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AOL and Talk Talk problems


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In 2005 I started an dial up internet subsciption with AOL with a free trial period and they requested credit card details in the event that I would carry on with the subscription. I cancelled the suscription with AOL as I wasn't happy with the service and this was done within the agreed time limit, I also told them not to take payments from my card. At the same time I paid off the credit card and that account was closed. Having recently checked through my direct debits going from my bank it has come to my attention that direct debits to the credit card company were going from my account and that AOL were taking payments from the card (even though the card account was closed in Nov 2005). The credit card account now has a balance of £400 on it. I contacted AOL who were extremely rude and unhelpful claiming I had been using the AOL service up to July last year - a complete fabrication on their part, i haven't owned the computer the service was loaded on since Jan 06. They claim to have no record of me contacting them to cancel my account and have offered to refund me 6 months payments which I have declined. I am going to make a formal complaint to AOL and the credit card company - how can they allow money to be taken out of a closed account?? Is this not fraudulant and does it not open up a gateway for any company, who at some time have taken money monthly from a credit card, to do the same?

 

My partner is also having problems with Talk Talk taking direct debits without authorisation and have even taken steps to take him to court claiming he owes them £22!! Talk Talk agreed that they indeed owed him £122 for the direct debit payments they had taken out since the account was closed and promised to send a cheque out to him on 29th October 07. Yesterday he received a letter from a county court specialist to inform him Talk Talk are taking him to court for the £22 they admitted in the October phone call he didn't owe. Heated telephone calls were made to Talk Talk yesterday but no-one there seems to know what they're doing and they have promised to look into it by Monday lunchtime.:evil:

 

Sorry to go on a bit here but it makes my blood boil to think you sign up to these companies in good faith only to get ripped off by them. It seems a lot of other people have had problems with these two companies - any advice would be appreciated.

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Firstly, you need to put everything in writing to the complaints department of each company. Unfortunately, when you speak on the phone, you are at the whim of whoever answers, so i would be inclined to bypass the whole phoning process completely.

 

Secondly, write to your credit card company explaining that these payments have been taken fraudulently. they should not have allowed the card to be used once cancelled and once you cancelled the contract with them, you were in effect cancelling their right to collect the funds.

 

Do you have any proof that the card was actually cancelled rather than the balance paid off and the card cut up?

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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Thanks for your reply tiglet. Yes, I kept the paperwork confirming the account was closed. Also, when I spoke to the credit card company to question why the direct debits were still being taken, the customer service advisor confirmed the account was closed and put me on hold to check out what had happened. In her words "I don't understand why a closed account is showing an outstanding balance on it". I've had no correspondance from the card company other than the confirmation the account was closed until I stopped the direct debit - its been non stop text messages from them to my mobile ever since. It's certainly taught me to check my bank statements much more carefully and not to trust the direct debit scheme or ISP's so much.

 

With regards to my partner's problems with Talk Talk, he phoned his bank to ask about his rights under the direct debit guarantee, only to be told that it is an "indemnity" not a "guarantee" and as the payments had been taken by a ISP/mobile phone company the bank wouldn't pay the money back which has been taken since the internet account was closed, all they could do is lodge a "concern" with Talk Talk. She claimed that it is the customer's duty to cancel the DD with the bank - not the company - a total contradiction to what the financial expert on BBC news was saying this morning! Do any of these financial instituations know what they're talking about? Bring back the days when you spoke to people face to face and not to some idiot who's sitting bored rigid in a call centre somewhere and wouldn't know the meaning of customer service if it was written in ten foot high letters in front of them!

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DD guarantee? Wrong - you are entitled to your money back if it has been taken without your permission/should not ahve been taken. the bank needs to refund you and then they claim the money back - however, they don't seem to like customers knowing this and will try to fob you off.

 

Insist upon it - it is your right.

All help is merely my opinion only - please seek legal advice if you need to as I am only qualified in SEN law.

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