Be aware of companies who come at the top or near the top of Google Searches for many Government Agencies.
Listings on Government sites such as: TV Licence, Fishing Licence, Road Tax, Passport Office and the tax office( HMRC).
1. A personal experience and warning from member Albert Briggs. ‘My road tax is due at the end of the month, I clicked on what said road vehicle tax and it turn out to be Vehicle Support, a totally different organisation. I contacted my bank and stopped any payment other than my road tax. The bank was on the ball and said it is the most common complaint we get. It’s always at the top of the list and the only give away is Ad at the beginning of the references.’
Thank you Albert
2. Another local experience – ‘My wife renewed our TV licence online but unfortunately through a website which came top of the Google listings when she searched for how to do this. The website was run by a firm called Licence Plus Limited and she was charged £175.50 on her debit card. We contacted the firm and were told twice we would be refunded but we have received nothing.’
This was investigated by ‘Which’ consumer magazine who replied: Licence Plus has no official status. The real TV Licensing authority warned on its website that, ‘Licence Plus charges customers an additional fee for buying a TV licence or changing details, when these are services we provide for free.’ Your TV licence should have cost £154.50 (Since April 1 it has risen to £157.50). The extra £21 you paid went to Licence Plus Limited, based in Polegate in East Sussex and run by Benjamin Leonard.
Many Government agencies have similarly complained that websites have sprung up with copycat names, sometimes doing little more than forwarding application forms to the real agency. As well as his TV licence website, Leonard operates a similar site at passports-office.co.uk, which of course is nothing to do with the real Passport Office.
(‘Which’ did managed to get a refund from the unofficial website owner)