This website is in receipt of a formal complaint from Adaptive Affinity Limited in Edgware, Middlesex regarding a posting by one of our team in May 2007. We understand that they are calling for our original message, and over 190 comments from concerned UK consumers to be “removed with immediate effect”.
Adaptive Affinity runs, or has run, membership schemes including VistaPrint Rewards, HighStreetMax, Club Prem, HighCreditScore and Rewards Now, and customers are encouraged to sign up to these schemes after completing transactions at online retailers which have included VistaPrint, Millet Sports and lastminute.com
Our original message refers to unexpected debits applied to our team member’s credit card after purchase of some business cards from VistaPrint, and discusses problems he experienced getting the debits stopped and obtaining a refund. The complaint from Adaptive Affinity Limited relates to a claim made that a request for a refund was followed by further debits. The complaint asserts that the statement is “simply untrue”, “no proof is offered” and is “false and/or inaccurate”.
In response, ConsumerDeals has provided evidence to back up the claims made by our contributor. This includes a letter from VistaPrint Rewards / Adaptive Affinity promising cancellation, four credit card statements showing debits after the promised cancellation, and a transcript of a phone call where a rather embarrassed-sounding representative admits the failure to cancel the VistaPrint Rewards membership and provide a refund, and apologises.
In accordance with Adaptive Affinity’s claim that no proof has been offered, we’re happy to provide extracts of credit card statements and correspondence. This is available now for all to see here: Adaptive Affinity Complaint Evidence. At this time, Adaptive Affinity has not provided us with any evidence that contradicts this material.
As of the 9th September 2010, we understand that our contributor has apparently still not received a full refund despite one being promised over three years ago.
In addition to the complaint about our contributor’s post, the complaint also cites a number of the over 190 comments from UK consumers as being false, inaccurate and/or offensive.
In reviewing this complaint, we have found hundreds of messages from consumers in the UK who have also experienced debits on their credit card and gone through the process of cancelling and requesting refunds. Sites covering reported issues with Adaptive Affinity schemes include: The Mirror , The Guardian, Martin Lewis’ MoneySavingExpert, Hubbers and Legal Beagles. Adaptive Affinity was also featured in a leading BBC consumer programme, and the seven minute feature (with comments from the Trading Standards Institute) is available here: BBC You and Yours – Online Terms and Conditions
A representative from Adaptive Affinity has commented on our original message and the 190 subsequent comments. As Adaptive Affinity’s removal request also appears to include their own message, and in the interest of balance, we will quote an extract from their post here: “Adaptive Affinity Ltd and partners in no way operate in illegal, immoral or dishonest business practices” and “we are always committed to offering a clear and honest service.”
Last year, the Office of Fair Trading investigated Adaptive Affinity Limited for alleged breaches of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008. After the OFT raised concerns that consumers could be misled, Adaptive Affinity agreed to make a number of changes. You can find a full summary here: Office of Fair Trading Adaptive Affinity Press Release
ConsumerDeals has provided its Internet hosting provider with a full written response, and provided copies of credit card statement extracts, a transcript and a copy of a letter confirming account cancellation. Original documentation has been authenticated by a third party.
Following discussions with our hosting provider, we have now masked extracts from a small number of statements made by our visitors. All changes have been clearly marked by our team. In the event that any site visitor feels that the changes made by us have been done so without cause, we would ask you to contact us. We may ask you to provide supporting documentation in respect any dispute you have with Adaptive Affinity and their partners, plus your permission to make that documentation public.
We are hopeful that, by providing the requested proof within 24 hours of the complaint, clarifying the details of our contributor’s experiences with VistaPrint Rewards, providing a full written response, making changes to highlighted user comments and allowing Adaptive Affinity to address their customers in the discussion, we have demonstrated our willingness to address the complaint in a timely matter.
Update 10 Sep 2010: We’d like to thank those of you who have send us messages of support – that’s much appreciated! Also, thanks to Carl for letting us know that we’re not alone – US site One Man’s Blog has also received a similar complaint from Adaptive Affinity this week (see: VistaPrint.com Is Threatening to Sue Me Over a Blog Comment. Really???). Also to Martin for drawing our attention to the way ‘The London Plan’ has responded to their complaint (see: Angry Me)