, Unethical practices Dispute, I'm reporting a dispute with a US-based company, pdfsmart.com, which I believe - Disputes Register
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softflakes
Ref: 2511
Filed: 19/02/2024

Accused Company:

softflakes

File a Dispute against this company

Trading Name:
Company number: us-
Website: pdfsmart.com

Softflakes, Inc 9450 Southwest Gemini Drive, Beaverton, OR 97008 United States
United States - Alabama

Allegation: Unethical practices



Value: USD 100,000.00


Dispute details:

Deceptive and abusive business practices resulting in forced subscription to a monthly service fee

I'm reporting a dispute with a US-based company, pdfsmart.com, which I believe operates fraudulently.
This platform provides services for editing and altering PDF files, advertising a one-time fee for downloading the modified document.

However, beneath this offer, they misleadingly portray the transaction as a free trial, which it is not, leading to an unconsented subscription to their monthly service. So accepting the one-time payment starts a monthly subscription of 29€. There's an absence of email communication to confirm the subscription or to remind users of it, exploiting the likelihood of individuals overlooking the modest monthly charges (29€).

Consequently, many end up unwittingly losing hundreds of euros before realizing it and cancelling.

The company is puting its best efforts to confuse people with payments in the name of Ultrapdf which do not lead to the actual service pdfsmart.com (although it's technically the same site). The contact form on the site does not work properly.

There are hundreds of complaints on the web of people who have lost money to that scam. This activity must be sanctionned.

In my opinion, the Company is wrong on several fronts :
False Advertising: the company advertises its service as a one-time payment without clearly and conspicuously disclosing that it actually enrolls consumers in a recurring subscription.

Lack of Clear Consent: for subscriptions, clear consent is required. This means that consumers must be fully informed and actively agree to the subscription, ideally through an explicit action like checking a box. Here the consent is buried in fine print or not obtained properly.

Failure to Provide Adequate Notice of Subscription Terms: the company does not provide clear, upfront notice of subscription terms, including how to cancel.

Attempts to resolve dispute:

I have contacted the company to obtain a full refund and so far my request has been ignored. I received a message saying that I accept knowingly the offer and was free to cancel at any time. However, this is clearly false publicity as it's impossible to realize we're subscribing while on the website.

Response to accusation (by accused):

Nothing Filed yet
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Complainant:

Julien Desarnauts

Asnières sur Seine , France