Are you being secretly signed up to a Rewards Club?

Mar 14, 2005
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Two years ago we made a purchase from an Easylife catalogue that arrive for the "Occupier" of our address. we ordered by phone and used a debit card to pay for the goods. The goods arrived and considering the cost were just about ok .

A few months later we discovered a series of unexpected withdraws on the bank statements for quite substantial sums in favour of a "Rewards Club". Not having knowingly authorised such payments or joined any such club (that we were aware of) we queried the items with the bank. The bank checked and said the payments were apparently authorised correctly by the catalogue company. We asked the bank to block payments to this company, and agreed to have the card blocked and changed. And over the intervening two years since the new card was issued no further claims were made by the catalogue company.

We also actively arranged to not use this company ever again, and took steps to block all phone numbers for them
02080560518
02080560543
02080560548

This May, another payment to a "Rewards Club" has appeared on the statement. Again we contacted the bank, and we discover its the same catalogue company . The big question is how have they got the new card number against which to claim. This is a worrying development.

We did some digging, apparently the Easylife Holdings is f a group of companies which trade under different names,
- Book Club
- Easylife
- Evergreen
- Gardening Club
- Good Ideas
- Maison Maison
- Motor Club
- Perx
- Positive Health
- Puzzle Book
- Rewards Club
- Supercard
But who quite legally share customers personal details under the groups privacy policy. But as far as we can recall, we have not made any contact or purchases with any of the other brands they list on their web site.

I checked with Which? online, and this company has a reputation for entrapping customers who make purchases and to enroll them into these money collecting scams and somehow doing it without the customer being aware of it. and apparently its a legal loophole. They have entrapped many vulnerable people, and as so many don't check their bank statements carefully they can end up paying hundreds of pounds a year to this company. They have also been fined for breaches of data protection.

Be warned, do check the small print. and I urge you not to use any of these companies.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I bought an on line ticket for National Express bus ticket, for the next 4 months £10 a month deduction from my bank account.
Turned out I did not " un tick " a box in the terms and conditions. Thankfully Nat West got my money back.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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This May, another payment to a "Rewards Club" has appeared on the statement. Again we contacted the bank, and we discover its the same catalogue company . The big question is how have they got the new card number against which to claim. This is a worrying development.
Many thanks for warning others of this scam.

Can you clarify two things. Are they debiting you account without your express permission?

Will your bank instigate a chargeback for monies taken?

I recently made a post regarding a scam I had. I made a credit card purchase for £78 through Mastercard. The money was taken but no goods delivered. Further checking showed that this Sheffield kitchen company was in fact a shoe company based in Milan.

The bank who operate my Mastercard, Tesco, were excellent in getting my money back. But despite the acceptance that this company were operating in this way. No attempt was made to stop them or take away their Mastercard, Visa and PayPal accounts. Last time I looked they were still operating online. You would think that Mastercard would vet companies, but that appears not to be the case.

In my case no attempt has been made to take repeat payments.

John
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I bought an on line ticket for National Express bus ticket, for the next 4 months £10 a month deduction from my bank account.
Turned out I did not " un tick " a box in the terms and conditions. Thankfully Nat West got my money back.
What were National Express providing for the £10pm deduction and what did the tick box say. A worrying loophole that needs closing.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thank you Prof for the heads up. Considering the somersaults I go through when setting up a new payee on my account, or my BILS accounts such a loophole is tantamount to fraud, and I’m surprised that the banks and card companies haven’t moved to have it closed. There are many people who don’t check their outgoings, or don’t have the ability or support to check their outgoings who could be at risk of this scam despite it being legal.
 
Dec 27, 2022
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It reminds me why I never ever use my debit card for anything except drawing cash from my local PO.
All my online/telephone purchases are done with a credit card, normally one with an artificially low credit limit.
 
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Sam Vimes

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Interesting post Prof but only too common.

I susbscribe to free tech magazines on-line and stories far worse than this appear every day and on a much larger scale.

Its been more than 30 years since we were subject to credit card fraud and it happened again only a week ago.

After a trip to Northumberland and using the card to pay for parking - contactless - we were contacted by the bank the day after to say that a transaction for £0 and then for £1860 had tried to be applied to our card. The bank knew it wasn't right and we confirmed that, so it got blocked and a new card issued.

I'd like to know how they got my card details as we're extremely cautious - but it happened.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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What were National Express providing for the £10 pm deduction and what did the tick box say. A worrying loophole that needs closing.
It was a 3rd party company that would give you a discount on , high priced items bought from them. The ticked box was hidden in the terms and conditions, about two paragraphs down. Essentially Hidden.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Thank you Prof. Very worrying! I assume all the firms are U.K. based?
Partly by choice and because of Tesco Credit card points we tend to use our Tesco Credit card for all purchases and pay off the whole bill each month.
But will using a CC avoid the situation you experienced? Must check .
 
Nov 11, 2009
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It was a 3rd party company that would give you a discount on , high priced items bought from them. The ticked box was hidden in the terms and conditions, about two paragraphs down. Essentially Hidden.
That’s not what I would expect of a reputable company like National Express. At times the commercial world seems in a race to the gutter.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Thank you Prof. Very worrying! I assume all the firms are U.K. based?
Partly by choice and because of Tesco Credit card points we tend to use our Tesco Credit card for all purchases and pay off the whole bill each month.
But will using a CC avoid the situation you experienced? Must check .
If they place a Continuous debit payment on a credit card, it is extremely difficult to remove and you need to contact the supplier of the CC and ask them to replace the current CC and also to prevent a new CPA on the new card from that company. We had to do that about two months ago as the company that put the CPA on ignore our request to delete the CPA and it is a well known company associated with laptops and mobile phones.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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I saw this reported in the press some time back and avoid them. I assume they hide the authorisation somewhere in their terms and conditions.
Apparently that is correct, but its buried deep in them, and if you order by post or phone, you don't see them. It's rigged to entrap people. I wonder how many people are actually caught up in this without realising it? They could be raking in £millions.

If you have any elderly relatives get them to check their bank statements.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Thanks for the heads up about this also made note of the numbers and information lucky my wife check the bank statements every month to make sure nothing like this happens
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks for the heads up about this also made note of the numbers and information lucky my wife check the bank statements every month to make sure nothing like this happens
My wife checks hers via the bank app first thing every morning just after I have made her tea and biscuit. Strangely enough she has the bank app, but she doesn’t want me to have it. So I just periodically go online to review and download the monthly statement. But we always discuss setting up any new payee and that’s done via the banks online website using the card reader.
 
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My wife fell into a similar trap when she ordered some makeup online, each month her account got debited as it turned out it was a “subscription” that entitled you to discounts on overpriced beauty products. As others said, the details of this were hidden within the small print and weren’t obvious at all. Contacted the bank and they were extremely helpful in sorting it.

Another one that trips some folks up is accidentally subscribing to Amazon Prime when ordering from there.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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My wife fell into a similar trap when she ordered some makeup online, each month her account got debited as it turned out it was a “subscription” that entitled you to discounts on overpriced beauty products. As others said, the details of this were hidden within the small print and weren’t obvious at all. Contacted the bank and they were extremely helpful in sorting it.

Another one that trips some folks up is accidentally subscribing to Amazon Prime when ordering from there.
At least with Amazon Prime it isn’t difficult to unsubscribe as Amazon does recognise consumer rights laws for on line purchases. I used to regularly sign up for 30 days free on Prime and then cancel on day 29. Now I’m a full subscriber.
 
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At least with Amazon Prime it isn’t difficult to unsubscribe as Amazon does recognise consumer rights laws for on line purchases. I used to regularly sign up for 30 days free on Prime and then cancel on day 29. Now I’m a full subscriber.
I still sign up for the 30 days free on Prime for the next day delivery but always cancelled before the due date . (y)
 
Mar 14, 2005
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My son avoids using Amazon on moral grounds.

He does not like the way the company employs and manages it's staff in the warehouses. He tells me they aren't allowed comfort breaks if the need arises, and if their work effort falls below a defined level they are summiraly sacked by an email.

Similarly their delivery drivers are on such tight schedules, they are likely to break speed limits or take other dangerous illegal actions. Incidentally they are not the only delivery company to push their drivers to such activity.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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My son avoids using Amazon on moral grounds.

He does not like the way the company employs and manages it's staff in the warehouses. He tells me they aren't allowed comfort breaks if the need arises, and if their work effort falls below a defined level they are summiraly sacked by an email.

Similarly their delivery drivers are on such tight schedules, they are likely to break speed limits or take other dangerous illegal actions. Incidentally they are not the only delivery company to push their drivers to such activity.
I think the issue of them not having comfort breaks is now a thing of the past. Not sure if it is correct, but the comfort beaks were curtailed due to some staff taking continuous comfort breaks probably to have a smoke and others suffered. After an outcry the comfort breaks were re-introduced, but with restrictions. I am be wrong as going by memory on an article I read a while ago. Can't comment on the delivery side as that probably applies to al delivery drivers.

However many people use Amazon because it is simpler, quicker and no quibbles with returning goods. I still shop around as sometimes other retailers have the similar goods at a lower price including delivery as proven very recently in another thread. Only catch is that you need to wait 2 - 3 days.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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My son avoids using Amazon on moral grounds.

He does not like the way the company employs and manages it's staff in the warehouses. He tells me they aren't allowed comfort breaks if the need arises, and if their work effort falls below a defined level they are summiraly sacked by an email.

Similarly their delivery drivers are on such tight schedules, they are likely to break speed limits or take other dangerous illegal actions. Incidentally they are not the only delivery company to push their drivers to such activity.
My three BILs worked in Coventry on the car production lines and their opportunities for comfort breaks were strictly enforced. Likewise I worked in Cardiff Tremorfa steelworks and on daytime shifts breaks were refused except at set times. However night shifts were different as we would slow down and some would even go behind the stacks of reinforcing bars for a nap. The aim being to keep 24 hr production within the agreed outputs. Exceed output and the fear was that the targets would be raised. This was union Iron and Steel Trades Confederation policy 😱. Needless to say the steelworks closed many years ago.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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My three BILs worked in Coventry on the car production lines and their opportunities for comfort breaks were strictly enforced. Likewise I worked in Cardiff Tremorfa steelworks and on daytime shifts breaks were refused except at set times. However night shifts were different as we would slow down and some would even go behind the stacks of reinforcing bars for a nap. The aim being to keep 24 hr production within the agreed outputs. Exceed output and the fear was that the targets would be raised. This was union Iron and Steel Trades Confederation policy 😱. Needless to say the steelworks closed many years ago.
I am fairly certain that my former father in law worked at that steel works for many years until retirement.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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What am I missing here. I fully understand the unscrupulous practice of duping buyers into starting a subscription. And the warning is well noted. Again I thank the OP for bringing this to our attention.

What I struggle with is the difficulty mentioned above regarding stopping such recurring payment's. See #1 and #12

Advice from Citizens advice is:

To withdraw consent, simply tell whoever issued your card (the bank, building society or credit card company) that you don't want the payment to be made. You can tell the card issuer by phone, email or letter. Your card issuer has no right to insist that you ask the company taking the payment first.


John
 

Sam Vimes

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Everyone is free to choose who they do business with. Amazon are probably no different from most large and particularly American companies.

While some may choose not to deal with Amazon on grounds of moral concerns I suspect many will still use social media such as Meta, X or whatever who treat their employees as easily disposable assets and allow despicable content to be posted.

The writing was on the wall when the personnel department got renamed Human Resources.
 
Last edited:
Jul 18, 2017
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What am I missing here. I fully understand the unscrupulous practice of duping buyers into starting a subscription. And the warning is well noted. Again I thank the OP for bringing this to our attention.

What I struggle with is the difficulty mentioned above regarding stopping such recurring payment's. See #1 and #12

Advice from Citizens advice is:

To withdraw consent, simply tell whoever issued your card (the bank, building society or credit card company) that you don't want the payment to be made. You can tell the card issuer by phone, email or letter. Your card issuer has no right to insist that you ask the company taking the payment first.


John
Have you ever tried to get a CPA stopped on a credit or debit card. It is extremely difficult as you are told to contact the company and we all know that can be almost impossible going by our very recent experience. You get moved from pillar to post and loads of empty promises.
Problem is that you don't know it has been cancelled by the company until a payment has been taken. Nationwide advised us that it was simpler and quicker to cancel the card and get a new card.
 
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