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Bored and curious

In January, I went to my local paper to see if an article I’d written had been used. I was bored, looking for something to write about and clicked casually on the clickbooth box ad. This lead me to an article that I didn’t notice at first was a marketing promotion.

News page of trusted local  paper. See the Clickbooth ad.

News page of trusted local paper. See the Clickbooth ad.

The article led me to two websites. Each offered limited trial bottle offers. I don’t want or need beauty products but thought ‘what the heck?’

The Heck!

They asked for my card details for the cost of postage. Stupidly, yes, I gave these. A few days later the products arrived and then I found my bank account had been charged £174. I called my bank and they said this company were protected by their terms and conditions.

I went to their terms and conditions and found:

“Our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee: If you are not 100% satisfied for any reason, you can return the unused products in their original packaging up to 30 days after you purchase it for a full refund of the purchase price” (full terms under T&C’s).

Therefore, I posted the items back. Also, I:

  • Went to both websites, logged in (log-in details provided in their confirmation/shipping emails).
  • I switched off Auto-renew and Auto-ship (yes, notice the two different names) on each website.
  • I called the phone number, which after welcoming you and saying to press #, went silent.
  • I informed through the contact form on both websites saying I was cancelling and returning my products.
  • I wrote to them through the support email address provided.
  • I posted a letter to their head office in North London.

After an email telling me I’d be missing out (all that fun of having money taken from my account and having to spend days reading terms and conditions and queuing at the post office), I was asked for proof of return, which I sent.

I reported them to my bank, who now refund any money they take from me, to the Advertising Standards Authority and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, now the government have removed the teeth of the Trading Standards Office or Office of Fair Trading, basically handing these companies a free rein.

I got replies. Here are what they sent me:

Email 1 (20 Feb):  Please give us a tracking ID as proof of return and we will refund your charge.
If you cannot provide us with a tracking ID, please sent a picture of the receipt to alex@deadseakit.com , victoria@deadseakit.com , stephen@deadseakit.com or jane@deadseakit.com

If you cannot provide us with proof of return We will issue a full refund for the charge to you, once we receive your returned product.

Email 2 (25 Feb): Thank you for the proof of return, we have refunded your charge. There will be no further shipments or charges to your account.

Email 3 (26 Feb):

Dear Sophie,

That is correct, we refunded you on 2013-02-25 14:31 and the money should appear in 2-3 business days.

I thought it was over. Totally wrong. These people don’t worry about things like fairness or even rulings from the ASA if they can put their hands into your bank account. Obviously the products are worthless as they send them out even when they’re so obviously not wanted. After all I had not used them and sent them back at the cost to me of £17.45.

You’d think it would now be over? No, these people have just gotten started. On 16 March, I got a text from my bank informing me that a card transaction was trying to go through, made in Mauritius and I was to call them if I was concerned. I called and was on my mobile to the bank for one hour. In this time, I was told that Collagenta were trying to charge me £69.95. I blew my top.

The fraud team then told me that the payment had not gone through, that I would be refunded if it did and they could see the refunds from this company and that there was a note on my account not to give these people any more money. What stopped the bank blocking these charges was that DS Marketing (the company responsible) were using different names and different countries. On the 20 March I got another such warning text and called the bank again. This time it was a company called Defying Age that was trying to access my money. This was blocked. Then I was told they might not charge me but if they did manage, to call again and I would be refunded.

More Shipments and ChargesI received 2 more packages from them. I went back to the websites and found that THEY had changed the Auto-ship/Auto-renew back!

This is one of the websites. They had changed it back to auto-renew

This is one of the websites. They had changed it back to auto-renew

So I wrote to them saying that I had returned the items, been refunded, written to them several times and been told that no more shipments or charges would be made.

I got this reply from Tessy Matthews on 24 March:

Hi Sophie,

Thanks for getting in touch with us. Please allow me to explain our Beauty Ship policies.

With regards to the Beauty Ship program, it is designed with your convenience in mind, whereas we send can you replenishment products at a certain rate. We offer you a wide range of Beauty Ship choices to best suit your lifestyle and needs: we can send you replenishment products monthly (which is the default option), every 6 weeks, every 2 months or even every 3 months. Each replenishment shipment is only GBP 68.82, which would be charged according to your preferred replenishment frequency. Of course, you may decide to keep your trial bottle and cancel Beauty Ship going forward, the choice is yours! You can always order replenishment products manually via our webstore, or ask us to reenable Beauty Ship for you.

Please note that in our system we don’t have your written confirmation that you wish to cancel your account with us.

If you are not happy with your products simply send them back to us and we will proceed full refund for you.

To save you time and hassle, I can offer to let you keep the serum for only **GBP 44.00** and refund the rest of the charge to you. This is a great deal, as our Serum sells for over GBP 200 at retail locations, so you’d get to have it for a fraction of its cost and not worry about return shipping and such associated costs.

Please confirm if this option is acceptable for you.

As per your request, I have cancelled your AutoRefill profile and thus any further automatic shipments of replenishment products to you. There will be no further automatic charges to your account.

Tessy Andrews
Customer Satisfaction Specialist
Collagenta Serum, a product of DS Marketing Limited
www.collagenta.com

SO!

For my convenience? Oh, very convenient that I had lost days of work, read all their terms and conditions, found my original emails, logged into both websites, written through their weedy ‘support’ or ‘contact’ form to say I’m returning the products, emailed them, reported them to all and sundry. For my conveeeeeenience that I’d packed the products up, walked to my post office and spent a further £17.45 sending them back. Then more convenience, aren’t I lucky, that the refund doesn’t arrive, so I have to email proof of postage and then get my refund. So for my utter convenience, that I have to call the bank 3 times and am totally distracted from my work, life and deadlines to deal with a company that has CHANGED THE AUTO-SHIP AND AUTO-RENEW in my account back to monthly!!!!! aw geeeee. So conveeeeeeeeeenient.

The good news is that the bank will fine them for using different names to get around the block on my account.

Also, I have written proof that no more shipments would be made and no more charges made to my account, and then there were.

The bank refunded the money taken. I have the products so if anyone wants them, I’ll send them to you free of charge.

Here are the various transactions on my account.

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 19.40.08 Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 19.40.55 Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 19.41.09 Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 19.42.30 Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 19.42.54 Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 19.44.02 Latestmoneytake

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12 thoughts on “Scammers DS Marketing, Deadseabeautykit and Collagenta – avoid!

  1. I am in a similar situation, did not read the small print, I have contacted the bank not to pay further, but it is difficult to get in touch with this company, how did you manage to get it stopped in the end.

    • What stage are you up to? For me it was:
      After the money (£174) went out of my account I read all the terms and conditions and found the 30 day money back guarantee and posted the products back to Israel.
      Then i went to my confirmation emails and clicked onto the websites, using the username, password and Order ID for both products, turned off the Auto-Ship/Auto-renew and went to Contact us. Then I messaged them through each website to say am returning products, want a refund and don’t want anymore to do with them.
      Then I went to support@collagenta.com and alex@deadseakit.com (Alex disappeared after he’d confirmed no more shipments or payments taken from my account) and told them I was returning products, on which date, and to refund me under their money back guarantee.
      I also wrote to them at:
      DS MARKETING LTD
      788 – 790 FINCHLEY ROAD
      LONDON
      UNITED KINGDOM
      NW11 7TJ

      I sent a report to the ASA who have this on their website about them: http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2012/11/DS-Marketing-Ltd/SHP_ADJ_202609.aspx

      I contacted my local paper, where the ad had first being linked, and the editor escalated my story to the top level of the media groups owning the regional newsappers and magazines. He said these scumbags even advertised with BBC Magazines and they were being blocked.

      Right: This is important:
      Banks
      As soon as the first payment came out, I reported it to my bank. This means that all further payments would be returned to me.
      it is important that you have cancelled any further shipments and returned your products to them to get all your money back (except postage).
      Then, I had received the refund about a month later I got a text saying someone in Mauritius was trying to use my card. I got through to fraud and found they were trying to take money using other names.
      On email, a Tessy Matthews (most deluded of people) wrote back saying I had been shipped more products and money taken from my account “for my convenience” so i made it clear I had returned products and been refunded, sending her the emails from their company.
      I had to call the bank on the day the money left my account £140. and it was refunded to me. The bank gets the money back from them and fines them for using other names.
      The bank also told me that the Office of Fair Trading was going to close them down.
      Does any of that shed any more light for you.
      if you let me know what stage you are at, maybe I can help more specifically.

      Thanks for letting me know you had same problemo and writing.

      Best regards

      Sophie

      • Blacklist their merchant Acc. in all Banks due to fraud, I am also a victim of this Gang

  2. I got ripped off too by this company and also another one natural cleanse product which uses the same way to scam people. In one month they charged me for 320.00$ (three different company names) I was supposed to pay only 15.95 (total) for 2 trial free offers. Dead Sea Beauty Kit and Natural Cleanse…I call them “Scambags”. I called a lawyer today because they sent me another product so…I guess…another 300$ will come out of my bank account. There are alot of complaints out there. I wonder if this company has anything to do with the Central Coast Nutraceuticals Inc. they settled for 1.5 million on january 2012. The plaintiff, FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION. I personally think it is the same scambags just using another name. Anyhow, I’d like to spend my time doing something more pleasing then following up on them and getting my money back. What a waste!!

    • Hi Brigitte,
      I got all my money back on the 30 day money back guarantee. I had to pay for postage to Israel and insured package. Then got confirmation from them and my refund. Then a month later they took more money and I called the bank who reimbursed the money and got it back off the scammers.
      Do get your money back. Are you in USA? It is same company. Their head office is in North London.
      In my blog is the address to send it back to or look in the terms and conditions on the free trial website. You would also have got a confirmation email so need to go in and turn off auto-ship/auto-renew, even though they switched mine back on. The username, link and passwords for this are all in the emails they sent you to confirm your first order.
      Hope that might help.
      Sophie

    • They’ve changed the address. here’s where you send back to now. These guys are constantly on the run from the authorities. United Kingdom
      Dead Sea Marketing
      PO Box 3565
      Rugby
      CV21 1BR, United Kingdom

      I had to send mine back to Israel. Make sure you keep receipt as you can then email it to them for your refund.

      Hope it gets resolved.

      Sophie

  3. I do not take kindly to being ripper off and deceived. I have gone through all the correct processes to get the promised full refund, but surprise surprise nothing. For the small sum of £25 I have put a small claims court claim in. This was not defended and just now a judgement has been issued (to include the £25 court fee). Terms of the judgement is for immediate payment. I will leave it a week and if no response I shall have a warrant issued. If that is not met I will petition for the company to be wound up. Simples !

  4. Good for you! I am going through the horrible time- consuming process via my bank with yet another of these dodgy companies trading as Ordebeaute and Beautemer . Money was taken from my account in Montenegro when the firm is supposed to be in Toronto. I can’t believe they can get away with this.

    • Best way to stop them is to spread word about their scam through your local media. I reported them to companies they advertised with who escalated it to the very top to stop them advertising in the South West mags and newspapers and BBC magazines.

      Also, with me they committed a crime by turning auto ship back on in my account and writing to me to tell me they had done this ‘to help me’ or ‘help themselves to my money’ (it was sheer desperation) so the bank paid me the money back and then went after them.

      Thanks for your comments. Hope you managed to give them a good thwacking and get your money back and they leave you alone asap.

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