* Posts by Ben Rose

296 posts • joined 17 Apr 2008

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TomTom bill bomb: Why am I being charged for infotainment? I sold my car last year, rages Reg reader

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

Dan 55 - You have a lot of knowledge about things, but none about this case - I suggest you quit while you're behind and stop defending a retailer on the basis of something that never happened.

TomTom started charging me for something I NEVER ordered. I wasn't subscribed to this product now, or in the past. The card they used didn't purchase this product from them in 2019 or indeed in 2016, when it was used for something else.

To address your point directly, the card that expired was an AMEX. They charged a Visa debit they had on file from another time. Neither of them ever bought this product. It wasn't a renewal.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@Dan 55 - you're imaginging and guessing a lot, you're a bit wrong.

I bought "one off" non-subscription map products from them since 2016, I've always had to use card details to pay - no "repeat billing" was set-up. But the card I used for those more recent purchases had expired, so it would appear when the new subscription was added, they dug out a valid card from 2016 and used that.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: sad

Thanks guys, nice to hear there are a few genuine people left here.

Few and far between these days.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: Simpler than I expected

@Kernel "I'm getting the distinct impression that 'Werdsmith' is having a basic issue with reading and comprehension - at least four times he has repeated his theme that Ben should have cancelled his subscription when he sold the car, despite Ben having stated numerous times that he never subscribed to anything in the first place."

Werdsmith's comprehension of this situation is so poor I'm beginning to think he works for TomTom - would explain a lot.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: he used the in-car screen to set up his annual subscription to TomTom

You can't sign up without using the screen.

I have none of those other things, not that it's relevant at all.

Ben Rose

Re: Nothing new

@oisaue - ... "if you expect a company to cancel a direct debit for you."

I didn't have a direct debit. Nor did I have a subscription.

We sold the car in December 2019. The subscription package was added to our account in July 2020 - we never bought it. This wasn't something that was renewed or we forgot to cancel - we never bought it, ever.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: Simpler than I expected

@keith_w - "Or the person in the story could have checked his credit card or bank statement and asked "why is tom-tom billing me?"

I was notified on the day the payment went through and followed up the same day. Was greeted with denial and customer blame.

In July 2020 they started charging me for a product I'd never bought in a car I'd sold in December 2019.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: Simpler than I expected

"But my point wasn't so much that they should cancel it for you, as it was that Mazda could simply put "remember to contact Tomtom" in their manual to remind people selling their car. After all, you probably set the account up months (if not years) ago, so relying on people remembering for themselves instead of printing 1 extra sentence seems poor."

I had nothing to cancel, I never bought this product from them.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: Simpler than I expected

"You're on a hiding to nothing if you expect a company to cancel a direct debit for you"

I never signed up for a direct debit. I never bought this product, I never paid a monthly charge - until 7 months after we sold the car.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: Simpler than I expected

@Ben Tasker

"I assumed it was going to turn out to be that TomTom billed based on an immutable identifier (say the device's serial number), so when he wiped his data from the car, it didn't change the billing identifier leading to Tomtom not knowing anything."

You should have stopped there, you were correct.

I didn't need to cancel anything, I didn't have a contract with them. The priduct subscription STARTED in July 2020, we sold the car in December 2019.

Somebody else signed up to this package - presumably the serial number never changed after a factory reset.and allowed the previous owner to be billed.

It's like if Sky billed using only your postcode and then the next house owner put their subscription on your card.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: GDPR

@Dwarf - already going down that road, would appear TomTom doesn't have a GDPR policy or a data protection officer.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@TechnicalBen - "I do though feel for you. I was in insurance when they changed opt in for renewals to opt out. I felt bad about it back then, but was not in it for long. Mind you, I have had 1 policy lapse in error due to forgetting to renew myself!"

This wasn't a renewal. I never subscribed to this product.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@Woodnah - "He started the TT contract from the car. I'd expect that I'd be able to stop it from the car too."

Perhaps, but I never had a contract for this product. I was signed up to something I NEVER purchased. It wasn't a renewal.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@TechnicalBen - "Guess I did. I stopped at the part the article said "We erroneously sent out emails" not "we erroneously renewals". ???"

This wasn't a renewal. I was NEVER subscribed to this product.

Ben Rose

Re: As I read that

@AC - "It's not really a problem with TomTom either. They had a service agreement with the Reg reader that existed outside that car - and I bet they emailed said Reg reader a subscription reminder too. Next..."

There was no service agreement, no contract, no subscription.

This contract STARTED in July 2020 - we sold the car in December 2019.

Ben Rose

Re: As I read that

@AC - "Unless he NEVER SIGNED UP to Netflix? How do you explain THAT?"

Indeed, precisely that.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@DavCrav - "This is more like me buying something and the company saying "We checked our records and we have a past resident of $HOUSE as $NAME. Shall I just go ahead and charge them?""

Yes, exactly that. it's like selling your house and the new owner billing their new Sky subscription to your account.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

"It’s like you signing up to Netflix through your tv then resetting your tv to factory and expecting Netflix to know you don’t want their service anymore."

No, it's like buying a TV in 2016, factory resetting the TV four years later, selling the TV and then the new TV owner billing their Netflix 4K multiscreen subscription to your 2016 debit card.

You never subscribed to Netflix but the new owner did.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

"Everything on the car is wiped. The online account with TomTom is online, not on the car."

If the car was wiped, it shouldn't be able to re-authenticate with the online account. This is a basic security issue if there wasn't a token or key in play here. The only one that appears to be used is a hard coded serial number, which doesn't change during a factory reset.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

"You could see why the original misconception was that Mazda could do something about this. "

They could, and still can. I bought a Mazda CX-5, not a TomTom. The navigation device is a "Mazda NB1" - it's not a TomTom.

I'm a Mazda customer and, as a Mazda customer, I was wronged. They should be going to great lengths to ensure myself, and other customers involved, are dealt with correctly by their subcontractor. Instead I got something along the lines of "not my problem mate".

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@Terry 6 "No. TomTom admitted their error."

No, they didn't. They admitted to a problem, but not the one they are being accused of.

They're claiming they accidentally renewed a handful of subscriptions. Not true, this wasn't a renewal. They signed me up to something I had never bought in the past.This isn't accidentally turning something back on - it was never on.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@iron "It is not Mazda or TomTom's fault he didn't cancel the service."

I didn't sign up to the service, that's the point. I got signed up AFTER I sold the car.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@TechnicalBen

Sorry, you've read it wrong. This was nothing to do with wrong emails.

This was an old customer being signed up to an entirely new monthly repeating subscription without any authority - expect perhaps from the dashboard of the "factory reset" car.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@Nick Porter

"So when you have a problem with the brakes on your car you should take it up with Brembo directly, nothing to do with the manufacturer of the car?"

Spot on - incidentally the Mazda CX-5 brakes do squeal, a lot. Google it...

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@Robert Grant - I didn't have a contract to cancel. There was no contact in place until 7 months after we sold the car, presumably when the new owner signed up.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

@Dan 55 - there was no repeating billing in place that needed to be cancelled. I hadn't bought a product from them since April 2019.

This was a new subscription to a product I had never purchased in all the time I had the car.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

"The problem was with TomTom and not with Mazda?"

My problem was with both. I'm a customer for both and they both let me down.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: As I read that

"Sounds like he signed up for regular updates with TomTom and forgot about it"

No, you're wrong. Never signed up to anything, that's kinda the point.

I was signed up to a repeating monthly subscription, for a product I'd never bought, in a car I no longer own, using payment details I'd used to buy one off map updates in 2016.

Password managers may leave your online crown jewels 'exposed in RAM' to malware – but hey, they're still better than the alternative

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Keystroke logger

A resident keystroke logger would so just as much harm, so I don't see much additional concern here. Either your machine is infected with malware and is at risk, or it's not. Single use 2FA is the only way that makes sense.

Razer offers freebies to gamers who descend into its coin mine

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Not sure I agree...but...

Not sure I agree...but...being paid to burn in your kit can't do any harm, can it? A lot of systems vendors do a 48hr burn-in test, now they can get some of their electricity costs back?

OnePlus 6T: Tasteful, powerful – and much cheaper than a flagship

Ben Rose

Re: Past meets future

JohnFen,

My primary headphones are a pair of Bose QC12 - they're old but still work just fine so I've no reason to replace them.

They're wired and came with a cable about a yard long. I used to plug them into my 3T, as a London commuter I use them for several hours a day.

Now I've added the adapter for my 6T - it means the cable is about a metre long instead. I can still hear my music, I can still listen just as I did before.

People are moaning about something that just isn't a problem - just try it.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: Past meets future

tiggity - I don't charge my phone in bed, i never even charge my phone to full. It significantly reduces the lifetime of a non-replaceable battery.

Your wife can charge her phone before bed and listen to music all night and there will still be plenty of charge in the morning. She can charge it again whilst she's in the shower if she needs to but it won't run out and she simply doesn't need to charge and listen at the same time.

Charging your phone overnight is a dated practise and precisely why dash charging was created. You can get an unfeasible amount of charge in the phone in a very short time and it allows you to just charge when you need to and not shorten the life of your device by hanging it off a cable all the time.

Why anybody who struggles to sleep would choose to wire themselves to a phone which, in turn, was wired to the power is beyond me. If ever there was a use case for a pair of wireless earbuds, this is it.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Past meets future

I bought one of these on launch day, my 3T was due an upgrade anyway.

The headphone thing is obviously subjective but I don't see the big problem here, just another thing for people to moan about. There's an adapter in the box, plug your old headphones in if you need to. If you're out and about you don't need the USB-C port for charging and if you're at home you don't need to use your headphones for music. People argue about the quality being less over bluetooth but if you really care about audio quality you wouldn't be using the headphone jack in a phone anyway...you'd have a proper high end music player.

Moving on, the biggest battery ever is truly superb and, despite being a heavy phone user, it just runs and runs - helped massively by Android Pie optimisation.

Talking of which, BlackBerry devices don't run on Android Pie yet and has a big history of being utterly useless on Android OS newer than their own - I had a problem with Nougat for ages until they release KeyOne. This is far more likely a BlackBerry/Pie issue than anything to do with Oneplus.

When the battery does run down, the Fast Charging (can't call it Dash now...Amazon copyright) easily gives you a day's charge in half an hour. I've only charged mine when I'm in the shower so far and it never needs any more than that.

Screen based fingerprint sensor is slower than 3T but face unlock is instant so I don't care - fingerprint plenty quick enough for banking apps etc and its relocation has made the screen real estate much more useful.

Camera isn't as good as other phones that cost £££s more, no surprise. It is however massively better than the 3T and now takes decent photos at night along with being good at close ups.

All in, a great purchase - another guy in my office has already bought one and I'm going to buy a second for my wife.

About to install the Windows 10 April 2018 Update? You might want to wait a little bit longer

Ben Rose
Paris Hilton

Avast?

Avast has been painful for years, I binned it off in the Windows 7 era as it got more bloated and buggy. No surprise it's causing problems.

To be honest, having any commercial AV active during an OS upgrade has always been technology suicide anyway. Surprised Microsoft don't detect it during prerequisite checks and just say no.

Paris - because even she doesn't check for viruses before overnight maintenance.

RIP, Swype: Thanks for all the sor--speec--speedy texting

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: tips & corrections

If we're playing sub-editor:

"It appeared first appeared on Windows Mobile, but versions appeared"

needs revisions. It surely only appeared once?

Hyperoptic's overkill 10Gbps fibre trial 'more than a clever PR stunt'

Ben Rose
Megaphone

my phone can do 150meg over WiFi - they're in a dreamworld.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Poor contention?

We have Hyperoptic in our apartment building, selling speeds of up to 1Gbps.

We signed up to the 100Meg download/upload service but I've never seen speeds faster than 60meg - don't see any point in selling 1000Mbps when they can't even deliver 100.

(Same kit happily downloads at 150Meg in our other property connected by a different provider)

Outlook.com looking more like an outage outbreak for Europe

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Important Emails?

Why on Earth would anybody have important emails in Hotmail? It's always been useless, I run servers at home with better uptime.

Virgin Media customers complain of outages across UK

Ben Rose
Megaphone

As much as I like to kick them when they are down...

...working just fine for me in Surrey.

Google now mingles everything you've bought with everywhere you've been

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Did you know?

Your GPS location data is constantly tracked on Android?

Amusingly the repetition of this point alone made me realise that Andrew O had written this article.

Does he have shares in Apple?

Virgin Media scales back Project Lightning target in first quarter results

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: Smoke and Mirrors

Trust me AC, I used to get all the advertised bandwidth all the time and respond in a similar way to how you did - going back to original 1Mbps broadband days with NTL.

I was one of the first UK customers on 50meg and got it every second of the day. Same with upgrades to 60, 100 and 152. I even got all the 200Mbps all the time at first, but then they gave all other customers a "free" upgrade which presumably tipped the balance over on available bandwidth and they just couldn't deliver.

Now we struggle to watch a sinlge iPlayer stream at dinner time without interruption.

Like I tell everybody, VM is great when it works but when it doesn't they're the worst. Tech support waste hours of your life requesting modem reboots and blaming Wi-Fi for problems on a gigabit wired link.

They make you pay for big download speeds in order to get a reasonable upload speed, and then don't even deliver the speed anyway.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: Smoke and Mirrors

Trust me, my 200meg connection is lucky to get 40meg at peak times - I'm not much better off.

I can get that speed all the time on Virgin if I wanted, but I pay for more. I expect to get what I pay for, this has nothing to do with countryside availability.

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Smoke and Mirrors

Having equipment and a port speed capable of supporting 300meg is far away from actually having the bandwidth to support it.

They've just upgraded my area from 200 to 300 meg maximum speed, yet fail to achieve 200 meg a lot of the time at peak times. What's the point in paying extra for an increased connection speed to the green cabinet if there is no local bandwidth to back it up?

Netgear says sorry four weeks after losing customer backups

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: I always smile when the statement generally goes like this

I was affected, but didn't report it because:

A) I initially thought it was something I'd done.

B) Only when I got an email today did I realise Netgear had screwed up.

C) I had backups - so no data was lost. I've been burned before by a ReadyNAS failure.

They can't claim "only a handful of people were affected" before they've even told them.

Virgin Media suspends 4 staff over misreporting connections

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Indeed, at peak times I currently get around 10meg on a 200meg connection. It's pretty much unusable and watching streaming services like iPlayer is impossible.

Reported at the end of last year, I was told it would be fixed by the end of March. Now I'm told end of September. It actually turns out 70meg ADSL is faster than 200meg Virgin fibre.

Please come back! TalkTalk woos customers with broadband offers

Ben Rose
Megaphone

I'm on a Virgin "200 meg" connection. At peak times, I sometime get 30meg - apparently I suffer from a local congestion fault. It will be months until they can resolve it.

I've been with Virgin since 1Meg "NTL" broadband days. I've always got the quotes speeds. DOCSIS3 gave me all of the 50meg it promised then I went to 152Meg and also got all the speeds. Then a "free" upgrade to 200meg (followed by the usual price increase) and since then my peak time speeds have been utterly useless. It makes watching things like iPlayer and All4 unusable at the time we want to watch them.

Nothing to do with Talk Talk I guess :O)

Seagate laying off 2,217 employees

Ben Rose
Megaphone

HDD Market

No major surprise, I was chatting to a friend only last week about how much of a mess the mechanical HDD market must be in.

SSD has taken over in the 512GB or smaller market, essentially all new desktop PC/laptop kit comes with SSD. Which leaves the big data storage drives.

I was pricing up a new NAS with 6 x 3TB drives, identical to the one I bought in 2014. I was amazed to find that the price would be £150 more for the chassis and that the drives hadn't dropped in price at all. In nearly 3 years.

In previous times, I'd expect to replace drives with ones that are double the capacity for the same price. So I'd have expect 6 x 6TB drives for the same price as I paid for 6 x 3TB drives in 2014, but this just isn't happening. HDD manufacturers are introducing bigger drives, for more money, instead of the flagship drives being the same price and the older ones being reduced.

Will the price per TB start falling again? Or will large SSD more cost effective before it happens?

Android-rooting Gooligan malware infects 1 million devices

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Re: Social Attacks

52% of people voted for Brexit. Then add on the Trump voters. Lots of stupid people out there.

Four reasons Pixel turns flagship Android mobe makers into roadkill

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Planned to buy...but didn't.

I recently bought a new tablet to replace my ageing (but surprisingly long lived) Tesco HUDL. Having looked at all price point, in the end I went Pixel C. It offered everything. Fast octocore CPU and USB-C charging, great screen with market leading screen resolution and amazing battery life. Not cheap but ticket every box in a big way - I even went for the 64GB model as I knew I'd do more stuff on it.

I was naturally quite excited when I heard a Pixel phone was on the way. I've always like the idea of Nexus and always having the latest Android stuff, but the phone designs never floated my boat. I've been with Android since V1 and my current Samsung S5 is getting long in the tooth. I dreamed of a phone that impressed my like my Pixel C tablet had. It didn't.

I learned about exciting functions like the Google assistant but then realised it wouldn't be available on my matching tablet. It wasn't even available on those "always up to date" Nexus handsets. Suddenly features are exclusive to Pixel, a phone which is about double the price of a similar spec Oneplus 3.

If Google refuse to update their Pixel branded tablet, which is still on sale, what hope do we have that Pixel Phone will support Pixel 2 features when that gets released in a couple of years? Not only do Google want us to pay Apple like prices for a handset, they also want us to accept built in redundancy as our devices get older.

That's not what Android owners do. We keep applying updates and, when they stop coming, we start installing custom ROMs. Sure, suppliers may not make much money from that model, but we do provide repeat business.

It started to hurt when Samsung removed the SD card slot (which makes life much easier for juggling custom ROMs) and now I fear that the geeks are struggling for something to buy. I know several people who were poised to buy the Pixel phone but didn't. Rumoured sales numbers in the UK confirm we aren't alone.

I'm now looking at a Oneplus 3, albeit without an SD card slot, but it doesn't run Android N yet which would be a bit of a downgrade for many to go back to Marshmallow. Once it starts shipping with Nougat I feel Oneplus will have an order book that HTC can only dream of.

Straight outta Staines: Attenda has finally been sold... to US biz Ensono

Ben Rose
Megaphone

Do you mean?

Staines-upon-Thames

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