BusinessFinding a JobFrugal LivingIndustriesInsurancePersonal FinanceReal EstateScams & FraudSelf-EmploymentStarting a Business

Usenet.nl Is a Scam: What You Can Do

Updated on February 02, 2017

WARNING: DO NOT USE USENET.NL

Joining Usenet.nl: Getting Hooked By a Free Trial

I have heard of Usenet services in the past but wasn't sure what it was. I found a website called Usenet.nl and they had a free trial via PayPal, so I joined. Once I was a member of the site, I got to look around more and decided it really wasn't what I was looking for.

Usenet.nl Rating

1 star for Usenet.nl

Cancelling Service

Their cancellation policy looked very difficult and there was a bit of Engrish on their website. I should have noticed these things before I signed up, but PayPal is known for protecting their buyers and I was under a free trial. Since canceling via Usenet.nl seemed nearly impossible, I headed over to PayPal and canceled under the subscription area.

Easy as pie. Nothing happened after that. I didn't get charged and didn't hear from Usenet until they realized they couldn't charge my PayPal account. They "suspended" my account, which is code for "your free trial is over, if you want to use more, you have to pay." To me, that was a confirmation that it was mutually understood that the deal was off. My account was inactive, therefore they were no longer rendering service past my free trial period. Logical.

Email from Usenet.nl Saying Account Suspended

Threatening Invoices, Bills, and "Collections"

Fast forward about a month or two and I get a bill in the mail. The letter came all the way from Europe and wanted something like €100. When I first got the letter, I thought, "Yep, this is definitely a scam."

Later, I started getting emails from another company called Tesch Inkasso, a foreign collections agency, I presume. They wanted €99 for the "contract" ( and I'm using the term contract roughly since that's the word they're using, but I don't recall any contract.) In addition, they wanted:

  • Interest
  • Dunning cost (I had to look up this word, it's something like a collections agency fee.)
  • Damages in the form of a business fee
  • Damages for mailing me a letter

Everything totaled €164.46. Furthermore, they cited that if I wanted to pay via PayPal, they would "have to charge handling fees in the amount of €15.00, making the total amount €179.46." Nice try deterring users for opting for Paypal, but I dare not give them credit card details!

Plus, didn't they suspend my account since I didn't pay after the free trial?

Usenet.nl Customer Service

I contacted Usenet and they responded,

"After an extensive database search we must unfortunately report that we have been unable to find a valid cancelation for account ########.

We will however gladly perform additional searches if you can assist us by providing further information:

After you canceled your account did you receive a cancelation confirmation by e-mail?
-If you did, can you please send us a copy?

How did you deliver your cancelation notice (support form request, e-mail or post)?
- If you used our support form or contacted us via e-mail did you use a different e-mail address and/or customer account number from the one listed above?

Thank you for your assistance and continued patience as we work to resolve this matter.

Once we have proof of your timely cancelation, your contract can be terminated and the membership fee credited to your account."

Oh. Okay, so my account wasn't cancelled even though I cancelled the subscription via PayPal? And they suspended my account?

I responded to the email, but I got:

"+++ This is an autoresponder - please do not reply to this email! +++"

Followed by,

"Stopping payment is not a termination. According to the terms and conditions it is irrelevant if you have used the provided contractually agreed services, because they have provided their service without limitation. We kindly ask you to settle your debt until 6th January 2017 to avoid further reminder cost."

How were the services provided without limitation if they suspended my account due to me cancelling the free trial via Paypal?

Lessons & Closure

To close, it's clear that Usenet.nl is a scam. They demand money for service they did not provide after a free trial that I canceled. They use bully tactics to attempt to get people to pay.

I've searched the Internet and found many other people dismayed by their business practices. Unfortunately, some people fell for the scam and did pay up out of fear.

If you find yourself in a similar situation with Usenet.nl, know that these are not legal business practices and do not pay them. I'm glad I don't keep a super tidy inbox, so I still have my account suspension notice.

Currently, I am working with PayPal to get this remedied. I'm hoping that with my evidence, PayPal will stop working with Usenet.nl. If you've found yourself in a similar situation, contact PayPal or your credit card company. Provide evidence and protect yourself from predatory business practices.

And no matter what, do not fall for their bullying. Do not pay them. And, of course, share this article to spread the word.

What if You've Been Scammed?

If Usenet.nl is sending you threatening messages after non-payment, do not pay them. They operate solely by scare tactics. Don't let them bully you into paying for a service you canceled.

If you've paid by PayPal, contact them and very professionally explain what has happened. The more people who contact PayPal, the better!

© 2016 Melanie

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      lee 8 days ago

      im korean same situation

      I do not speak English so I have a lot of errors to solve the problem.

      I am into Google translation...

      i dont know what to do

      i removed paypal card But can not this be solved by this?

    • profile image

      remy 11 days ago

      same situation. I think we should all contact the fbi, or maybe interpol. This is an international fraud scheme

    • profile image

      Rachel 2 weeks ago

      I am in exactly the same situation described. I believe I was hacked and never signed up an account. I contacted PayPal then refunded the money. usenet.nl sent me a letter in the mail wanting money so I tried to call the number. It was international and wouldn't go through so I email them. Long story short, it's been 5 months and they are still hassling me. How do I get proof it is a scam? I want to know that I can't be taken to collections in the U.S. over this mess or even my wages garnished or some other strange situation.

    • profile image

      Same issue 2 weeks ago

      I cancelled my subscription like last year, it took over 3 months till they send a letter to my house telling me I didn't cancel my subscription, now I am not sure if I should pay just for the sake of getting them off my back but there is no reason why they cant provide a cancel button on the site for people to cancel, or just remove the charge from my account given I only tried the service for 2 days it was awful I uninstalled and cancel within like 2 days of trying...

      I don't have copies of the original Email I sent them because it was months ago to cancel it and I have over 7000 emails, but I do have the cancel on record with PayPal which clearly shows 2 days I cancel and my account was suspended too so they lose nothing I would lose nothing...

      Regardless of a Terms & Conditions there is no way to prove where I sent them information or not I am actually thinking about destroying my account and filling it up with blank information

    • profile image

      Skhan 3 weeks ago

      Hi Melanie

      I am getting the same emails and letters from them. What should I do?

    • profile image

      Emily 3 weeks ago

      Thank you for this review. My situation is very similar. Actually I don't even know if I signed up for the free trial or if UseNet.nl just got my info, but somehow I ended up with not one, but two paypal billing agreements with them. I cancelled both billing agreements within less than 3o minutes, and went on my merry way thinking that all was fine and dandy.

      But of course, no way. I didn't go through all the proper cancellation channels for UseNet.nl! Then I didn't hear from them again until this week when they sent me two nasty-grams telling me that I owe them 173 Euros for each of the two accounts. I took screen shots that showed when I cancelled the billing agreements through PayPal and sent them as proof to the collections company by email.

      Very quickly they sent me back an email that said my proof only showed that I refused to pay them, not that I cancelled my accounts with them. It went on to say that the terms and services I signed gave specific instructions about how to terminate accounts, and that since I had not followed those specific instructions, I did indeed owe them the money .

      Now I am still scratching my head wondering why on earth I ever signed up for a free trial with them, or even if I ever did. I don't remember ever hearing about them before seeing the two billing agreements on PayPal. And what am I supposed to do about their harassing letters?

      They are not a website or a company that anyone should go near AT ALL!!

    • profile image

      Handel 5 weeks ago

      Thank you Melanie for this excellent post. I find myself in virtually the same situation as described by your article. I recently, and foolishly, gave Usenet.nl a chance without first googling. Well, that is a lesson learned. I have not yet received the payment harassment notices that you write about, but no doubt they are coming.

      Usenet.nl appears to be a foreign-based (outside USA), scam operation.

      One serious concern is that they can do harm to a person’s good credit rating through false allegations of non-payment. Would anyone out there know about this? Have you considered filing a lawsuit in return, asking for a cease and desist regarding unwarranted payment demands?

      If enough Usenet.nl potential “scam-ees” banded together, perhaps file a joint lawsuit against these vile scammers? I note that Usenet.nl have been sued by several major media companies for copyright infringement. This ragtag outfit apparently lives in this cesspool of conflict and deception. It is their element.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 8 weeks ago from Mississauga, ON

      Thanks for letting your readers and followers know. I hate those scam and collection tactics based on fear factor. I am glad you didn't fall for this fraud.

      I wish you a merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a very happy new year in advance.

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 8 weeks ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      It can be very unnerving to have undeserved threats of increasing costs. I commend you on your perseverance and cool under fire. Personally, I never sign up for "free" trials that require payment information up front (PayPal account, credit card info, etc) no matter who is offering it. It is in the interest of even "legitimate" businesses to make cancellation difficult. Great article.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 8 weeks ago from UK and Mexico

      Well done. There is so much of this disgusting scamming going on on the Internet. You have to look ten times at each button you press to make sure you are not being dragged in further to one scheme or another. Adding automatic renewal to many services when you have not requested same is one glaring problem. I agree that Paypal, a great service, needs to become more proactive regarding these unsavoury tactics and perhaps make it easier to use their site to seek remedy.

    Click to Rate This Article