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William B. Esq.
William B. Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 2959
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing individuals and businesses.
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On 28th February this year I had a technical issue with my

Resolved Question:

On 28th February this year I had a technical issue with my Facebook account. I phoned a Facebook technical support number found on Google. They say I may have a Virus on my computer and transferred me to another set of technical guys who wanted to remotely fix my computer. I allowed them access. They allegedly cleaned the system. They advised installing Malwarebytes to protect the system which would cost $89.99. I payed the the $89.99 and they installed the software. I was concerned because the system mentioned ‘Free Trial Period’. ‘But I’d paid $89.99 so why is it showing Trial period’. 'Are you sure I have bought the real thing? I asked. ‘Yes’ I was reassured. ‘Is the $89.99 an annual payment or one time charge for how long?’. I assured it was a one time lifetime payment. They emailed the following receipt for purchase.

General Information
Merchant Account: Roborant Tech
Date/Time : 02/28/2013 10:53:33 AM PST
-------------------------------------
Transaction Information
-------------------------------------
Order ID : XXXXXXXXXX
Description : Shopping Cart Purchase
Transaction Amount : $89.99
Transaction ID : XXXXXXXXXX
Authorization Code : 055349
Transaction Type : Card Sale
Response : AP
AVS Results : Exact match, 5-character numeric ZIP
CSC Results : CVV2/CVC2 Match
----------
Products
---------
Item: SS-003
Description: Security Software Unlimited
Unit Price: 89.99
Quantity: 1
Amount: 89.99

Sub-Total: 89.99
Shipping:
Tax:
Grand Total: 89.99
After a while malwarebytes updates screen information informed that my ‘trial period’ had ended – Buy Now!”. ‘But I’ve already bought’, I thought. Then I noticed certain levels of scan activity was only available to ‘licensed users’. I was asked to enter a product code and license key. I had not been furnished with these things. Finally today I got round to addressing the issue by ringing the company named on my receipt to get the product key and license key. They said they needed to remotely go back into my computer and reinstall the software. I said, ‘why? I only need the product code and license key.’ But they could not give me that. I spoke to the Supervisor, then the Floor Manager. At first they gave the impression it would be malwarebytes they were going to reinstall. But I asked if they reinstalled would I be given the license key they said it was impossible, which was not making sense and now starting to sound suspicious.
Then they said they would install another product and give me the key to that. But I wanted the key to the product I had already purchased and did not want them remotely going back into my computer. Finally the owner got on the phone angry because I was refusing their offer. I suggested if they could not give me the key they should refund my money. The owner’s attitude was that he was offering me a solution to the problem. By offering to install another ‘better’ product free of charge. But I pointed out there was nothing wrong with the original product I just needed the license key. Meanwhile I went on Malwarebytes own website and saw I could buy the product directly for only $24.99! and I would no doubt have the license key. Then it dawned on me that probable reason they could not give me the product key was because it was not a legitimate version they had put on my computer. I told the owner I would take the matter up with a consumer advocacy group. Then bizarrely he suggested. I could not prove their company had installed ‘Malwarebytes’ onto my system. That I had installed it myself! He suggested once the new software was on my system they had fulfilled their terms because the ‘receipt’ did not say they installed ‘Malwarebytes’ only Security Software Unlimited. Which I guess could be any software. ‘So what you are you implying’, I pointed out, ‘ is that your company accepted $89.99 from me in February 28 2013 yet did not install any software whatsoever on my computer until I rang you today July 30th 2013!!!’. ‘Even that’, I suggested, ‘Were it to be true would be a problem.’ The fact is. The log still recorded on my system shows Malwarebytes was enabled at February 28th 2013 12.07pm PST approximately one hour after the time of purchase as recorded on my receipt. The log notes, I now see also show it was a ‘Trial’ not a Licensed version as I was led to believed, they intalled. This company charged me 90 bucks and downloaded a free trial version of malwarebytes after giving me the impression I was paying for a lifetime licensed version. I can only determine the reason they were so insistent on wanting to remotely access my computer and install something different was to destroy the evidence and details of the malwarebytes installation and attempt to legitimize their previously illegitimate actions with a, no doubt substandard non-descript product . What can be done about this company’s operations? and what are my rights?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 11 months ago.

CalAttorney2 :

Dear Customer, thank you for choosing Just Answer. I would like to assist you with this matter today.

CalAttorney2 :

Unfortunately a $90.00 charge is unlikely to be sufficient to make filing a civil claim worthwhile from a financial standpoint. You may do so in small claims, and will likely win a judgment with punitive damages based on the facts as you have stated them. Courts are protective of consumers that have been unfairly taken advantage of, and the company's actions are particularly improper and blatantly fraudulent (which will open them to punitive damages in addition to the $90.00 in compensatory damages).

CalAttorney2 :

You can report the matter to your state's Attorney General's office. The Attorney General will have a department of consumer affairs website where you can file a complaint against a business. The Attorney General can handle the matter with an investigation and prosecution when appropriate and based on available funding. Blatant fraud and theft (they are stealing from the state's citizens) is a good basis for a state investigation.

CalAttorney2 :

Finally, you can alert the software company that this other company is illegally using its brand and profiting from its product. This company may be interested in taking enforcement actions of its own in civil court.

CalAttorney2 :

I hope that my answer was of assistance to you. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you for your business!

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. I believe I understand my rights in this instance.


File in small Claims.


Report to Attorney General's Office


Report to Malwarebytes. (BTW did try to phone Malwarebytes before contacting Just Answer but could not find phone contact No)


 


I will follow through all 3 because I am particularly concerned with Online operating services like this where you start with one company and are then transferred to 3rd Party intermediaries. then you don't know who you are dealing with.


 


Had I been persuaded to allow them remote access to my computor once again they would have simply deleted the software/evidence and claimed it was never put on my system. Now I've had the opportunity to take a 'screen grab' of everything including the logs and message alerts as evidence and proof of my case. Thank you.


 


 


 

Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
I looked for a phone number for Malwarebytes as well, the best I could locate was a portal for customer support. I cannot promise that they will recontact you, but they certainly may be interested in someone else using their product to defraud consumers.
http://www.malwarebytes.org/contact_consumer/
William B. Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 2959
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing individuals and businesses.
William B. Esq. and 11 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. Me Too. So will sent what I sent to you to Malwarebytes as a report.


 


Finally have just looked up proceedure for Small claims filing. Looks quite straight forward only. I'm British and recent lawfully admitted US permanent residant. So US systems are new to me. a. How much within a range should I be reasonably asking for in this case? b. Roborant Tech Supports, Head Office: is based here in California according to the website.
1254 West 8th Street
San Pedro, CA 90731


However the guys I spoke to today and those earlier this year who gave the tech support initially were clearly in India!! It was an Online transation so where should the case be filed?


Expert:  William B. Esq. replied 11 months ago.
They were doing business online, the proper venue can be either where their headquarters are (if you wish to travel there, which is probably an unnecessary expense for an already high small claims court matter in relation to recovery), or you can file where you are located (If you were located in the US at the time this action took place, for example if you were in San Francisco when you were on your computer and they did the remote login, you can file a small claims action in San Francisco).

You can only ask for the actual damages ($89.99) in your small claims complaint. The additional money would be what is called "punitive damages" this amount will be set by the Court and is determined based on what the Court believes is appropriate based on the severity of their wrongdoing. I do not know what the value of the punitive damages would be in a case such as this, but the wrongdoing is clear, and the company certainly compounded their wrongdoing through multiple instances of fraud instead of trying to mitigate the matter and making it right.

I wish I had a better numbers figure for you.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. Yes. I was and still am based in Los Angeles at the time of purchase. I'll file my claim here and see what happens. It's really the principle of the thing. Thank you once again.

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