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Adaptive Affinity requests deletion of over 190 consumer comments

Written on Friday, September 10th, 2010 at 10:21 am by ConsumerDeals
Filed under Consumer Issues, Finance, Site news.

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.

VistaPrint Rewards Debit Montage

Montage of debits from VistaPrint Rewards

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.

Consumer comments

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

Complaint Status

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)

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    4 Responses to “Adaptive Affinity requests deletion of over 190 consumer comments”

    1. Robin Davidson Says:

      I am now having the same problem with Ticket2Save, another Adaptive Affinity company. This time they have attached themselves to amazon.co.uk, where in completing a transaction in September 2010 (this part is true) I allegedly clicked a banner offering me a 10% discount, but also signing me up for T2S’s subscription service. They further claim that I would have had to manually give them my card details as they could never extract there from amazon’s secure server. None of the last part of this sentence is true. I would certainly never give my details to a scuzzy ticketing agency which popped up out of nowhere in the middle of a transaction. Moreover, no discount was applied to the transaction in question. Amazon’s Customer Services dept consider that since amazon editors were not involved, it’s no concern of theirs – though they have passed my complaint on to the ‘relevant department’. T2S claim they sent me an email with membership no, pw etc., but if they did I imagine I deleted it thinking it part of the usual ticketing spam which Orange seem unable to prevent. I am pursuing this, since they’ve had over £100 off me.
      The day after I cancelled the ‘subscription’ a ticketing offer email from them arrived in my inbox.

    2. Lydia Mallinson Says:

      I took out the credit score matters free trial, i did not cancel but have now had two £19.95 payments come out, not one! Also rewards now have taken £19.95 from my account aswell. I have never seen this company before in my life, but found out Adaptive Affinity run both companies. from this i am taking that they have passed my details from credit score matters to rewards now, which have taken money for a membership that i have no confirmation for. i will be making a complaint to the office of fair trading as i feel this is a breach of personal data. Do not touch any of their companies.

    3. Tom adyetuino Says:

      I had money taken from my account for 3 years, from the horrid company. I spoke to a lady called Natalie kulkur who said she was a team leader. yet she didn’t have a clue. She was very Rude and un helpful.. I Did get my money back in the end when i told her i was talking them to watchdog she quickly changed her mind and offered me my full refund, I believe this company is a complete scam, Has anyone gone on to the rewards now site, half the discounts are not even worth the monthly fee. I also had a friend who was ripped off by this company and again he got a full refund when he said he would be taking them to court. DON’T BEAT AROUND THE BUSH WITH THIS COMPANY, TELL THEM YOUR TAKING THEM TO WATCHDOG,TRADING STANDARDS, SMALL CLAIMS ETC.. AND THEY WILL REFUND YOUR MONEY RIGHT AWAY.. ..

    4. Ceri Says:

      I’m in exactly the same position as Tom (oct 21st 2011) comment, they have been taking money out for the past 18 months. They said that I would have had to input my credit card details again whilst completing my transaction with Amazon, which I would never have done just to get a measly £10 voucher. Ive spoken to a team leader the same, again he ended up being very rude, I tried the whole taking it further and watchdog he was having none of it. I did ask why in 18 months membership have I never received a membership newsletter! his answer was that an annual email was sent, again I have no record of this in my inbox. This whole thing has angered me somewhat now, but I don’t know what to do next, Ive googled this problem and their are a lot of discussions on this scam, great if somehow I could use the whole ‘you have refunded people in the past’. Any suggestions would be a great help, and this sort of thing is sickening, Ive been on the website and its plain to see it offers nothing.

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