Beware of unwanted subscriptions

Updated December 23rd 2017: My wife talked with JustFab UK over the phone last week, and they told her to write an email to them. They promised to refund all of the monthly subscriptions, which they did, today. We are of course happy to get our money back, and I think JustFab UK appears to less “scam-y” then they does before , so I updated this post title to reflect that. Still, beware of your unwanted subscriptions.

The original post as below:

Later tonight I was checking my bank statements – to see how much I have spent and how much I still have in my account – well, for the upcoming Holiday seasons, of course.

And this got my attention:

Normally I would assume this is my wife using my credit card buying something. She did that before, and I was unhappy about it, but she didn’t stop doing that. But there was something telling I might have seen this before, it must be some kind of Déjà vu.

So I checked a little further back, and realized there was a similar transaction last month

This was getting really suspicious. How likely is my wife spending same amount of money, on same store, on same day of month? Very, very unlikely. I checked further and further, and it started since August, 2017. Which kinda “makes senses”, because my wife made this purchase in July

So it’s almost clear she (or actually, I, as the card holder) was scammed into some kind of subscription. A shady business gets a hold of your credit card number and tries to scheme you into spending money, unwanted and undetected. A quick search on Google confirm my suspicion – JustFab tries to sell “credits”, so more or less like Amazon Audible. Every month, they would gives you a credit so you can buy stuffs on their store (which reportedly, bad quality stuffs), at the cost of $40/£35/SEK399. Much less than Amazon Audible (which is a legitimate business), JustFab does a lot of thing to hide that subscription from you. First of all, they don’t make it clear that you are signing up for the monthly subscription, they try to hide that in the bottom, and mixing it with other checkboxes so it looks “innocent”. Some people on Internet argue that it was in their Terms and Conditions. Well, if you don’t inform people so they can make conscious decision on how will you be charged, you’re a scam, simple as that. Secondly,  They don’t send the notification that you are spending money and/or the receipt of that “credit”, so you are pretty much unaware of you are being charged monthly. And from the reports here  and  here (and plenty others), they make it extremely difficult and confusing to opt out from their subscription. It’s not hard to imagine they would refuse to refund the money they charged for “credits”.

Now we “spent” 2000 SEK for their useless credits, and it’s almost impossible to get back that money. I will have to call the bank tomorrow to see they can help preventing it from happening in the future, but they can only do that much. The money is lost, and for bad reasons.

Lessons learned:

  • JustFab is a scam  a very shady business, stay away from it.
  • Only subscribe the services you actually need (need, not want). Broadband for example. Be very cautious on the “free month subscription”, unless you remember to cancel it.
  • Say no to any “offer to subscribe” other than well established and trusted businesses – like Amazon, Netflix or some others.
  • Sharing credit card number is a very BAD idea.
  • Check your bank statements more frequently.
  • No Christmas present for my wife, as she has already spent her quota 🙂

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