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Catalogue firm's free £10 petrol voucher cost me £75

Matt Clark
Jan 18, 2018

They’ll sell you anything – from a sonic cleaner for your false teeth to an armchair organiser; from a plastic canopy for your front door to a collapsible washing up bowl for your kitchen sink.

As far as Gill Hoyle is concerned online catalogue company Easylife sold her a pup!

Gill signed up to Easylife – who boast they're "the UK's leading catalogue retailer" – in October.

She’d only bought one item when, she explains: "I got a phone call out of the blue telling me 'We’ll send you a £10 fuel voucher.' Normally I’d say no, but I just thought 'Why not?'


They took money even after I cancelled

What Easylife didn’t tell Gill was:

  • That voucher for its Motor Club was actually “what turned out to be a complicated cashback scheme.”
  • That EasyLife would take £1.99 from her credit card straight away.
  • Then take another £59.99 from it 14 days later – even after she called to cancel.

Gill still can’t believe they had the cheek to do exactly what they said they wouldn't.

"I did say twice 'You’re not going to take any money or set up direct debits are you?'

"But they did. And the voucher turned out to be a complicated cash back scheme where you had to get petrol receipts with your own name on them. Who gets their name on a petrol receipt?”

Good news: is that Gill, a mum in her 50s from Preston, Lancashire, did get her money back.

Bad news: That was only after shelling out more money phoning the company’s customer hotline. "The people I got through to were very nice but all they were doing was putting my details on a spreadsheet," she says. "It was useless.

"I only get a refund when I called Easylife and told them I was going to turn this in to a formal complaint. I was told a senior manager would call me back. The call never came but I did get a refund."


Costly phone calls to get my money back

"I’ve now got my £59.99 back," she explains, "but it has cost me nearly £13 in calls to their call centre."

She’s not Easylife's only unhappy customer.

In fact we've found hundreds of people with a catalogue – so to speak – of complaints about Easylife, its petrol vouchers or low cost car repair schemes. 

The company does say in its terms and conditions that it will share – which should actually say sell – your details to third parties.


Megaphone silhouette

Gill is still smarting from her experience – and determined that other people don't fall in to the trap.

"Treat them with extreme caution," she warns – from bitter experience.

A Spokesman Said has asked Easylife to refund Gill’s phone bill. And to explain why they are cashing in with this dodgy discount scheme. We’ll let you know what they say.

READ MORE: Easylife reviews on A Spokesman Said