Beware "€10 cashback!" Ticketmaster,IrishRail,Ryan,eBay

PatMacG

Frequent Poster
Messages
104
...
Kind regards,
Mary
Complete Savings
Mary I love saving money. Where can I access and download the Savings Key version 1.0 software, the power behind CompleteSave, CompleteSavings and WebLoyalty? I see it was announced in 1999 but I can't seem to find any more recent mention of it.

I do note that version 1.4 has one single mention on a Google WebStore, but has no reviews and no downloads. I'd love to be the first to review it from a user-perspective.

Thanks in advance.
 

dermotneary

Registered User
Messages
11
Hi Dermot, when you signed up in October did you still think you were on the Irish Rail website or (unlike me) did you realise that you were entering and agreement with a third party? (Complete Savings)

aj

I knew that I was entering an agreement with a third party.

I would have been quite sceptical about joining. I was a little surprised that the cheque actually arrived and relieved that it was so easy to discontinue membership within the 30 days.

Possible discounts/benefits at a cost of €12 per month isn't something that would appeal to me but I was wondering if some people are seeing the value of Membership; real life examples as opposed to the company's claims.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,461
We might see a bit of action from Irish Rail now!

Irish Rail customers being duped by ‘Complete Savings’ scam – FF
O’Brien complains to National Consumer Agency & demands explanation from Irish Rail
Fianna Fáil Senator Darragh O’Brien has learned that many customers who have booked tickets online with Irish Rail have been duped into paying monthly fees to a dubious deals website without their full knowledge.

According to Senator O’Brien, deals company Complete Savings has partnered with Irish Rail so all customers who buy online tickets are offered €10 off their next ticket. Those customers that click ‘yes’ and fill in the basic form are automatically signed up as members of the external Complete Savings company, which then takes €12 out of their account each month for ‘membership’.

Senator O’Brien explained, “I only discovered this scam having fallen victim to it myself at the weekend. I bought train tickets online and like most people would, I accepted the offer of €10 off my next ticket. This was presented as a simple Irish Rail offer, not as a pop-up ad from an external deals company. Little did I know that I was signing up to handing over €12 a month for a highly dubious service that I do not want.

“These payments appear on a bank statement as ‘point of sale’ purchases, not as direct debits so it’s easy for people to miss what’s happening here. It’s proven extremely difficult to track down the company Complete Savings to seek an explanation, cancel the payments and demand a refund. My own bank alone has received many complaints about this involving customers who had unwittingly handed over substantial sums of money.

“I am calling for an immediate statement from Irish Rail. At no point is it made sufficiently clear that this is not an Irish Rail offer. Irish Rail is a semi-state company operating with taxpayers’ money. It has an obligation to provide a reliable, secure, clear and upfront service to its customers. It has a responsibility to ensure consumers are protected and to ensure that its corporate partners are leaders in consumer protection.

“I have also written to the National Consumer Agency calling for an investigation into this. Consumers need to be warned about what is going on here. I understand that other large companies like Ticketmaster, Ryanair and Argos also use Complete Savings, with varying degrees of warnings to their customers about what this involves. Unlike Irish Rail, these are not State funded companies, but they do have an obligation to meet certain consumer service standards.

“In the last 24 hours, I have mentioned this to a number of my own friends and family who have now discovered that they too have fallen victim to this. I am urging anyone who has booked a rail ticket online to check with their banks immediately to see if they have been charged by Complete Savings without their full knowledge.”

ENDS
 

Alan Tyrrell

Registered User
Messages
1
Dear Brendan,
I am posting this on behalf of Complete Savings who have just issued the statement below. Irish Rail has also issued a statement which clarifies a number of points.
I have also been on the Fianna Fail website and the party has also just removed the original statement (the one you have posted here) from their website. Fianna Fail has also deleted their tweet about it too.
Thank you.
Alan


COMPLETE SAVINGS STATEMENT

Joining Complete Savings involves clear three-step sign up process
Complete Savings membership makes it simple to save on everyday purchases, but can easily be cancelled

Complete Savings wishes to correct and clarify inaccurate comments made about the company.

In contrast to inaccurate comments made about the company, Complete Savings offers a fully transparent, three-stage sign up process, is easy to contact by telephone or via email and provides real savings on everyday purchases. Members can earn up to €300 cashback per month by shopping online as they usually would.

As well as an initial cashback offer (typically €15), and a monthly €10 cashback bonus when they make further purchases at the site they joined from, members can earn 10% cashback at a wide variety of online retailers and save 20% on gift cards. Complete Savings is a membership programme and monthly membership to access the savings and benefits costs just €12 per month with the first 30 days provided free of charge.

The online enrolment form for Complete Savings is only advertised after the individual has made a purchase with the original retailer. The shopper will see a banner advertisement offering them cashback on their next purchase if they sign up to Complete Savings. The banner highlights that that the enrolment is with a partner rather than the selling website directly.

The online enrolment form is clearly aimed at customers wishing to make savings. It states there is an initial 30-day free trial, after which membership costs €12 a month. The monthly fee is clearly referenced throughout our communications – on the online sign-up form it is mentioned at least four times, including at the top of the page and above the field where people enter their card details.

At all times it is easy for members to contact the company via email or telephone, to check the status of their savings and to cancel their membership if they wish.

In order to sign up to the Complete Savings programme, there is a clear three-step process in which a customer must enter their name, email address, postal address and their credit or debit card details on the online sign up form, and they also need to create and verify a password. At no point is any data transferred to the Complete Savings sign-up form from their previous purchase. Manually entering details on the sign-up page is the only way for shoppers to become members of Complete Savings.

We are proud to help our members save money on their everyday online shopping through our programme. We want all of our members to be satisfied with the service they receive and it is not our intention to keep members who do not wish to belong to the programme. If any consumers have questions about the programme, they are more than welcome to contact us on 1800 806 167 or customerservice@completesavings.ie
Ends.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,461
Hi Alan

I have removed the press statement from Darragh O'Brien, as he has removed it from the website.

But with respect, your response is nonsense.

fully transparent, three-stage sign up process,
If it's so fully transparent, how are so many people caught out by it?
How do so many people sign up for this inadvertently?
Why do you design the wording and name to mislead people into thinking that they are on Irish Rail's website?
Why use a word like "continue" when you are moving to another website?
Why not open up the website in a completely separate window, with different colours and with a meaningful company name on the page?
Why not remove the logo of Irish Rail from the sign up page?
The banner highlights that that the enrolment is with a partner rather than the selling website directly.
It is not a banner in the normal sense of the word "banner". I see banner ads all the time, but I don't think I have ever clicked on one.
It appears to be an integral part of the Irish Rail website with a wording such as "Save €15 on your next Irish Rail purchase"
Why don't you say in a separate banner distinct from the main website layout "Join our savings club for €12 a month and get savings" ?
It does not "highlight" it. It mentions it on a very busy page.
If you highlight it and people consciously choose to give you, a company they have never heard of before, their credit card details, then they have only themselves to blame.

When you charge people , why don't you give them a clear description on the credit card?
Why use terms like "point of sale" or "complete save"?
Why not use Completesavings.ie so that people who have inadvertently signed up for it can easily find out what they are being charged for?

By the way, how much do you pay Irish Rail for each customer who signs up?
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,461
I have also been on the Fianna Fail website and the party has also just removed the original statement (the one you have posted here) from their website. Fianna Fail has also deleted their tweet about it too.
Thank you.
I checked with Darragh O'Brien and he has not withdrawn his statement.

He stands over it other than to say that he has been contacted by Argos, who notified him that they have severed their links with Complete Savings.
 

Alan Tyrrel

Registered User
Messages
1
Hi Brendan,
My apologies for any confusion re the Fianna Fail statement.
The statement was not visible on their website when I rechecked and nor was it visible on the twitter feed.

I'll raise your questions to Complete Savings.
Thanks,
Alan
 

ajapale

Moderator
Messages
7,723
.. he has been contacted by Argos, who notified him that they have severed their links with Complete Savings.
Its good to know that reputable merchants such as Argos no longer accommodate schemes such as this on their website.

I, like many others who signed up to this scheme, thought that I was still on the Irish Rail site.

If other ordinary decent companies such as Ryanair, Ticketmaster and Irish Rail wish to continue their association with schemes like this then they should take steps to clearly distinguish their offering from the third party "scheme" offering.


Irish Rail and Ryanair should be obliged to “clearly and conspicuously” tell their customers that they are being passed onto another website. They do not do this at present. Hitting a button saying “continue” does not suggest that the person is leaving the site.
 

Sunny

Frequent Poster
Messages
3,438
Maybe the company should address these issues directly instead of hiring PR companies.
 

DBrown

Registered User
Messages
1
In the grind of checking credit card statements I noticed my wife has been caught out by this. They've been deducting €12 per month for 6 months.
Has anyone had any joy in getting a refund from them?
If not, I'm considering telling my bank it was a fraud (which it was as far as I'm concerned) and they'll take it back from somehow I've no doubt.
 

Tertonmike

Registered User
Messages
2
There is another odd aspect to this scheme.

I have come across it through Ticketmaster bookings and accept that you cannot sign up for it without consciously filling in a registration form on which there is reference to a €12 monthly charge debited to your credit card, though it is sneaky in the extreme how the whole process works. I cannot speak for the process connecting Complete Savings to the other sites like Irish Rail and Ryanair. They may be even murkier for all I know.

However, an additional beef is the complete lack of pre-purchase information available about the range, scale , and conditions of the discounts and vouchers promised by Complete Savings. Apart from a cash back deal if you book another event with Ticketmaster (and presumably equivalent offers for other "partners"), the registration page promises discounts worth up to €300 pm with other online retailers. Nowhere on that page or on the linked page promising more information do they tell you:

A. WHICH online retailers offer discounts to subscribers
B. WHAT percentage discounts are available. There is a hell of a difference between €300 saved on say €1200 outlay (25%) and €300 discount on €30,000 gross price (1%). How feasible is it to maximise the promised savings? NIL information!
C. WHAT other T&C apply? Presumably varies with the retailer but I'd like to know before signing up e.g., whether the same or any discount is available on ALL goods or services provided by any given retailer, whether you have to bulk buy to avail of discounts, whether there are internal limits per retailer on the promised €300 pm savings etc etc etc.

Again, absolutely no information on the site AND I see that their statement issued to you and quoted above gives no detail either about how to make savings on the "everyday purchases" they refer to. They should be pressurised for full disclosure on this aspect as well as on their - and their commercial partners' highly dubious sales practices. I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover that it is difficult, bordering on impossible to actually realise savings of the scale promised, due to hedging conditions, internal limits etc.

Basically, the whole scheme stinks and no decent, customer-oriented company should be involved in promoting it. I am surprised by some of those that are. Others, less so!
 

ajapale

Moderator
Messages
7,723
...The whole scheme stinks and no decent customer-oriented company should be involved in promoting it.
Agreed.

Has anyone had any joy in getting a refund from them?
As far as im aware completesavings cancel and refund quickly and without any hassle as soon as you let them know. The last thing they want is to have a "Joe Duffy" spectacular.
 

Time

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,741
Irish rail have removed this form their website. It no longer appears when you book tickets.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,461
Irish rail have removed this form their website. It no longer appears when you book tickets.
Hi Time

If this is correct, then that is a great achievement for the campaign against it.

Did it appear every time? I thought it was only with some bookings?

Brendan
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,461
I see that the Irish Times covered it again recently

Irish Rail sharply criticised in Seanad for online booking scheme

Ned O’Sullivan (FF) said he also supported Mr O’Brien, adding that a local authority colleague in Kerry had contacted him to say she had looked up her Visa account and found she had lost approximately €36 over a three-month period.


He said he was laughing at the idea until he found he was “taken” for €60. He had booked online a train ticket from Charleville to Dublin and, at the end of the transaction, a pop-up box offered him a €10 discount on his next fare.


“I am very vigilant when signing off on any financial offers online and am reasonably computer literate and it must have been a very well-worded document for me to have clicked it without realising it would cost me €12 per month in perpetuity had I not been alerted to the fact,” added Mr O’Sullivan.
 

Time

Frequent Poster
Messages
2,741
Hi Time

If this is correct, then that is a great achievement for the campaign against it.

Did it appear every time? I thought it was only with some bookings?

Brendan
I booked a return ticket last week, Portlaoise to Dublin and in the space where the ad usually appeared is now just a box with striped lines in it.

It appeared the previous 2 times I used the site in April to book tickets.
 

Ian010

Registered User
Messages
3
For other places where this "deal" still appears, it may be worth looking to see if it contravenes anything in this new law that comes into effect on 13 June 2014:

EUROPEAN UNION (CONSUMER INFORMATION, CANCELLATION AND OTHER RIGHTS) REGULATIONS 2013
S.I. No. 484 of 2013

www~djei~ie/publications/sis/2013/si484.pdf
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
37,461
I booked a return ticket last week, Portlaoise to Dublin and in the space where the ad usually appeared is now just a box with striped lines in it.

It appeared the previous 2 times I used the site in April to book tickets.
It appeared today when I booked a ticket with Irish Rail. Unfortunately , Nitro PDF froze, when I tried to do a copy
 

Sunny

Frequent Poster
Messages
3,438
It appeared today when I booked a ticket with Irish Rail. Unfortunately , Nitro PDF froze, when I tried to do a copy
I booked a ticket on Sunday and it was there. Hadn't read this thread so don't have a copy but will be booking again today so will try.
 
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