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 Post subject: Sharks and freshwater licences
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:01 pm
Posts: 25
I regret to report that I've been the victim of what sharp practice, or perhaps sharks practising. This is about buying rod licences online. Other anglers should be aware. This is what happened to me:

I don't often go fishing on rivers and lakes but I went a few times last year. On the first three occaisions I bought day licences online, using my android phone. This is the website I used: http://www.rodlicence.net/contact.php. Each time I bought a day licence from these people, I was charged a fee on £5, on top of the £3.75 licence fee. So for the electricity that runs their computers for the 5 minutes or so it took me to enter my details, they have charged me more than the licence itself. I only noticed the charges when I checked my bank statements recently. It gets worse. I decided that I might go on quite a few freshwater sorties, so I bought a yearly licence. From the same people. And how much was the charge for processing my application and sending me a licence? £20.

So I rang the environment agency. I was under the impression that the company was connected with them. Absolutely not, said the lady, and the environment agency has had complaints about this company but have not been able to take action against them.

Now, I know that you are supposed to be on your guard against this sort of thing, but there are a few aspects to the rodlicence website that are(ahem)less than clear. Particularly on the small screen of a mobile phone. I didn't see the details of the charges, obviously, or even that the service was chargeable at all. If you google something like 'buy rod licence', the rodlicence.net website is the first one that comes up. On checking the website on a laptop, you can see that there is text about commission being payable, and there's an icon that will lead you to the charges, which include the amazing commission, for the various licences. However, on a mobile phone, last year, I believed I was paying the licence fees and the licence fees alone.

I would advise anglers that sharks do not only inhabit the sea, nor are they even confined to water. It seems like there could be a few in St. Albans. Clearly, rodlicence.net offers such a reasonable rates for their services that people will want to know more details; it's a website with a green/blue header.


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 Post subject: Re: Sharks and freshwater licences
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 960
Location: Basingstoke
Apparently this is quite a well-known scam. Is it a scam though? Seems like they are operating legally but it's the ethics that are doubtful. But, of course, word doesn't always get around and sorry to hear you got stung. Thanks for sharing, I'm sure there will people who read this who weren't aware of it.

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Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Sharks and freshwater licences
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:07 pm
Posts: 487
Ouch....not a nice read.I think i might have a look.
Cheers
Simon


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 Post subject: Re: Sharks and freshwater licences
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2014 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:07 pm
Posts: 487
Ah ha...straight away first page....0905 number...runaway.
There is a landline number that if you call you can ask awkward questions.
Just done that and ripped them to shreds.....most amusing.
Tight lines
Simon


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 Post subject: Re: Sharks and freshwater licences
PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2014 6:13 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 1:01 pm
Posts: 25
Thanks for that. I've sort-of stayed in touch with those lovely folks by email. I suspect that they blocked my emails after the first exchange. Basically they implied that, if they were to give me a refund, I'd be liable for a fine. I replied that that was fine by me(haha) and that I'd accept their offer. Heard nothing since. By the way, the cryptic warning they sent me had no name attributed, just from sales@rodlicence. I also really got the bit between my teeth and contacted Trading Standards, my MP, Watchdog, The Independent...

Recently, for my amusement I thought I'd write to them again, from a different email address. I identified myself and have been asked to produce reference numbers, which they'll look into. They say.

Interestingly there has been interest from the press and some activity from various governmental bodies about this issue. It seems that passport applications and congestion charging have also been exploited through official-looking websites in much the same way.

There's now a website that looks very similar to the one that took my money. It also pops up at the top of a Google page. This new one blurs the lines between what is Environmental Agency, and themselves in a new way. It's worth a look if you can be bothered. Essentially, due to the positioning of icons I imagine that the people who take the commission will still make plenty of money. Equally, I'd like to observe that it appears that sharks have remarkable adaptive powers when confronted with legal obstacles. In short, these people are bastards. I may invoice them for my wasted time, with an administration costs charge of £20 for every time I've pressed 'send' when writing to them.

Best wishes and good fishing


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