Registration purchase - unethical verification request

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LancerNZ
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2019 11:59 am

Registration purchase - unethical verification request

Post by LancerNZ » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:27 am

I purchased my registration code for MakeMKV yesterday. I know I could just renew the beta code every month but I’ve used MakeMKV to watch my Blu-rays on Linux for some time now, I’m really happy with that, and I wanted to unlock a permanent code (not monthly) and also support the project.

Unfortunately, what I expected to be a simple transaction proved to be more of a harrowing experience. After something of a delay, I received an email. There was no registration code. Instead there was a note with the main part as follows...
Your order is currently under evaluation by 2Checkout's Risk Assessment Team. We perform this verification to prevent unauthorized use of the credit/debit card used in the transaction and unauthorized use of your personal details.
In order to validate your payment and complete your order, please provide us with the following documents during the next two business days:
- a copy of a recent credit card billing statement, confirming the name, address, and telephone number associated with the credit card presented for your order.
- a copy of a photo ID (identification card, driver`s license or passport) of the Credit/Debit Card account holder.
What the hell? I can’t believe you or any of your official representatives would be outright asking for sensitive information like that.

Security 101: NEVER scan your photo ID and send it on to just whoever asks for it. Credit Card statements, with the amount of personal information enclosed, are pretty much the same.

At this point, I checked my online banking. Money - GONE!

So let me get this right. At that point in time, you have...
  • processed the sale
  • taken the money
  • refused to front up with the goods
...that is, unless the buyer further forwards you a bunch of sensitive documents that they may not be happy to do so. (Let me qualify that - I was definitely not happy to do so)

Guys, I live in New Zealand. Here, the above is ILLEGAL by consumer law. You can’t just take the money and then make excuses to avoid fronting up with the goods. Can you tell me which country you are working from where an equivalent law does not apply?

From my part, there were two calls to make.
1. Your customer support hotline (phone number given at the bottom of the registration form). Very unhelpful. Even voice-to-voice would not offer me a non-compromising way of proving I am me. Would not answer to other basic questions like why the “buy now” from makemkv.com indicates PayPal when the following registration page does not. Was recording the whole conversation “for training purposes” but refused permission to use his name if I open discussion of the encounter on grounds of “that would be inappropriate”. Advised me “you just have to do what the email says”.
2. The second call was to my Bank.

On hearing the above, my Bank immediately opened a fraud/scam investigation against MakeMKV and 2checkout (aka avangate.com)
In their own words, “We strongly advise you not to send scans of you photo ID or any bank statement to these people. This looks very much like the beginnings of an attempt at identity theft”. They advised me to collate records of all correspondence with this purchase and keep them updated. If the situation was not remedied within ten days, the Bank would then issue a final stage of legal action from their end.

Fortunately there was one more avenue which I could try, a little further down in the email:
As an alternative option to sending the documents requested above, you can provide us with the authorization code for the transaction that was placed using the 2Checkout system, in a reply to the current notification.
The authorization code is a 6 or 7 digit unique number that is
generated for any transaction with a credit/debit card and can be obtained by You contacting the issuer bank at the number located on the back of the card or by accessing the online banking application(if such an option is available for your bank) for the card used in the order.
This number was indeed not part of my online banking records. For that matter, even my Bank did not seem to have the information very much at hand. The number they initially gave me was refused as incorrect by 2checkout. After this, I reconnected with my Bank to verify (and to ask for further advice) and they were then able to give me another “correct” number. They said the mistake was possibly due to early versus full stages of processing(?)

So finally, I have my registration code (thank you) and I was able to call the Bank and suspend those legal investigations they had started.

MakeMKV team - are you aware that the company you are using to process your payments is holding back your goods in a ransom-like manner to request sensitive information from customers like myself?

This “simple transaction” has pretty much knocked out the best part of a day. Can I suggest:
  • Either add a PayPal option to the form used for making orders, or get rid of the PayPal graphic underneath the “Buy Now” button. This in normally my first point-of-call on internet transactions and can be a deal-breaker.
  • Review who you are using to process the orders and check that their practises represent your own ethical standards.
Your product is great but (voluntarily) paying for it was a nightmare.

st4evr
Posts: 554
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:38 pm

Re: Registration purchase - unethical verification request

Post by st4evr » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:34 pm

LancerNZ wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:27 am
This “simple transaction” has pretty much knocked out the best part of a day. Can I suggest:
  • Either add a PayPal option to the form used for making orders, or get rid of the PayPal graphic underneath the “Buy Now” button. This in normally my first point-of-call on internet transactions and can be a deal-breaker.
  • Review who you are using to process the orders and check that their practises represent your own ethical standards.
First I am not a rep for MakeMKV, but have been around this forum and this scene long enough to be able to advise that some or all of this can be very difficult for the developers (and not only the MakeMKV developer. E.g. AnyDVD as well for example) due to the nature of these types of apps. In many countries it is illegal to sell, buy, and/or use these applications. Additionally, the studios who own the content really, really, really dislike all of this. It's not the developer's fault. Want someone to blame? Blame the studios. They lobby governments to push for copyright laws that make all this more difficult as they have the money to do so.

Paypal - This has been discussed many times over within the walls of this forum (and in similar forums for competing apps) as to why Paypal cannot be used. The forum search function will provide many discussions on this and the reasons behind why it cannot be used. And even why it's listed as an option, but not available to use.

Other payment processors - Not many want to be involved in the selling process of such apps for the legality aspects of it all. It can be difficult for developers of these apps to find payment processors willing and in many instances their options are very, very limited and have no choice but to use some of these with questionable practices. Or even go the Bitcoin route altogether.

So, when looking at it from the business and legality side of it all, it's easier said than done. You are suggesting this while ignoring the complex legalities in all this.

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