentioned in the condition report! But back to the buy now non arrival, many phone calls and e mails later, still no car, no refund, but lots of lies, wonder if Mainheim auctions are any better......
    • soolin
    • By soolin 5th Apr 13, 4:54 PM
    • 61,071 Posts
    • 43,632 Thanks
    soolin
    martindh, why on earth do you keep posting how bad these poeple are- but continue to use them?

    Just walk away, buy elsewehere
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
    New to Forum? Guide
  • AlanCee
    BCA British Car Auctions Latest Stunt
    I am a small car dealer, and intended to buy some cars at BCA Blackbushe, over a 2 day period the cars I had saved to bid on have risen by around 12%

    On asking why the young lady I spoke to put me on hold for a few minutes then told that the spec of the car had been updated, I pointed out that the published spec was exactly the same, she put me on hold again for a longer period of time, and came back with a different answer, this time the Cap Guide had gone up for this particular car between December & January or 2 days this week.

    Here is the original price:
    Price Miles Size CAP
    - New: £ 12,857
    Ret £ 6,175
    - - - - Cln £ 4,425
    - - - - Avg £ 4,025
    - - - - Blw £ 3,625
    Lot Detail Blackbushe, 10 January 2014

    And here is the new price:
    New: £ 14,852 New: £ 13,797
    Ret £ 6,895 Ret £ 5,845
    - - - - Cln £ 4,975
    - - - - Avg £ 4,550
    - - - - Blw £ 4,075

    An increase of £525

    Cap price today 09/01/2014

    Average dealer retail £5,975 - £6,525
    Private sale price £5,275 - £5,650
    Trade in clean £4,000 - £4,275
    Trade in average £3,650 - £3,900
    Trade in below £3,300 - £3,525

    This happened on the cars by the BMW Group but not with cars from other dealers that I was watching.

    Not illegal but not very ethical, but it is BCA and now they are owned By Vulture Capitalist, things will only get worse, as they strip the firm in preparation to dumping it, I wonder if they will try to float?

    BCA have recently purchased webuyanycar.com

    I will monitor this situation over the coming weeks and post the results.
  • USED CAR SELLER
    More on this shill bidding subject.
    guys i cant believe everyone having a go at the guy who brought this up. let me tell you my story.

    i bid on a car at the above auction, my bid was upto £9650 i was online and got a feeling they were riding it up using shills, when the shill bid got to 9700 then i backed off and left the scene, points to remember are the car was announced as ON SALE at £9500. so who ever bid 9700 should have taken the car.

    week later i see the same care again, i go though my screen prints its the same car! got on the phone to the sales team and question this matter with them they advise that they cannot do nothing and will not give an explanation. i write the head office and they refer me back to the local office to investigate then the guy on the phone confirmed that they followed vendors instruction and bid on their behalf my jaws dropped i was like thats openly saying we were shill bidding but when i said are you sure you are allowed to this he says its on our terms and conditions see section for Conditions of entry and sale and under 5 -THE CONDUCT OF THE AUCTION-

    Whether or not there is a reserve price the seller may:-
    * withdraw a vehicle at any time before the hammer falls;
    *bid for a vehicle himself or alternatively appoint not more than one other person to bid for it on his behalf.

    i was shocked to see this and hear this too i asked them why they do such things and not use the reserve function available to them the response was - to create a more lively environment- really how many of us are being ripped off paying more than market to buy and make no money at all and then the worse part it come back with a car you paid too much or made to pay too much by manipulation and you are stuck with it and have to shift it off to someone to get out of it. i am sick to the back teeth of this and there is no protection for traders . i refered this to the trading stardards who said the company could fined for every single car they get accused of this as they openly put it on their T&C thus accepting that this is being done. its £5000 per car so i really hope they get that massive shot soon but in the mean time guys read up on the T&C and see it yourself. by the way i have full evidence of them doing this , but if you were ever a caught up on something like this their T&C copy will nail them for breaching the European fair trading rules.
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