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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46808
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I purchased on my Debit Card a software from SafeCart on-line

Resolved Question:

I purchased on my Debit Card a software from SafeCart on-line (price US$899.99) + Subscription for PC Extended Support & Service monthly $19.99. After the installation of this software I lost over 2,000 emails, various with documentation. After contacting SafeCart by email and telephone this problem was not resolved after Safecart "supposedly" worked to put this right, this was over a period of 4 days. My last email to Safecart stated that I was totally appalled at what they had done. Needless to say, they did not respond and their telephone number became "unavailable". I went to my Bank to enquire what I should do. My Bank, TSB in Wallington, googled this company to discover it was fraudulent! I have endeavoured to recoup my money back through TSB, to no avail. I have just called in to see my Bank Manager and he advised me to contact the Ombudsman. I have called in to two Solicitors in Wallington and have been advised that the cost of taking on this matter would outweigh the cost involved with the purchase. I am astounded that my Bank are unable to assist me with this matter and I am not only out of pocket to the sum of £613 but I have lost valuable emails and documents. I have had this software uninstalled, but of course the damage has been done. This company corrupted my laptop and lost me very important emails with attachments. I am hoping that you can assist me with this in some way. Thank you.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Customer:

Hello Ben, I am hoping that I will be successful. I feel that I have been totally ripped off and the fact that this software company will be ripping off many others. In my opinion this a clear case of fraud leaving me out-of-pocket with nothing to show for my money!

Ben Jones :

Your options in this case are as follows:




  1. You can make a chargeback claim with the bank, but this is not a legal right. Chargebacks are covered by codes that banks subscribe to but they are not legally binding and it does not mean that once you make a chargeback claim the bank must follow your instructions and try to recover the money. If the chargeback claim is rejected, all you can do is take your case to the Financial Ombudsman – this is a free service although it may take a few months to resolve. If the Ombudsman finds in your favour they may instruct the bank to proceed with the chargeback. Even then, there is no guarantee that the chargeback would work, for example if the account where the money went no longer exists and has been closed down, there would be nowhere to claim the money back from. You also cannot rely on the protection afforded under the Consumer Credit Act 1975 because that only applies to credit agreements, so if you had paid using a credit card then it would have applied, but it does not apply to debit card payments.

    2. You can sue the company directly for compensation. However, that can be quite risky. I presume they are based abroad so taking them through the courts will be an expensive affair and without any guarantee that you will get anything back from them. They could easily ignore the proceedings in this country and even if you obtain judgment in your favour, you would then have to try and transfer the judgment abroad and then begin enforcement proceedings wherever they are based. This will likely cost thousands so for the amount you are pursuing it may not be worth it as you are at risk of significantly increasing your losses.


 

Ben Jones :

Happy to clarify anything else if needed

Customer:

Thank you Ben. You have confirmed what I had been told at my Bank regarding my purchase with my debit card. It does seem pretty unjust and unfair for anybody purchasing an item with their debit card, but I do not have a credit card otherwise I may very well have used it for this purchase. Your explanation regarding taking legal action against this company based in USA is quite understandable, unfortunately, otherwise I would most certainly take them on as I have principles. It is a hard pill to swallow, but I think that I am the loser in this matter. It has been quite a lesson and one that I do not ever intend to do again.

Ben Jones :

Yes I am sorry that is the case. You could still try the Ombudsman service as it would not cost you anything to do so and you may get a decision in your favour instructing the bank to proceed with the chargeback, so there is nothing to lose by doing so, just to keep your options open

Customer:

Yes, I will try with the Ombudsman service, but TSB's last correspondence stated "I am sorry to say that we are unable to refund any consequential losses as a result of your computer becoming corrupt following the software being installed onto your machine" - I honestly thought that I would be covered under their "chargeback" policy - "free service that helps return a payment back to your account if there's a problem" - and if this is not a "problem" then I am not sure what is! I am very disappointed with my Bank and have no evidence that they endeavoured to resolve my loss any way.

Ben Jones :

the main issue, as mentioned, is that this chargeback facility is down to the bank to apply as they see fit, unless you go to the Ombudsman and they decide that the bank has not acted correctly.

Customer:

If I do that, surely I have no proof that the Bank has not acted in my interest.

Ben Jones :

it is not about proof as such, it is for the Ombudsman to decide whether the bank has applied the code correctly and if their decision here was fair/reasonable

Customer:

Accepted. I will try with the Ombudsman and just hope that the outcome will be a happy one for me!

Ben Jones :

Hope so too, all the best

Customer:

Thank you for your expert and professional advice.

Ben Jones :

You are most welcome

Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 46808
Experience: Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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