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I know this isn't about bank charges or anything like that, but last year I had a battle, on behalf of my boss, with a company called Ufindus. I thought that the problem had gone away until just recently.

 

The problem all started with Ufindus. They contacted my boss to see if he would like a website designed for his business. He said that he would be interested in it and gave them his bank card details. He was told that he would receive some paperwork in the post detailing terms and conditions and some details on the website that they were going to design for him. Nothing was received. Later that year he started receiving invoices from them. I called them and asked them what the invoices were for, only to be told that Ufindus had set up a website for my boss and the invoices were their monthly fee. They gave me the website address and both myself and my boss looked it up. On the website there was a picture of a bathroom of which my boss had never seen before. I wrote to Ufindus espressing my boss's disgust at them using the picture and that he sis not want anything more to do with them. They ignored the letter and just kept sending invoices and then reminders. I wrote to them again stating that if I didn't hear form them again within the next 7 days I will assume that they had cancelled the account, taken the website off line and written off the debt. They wrote back but unfortunatley it was after the 7 day deadline. We never heard from them again. That was back in November 2006.

 

The saga continues....

 

Two weeks ago my boss received a letter from Getty Images requesting payment of nearly £1500 for unauthorised usage of a photo.

 

Yep.. you guessed it.. The bathroom photo.

 

I e-mailed the company stating that my boss never authorised the usage of the photo and that it was down to Ufindus.

 

I received an e-mail back stating that as the website was in my bosses name, he was liable for the debt.

 

Help.... I don't know what to do now.

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Getty are (quite rightly) tenacious in these matters - however your boss is in the clear. It doesn't matter that his name is on the website, he had neither knowledge or control of the website, and all correspondence should be passed to the web-creators who speculatively used the image.

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Thanks buzby. I have just called Ufindus and they have confirmed with me that they will be settling the bill. They explained to me that they do have a licence to use Getty Images photos but unfortunately due to human error, they sometimes use photos which do not come under the licence.

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  • 4 months later...

The saga continues with Ufindus. Received a call from a sales rep on Wednesday trying to get my boss to sign up with them again. they told me that if my boss signs up with them again they will wipe his debt with them clean. We haven't heard from them since November 2006!!!!! Today received another call from the sales rep and he was really quite pushy. I told him that my boss wanted at least a week in order to decide whether to go with Ufindus again, thus enabling me to do a bit of research into other companies that do a similar thing. Sales rep told me that if I didn't give the go ahead with them today he will pass over the money that my boss alledgedly owes to the debt collections department. The sales rep was unbelievably pushy and I felt quite shacky after the call. I informed him that there was no debt with Ufindus. He just got really shirty and explained that the debt is still on his system, therefore they can chase for the money. At the end of the conversation I asked whether the call was recorded - he said that he was now termintaing the call and hung up on me. when he called on Wednesday he told me that all calls were recorded but when he called today it was from a mobile and I have a feeling that it wasn't recorded.

 

Can I do a DPA letter requesting a transcript of the calls to myself and my boss?

 

Can the debt collections department start chasing my boss for the alledged debt as we have not heard from them since November 2006?

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It doesn't sound like they have a contract with you, you say your boss gave them his card details? what was this for and why haven't they simply charged their fee's to his card? Have Ufindus written to you about any of this?

 

To obtain any fee's they think you owe them they will need to prove they have/had a contract with you to provide these services, ask for a copy of the contract. if they have no contract they have no claim to any fee's because you have not instructed them to provide any services.

 

Without seeing the correspondence its difficult to say definitely but it sounds to me like a sales [problem] and personally I wouldn't touch Ufindus with a barge pole.

 

pete

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That is the problem. They just phoned my boss out of the blue at the beginning of last year asking him if he wanted to use their services. According to their terms and conditions my boss should have received a welcome pack which includes a copy of the T&C's, a confirmation of order and a confirmation of service. My boss never received this pack. He only got the initial phonecall from them and never heard from them until they tried to take money of his credit card which had expired. It was then that they started to call him about the account. He then asked them to call me and I asked them who they were etc. I also had a look at the website (which is still on the internet) and was amazed to see a picture of some work that was not actually done by my boss's company. I explained this to the chap who started calling about the debt, I also explained that my boss was totally dissatisfied with the way that Ufindus conducts their business. I also wrote to the company in November outlining all the breaches of their own T&C's that they had done. I also gave them 7 days in which to reply and if they didn't reply within the 7 days my boss would assume the debt written off and the agreement cancelled. They sent a reply on the deadline day, but unfortunatle my boss didn't receive until 2 days later. I expained this to them in a letter and we never heard from them again until last week when they started calling my boss. He then refered them to me in order for me to deal with them. Very scary chap who tried to badger me into taking out another 12 month contract with them. Stood my ground though. But I have a feeling that my boss will now start to get letters from their debt collection department asking him to pay the £980 debt. I would really like for them to provide me with a transcript of the call I had from the sales rep today. Can I do a SAR for this? If I can, do I pay Ufindus £10 in order to get all I need from them?

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I should wait untill they start sending you letters and reply to those. I doubt they have recorded the sales rep's call anyway and if he calls again just ask him his full name and tell him you are recording the conversation, bet you a tenner he hangs up :D.

 

pete

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Thanks Pete.I don't think that he will call me again as I have a feeling he thought that he was talking to a brick wall as I stood my ground and wouldn't commit to anything.

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I texted the mobile number from Ufindus that called me earlier (the pushy sales rep) and asked for the guys name and position in the company. I then received a phone call from a manager (so he says) asking me who I was. I told him who I was and that I wanted the name of the person who contacted me earlier. He was a bit shocked to hear that a member of his staff had used his mobile phone in order to call me. I explained the situation to him (pushy sales man trying to bully me into saying yes to the offer the sales man made). He was very appologetic and asked me to e-mail him with the detials. I informed him that I will also be issuing a full SAR. I explained to him that I will be requesting a signed copy of the actual executed agreement. He informed me that once he receives the SAR he will provide me with all the information requested in it. Funny though as there will be no signed copy of any agreement with them and my boss, as he never received any paperwork form Ufindus until the bills started coming in back in October 2006. Also as my boss never received any T&C's, was the contract actual enforceable?

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  • 1 month later...

what have you found out?

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Well I decided to give them a try and after some 3 months i havent had a single call from a customer directed from them. I have my own heating/plumbing company within Ayrshire and after looking at the IP addys for hits on my listing lets just say they are from all over the planet.

The funny thing is they will refund all money if your hits dont increase over the initial 3 months so wonder where the hits are coming from because i aint seeing where they are from.

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  • 4 months later...

ufindus)customer street

Have had i phone call from these telling me they have had over 260 hits this month for my services, After about 1 hr of trying to sell me there package & listning how fantastic this deal is,I agree but first i ask if i can end it if not happy.Sales man says"of course if your not happy with the service we provide Etc.." i finally agread (god knows what i was thinking)over the phone to take this deal, gave them my credit card detail, they took the set up amount out.explain it will £xx amount a month. & i have a 4 day cooling off period

Decided to read the terms & "cons" on there website www.customerstreet.com(uf indus) just to be sure

Its states

"4.4.1 If you have purchased a Customer Street Package the Confirmation of Order and Confirmation of Service will confirm the average number of views recorded for the area and category you have selected for the Service in the thirty (30) day period before your registration (the "Target View Figure"). Every month we will report to you the number of views which your Customer Street Package listing has received (the "Monthly View Figure"). Internet usage does fl uctuate seasonally and because we aim to provide you with at least the same amount of viewings each month if you inform us that the Target View Figure is less than 80% of the average number of views shown in the Confirmation of Order or Confirmation of Service we will work with you to improve the viewing figures for your package. If an improvement in viewing figures is not achieved within 90 days you will be entitled to cancel the package without further notice.

After reading this i was not happy so rang them to cancel.

Got some recptionist say that it had been noted & one of the sales team would ring in the next 5 day.

Which they did giving it the how fantastic & yes you can cancel anytime "we use a golded hand shake policy which means you can get out when you want"thinking back i reckon he was taking the p**

Anyway

 

finnaly got t&cs (4 days latter)have had a good read still not happy.

Was told by the sales person (over the phone)that they had 260 hits this month for my service..& if they did not provide 80% of this service i could cancil

BUT FOUND THIS IN SMALL WRITTING ON THE BACK OF THE CONFIRMATION OF SERVICE"the average number of views recorded for the area category you have selected had 8 in the thirty(30)day period your registration(the"target view figure)Every month we will report to you the number of views which customer street package listing have received.internet usage does fluctuate seasonally & becasue we aim to provide you with at least the same amount of viewing each month if you inform us that the target view figue is less than 80% of the average number of veiws shown in the confirmation of service we we work with you to improve the viewing figures for your package f an improvment in viewing is not achieved within 90 days you will be entiteled to cancel the package"

I have not signed any paper work & will be posting a letter Asking to canceling this agrement & asking for a full refund.

it has been five day since i recived the call.

Can anyone let me know how i stand on this matter.

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  • 7 months later...

Has anyone else had any issues with this company and how were they resolved. My partner has paid them for a profesisonally designed website but it turned out to be templates with personal information copied in. It was riddled with typos and poor grammar. After my partner went in and edited it (including changing the template to make it a bit more personalised) they went in and changed it all around without informing her. Customer service has been appalling with promises of call backs which never materialise. My partner has cancelled all payments to them and is taking legal advice.

She has drafted her first letter which gave them 14 days to respond however they failed to. She is about to write a second one with a 7 day deadline after which we are going to file court action. This company is an absolute disgrace, avoid at all costs.

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Yeah I'm expecting something like that to happen. I am pondering whether to send in an LBA and see if they'll cough up. I guess it'll be difficult to prove the mis-selling because we don't record our calls. Although I am about to start!

I know it's not a lot of money but if companies are allowed to get away with it they just keep doing it.

Did you manage to get out of your contract? Or get any refund?

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They agreed to cancel the contract there and then but no money was returned, im based in Scotland and my web site was getting hits from ALL OVER THE WORLD and i mean everywhere except Scotland I also contacted other companies at the time and heard very similar experiences but in the end put it down to experience and didnt pursue them as I just didnt have the time then. I hope you get this lot and if theres anythig else I can help with give me a shout. You should check the visits and copy and paste for possible future action if you go that far.

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Thanks for your reply. Unsurprisingly we haven't even had confirmation of the cancellation of her contract. We're going hell for leather because I feel they preyed on my partner when she was starting out and inexperienced. It's not about the money now, but about the principle. If anything comes of it I will make sure we share :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well it has been a while since I was on this old thread of mine, so I thought that I might give an update.

 

Just recently my friend has been bombarded with letters and phone calls from a company called Black's Collections. The chap that keeps phoning states he is from a collections company and is trying to collect a debt on behalf of Ufindus Ltd which dates back to 2006. The chap's name is exactly the same as the person I had dealings with back in November 2006. I'm not sure whether he has left Ufindus and joined the DCA or has been promoted/demoted to the DCA.:rolleyes:

 

Anyway, they are still after the money that I had presumed been written off as at 28th November 2006. I was thinking about giving this chap a call, but now think a letter would probably be best. Once I have done a draft I will post it up for advice on whether it is ok.

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I have done a rough draft of a letter. Can someone please have a look and let me know if I should add anything or change anything.

 

Dear xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx,

 

Account Ref:-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

 

I am writing in reference to the recent letter from Black's Collections demanding a payment of £422.28. Please note that this account has been in dispute since October 2006 and therefore should not have been passed to a debt collecting agency.

 

 

The last time I heard from your company was on 14th September 2007. This was a telephone conversation between xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx and my secretary xxx xxxxxx, of which xxx xxxxx was complaining at the bullying tactics used by xxxxxx xxxxxxx in order to sign another 12 month contract with Ufindus. xxx xxxxx informed xxxxxx xxxxxxx and xxxxx xxxxxxxx that the debt was written off as at 28th November 2006. There has been no contact since this conversation.

 

 

I wish to point out yet again that Ufindus never sent the “confirmation of service” or any welcome pack, therefore I never new of any website that Ufindus created on my behalf. I also never received a copy of the contract between myself and Ufindus or any terms and conditions.

 

 

I have enclosed with this letter copies of the previous correspondance from myself.

 

 

Also, please note the following in relation to the quantity and frequency of telephone calls that I have received from your company, which I deem to be personally harassing.

 

I now require all further correspondence from your company to be made in writing only.

 

I am of the view that your continued harassment of me by telephone puts you in breach of Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970, and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

 

If you continue to harass me by telephone, you will also be in breach of the Communications Act (2003) s.127 and I will report you to OFCOM, Trading Standards and The Office of Fair Trading, meaning that you will be liable to a substantial fine.

 

Be advised that any further telephone calls from your company will be recorded.

 

Furthermore, as this account has now been passed to a Debt Collection Agency, may I suggest you read the following. This is taken from the Office of Fair Tradings guideleines on debt collection. I suggest you read this and ponder your recent claim.

 

Physical/psychological harassment

 

 

s. 2.5 Putting Pressure on debtors or third parties is considered to be oppressive

 

s. 2.6 Examples of unfair practices are as follows:

 

 

(h)ignoring and/or disregarding claims that debts have been settled or are disputed and continuing to make unjustified demands for payment

 

Deceptive and/or unfair methods

 

s. 2.7 Dealings with debtors are not to be deceitful and/or unfair

 

s. 2.8 Examples of unfair practices are as follows:

 

(i) failing to investigate and/or provide details as appropriate, when a debt is queried or disputed, possibly resulting in debtors being wrongly pursued

 

(k) not ceasing collection activity whilst investigating a reasonably queried or disputed debt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xx x x xxx

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An observation - have you considered that Blacks Collections isn;t a DCA at all, but simply U-Find Us being 'creative' and trying a different approach to getting paid?

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