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My Child Magazine review: Non-payment of refund

Author of the complaint
12:00 am EDT
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This review was chosen algorithmically as the most valued customer feedback.

I had a telephone call offering me a trial pack of the magazine for £6.95. I had seen this before and thought it was rather good, so paid the money. The box was then lost in the post and by the time it had arrived the company had taken a further £72.95 from my card, which I didn't know would happen as I had received no paperwork.

I returned the box within 7 days of receipt and requested my refund as per the terms & conditions. 2 months later I called for weeks but the phone was never answered. Eventually I spoke with someone just before xmas who said that yes my full £79.90 would be sent within 2 weeks. Nothing has arrived to date despite emails, letters and more unanswered telephone calls.

I wonder how many other people this has happened to and am sure that the amount is looking very nice in their account. There telephone canvassing is very vague, I wasn't told the full story and when the box arrived, it is a shame that I read the terms & conditions because I would've have bothered sending the box back but at least I would be receiving my subscription for the honor of paying almost £80. Instead I read them made my decision that I didn't want it after all and am now £80 worse off and have nothing to show for it!


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Jan 21, 2009 11:36 am EST

If anyone has any problems with mychild - the new customer service number is [protected].

Jun 18, 2008 3:00 am EDT

Very disappointed with quality of product - software was not really appropriately pitched towards children. Also unhappy with misleading sales call which suggests a £9 charge if you keep the stuff, refunded if you return it - the £80 was not mentioned. Emailed and no response, rang and no one ever answersthe phone.


May 20, 2008 3:38 am EDT

have found this report from the watch dog site i recomend you contact them on [protected] and report this they might give you an alternative number to contact that being radio 4 who also deal with item of concern there number is [protected] . here follows the witch report:2 May 2007

My Child magazine says it's a 'one-stop shop for everything you need to know about your children's education, health and development.' It's sold mostly through cold-calling, with an irresistible trial offer. For an initial £6.95 you get one issue of the magazine and £100 worth of educational games and software. If you decide it's not for you, just return the pack within seven days and you'll get your money back. Or that's what they told Debbie Agnes.

She told Watchdog: "I was quite happy to try it out because I thought if I didn't like, I'd send it back and I wouldn't lose any money by doing that."

The day after the pack arrived, Agnes decided to return it. That should have been the end of it. But the following week she noticed My Child had debited £72.95 from her account - the full price of a two-year subscription to the magazine.

"I couldn't believe they'd taken it out without realising I'd sent it back. I'd lost a husband in March so at that time I really needed that money. When they took it out, I didn't have anything. They should have refunded the money straight away, " said Agnes.

After ten weeks, Agnes still hadn't heard anything from My Child, let alone get her money back despite numerous calls and emails.

Watchdog knows of at least 100 people who say despite returning the pack on time they were still charged the full subscription and haven't got their money back.

Founder of Childline Esther Rantzen was on My Child's advisory board, but when she heard about their sales practices she immediately cut all ties with the company.

She said: "There's nothing wrong with the magazine - it's just the sales technique I don't like. I assumed because the aspirations of the magazine were good, the methods would be good too. Well in some cases they weren't."

In January, the printing company that used to produce the magazine had to take My Child to court to reclaim £22, 000 in unpaid fees. Promised donations to ChildLine never materialised either.
Statement from My Child magazine

My Child magazine apologises to everyone concerned. It says most of its 25, 000 customers are happy, but it did have major delivery problems with its previous distribution partner. Moreover, staffing issues had an impact on investigating queries and complaints. It's working hard to rectify the backlog, and sorting refunds is a top priority.

The mums in our film have now had their money back.

May 20, 2008 3:11 am EDT

i see that this list is going to be getting longer and longer i feel that there are many more people out ther that have been scamed but have not fond this site to vent there anger on this truly appaling company, the company contacted me stating they were a charity which i found inspiring, . I was surfing the www as my childrens sats were comming up and as many of you will know you need to fill in a form( a con in itself) to download free software ( that isnt there) now they have contact details, i was contacted and indeed the package was made to sound intresting, £9 for a trial with an arrangement for a pm delivery it was deliverd am 10:50 they use city link for the carrage which they arrange themselfes the software did not want to install on my laptop but did install a litte eaiser on my main pc, my daughter was using the software, when she said dad wats a cent and indeed the software was making refrences to subjects not coverd at there school in fact it was american, i contacted them after 1.5 hours on the phone and was informed that there may be a problem with the software and that they had just had a new batch in and a second pack would be sent out, they also extended the trial time the pack never arrived and whilst waiting they extracted £80 from my account and of course they are not contactable so as an over view have taken a trial, not had working appropriate software to trial and have had £80 taken from my account apparently they are registerd at companies house, not meaning fro people to suck eggs : you should right to them clearlt stating you complaoint (no waffel) and start your letter by stating time is if the essence and state your time period (ther is no specified time) say 7 working days from reciept and record this mail . Should you get no reply you have demonstrated that you have attempted to sort your amicably and the also you have a much stronger case for a claim. I rely cant belive that low life such as my child is exploiting us because we want to help out kids.

May 14, 2008 9:12 am EDT

Yes, this is a dreadful company as has been mentioned.
I got a call from them and agreed to supply bank details for the trial.
The call was vague and failed to detail terms and conditions.
They took the £9.
The pack arrived and seemed to be mainly concerned with selling things to you.
The contents were dull to say the least.
I didn't send it back as in the letter sent with the pack it says you have to contact them for a returns number and I was worried if the pack was lost that would be that.
I have tried to call them - you can't get through.
I left a message once. They did call back when I was away from my desk. Now the number they left just rings and rings.
E-mails don't work .
Letters don't work.
I still have the pack and so far they haven't taken the £80 for the subscription.
Hard to know what to do - I want them to have the pack back and I want my £9 back.
If only I had said "no" to the trial, but they make it sound very good on the 'phone, emphasizing the educational value, but it just seems like a marketing operation.
If they call you for the trial slam the phone down!

May 13, 2008 9:17 am EDT

All sounds a very familiar story, unfortunately.

Have been trapped myself - agreed over the phone to pay £9 postage for the pack (which duly arrived, though not when promised) and was most unimpressed. Tried to ring to discuss to find the line is only open 10am-4pm - and is not the freephone number I had been told, but a local rate number. Emailed them with 5 detailed areas of complaint, including what appears to be a breach of trades description act, as well as breach of distance selling legislation. Only received an automated reply. Have spent 20 minutes holding waiting for them to answer. Now sent a further, stronger, email, but having read the above don't hold much hope. Will now contact my credit card company to mark the transaction of my deposit "in dispute" and to prevent taking of the full amount. Wish I'd read this first...

Apr 28, 2008 3:03 pm EDT

Hi all, i have had the same thing happen to me, upon researching i have found out that they were featured on watch dogs of may last year i suggest we email them and get our money back.

i have emailed, called, written letters i did have one response saying my postage would be refund then on saturday i discovered they have taken £80 from my account wheni thought my subscribtion had been cancelled they need to be shown we wont stand for this as many people like us have being coned big time.

websites are:

the above website you can email watchdog, and the office of fair trading come lets club together and get the money pinches.

Apr 27, 2008 12:26 am EDT

I agreed to view the pack and agreed to my bank details being taken. The day that the pack arrived I had a quick look and was unimpressed. I sent the pack back the same day as I had been told I would receive a full refund. I have tried ringing many times and have managed to get through 4 times. I was asked to send in a copy of my bank statement which I did but my money was not refunded. I was then promised on 3 occasions that the money would be back in my account the same day (this did not happen). They have admitted that they received the pack back 5 days after it was sent but will not refund my money. Any tips on how to deal with this?

Mar 31, 2008 2:44 am EDT

I have had the same problem and am currently 34 minutes into waiting for them to answer the call.

In this incident I have received NOTHING... no introduction box has ever been received and they have just taken a massive £80 out of my account... for what I do not know! All I have received is 1 copy of their magazine. I have written a letter and sent e-mails... next stop police I think...

Mar 25, 2008 2:37 pm EDT

I had a very similar experience. I returned the trial pack but they took the full subscription and deposit from my account. I haven't had any magazines from them, in spite of paying 2 years subscription and have found it impossible to get in touch by phone or e-mail!