Are ALL ISPs thieving b#$%&ds???
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  1. #1
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Are ALL ISPs thieving b#$%&ds???

    A while back I did a posting re: Just Internet swapping my phone service across without my authority and from a number that they supposedly had no access to.
    A couple of months back, they decided (months after we'd ceased using them) that they would like a Chrissy present so they politely plundered our Bankcard, then repented, then thought "no stuff it why not" and had another go for the same amount, then added a few more cents a few days later. When we questioned the amount and what it was for, we were told it was for computer maintenence & service; yeah right, that'd be genuine for sure, after all, I'm going to send my computer to Sydney, 1500 klms away to get it "checked over" when I have a son who services them for a living aren't I?
    This month again we get another bill added to the Bankcard; this time nearly 70 bucks from a company called "Depeche Pty Ltd" in Richmond Victoria. Apparently it has something to do with "Unlimited Internet" another bunch we ceased using early this year. It comes up on an ASIC search as a shelf company ($2) and it's for 'Networking services' & some other bloody thing that we know nothing about, so again, back on to Bankcard & again ask why these payments can't be stopped! We weren't getting any satisfactory answers until today.
    Seems that with plenty of ISPs they INSIST on having you pay for it via Credit card. This is in the guise of simplicity and to enable to keep costs down etc, but once they have that information, unlike respectable companies who use it & destroy it (your credit card details), these bloody shonks keep it on file & can & do access it at any time in the future and there is not a damn thing you can do to stop them except as we found out today; one!
    "Lose" your credit card and apply for a new one. Report it as lost or destroyed and it then can no longer be accessed. moon moon You are without your credit card for about a week until they issue another.
    If anyone here is with either of these two shonky [email protected][email protected]$ I suggest you drop them like a hot scone & run because when I started digging into these via the various Consumer Authorities, I got a VERY strong impression that alarm bells were ringing loudly and my bet is that they are going to "lower the boom" on them very soon. mallet mallet
    Be warned....get out NOW or you WILL get burned.

    Alan S

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  2. #2
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    i can always sign you up through a reputable ISP (as i am an agent) rated in the top 30 in australia and you don't need a credit card
    dial or ADSL or SupaDSL
    sorry for the plug but i agree that you have to on the lookout for the types that advertise on telly like DoDo and Just Internet and the numerous others that seem to offer everything but never tell you how much everything is going to cost you and what they are going to do with you phone services
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    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Sounds pretty dramatic... I've got Austarmetro and Ozemail accounts and have never had any trouble.

    The problem is that you want continuous service, they don't want to go providing that without payment... so do you want to prepay or what?

    Credit card is really a good option... but only, as you have pointed out, if it's not abused.

  4. #4
    bob
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    G'day

    Any business can "misshandle" your credit account - the details are in their system as soon as you use the card. EFTPOS is a bit harder as they need the PIN. It's the risk you take for the convenience of the card, the risk is real enough that's why 99% of cards have a $1000 daily transaction limit unless you request otherwise. What happens to all those little dockets you signed after the shop doesn't need them anymore ??

    We use Webprophets for our ISP which works well, so far. They have a prepaid access for three months @ $60 which you can pay any way you like. Even in cash, at the Melbourne Showgrounds swap meet.

    Bob

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! markm's Avatar
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    Hello everyone I am the ISP that hosts this board for FREE and none of you have ever joined us so there is something to think about. Not all ISPs are tarred with the same brush. In the end you get what you pay for. Alan I think you have aired this veiw re: cars the same applies to internet access, it costs to provide a service and anyone doing it cheap are cutting corners. Half our customers pay by cheque or cash, they cost us at least $1/month extra in bank fees and labour each I'm not going to piss them off by refusing to take there money but I understand why some do.
    Mark McKibbin

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Hi Alan,

    Don't know who you have been using, but I've been with Netspace, (who have a connection point in your neck of the woods I think) since the very early 1990's. They certainly have plans that you can access without a credit card. I've never had a significant problem with them at all- maybe 3 engaged signals in ten years of daily heavy usage - and certainly no financial shenanigans. Worth checking out if Mark is too far away for a local call.

    Cheers

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  7. #7
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    I've worked for a reputable ISP and know too well that billing errors can occur. It's a part of life, IMO.

    A couple of tips for you:

    - Changing your credit card number probably won't make a difference, as often banks will still relay the charge to you, even on your new card. I've seen this happen a number of times.

    - If you've cancelled your account, often it can take a month or more for the final charges to come through. More often not it's a poorly trained customer service rep that maks the customer annoyed at this. We made an effort of explaining this to the customer at every cancellation (oh and we were the top rated ISP for customer service..and we still had irate customers). The main cause of this is charges tend to get sent to the bank in bunches, perhaps only once a month. So you could get charged two months from cancelling. We used to offset this by applying a credit to your account so when it came time to debit your card, your account would be in credit.

    - If you don't agree with the charge, call the ISP and ask what it is for, and speak to a Team Leader/Supervisor/Manager if you are not happy. Don't hang up and leave mad. Most ISPs have a genuine interest in looking after the customer.

    - If you continue to get charged, request for the bank to obtain signed authority on the transaction. The bank goes back to the merchant and requests for that little slip that you signed (that's what happens to them bob, they need to be kept in such an instance). For an electronic service like an ISP, they'll need to contact you to explain the charge for you to agree and provide them with signed authority.

    - Go with a reputable ISP who you have heard good opinions of. A good site for this is <a href="http://www.broadbandchoice.com.au," target="_blank">www.broadbandchoice.com.au,</a> which has a forum where people can openly vent.

    Thanks for posting MarkM, the Froggy members looking for an ISP should really consider him. for me, I still have a free account from my ISP days, so at this stage, I do not pay for net access. Yes, we used to invoice and accept cheques, and it did cost us more, an extra headcount was required to just handle the accounts for invoices and business accounts, whilst a credit card account has one person looking after the billing programming...on a small ISP that could be the same person who owns the ISP...so it's more expensive to provide invoicing.

    In the end you get what you pay for. You pay low rates and you'll get low service. If you GENUINELY feel that you have a complaint, and it has not been resolved by contacting the ISP, then contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsmen for resolution. The ISPs will respond to the TIO as they are given financial penalites for each "escalation" through them. But don't go the TIO right away, they'll ask for "proof" that you've tried to resolve the issue with the ISP, so you'll need to resort to sending a letter and providing the TIO with a copy.

    Merry Christmas.

    - Lincoln

    <small>[ 24 December 2002, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: GTI124 ]</small>
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  8. #8
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    MarkM, just glanced over your website and couldn't find the POPs there. Also, is broadband ADSL/Cable/ISDN? Any sign up fees? Sorry for the OT post.
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  9. #9
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    Have a look here,

    <a href="http://www.dcsi.net.au/support/dialupnumbers.asp" target="_blank">http://www.dcsi.net.au/support/dialupnumbers.asp</a>

    Cheers,

    Justin

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  10. #10
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Guys,

    Firstly, Mark & others, no insult intended as regards ISPs in general, just seems that these types I am referring to seem to be more involved in scams & potentially criminal type activities than doing what they were paid for.
    The reasons I have to look upon it as a deliberate attempt at defrauding is this; we took 3 month contracts out almost simultaneously with these two lots for the internet useage early this year. These ran out around July. We advised them that we were not renewing the term (which had expired) any further and asked for disconnection. The service was disconnected right on the day.
    This was done in the first instance by e-mail & then followed up at their request by phone. Subsequent charges were not equivalent to ISP charges but were for different amounts. My understanding of using credit cards by phone or internet is that either details are submitted for a one off payment, which under the "Privacy Act" that we are always getting quoted, are then used to access funds & subsequently destroyed, or as an on going monthly payment at which time you are notified that a payment has been accessed/received or is due & payment about to be requested.
    When we try to e-mail these characters, the e-mails go unanswered and when you ring you get an answering machine. Upon leaving our home phone number (different to the dedicated Internet number) we subsequently found out that without our authority, they swung this number on to another carrier they were getting kick backs from. (That would have been good if you were ringing from a neighbour or friends house). I can understand this being done on the Internet line as part of the agreement but on another phone number?? mallet It was also months after we had ceased dealing with them.
    Living where we do, we can't get broadband or satellite so we have to just swap around ISPs all the time to try and get a bit of service before they die a slow death as the rest of the town hooks in. This is why we had two ISPs at the same time; if one was too slow, we dialled into the other. In this case they were both useless.
    Whenever they try it on, it's never for ISP services, it's something more complicated like repairs to a computer or something.
    Another trick used by another one before these lot was when we tried to cancel that they would tell us that they had to have it in writing. When they received it, they would tell us that their "cut off date" had been passed & we would have to resubmit for cancellation again the next month but only after a certain date, then at that time, they would advise that they were changing their bookeeping system & the "cut off date" had been changed and so it went on. Upon close scrutiny of their accounts over the time we dealt with them, we found that every now & then they slipped in an extra months payment so we were in fact paying 3 payments every two months.
    The matters raised are subject to imvestigation & as I said in the first posting, the impression I get whenever I mention the names to the "powers that be" is that we aren't Robinson Crusoe. It is a scam I feel based on people not carefully reading their Credit Card statements, and the most worrying bit is that they keep popping up charged out to all these different company names which in the instance of the $70 one we just got, proved to be a $2 company whose business type is not listed & whose only activity is submitting annual returns & changing addresses of the registered office (ASIC records). A couple of our sons work where they sell pre paid which is the way we've gone presently & it's been the most satisfactory set up we've had so far. As I say, we are talking horses for courses living in a regional area with a strained & obsolete infrastructure and so far we've had no hassles whatsoever.
    The main purpose of the posting isn't to bucket honest operators but I remember when the phone line swap was happening & I posted, a couple on aussiefrogs found they were hit with the same scam. The idea here is to make sure anyone who is or HAS dealt with them to be on guard as it seems as though I'm not the only one they've had a go at
    moon Maybe I come across as an easy touch roll_lau roll_lau

    Alan S cheers!
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  11. #11
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I'm surprised you say you can't get satellite... you're surely in Austar's service area?

    This, I think, should be a good option, but there's more to Austarmetro than that... they have just organised a National dial in number so that you can come in to the nearest server on a local call no matter where you are.

    They have pre-paid or credit card. I have never seen a dud charge on my bill at all, and I've had an account on credit card for over two years.

    Nella, the crowd pugrambo has his agency for, have a similar National dial in number. And didn't he say they took cheque etc payments?

    The good thing I see with Austarmetro is that you can go with the satellite or the landline at your choosing (or convenience if you move), but there's no ADSL or satellite in the city areas with them.

  12. #12
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    [Quote/] Ray Bell

    "I'm surprised you say you can't get satellite... you're surely in Austar's service area?"

    gibgib said the same thing as he's been to my place but we had a guy from Austar tramping all over our roof all one afternoon & couldn't get a signal.
    I'm 300 metres from the ocean and they warn boaties not to rely on their mobiles for a safety device in fact a boat flipped in a yacht race just outside the harbour a few years back & the two guys on board perished; had a mobile but no radio, and a new estate about 2 klms from me as the crow flies, also can't get mobile coverage.
    I haven't got much going for me in that regard, as we have an airport, ocean and scrub all close by and the house is a steel frame. mallet mallet

    Alan S
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  13. #13
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    You're at Coolum, right?

  14. #14
    UFO
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    Alan S:
    [Quote/] Ray Bell

    "I'm surprised you say you can't get satellite... you're surely in Austar's service area?"

    gibgib said the same thing as he's been to my place but we had a guy from Austar tramping all over our roof all one afternoon & couldn't get a signal.
    I'm 300 metres from the ocean and they warn boaties not to rely on their mobiles for a safety device in fact a boat flipped in a yacht race just outside the harbour a few years back & the two guys on board perished; had a mobile but no radio, and a new estate about 2 klms from me as the crow flies, also can't get mobile coverage.
    I haven't got much going for me in that regard, as we have an airport, ocean and scrub all close by and the house is a steel frame. mallet mallet

    Alan S
    Must be all that bludy stray whale signal all over the joint! Call in the Japanese ta sort it out for ya. (ONLY joking).

    Here's liddle ol me with an order in with Telstra for ISDN at least that will not get filled till at least MAY 2003. And I'm only 5k from the centre of one of the 10 largest cities in Aus and less than 4km from the nearest exchange! GRRR moon
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  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Here's liddle ol me with an order in with Telstra for ISDN at least that will not get filled till at least MAY 2003.
    Don't feel too bad, Craig. I'm in the Melbourne metropolitan area (just0 , and I can't get ISDN, ADSL or cable - nor will they even give me a tentative date for when I may be able to.

    It might be worth checking out a Telstra satellite service Alan. I think they will install these in most places these days. Are the dish angles the same as for Austar? Mind you, you still need a dial up connection with satellite anyway. Not cheap, either, I gather.

    Cheers

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  16. #16
    1000+ Posts CHRI'S16's Avatar
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    <span><span class=ResizableText0><span>....mmm</span> and here i was winjing to
    my mates coz i don't own a PC. I use local Internet <span <span class=ResizableText0>class=ResizableText0>cafes/lounges</span></span> for bout $1/$2 bucks and hour, and its all <span <span class=ResizableText0>class=ResizableText0>broadban d.</span></span> pus i dont maintain anything, prolems though when i need regular access, ie Word <span <span class=ResizableText0>class=ResizableText0>proccess ing.</span></span> x

    ps Alan, i agree with you. ISP's and all other non P2P based companies tend to keep customers in the dark bout thier practises (not all, juts enough
    so that it gets noticed). EVEN the big boys, is VISA and etc hand out <span <span class=ResizableText0>class=ResizableText0>addresse s/numbers</span></span> untll you hassle them <span <span class=ResizableText0>class=ResizableText0>otherwis e.</span></span></span></span>

    <small>[ 25 December 2002, 09:37 AM: Message edited by: xqisid ]</small>
    ... ptui!

  17. #17
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    That broadbandchoices site I said, also covers dial up, not just broadband.

    As for some of the practises re: billing, well take it to the TIO, record everything and raise it with them. Sometimes it just easier to go with someone like Telstra in your instance, though, I'd hate to keep swapping providers...and if everyone is doing it, there's no loyalty and therefor no incentive to provide good service to customers...anyway, I'm not defending poor service here.
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  18. #18
    1000+ Posts BogMaster's Avatar
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    I got dudded by a reputable isp...looked good advertised widely was a partnership across several cities. I signed up for a non recurring billing period of three months.

    The partnership fell apart, the local partner kept the credit card details and account information, then helped himself to my card. These deductions went for months after I had finally gotten hold of the bastard cancelled the account and demanded that he cease doing it.

    Seems he was short of money...anyway the only way I got the money back was by threatening police action, finding out where the bastard lived and leaving notes on his door to the effect that he could expect a summons.

    I guess all the police services now have an internet fraud section..our local one was pretty helpful.

    Anyway he eventually coughed up the cash... something in the order of $300. It took months but I did gain a bit of satisfaction.

    I would also think twice about using e-bay, especially for IT equipment. It can be really dodgy, people setting up a string of fake personas and bidding to force up the price, leaving feedback for themselves and more. The protection there is nowhere near as good as it should be - on items less than $100 bucks yopu might as well kiss all your money goodbye. I tracked down one bastard on e-bay and eventually demonstrated that he was dudding users via several ID's and making a killing....in my case he decided to keep the money and not send the goods. Eventually I had him barred from trading and got the money back by tracking his home address and threatening to summons him...but it was tough going and I didn't get a lot of assistance from e-bay. This character probably set up a new ID and is back doing the same thing. So be careful.

    The only real solution if some bastard misuses your credit card details is to grit your teeth and change your credit card....I have had to do this twice and it is a real nuisance. My bank basically told me I was a mug for sending credit card details over the net....I guess that's probably right.

    mallet
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  19. #19
    who? when? huh? GTI124's Avatar
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    bogmaster, request that your bank obtain signed authority from the merchant, simple as that. It's part of your cardholder's and merchant agreement. It's the merchant's responsbility to produce signed authority on demand, otherwise the bank reverses the charges to the merchant. It takes nothing more than a phone call to request this.

    Obviously if you query and signed authority is produced, then you get charged a fee by the bank...but the fee is so worth it when compared to running around trying to find someone's address.
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  20. #20
    1000+ Posts BogMaster's Avatar
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    That's right, I went through my credit union and also contacted the bank concerned directly but it wasn't gonna happen easily...I actually enjoyed giving the bastard some grief...I realise that this is gratuituous self indulgence but I didn't enjoy random amounts being taken from my account at will.

    Anyway doing something practical helped..it turned out that the character was a resident in the Tuggeranong Valley not more than 4 km from me so leaving notes on his door was easy and hey...dare I say fun. I sort of quite liked letting him know I knew where he lived.

    I changed credit card numbers when I started getting regularly billed by an outfit in the states whom I could not trace that claim to have sold me software by instalment on my credit card.

    With the ebay thing I actually didn't use my card, I sent a money order....but if I had used PayPal or whatever I'm sure that I would have been in the same boat.

    In that case I contacted every bidder in every auction that the character was conducting...when he accused me of spamming his e-mail address I realised that he was bidding in his own auctions...then checked some of the people who had left him feedback and came to the conclusion that they were all the same person... I was able to reseach some of his previous ID's and confirm previous fraudulent dealings with other saddos who had been done over by him, eventually e-bay checked my story out and then barred him....really dodgy stuff.

    I then turned to finding his address and sending him letters of demand at home. He did not like this but eventually asked me not to go to the Police or summons him and coughed up. What a constipated effort that was.

    My credit union basically told me that giving your credit card number over the net is giving shonks the licence to print money...I have to say that this is probably the case. I still do it from time to time, but always with some trepidation.

    cheers! cheers! cheers! cheers!

    <small>[ 27 December 2002, 09:59 PM: Message edited by: BogMaster ]</small>
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  21. #21
    Fellow Frogger! markm's Avatar
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    Sorry about getting hot under the collar must have been pre christmas stress. We will not be "National" until mid february. We resell satellite fron iHug (NZ crowd) and it works very well down here (victoria) and I have had friends using it in Cairns..the closer you get to the equator the better it should work unless you are just out of the footprint but you still need to dial out. The two way satellite is expensive. We are putting wireless in locally getting into the places Tel$tra cannot be bothered with, it cuts them right out of the picture.
    Mark McKibbin

  22. #22
    1000+ Posts BogMaster's Avatar
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    Another really shitful thing about some reputable ISP's is the way they will deliver subastantial changes in terms of service via email and then refuse to accept advice that you wish to terminate your account unless you ring them and wait the 20 minutes or more to get a customer service operator..thank you OPTUSNET.

    Then there are the poor bastards on Telstra ADSL who have been dudded over excess usage when their accessible account info actually says that they still have download left to use......

    It's a dodgy world out there mallet
    Woo Hoo Honi ko'u 'elemu (Hawaiian)

  23. #23
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    This "justinternet" crew keep getting dodgier.
    Got a call from my sister-in-law last night apologising about not keeping in contact...(they're in-laws...you take that as it comes mallet and explaining that their ISP to whom they'd paid 12 months in advance, had chopped off their service 2 months ago & had not answered their phone calls, or more precisely their messages left for them to contact them re; the lack of service. It gets better; they have also had draws on their bank account for their landline telephone service as well as their mobile from this same shonky crew who also transferred the accounts without authority.
    Guess who their ISP is??? Yep, JustInternet!! (hereinafter renamed "JustArseholes") and guess who recommended them to my mob?? mallet
    Their complaints have also been submitted by them to the legal people and regulatory bodies.
    It appears to be their modus operandii.

    Alan S a_drink
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  24. #24
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Well guess what??

    They've had another go at milking our credit card and the National Bank refuse to stop payment on it, so each time they stick their hand in our account, we report it to the bank who take all the details and then refund the money and then again tell us that if anyone calls with our credit card number and asks to rip us off, they will willingly co-operate & give them the funds after which we will have to contact them again whereupon they'll refund the money....and on & on infinitum....this will be the last time as the credit card is history, but what a lesson about giving out your credit card details to these thieving bloody scumbags.
    As a further lesson, here's a posting from "The Trading Post" that has just appeared. It seems others are also involved in doing similar scams but using a different approach; the end result remains the same though.

    "CREDIT CARD ALERT FOR ALL ADVERTISERS

    If contacted by someone identifying themselves as from the Trading Post and asking for additional Credit Card details over the phone please DO NOT give any details initially.
    1) Ask for the name of the person calling.
    2) Hang up and then phone the Trading Post Call Centre on 132237 for QLD and VIC and 132626 for all other states, ask to be transferred to your caller.
    You can then be assured that any request for information is indeed authentic."

    So a word to the wise; DON'T give your details to ANYONE as this could have cost us hundreds of $$$s but we have instituted proceedings through the relevent bodies & will follow them through. Most according to the ones in the know claim that most people that are ripped off are totally unaware of what has happened & too apathetic to follow through; never been one of my weaknesses. mallet mallet roll_lau

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

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