Fnac stops offering Hubside insurance after a large wave of complaints

Fnac stops offering Hubside insurance after a large wave of complaints

Celside and Hubside insurance can no longer be contracted at Fnac. There have been months of complaints from customers who had purchased mobile device insurance from the French company SFAM. This medium has previously reported on the practices of the French group, also by Hubside.Store, which have caused a great wave of complaints about abusive contracts and excessive payments. Now, hypertextual has been able to know exclusively that Fnac has decided to change supplier and cut relations with Hubside.

The company’s strategy is clear, as this medium learned. Along with insurance, they include other services that the buyer has not requested and, in many cases, is not even properly informed. The tactic consists of trying to get the client to sign several contracts that, supposedly, they can be canceled easily and free of charge within a month. Reality is something else.

SFAM was fined 10 million euros by the French Directorate for Competition and Consumer Affairs. The agency found that they had carried out deceptive practices and that they had intentionally withheld information to increase the number of contracts.

Despite the legal measures, SFAM has continued to operate and has continued to offer the services of its companies in Fnac, a company of which it is a shareholder. The modus operandi It was based on offering Celside insurance with the purchase of electronic or mobile devices. It was promised that the first month would be free and that it could be canceled without commitment during the first 30 days. However, with this insurance They ‘colaban’ the service for creating web pages and cloud storage from sister company Hubside. Customers therefore end up purchasing a subscription for something they didn’t order.

The problem comes when they want to cancel the insurance and everything that they have ‘strained’. Eternal unanswered calls, promises that are not kept and, meanwhile, monthly charges that have sometimes exceeded three figures. Fnac previously informed hypertextual that the SFAM services are external to the company but that they keep track of the claims. In the event that there is a complaint, it is brought to Hubside’s customer service department and followed up.

However, the wave of complaints has not stopped and on social networks like Twitter there are hundreds of tweets explaining the behavior of SFAM. Also in the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) and in a Telegram channel. From this April 1, It seems that these claims have been heard.

The relationship between Fnac and Hubside cools

As you have been able to find out hypertextual, Fnac has put an end to the employment contract that linked him with Celside. Since last Friday, this company’s insurance is no longer offered in stores in Spain. However, customers who have an issue with Hubside or Celside will continue to receive support, reports the confidential source that has confirmed the information. The new providers are GP (Garantie Privée), also French.

The first news came from the Telegram channel of those affected by Hubside, Celside and the SFAM group. A Fnac worker informed the members of the group that she had been informed by her superiors that Celside insurance can no longer be purchased in stores. Likewise, she warned that people who wanted to make a claim or had any doubts about the services they had contracted, did not go to Fnac. “They will not be able to help you with anything since there is no worker from this company in the store and normally the one who processed the complaints was a SFAM worker who used to be in the store,” he wrote on the channel.

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hypertextual has contacted Hubside and Celside for more details but has not received a response. Fnac has not published, for now, the official statement.

Hubside.Store expands, despite everything

Fnac’s decision to stop offering Celside’s services is an important step in curbing this company’s deceptive practices. However, much remains to be done. In addition to Fnac, other companies like Xiaomi and K-Tuin offer these insurances. Likewise, SFAM initiated last year an expansion strategy in Spain for Hubside.Store.

Since last year, stores have been opened in cities such as Barcelona, ​​Zaragoza, Madrid and Seville, while the company plans to open 30 new stores in Spain and Portugal. Hubside reported to hypertextual that in 2021 have reached 400,000 new customers in Europe and that they have hired 400 employees in Spain to strengthen their teams.

A former Hubside.Store worker who remained anonymous explained to this medium that the services of this company are not a scam because they exist; the problem is in the means to convince customers. Hubside is described as a service for buying and renting electronic devices and as a specialist in reconditioned products.

Four contracts per client

For sellers, the maxim is to get customers to sign four contracts in one sitting. four servicesamong which mobile insurance, the web storage service and a loyalty club called Reward Club that offers discounts in stores such as Fnac and AliExpress stand out.

“When we get the client to sign, they sign four contracts at the same time,” the worker explained. With the excuse that the first 30 days they will not have to pay anything and that they can cancel the service whenever they want, many people sign up. The problem comes when the odyssey begins to cancel this service.

In addition to the lack of information about the services they have contracted, consumers who call to cancel subscriptions they do not receive a response. Or the operators claim that their servers have crashed, an excuse that more than one client has explained on social networks like Twitter. All in order to delay the cancellation date and for the first charge to arrive.

Celside and Hubside Hell Doesn’t End Here

Fnac has stopped collaborating with this Hubside and Celside through insurance, and that’s good news. However, it remains to be clarified how the cases of the hundreds of people affected by these practices will be solved. Only in Fnac, customers demand that their money be returned even if they have finally managed to cancel the subscriptions.

In these months several initiatives have been born, such as this twitter account, which aims to bring together all the victims of SFAM. The idea is file a joint complaint; the same objective also has in the Telegram group. For now, no complaint has been filed.

Beyond Fnac, there are many others affected by these practices. The insurance offered in other stores such as Xiaomi and the customers of the Hubside.Store stores. Fnac’s decision will not change things overnight, but it is the necessary confirmation of the scope of claims against Hubside. Hopefully it is the first stone that falls from the domino.