[Disclaimer: This piece is based on my opinions of JustFab (UK ) Ltd from personal experience of dealing with this organisation. The opinions I express here are purely that and not necessarily fact.]
Have you ever been looking through your bank statement and see a payment you know nothing about? It’s a horrible feeling. You begin to fear your account has been compromised and start question yourself. This happened to us recently when we saw repeated payment of £35 each month to a company called JustFab.
Let me tell you a little story of how the following 30 minutes unfolded and how we made a small victory for consumers…
£35 per month? For what?
We are going through a tough spell financially and that’s why we were going through our bank statements. We were building a comprehensive income and expenditure breakdown and from this, we would target where we could save money.
I spotted a regular payment of £35 per month from the joint account that Helen’s wages are paid into. It has been going on since December and so far they’d taken £210 from her debit card. Debit card recurring payments are a pain as you can’t stop them from your bank like you can a Direct Debit.
When we looked, Helen realised JustFab was an online store she bought a pair of shoes for one of the girls back in November. The debit card payment for them was a total of £12.37. So why have they taken £35 per month since then?
What did JustFab have to say?
Helen called JustFab immediately to inquire about this.
It turned out that you get signed up as a “VIP member” if you choose to sign up to the site rather than check out as a guest. The act of signing up automatically enrols you as a “VIP member” and initiated the £35 per month charge. This £35 is then converted into credits on your account that you can use to purchase discount shoes.
By the 5th of each month if you haven’t purchased anything or logged in and clicked “skip the month” then you are charged a further £35. Of course, if you didn’t know you’d signed up for this and don’t check your bank statements then this snowballs quite quickly.
Listening in to the conversation Helen was having with them I could tell she was being fobbed off. So, she gave permission for me to discuss her account and I tool over the call.
Telling them how it is
While Helen was on the phone and I was listening in I was also Googling the heck out of JustFab. Just Googleing “JustFab” and skipping a few pages into the results you start to see worrying signs with the words “con” and “scam”. Google “JustFab con” or “JustFab scam” and you begin to find pages of results linking to various message boards where others have had similar experiences with JustFab.
The guy who was on the other end of the telephone had one of those soft, irritating Americanised voices. He was clearly trained in the art of reading from a laminate and remain ultra calm and dealing with customers who have just realised they’ve lost hundreds of pounds.
I kept my line simple. First, I pointed out that I had research JustFab and knew of their shady operations through others’ experiences. Then I told them I knew about a complaint upheld by the ASA about their advertising that resulted in people signing up for this “membership”. He kept his line and tried to justify the payments.
Upping my game and changing my voice, I explain that what they were doing was effectively fraud. Then I suggested at best it was theft and that he put me through to a manager who could authorise the refund of the £210 they had taken so far.
He put me on hold…
For the win!
A minute later, no more, he was back. He first confirmed the Helen’s “VIP membership” was now cancelled. I thought was it but he went to advise that the £210 taken would be refunded within 3-5 days.
What a win and I only had to raise my voice a little!
Today I’ve checked the bank account and there are a total of six refunds of £35 each. That’s all £210 they took, back into our account.
A timely blessing
Honestly, this is a really well-timed blessing for us and will at least mean we can pay the mortgage this month! It eases some of the pressure – just ever so slightly.
If you find JustFab has done this to you then get them called and complain. But the real moral of this story is the CHECK YOUR BANK STATEMENTS REGULARLY!
Thanks for reading