FreemanX is one of the many companies that have no products of their own but sell vouchers on behalf of other companies. You can do things like race cars, jump out planes or takes trips away. On the surface, it all sounds good. However, experience with the company tells a different story. FreemanX have little interest in their customers’ rights and have terms and conditions that I believe are in breach of both the Fair Trading Act and the Consumer Guarantees Acts. This doesn’t sit well with the values they publicise, that include;
Integrity – have pride and confidence in the decisions we make.
Customer Satisfaction – exceed expectations, serve, respect, and smile.
The terms and conditions are so biased toward FreemanX that the customer is unlikely to get any support if anything goes wrong. FreemanX try to assert that they will not give refunds but instead offer an alternative experience. My Wife and I bought a trip on a sailing ship called the R Tucker Thompson in the Bay of Islands (a great day out – book direct with them if you’re interested). But it turns out that when we wanted to use it (during the period of the voucher), the boat is unavailable. In fact, FreemanX continue to offer six-month vouchers for this trip year-round, even though they say themselves that the boat is unavailable for six months of the year! The vouchers we received said nothing about this.
This is not any use to us as my Wife is pregnant and due to have our second baby in November 2012. I emailed the information below asking for a refund but FreemanX continue to refuse a refund and offer to extend the voucher or an alternative experience.
- If FreemanX can’t supply the experience in the time period we purchased the voucher they should give a refund. Simple.
- FreemanX suggest we do something else. If we had wanted to do something else, we would have bought something else.
- They directed us to their terms and conditions but I believe FreemanX are trying to contract out of existing Government legislation.
Under the Consumer Guarantees Act;
Goods or services must be fit for the purpose intended. FreemanX are unable to supply the activity in the time period of the voucher.
Goods or services must match their description. Another activity is not what we bought.
Services must be provided within a reasonable time.We do not intend to wait months beyond the time of the voucher expiry, whether FreemanX allow it or not.
Under the Fair Trading Act;
False or misleading information: The activity is not available as it says it is on the vouchers.
I believe that the FreemanX terms and conditions mislead consumers as to their rights under these Acts. It is unreasonable to expect someone to accept an activity they did not wish to do because FreemanX can’t provide the one they want. If I had bought a TV and it wasn’t available, the retailer would not be able to force me to accept a half dozen microwaves instead!
If you are considering purchasing a voucher of any kind, either for yourself or someone else, I strongly suggest you avoid FreemanX and go direct to the supplier. The supplier is concerned with their reputation and you’ll have far more luck getting refunds or an acceptable solution. In general, you should check for reviews on companies like FreemanX before using them.
Author: Dave Smyth, Energise Web Design