NOW somehow set up a sports pass on my account without my knowledge. They apparently sent me an email, which to date I have not been able to find. Unfortunately I didn't become aware that this sports pass had been set up until 3 months later and NOW took 3 unauthorised payment of £33.99. I have asked them to provide me with an explanation of how a pass was set up without my knowledge or authorisation, but they keep giving me the same vague reply quoting a date and time. I have been through a complaints process with CISAS and an 'independent' adjudicator has ruled in favour of NOW and my case has been closed.
I'm not prepared to accept this and I have read that other people have experienced similar problems. Setting up passes without people's knowledge and taking payments without authorisation is verging on criminal. I think consumers need to be made aware that this company has some rather dubious practices, so I have contacted the Radio 4 programme You and Yours. I would urge anyone else who has had similar experiences to me to do the same. If a whole lot of people contact the same consumer programme the likelihood is they'll notice it and run an item on it. So I hope anyone out there reading this will support me.
Here is the (rather inadequate*) flowchart that CISAS use.
Which path through it did your complaint to them take?
Mine went through the long process in the middle. It ended up with me rejecting the adjudicator's decision.
I got an email from NOW over the weekend. They are going to send my complaint to the 'executive team' to take another look at. Watch this space!
So I guess Now’s Company Defence was that they could show that Sports had been accessed from your Account?
(You will note that I didn’t say by you).
There are several ways this can happen; one is that someone local to you, with access to your account, a flatmate or similar, could have watched some Sport unbeknownst to you; or if you had ever got rid of a device with your Now account details still on it, instead of wiping it clean first, someone completely unknown to you could have found it and started using it.
Except I’m a bit fuzzy about the details here; it used to be, I think, that someone could activate a Sports membership just by watching a Sports programme; though when I tested this, it wanted me to sign up to the membership first, on my account, which I couldn’t do from the app on the TV, and where even someone using your account as above would need access to your password to log on and set up such a membership.
Now have assured me that they do not deliberately reactivate memberships and start charging for them, by simply sending out an email; there have been many reports that they do this, but none have ever stuck, and it would be unethical bordering on illegal if they did it, so I tend to believe them when they say that they don’t.
But I’ve never had a Sports membership, and I wonder if having had one in the past lowers the barriers (some would say safeguards) against restarting it? Or if those barriers get lowered when Now send out an offer by email? Such that the membership is reactivated by simply watching a Sports programme? I hope not, but I will ask….
You may already have done it, or been advised to do it, but you should set a Payment PIN from here on in. And you should look at your device list on your account, and see if there are any devices, or last used timings, that you don’t recognise.
If there are, or perhaps even if there aren’t, change your password also. And then force stop all devices, so any device on your account that is out there but shouldn’t be, which could still carry on with your old password, is stopped and needs logging into again. Which, with the password changed, anyone piggybacking on your account, cannot do.
Change password is here:-
and the third FAQ describes how to force logouts on all existing devices. Including yours, unavoidably, so you will have to log in again on the legit ones.
You may already have been advised to do any or all of the above, but if not I hope this helps, and let’s see what the new review brings,
Thanks so much for taking the time to send me this info, it's much appreciated!
Unfortunately they've come back to me and said that they will still not pay me back and as far as they're concerned the case is closed and they will no longer answer any emails regarding my complaint.
Yes, they say that the sports pass was activated at my end and that they cannot add passes from their end. I also tend to agree with this. However, I am still none the wiser as to how the sports pass ended up on my account. Both I and NOW checked my account and could find no suspicious activity.
I have also never had a sports pass, until this happened. I am not interested in sports and neither is my wife or my two kids. We've never paid for a one off day pass either and it just doesn't make sense that any of us would have tried to access a sports channel. Now, if it had been a movie pass that had been added I'd be inclined to think one of my kids had added it.
As far as going forward is concerned, I will not do any further business with this company. I have made sure that the only payment information linked to my account is a now expired credit card. I don't trust them to hold any of my payment details. If I could close my account completely I would do it, but there just doesn't seem to be a way that I can find.
I'm going to contact the citizens advice bureau and continue to pursue it that way. I probably won't get anywhere, but I'm not prepared to let them off the hook that easily.