Redsave settle up before High Court drama, bring on the BBC
Ah, Redsave. Remember them? Sure you do! They're the online store you may recall from that time the ASA upheld a complaint or two against them, or when they ordered the Daily Mirror to remove an article from their website that highlighted their business practises. In fact there have been complaints about Redsave posted online for over two years.
To quickly recap: Redsave offers discounts on products purchased on their site, but by doing so customers sign up to a monthly subscription fee of £19.95. These days that point is stated on the homepage of the website - but in 2007 it was buried in the terms and conditions, and plenty of customers didn't realise they'd signed up or been paying the subscription fee until months later. There were an awful lot of people unhappy with Redsave.
That's all in the past - so what the heck's new, then? Redsave were trying to take consumer website Unbeatable.co.uk to the High Court in a libel case, for allowing consumers to post critical reviews on their site - nearly 300 pages of posts in total. According to the Bournemouth Echo, Redsave had launched an action claiming up to £50,000 in damages from the site. The court case was due to go ahead last Tuesday, but on the same day the two sides settled without Unbeatable paying a penny. Redsave's solicitors did an admirable job of making it sound as if that was their plan all along:
"The aim was to ensure the removal of inaccurate and damaging remarks. The entire forum was removed in March 2008 and this final settlement means that the defendant agrees to never repeat similar allegations."
That's right, the aim of the court case was to force Unbeatable to remove posts that were removed 18 months beforehand. Makes perfect sense.
One other exciting piece of breaking news - we've heard from a source that the BBC1's Inside Out programme is preparing to investigate the Redsave saga. We're not sure which region the programme will be transmitted in, but we do know the producers have contacted people who posted comments in the Unbeatable forums, and that Redsave attempted to take to court on an individual basis. We'll let you know when to set Sky+ and get the popcorn in.