Well, I am posting this here in the hope that this will help other customers.
I have been, as I came to find out now, another customer trapped by Lasevia Limited (free4books or similar) situation.
Last month, I came to realised that for about an year I have been paying 4.50 a week as I seemed to have subscribed to a service provided by Lasevia Limited.
Since I have a direct debit and travel a lot for work, I only noticed those charges, folllowing an unprompted check on my account and noticying a highly unusual mobile bills. Initially thought this was abroad data charges usage however since I have a world travel bolt on that shouldn't have been the case.
I contacted O2 customer service and the representative was very helpful providing me a figure of GBP 220 and strongly advising that I should contact Lasevia and request a refund onto my O2 account.
I got in Lasevia, mutliple time, and the 48 hours call back which seems to be their standard procedure never happened. I then contacted O2 again and was told this was going to be escalated and I would get a call from O2 but once again, nothing. I then contacted O2 and was pretty much advised that this is process is the same as dealing with any other pay services such as Netflix. However I am sure that Netflix has a much more reliable processes unlikely Lasevia who has 1 star in the UK trust pilot. I have been with O2 for 10 years and I am extremelly dissapointed with O2 for not really been faithfull to their claim to address this ongoing situation.
Also check out www.payforitsucks.co.uk
Paul, @Payforit_Sucks is the best person to give you advice, although it is all on his website linked to above.
I have contacted PhonePaid Services but have not heard from them yet. What are the next option? Ombudsmen? I am also contacting my MP for advice as astonished by number of articles related to this subject and the lack of protective actions from O2.
One of the problems with these Payforit scams is that the companies that operate them are based overseas, beyond the jurisdiction of British law. Lasevia is based in Cyprus and is a notorious scam - yet O2 regard them as a "trusted partner". Take a look at their Trustpilot reviews.
A read through these reviews gives the impression that it is predominently O2 customers that are affected.
@PhoneChangeris wrong. He has fallen for the line that the networks often spin that there is nothing they can do about these scams, There is a great deal that networks can do to protect customers. EE began demanding two factor authorisation for these "subscriptions" in February 2018, and has virtually eliminated them from its network. Belatedly, O2 introduced the same measure in May this year (although a lack of enforcement is an issue). Networks can choose which companies to allow to operate "services" on their network. I get the impression (from the lack of complaints) that Lasevia have been barred from other networks.
This case predates the new rules.
Most consumers report that Lasevia are near impossible to deal with, so your best bet is to pursue the payment intermediary, Tap2Bill.
They can be called on 0333 003 0599 or emailed at customer.service<at>tap2bill.com. They are UK based, so subject to the UK Small Claims procedure.
5 St. John's Lane
They will, of course, suggest that you contact Lasevia first, so make sure you can provide evidence that you have done this. Tell them that as they have sent your money offshore you will be taking legal action against them if a FULL refund is not provided. If they claim you consented to the charges, ask for:
Although you have reported this scam to the regulator, you should inform the regulator of the difficulties you are having in contacting the company and obtaining a refund.
You should probably also be pursuing O2 as, under the Payforit rules, they are supposed to resolve disputes where onsumers are unable to reach an agreement with merchants.
The Phone-paid Services Authority will provide you with a case number in due course. You should keep them updated on your efforts to secure a resolution, by emailing copies to them at firstname.lastname@example.org with your case number in the title.
More information about these scams and how to deal with them is on the Payforitsucks website. Please fight for a refund and don't let these scammers win!
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