I recently logged into my account with the software security company McAfee.
My account showed that my HP laptop’s antivirus and internet security had expired in January 2017.
I called the company and asked why they had charged the annual subscription fee to my Nationwide credit card every June since 2018, even though it had expired. I requested a refund of the £570 collected over the years.
At first the call handler told me I must have been scammed and the company hadn’t received those payments, but upon re-checking he said the money had been received.
I was only offered a refund of one year’s payment, which is unacceptable considering I had no protection in all the years I paid for it. Can you help?
SF, Teddington, Middlesex.
Annual fees: A reader wants a refund of £570 after antivirus software company McAfee continued to bill her despite discontinuing its insurance cover back in 2017
Sally Hamilton replies: I expected this to be one of my easier cases to solve.
This turned out to be a naive hope, because when I tried to email McAfee, it was as if my letters themselves were the viruses that the company’s security software promised to keep out of the customer’s computer system.
I sent an email four times in four weeks. Four times I received an automated response that lulled me into believing that my request would be addressed “as soon as we are able.”
Customer service also needed my customer number and since I’m not a customer, I couldn’t get any further.
Nevertheless, I received a call from a customer service representative, but he couldn’t hear me and cut me off. Aargh.
I contacted the company’s CEO directly. Greg Johnson is the CEO of McAfee in America.
I sent an email to his address, which it turned out I guessed correctly, and copied it to the same press office that had promised to get back to me. I asked you for a full refund.
Lo and behold, within a few hours, Greg responded. There was an apology and a promise that he would “escalate.” [my] Inquiry to our Head of Customer Success’.
This job was new to me and I enjoyed it enough to temper my initial irritation. My new contact has expedited your refund of £570. Success.
Upon investigation, McAfee discovered that your family owned not one, but three accounts. The second was the problem.
It was set up with an incorrect email address and never activated, but you were incorrectly charged for it using the same banking details as your first account (which you canceled in 2017).
A spokesperson says: “Thanks to the Daily Mail and after a thorough investigation and discovery of the account with an incorrect email address, we were able to confirm that the account had not been activated and issued a full refund to SF last month.”‘
To the point
I booked tickets for Abba Voyage in March for my husband and I, but we had to cancel due to rail strikes.
I have contacted Ticketmaster several times but have yet to receive a refund. Until then I cannot rebook the tickets.
MJ, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
Ticketmaster has refunded your money and given you a £50 gift card as a gesture of goodwill.
In June I ordered a garden umbrella from a website that looked real and paid £50.63 for it, including £11.80 insurance.
I think I was cheated as the umbrella never arrived and I received a harmonica instead. Can I get my money back?
I have contacted your bank, HSBC, who have opened a dispute with the retailer and the bank has now offered you a full refund.
After losing my car keys in July, I filed an insurance claim with NFU Mutual.
It has been more than a month since I contacted the company, but the dispute is still not resolved. I am a 93 year old widow.
PH, Exeter, Devon.
NFU Mutual states that it is your home insurer. You should contact your car insurer Aviva to make a claim for your missing keys.
I bought a Dyson Airwrap hair styler from an eBay seller for almost £400 to give to my daughter for Christmas 2021.
We recently sent it to Dyson for warranty repairs but the company said they would destroy it because it was a counterfeit.
And eBay said it couldn’t help because the money-back guarantee period had expired. Please help.
SR, via email.
eBay has apologized and will refund you your money. It examines the seller’s account.
Dyson says the safety of Dyson owners is its top priority and the company has sent you a letter confirming the goods were counterfeit.
Birthday trip ruined by illness
My wife and I are in our late 70s. I saved up my spare money to treat us both to a weekend getaway to Potters Resorts Five Lakes in Essex to celebrate her birthday. The price of £1,193 included drinks, food and entertainment as well as insurance of £15.
When we arrived at the resort on June 9th, we were asked to check in earlier, at 2:00 p.m. instead of 3:00 p.m. We were then told to wait for the staff who would give us a packet with the itinerary of our stay.
At the same time, we received a leaflet informing us about the measures we should take if we feel unwell. Staff didn’t provide any further details, but there was a number to call for help.
The first evening went well, but the next day after lunch we started to feel unwell. That evening we couldn’t eat the food we paid for. We went ahead and watched the show, but then we learned there were technical problems.
Shoppers should be wary of an email promising a free Oral-B iO Series 9 electric toothbrush being sent by scammers posing as well-known retailers such as Boots, Action Fraud warns.
The email will ask you to click on the links to fill out a feedback form.
However, these links lead to malicious websites that can steal your personal and financial information.
Action Fraud has received 10,000 reports of these emails and you should contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you receive one.
Boots says it would never ask customers to provide personal information via email.
That night my wife became seriously ill and remained ill for several hours. Then it was my turn. We tried calling the number listed in the brochure several times but no one answered. By 6.30am we had managed to inform the night manager of our illness and told him that we had decided to return home.
So we set off at 7am on June 11th, two days early. We had paid almost £1,200 for a day of food and (not much) entertainment.
The night manager assured us that he would take care of the refund and that other guests would also have to judge this. The compensation offer we received was £393.
If the resort had given us all the information and offered the possibility of rebooking due to the disease outbreak, which they seemed to be aware of, we would have done so. In my opinion we should receive a full refund.
Sally Hamilton replies: Your story of woe made me feel uneasy, although not to the extent that you and your poor wife felt on your shortened birthday trip.
I looked at Potters Resorts’ booking conditions and found this: “Your booking is accepted on the understanding that norovirus and/or similar infectious agents… are present in the general population and may affect any public space and are beyond our control.”
“Your holiday contract is issued on the understanding that the company operates as such a public space and therefore cannot be immune to the potential of norovirus and/or similar viruses.”
Norovirus is obviously a common problem for the company and, I’m sure, for many tour operators too. It’s fine for a resort to protect itself from the barrage of complaints it would inevitably receive following a norovirus outbreak, but I felt like you and your wife were sent like lambs to the slaughter for not over We have been informed of the presence of norovirus at the resort at the time of your check-in.
While norovirus is harmless to most people, it can have more serious consequences for older people or people with underlying health conditions. Because you had been treated for a cancer that weakened your immune system and also had heart disease, you felt you were at risk.
They had made a freedom of information request to the local council who confirmed that they had been informed of the norovirus outbreak on the day of your entry and that the UK Health Security Agency and Maldon District Council had informed the resort about it from June 19th to 23rd Closed due to a “fire break” to allow for particularly thorough cleaning.
For me, that was enough to get you a full refund. However, Potters Resorts only offered £393, which I suspect is the only amount the insurance sold by the resort would pay for the cut. If the resort hadn’t known about the outbreak when you arrived, I might have accepted it. However, it was not acceptable for you to check in knowing the virus was present.
I have asked Potters Resorts to investigate your case. A few weeks later, the entire £1,193 you had paid was back in your bank account. You were happy.
Her experience reminds all vacationers that purchasing your own travel insurance is a must.
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