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MBS billing

  Forum Editor 11:41 02 Sep 2007

This is a continuation of the thread that was originally posted in the Helproom. That thread ended up being 21 pages long, with over 800 posts, and has been closed. In response to requests I'm opening this here, in Consumerwatch which is a more appropriate place, so the discussion may continue.

You can read the original thread if you click here

  Forum Editor 15:53 03 Nov 2007

Your last post is perfectly acceptable, and summarises the feelings of many others quite nicely. There are lots of people who are convinced they didn't at any time agree to accepting a download from one of the sites involved.

As for investigations, you may not be aware that several people - myself included - have been investigating this subject for sme time. In my case the investigation has been ongoing for a year now, ever since we saw the first complaint on our forum. I have discussed the matter at length with two leading internet lawyers, and with MBS themselves. I've also discussed the subject on three separate BBC radio programmes. I have aso written at least two articles in our magazine about MBS and the problems consumers have encountered.

The answer is always the same - lawyers tell me that they can see nothing illegal in the MBS billing system, and (so far at any rate) not one person has been able to provide me - or anyone else as far as I'm aware - with evidence to show that the MBS software was installed on their computer by stealth. You'll appreciate that a personal conviction that something untoward has hapened isn't enough - what's needed, if any further action is to be taken, is concrete proof.

To my certain knowledge both the Office of Fair Trading and Trading Standards have been consulted about this, and they have both confirmed that they have no evidence of illegal activity on the part of MBS. The Leeds Trading Standards Office has been consulted by MBS to make sure that the billing system is legal, and I've been lead to believe that they have found nothing that contravenes any current legislation.

  Forum Editor 16:08 03 Nov 2007

"all the people on this Forum who say they can prove that they did not access the sites when MBS say they did"

That's precisely the problem in a nutshell. Lots of people say they can prove they didn't access these sites, but so far not one of them has shown me any evidence. Saying that you can prove you didn't use your machine at the time and on the date in question isn't good enough.

  wee eddie 21:16 03 Nov 2007

on this thread ~ Your sudden lucidity surprises me.

If you have information that is legally useful, I suggest that you mail it directly to FE rather than making wild and possibly, libellous, rants on the Forum

  spuds 12:41 04 Nov 2007

I have been following this thread and other threads on this and other forums, and truthfully I am as confused now as I was from the beginning. Here we have a scenario of people sincerely stating that their computers were 'infected' in their absence, others have admitted that 'they may have' been in or near to the websites in question. I use my computers extensively on surfing the web, and in more years that I can remember I have only ever had two very concerning experiences. One particular case was when I clicked on a rather innocent link doing a simple search, then all hell broke loose. Porn websites with free trial direction links absolutely filled my computer screen in large numbers, to the point that I killed the main power source to the system. A very frightening experience, and to this day I have never really understood what happened, by a simple click on an 'innocent' website link.Subsequently at a later stage, the link was tried, and on that occasion, the link directed me to the exact 'innocent' website requested

One thing that I have stated in the past, is the fear of people thinking that the bailiff's will turn up and demand money. If you have not given any personal details, how can anyone trace and obtain details for recovery of a possible debt. Most fee charging sites, insist that you provide personal details from the start, and this method will then perhaps supply the service provider with sufficient evidence to pursue any claims, if part of terms and conditions agreed.

MBS have introduced a new method, and in a sense I suppose, it could be called a 'trailed' version of a new method here in the UK. This procedure or one very similar was used in the USA, and apparently certain legal restrictions have been placed on its usage for a certain period, until further investigations and trials have been completed.Time will only tell on any final outcomes.

  spuds 12:53 04 Nov 2007

Perhaps I should mention, that on the second occasion, I provided a link that I had used previously to a request on this forum. Having clicked Post Response I checked the link, and that directed straight to a porn site. Immediately I contacted the forum editor requesting that my information was deleted, which the FE did, so preventing any possible embarrassment.

I had used the link previously with bona fide results, and have used the same link since with no irregularities or concerns. It was only on that one occasion that 'something strange' occurred!.

  Forum Editor 18:12 05 Nov 2007

Had you been with us a bit longer you would know that the green advertising hyperlinks are nothing new, we've had them for a long time.

Nothing's "happening on the forum pages" that hasn't happened before.

  Forum Editor 18:27 05 Nov 2007

It's not a question of being given the benefit of the doubt, it's a question of evidence. We've seen plenty of people getting all fired up about MBS, and making all kinds of allegations, and right from the beginning I have consistently taken the same line - if someone is going to make the allegation that MBS software has been downloaded to their computer by stealth they need to back it up with some kind of evidence. Otherwise there's nothing I (or anyone else) can do about it. I can perfectly well understand how infuriating it is to see bills popping up on your screen, and if you are convinced that neither you, or anyone else who might have access to your computer, has visited the site in question it's doubly infuriating, but the fact that a bill appears is not in itself evidence of illegal practices.

If I'm ever going to get to the bottom of what might or might not have happened in a specific case I need facts. What I don't need, after over a year of becoming involved in this saga is an accusation that I'm closing my mind to something, or that I'm one of the "doubting but self-righteous Thomases" you feel convinced are out to get you.

Whether or not the web site in question is a porn site, or a ferret-breeding site, or a history site is totally immaterial as far as I'm concerned. It isn't immaterial as far as many of those affected are concerned because it sometimes leads to a perfectly understandable reticence to disclose the details of the circumstances in which the software download occurred.

As for "smug and sneering comments ". we'll have no more personal comments like that please.
Wee Eddie has been with us for a very long time, and is not known for being smug or sneering.

  Forum Editor 23:29 05 Nov 2007

We've had them for at least two years.

  Forum Editor 18:05 06 Nov 2007

The links form on keywords, and advertisers buy the keywords for specific periods. Type a keyword that's been sold and you'll see the link form automatically.

I would be very surprised if "the Dell website suddenly opened up without prompting from me", because you must click on a link in the hover pop-up before anything happens.

  Forum Editor 22:36 08 Nov 2007

I am indeed surprised. I've just spent a couple of minutes with the hyperlink referred to by helpinghand, trying every way I can think of to get the Dell website to open in my browser without clicking anything......and it will not. There's certainly a pop-up ad, and that appears when you hover on the keyword, but it's an ad, not a website.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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