What can I do to help?
So you’ve done all you can to sort out your own case, but feel a sense of burning injustice about the ease with which scam companies can help themselves to consumers money. What else can you do?
Reviews of Companies
These companies are supposedly ‘trusted partners’ of the mobile networks. A read of their reviews on Trustpilot and on Facebook will tell you that these companies are anything other than trustworthy. Adding to these negative reviews can help reinforce this impression. No need to write an essay (unless you want to), just a one star review and a comment that says they tried to took your money without consent.
Reviews of the Regulator
If the regulator has failed to properly investigate your case, has come to a perverse decision or has just been generally obstrutive or unhelpful, you can add to their reviews on Facebook. The regulator seems to believe it is doing a good job. It plainly isn’t.
Formal Complaints about the Regulator
The regulator enjoys a rather too cosy relationship with many of the companies it is supposed to be regulating. You can’t complain just because you don’t like the outcome of their investigation. You can complain if you don’t believe they have investigated properly, or if after their investigation they come to a conclusion which couldn’t be justified on the basis of the evidence. If they have found that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ the service provider has done nothing wrong, then they are saying ‘on the balance of probablities’ you are a liar. Make them justify this view!
Details of the complaints mechanism are here. https://psauthority.org.uk/about-us/complaints-about-us
Complain to your MP
MP’s have so far not shown much interest in this issue, but if there are sufficient complaints they may do so.
Respond to Public Consultations
The regulator regularly consults on it’s priorities and to changes to its Code of Practice. It rarely gets any responses other than those from the ‘industry’. In December 2017 PSA launched a consultation on its priorities for the next financial year and I submitted a response. I believe that it is partly as a result of this response that the are now going to review the rules for subscription services.
It is likely that these changes will go out for public consultation. It would be good for them to receive a large number of public responses demanding radical reform, including making ‘Payforit’ opt-in rather that opt-out. I’ll put an outline response on the website when the consultation is announced.
Help with this website
Running payforitsucks.co.uk is time consuming. Picking up consumer complaints on the forums of the networks and on Twitter and providing responses pointing to relevant help is time consuming, and I have to take holidays sometimes. We could always use additional content on the site. I’m happy to provide access to the site to consumers who wish to contribute their own unique perspective on ‘Payforit’. Please help build public awareness of ‘Payforit’ scams, as this is the best tool we have to get reform.
Tom (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org ) is keen to see legal action taken to force a judicial review of the law governing ‘Payforit’. Aspects of ‘Payforit’ are clearly dubious, but challenging the legality in court is an expensive and complex process. Decisions made in the Small Claims court do not set a legal precedent, so it is necessary to go to a higher court, where, no doubt, the other side will field a team of skillful barristers to ensure that the current gravy train continues.