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WARNING: Voipdiscount - Fraud?

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  • WARNING: Voipdiscount - Fraud?

    Over Christmas Jenny was unable to log in to our voipdiscount service/account to call her family in Thailand. Each time she tried she got the same message 'the username/password is invalid'.

    That was rather strange as the account was set to automatically login and neither of us had changed the login details. Just in case there was a problem with Jenny's laptop, I tried to log in to the account on 3 other machines - all with the same result.

    I followed voipdiscount's procedure for password retrieval but the emails never arrived. I tried to contact voipdiscount to find out what the problem was but in order to contact customer services you have to log in to your account, we couldn't. I then followed their procedure for 'hijacked' accounts, just in case this was the problem, but still error messages were displayed. Again, to report a security or fraud issue you must check-in and/or provide the current email address of the account.

    At the time I thought nothing of it and presumed there was a technical issue at voipdiscount, that was until today. Because I travel a great deal I have current accounts in different currencies, today I logged in to my Euro account to ensure a payment had been received in preparation for a trip this weekend. When checking the account I notice 2 transactions dated 30/12/09 and 31/12/09 each for the sum of €119.60 - a value of €239.20.

    Now I become concerned. I attempt again to contact voipdiscount but, apart from logging in to your account (which I cannot) there is no way of contacting them. voipdiscount is one of many trading names used by a company called Betamax GmbH & Co. KG, which purports to be a German registered company.

    I try to find their physical EU address but the T&Cs on all their websites simply state ”Betamax GmbH & Co. KG ("Betamax") with registered address in Cologne, Germany, and living within the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany and/or having or having been allocated a German telephone number”. This information is contrary to what EU law requires to be provided to consumers. Despite great efforts of trying to find a telephone number for Betamax and/or a physical address so far I have been unable to do so. I have found one address and phone number but that appears not to be genuine.

    Doing a quick search on Google I find that I am not the first to have had monies taken by voipdiscount/Betamax without permission – many others report unauthorised charges to their credit/debit cards and PayPal accounts over a period of time - several years in fact. Sums taken are alleged to be form €10 + VAT up to US$2,000!

    As I mentioned above, Betamax GmbH & Co. KG trades under many different retail and wholesale names – if anyone here uses any of the following websites/services for phone calls and you have saved your credit/debit card or PayPal details with them be warned:

    12voip
    BudgetSIP
    Calleasy
    DialNow
    FreeCall
    InternetCalls
    Intervoip
    JustVoip
    LowRateVoip
    NetAppel
    Nonoh
    Poivy
    SIPDiscount
    SmartVoiP
    SMSdiscount
    SmsListo
    SparVoip
    VoipBuster
    VoipBusterPro
    VoipCheap
    VoipDiscount
    VoipRaider
    VoipStunt
    VoipWise
    VoipZoom
    WebCallDirect

    I would suggest those who have saved their credit/debit or PayPal details with any of the above sites remove their saved details immediately.
    Last edited by Tobias; 6 Jan 2010, 17:58. Reason: Fixed the very poor grammar ... too many distractions when typing!
    Tobias - โทเบียส
    It’s better to be 6 feet apart than to be 6 feet under.

  • #2
    Just a thought, is there anyone here who has a voipdiscount account who can log in, open their invoices and see if there is an address, telephone number and VAT number?
    Tobias - โทเบียส
    It’s better to be 6 feet apart than to be 6 feet under.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Tobias View Post
      Just a thought, is there anyone here who has a voipdiscount account who can log in, open their invoices and see if there is an address, telephone number and VAT number?

      Had a similar problem some time ago but because the amount was small £7.40 and after trying to contact them to no avail gave up the chase.

      There was just no way you could get to them unless you could login and I couldn't.

      Resolved the matter by telling my Bank and they presumably attended to the matter.
      http://www.urbandictionary.com/defin...m=Simpletarian

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Tobias View Post
        I try to find their physical EU address but the T&Cs on all their websites simply state ”Betamax GmbH & Co. KG ("Betamax") with registered address in Cologne, Germany, and living within the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany and/or having or having been allocated a German telephone number”.
        Found the following here:
        http://www.betamax.com/impressum.php

        Betamax GmbH & Co KG
        Im Mediapark 8
        50670 Köln

        Email: Please use the form on our contact page
        Tel: +49 221 55 40 55 64
        Fax: +49 221 3 54 95 64

        Managing director: Karin Nab
        Chamber of Commerce: Köln
        Registered under number: HRA 23157
        VAT number: DE814570978
        Paul พอล
        กำขี้ดีกว่ากำตด

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        • #5
          On the VoipDiscount Website we found these details:

          Betamax GmbH & Co.KG
          Postfach 19 04 25
          50501
          Köln
          Germany
          VAT-Nr: DE 814 570 978

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Tobias View Post
            Just a thought, is there anyone here who has a voipdiscount account who can log in, open their invoices and see if there is an address, telephone number and VAT number?
            Hi Tobias, i hope this copies OK!
            Betamax GmbH & Co.KG
            Postfach 19 04 25
            50501
            Köln
            Germany
            VAT-Nr: DE 814 570 978
            I copied this from the purchases PDF, i have had no problems at all ,i have used Voipdiscount for several years with no problems.
            How do I remove my credit card details from there data base?
            Hope this info was what you were after
            Victor J

            Comment


            • #7
              Many thanks everyone for the details, these are very helpful indeed and greatly appreciated.

              I have to say we have used voipdiscount for several years with only minor gripes.

              My initial concern was that a virus had hijacked Jenny's laptop, but once I started searching I found many examples of people having apparently fraudulent charges - others had call credit but were unable to use it. It appears voipdiscount do not bother responding to account queries no matter how received.

              As far as my little problem is concerned, I've handed it over to the bank for them to deal with. I am looking for the info requested so that I can carry out a proper investigation in to the company and its officers.

              Victor, I would log in to your account and see if you can click a link that says 'edit' or 'remove' credit card.
              Tobias - โทเบียส
              It’s better to be 6 feet apart than to be 6 feet under.

              Comment


              • #8
                By way of an update, my bank account has been credited with the two disputed sums - it looks like Betamax has refunded the monies, perhaps with the intervention of the bank.

                That said, we still cannot access the voipdiscount account nor use the service - we have over €38 of credit sitting in there but it looks like we will not be able to use it.
                Tobias - โทเบียส
                It’s better to be 6 feet apart than to be 6 feet under.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tobias View Post
                  Victor, I would log in to your account and see if you can click a link that says 'edit' or 'remove' credit card.
                  Cannot see such a link.
                  We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I cancelled my viopdiscount account today and uninstalled there web site from my web browers

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                    • #11
                      I tried discount but had problems when I would hang up. If I then tried to use the phone after it was if it was still engaged 1 time it took nearly 36 hours for it to disconnect.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've read of another 'cheap phone call scam' on another forum recently, again originating from Germany (predeal 01056, PM2 Telecommunications).

                        This involves the system like we have in the UK where we phone an 0844 number first then dial the Thai number. After dialing their access number there used to be a message saying the call would cost 2 cents per minute. that message disapeared and when people got their next phone bill they found the cost had been increased to 1.50 Euros per minute, resulting in some very hefty bills.

                        This may or may not be part of the same scam/company you're talking about but for anybody using an 0844 number it's probably worth making sure you hear the '1p per minute' message before you proceed.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          After reading the posts I went into my Voipdiscount account and there seems to be no way to remove cc details, thanks for the warning Tobias.
                          I have not had any problems but I am concerned about the lack of support if something did go wrong, is this typical with voip companies and can anyone say if there any better options were cc details are not saved and help is on hand please?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            After reading the posts I went into my Voipdiscount account and there seems to be no way to remove cc details, thanks for the warning Tobias.
                            I had a similar problem with another company (nothing to do with phones) a while back. Their system wouldn't allow me to remove the card, only change the details. I therefore updated it with a fictitious card number (except for the first 6 digits) which instantly resolved the problem. Depending on how sophisticated their system is, the same may or may not work with Voipdiscount.


                            For price and reliability, Skype Unlimited Country seems to be a favourite at the moment.

                            £3.39 per month with unlimited calls to Thai landlines and mobiles.

                            Paul พอล
                            กำขี้ดีกว่ากำตด

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by maokaang View Post
                              For price and reliability, Skype Unlimited Country seems to be a favourite at the moment.

                              £3.39 per month with unlimited calls to Thai landlines and mobiles.
                              For £3.39 per month we would get 11 hours 18 minutes of talk time using the 0844 1/2p per minute number.

                              Even Nok can't talk to her family for that long each month
                              Bye Bye EU Day 31st December 2020 (11 p.m.)

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