Advice needed for newbie on using xerobank

Discussion in 'privacy technology' started by Kaisaargbra2, Mar 12, 2010.

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  1. Kaisaargbra2

    Kaisaargbra2 Registered Member

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    Hi steve i want to download xerobank for trial. do i need to set up any settings on my laptop before i download. will i need to install a seperate encryption software to protect email and wireless communications. I have some questions about xerobank also.

    1 is it compatible with a usb pre paid broadband account.

    2 is is safe to do online banking on it

    3 are there any programs which cant be used while using xerobank.

    4 what are the dos and donts while using it

    5 does it provide privacy and anonymimity

    6 can webmail be used safely and if not how do you advise using email

    7 Can you be traced by xerobank if its known you use it .

    8 Can cellcrypt be used with xerobank to protect voip calls

    9 Is anti virus necessary

    thanks
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  2. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Registered Member

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    XeroBank is a rip-off.
    The free Tor version worked without problems, but was slow. When I purchased their subscription, the installation never resulted in a successful connection, neither on a XP or a Vista machine, after de-installing and re-installing all of it a couple of times. I mailed screenshots of all my internet and VPN settings to their "customer support". They replied once: that I should turn off any firewalls and antivirus programs - which I had already done. No answers to further requests for support to get their "pro" version running. I wrote them support tickets via their ticketing system and mails that I wanted to cancel the subscription since their product did not work for me even once. They mailed a link which they told me to follow to make the cancellation effective -which I did. Over the next couple of months, they happily continued to charge my credit card. They never replied to any requests to desist from further unjustified charges, month after month, whether to support tickets nor mails.
    As users in other blogs on the web have noted: once you buy a subscription from Xerobank, it is VERY difficult to cancel it - ever. Contrary to what they claim in their terms of use. To prevent further fraudulent charges, it's necessary to scrap your own credit card and get a new one.
     
  3. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    @Kaisaargbra2

    1 - I don't know.

    2 - I don't do anything as my real identity via XeroBank.

    3 - Not AFAIK, as long as you don't violate the TOS or need to forward ports.

    4 - See 4.

    5 - It provides anonymity, as long as you don't blow it. It provides privacy through the exit node. After that, it depends on the host you're accessing, and the type of connection (e.g., SSL).

    6 - See 2 and 5. XeroBank comes with an email account that you can access via Thunderbird, The Bat or whatever.

    7 - I understand that, with some effort, XeroBank can determine what access account is generating traffic that violates TOS, and can terminate that account. However, determining what deposit account is funding that access account would supposedly be extremely difficult.

    8 - I don't know. And see 4.

    9 - Yes. XeroBank does firewall your connection.


    @Joe the Plumber

    I've used XeroBank for over two years, and have no complaints. It's never been down (at least, not long enough for me to notice). Although it's apparent that response to support requests may at times be slow, that hasn't been an issue for me, because I've rarely needed support. I can't speak to the difficulty in closing accounts, because I haven't done that. Yours is the first complaint of that nature that I've seen. Did you try to stop billing via DayPay's order management interface?
     
  4. snowdrift

    snowdrift Registered Member

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    1 is it compatible with a usb pre paid broadband account.

    You have to have an ISP to use XeroBank. XB does not replace your ISP.


    2 is is safe to do online banking on it

    Yes... I do it all the time.


    3 are there any programs which cant be used while using xerobank.

    IM programs don't work (for me). Some people are having problems with email clients and SMTP due to spammers (not me).


    4 what are the dos and donts while using it

    Stay legal. XB provides a level playing field against state-sponsored snooping. It's not a license for nefarious hide-and-seek.


    5 does it provide privacy and anonymimity

    Hell yes... both. Just don't give out personal details to anyone or any site on XB.


    6 can webmail be used safely and if not how do you advise using email

    You can use any web-based app, like email. Generally, though, email is safer via a dedicated client rather than a web interface. SSL certs can be forged/spoofed.


    7 Can you be traced by xerobank if its known you use it .

    If you abuse the XB network, XB can hunt you down. Spammers and such are not welcome.


    8 Can cellcrypt be used with xerobank to protect voip calls

    Dunno. A smart phone like Droid can be used with the XB service. The iPhone can as well, but it is trickier and requires a jail-broken phone.


    9 Is anti virus necessary

    Yes... if you browse dubious sites, open unknown EXEs willy-nilly, and have no common sense. ;-)
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2010
  5. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Registered Member

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    @hierophant
    The XeroBank customer support had replied to me once - to my first support ticket in which I asked for a cancellation, telling them my access, deposit and order numbers. In their reply mail, they asked me to click on a cancellation link, which I did. During the 3 following months, the continued to charge my credit card - I sent them further support tickets (my account login was still active, even though the XeroBank browser never worked on my notebooks) and sent e-mails to that Kat Rice who had replied to my first cancellation request. No reply.

    "Conditions of Sale: XeroBank wants to assure your satisfaction, so we discount our consumer-level service to only $1 for the first month. Users may cancel at any time during the first month without any additional charge, after which subscriptions sales will rebill on a monthly basis. All subsequent subscription sales are final. Users can cancel anytime by following the instructions in their emailed purchase receipt, and XeroBank will assist in rebilling cancellations as well. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as an account that has never been used due to technical error, XeroBank may perform a prorated refund."
    The cancellation link they had mailed led to a website that announced: "XeroBank Account Cancellation - Thank you for choosing XeroBank!
    In order to serve our clients better, we have created this form for account cancellations. Please take the time to answer the questions below, and we'll process your cancellation within 24 hours."

    My experience: XeroBank will not assist in any attempt to cancel a subscription, to say nothing about refunds for unjustified charges during the months after a cancellation or refunds for an account that has never been used due to technical problems. They will NOT tell you to cancel via their Icelandic payment processor DalPay and instead claim that XeroBank itself will cancel your account within 24 hours. Perhaps I was too naive to trust in their statements and to assume that they must have "forgotten" the first 1 or 2 cancellation attempts.
    If I'm just the one sucker among a hundred satisfied customers: well, good for you others - perhaps until you try to cancel your own subscription one day.
    But some more issues with XeroBank pop up when you google a bit.

    http://www.confidentialresource.com/2009/03/27/xerobank-zero-customer-service/
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=224184
     
  6. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    @Joe the Plumber

    Hey, it's a drag that you didn't get the support that you needed to get XeroBank working for you, and not even the support that you needed to close out your account :( OTOH, I'm actually glad to hear that XeroBank isn't very helpful in canceling DalPay charges. That is, I want DalPay to know me only as a credit card, and XeroBank to know me only as an access account, and not vice versa. As I understand it, that's what VAULTS is designed to do. In some circumstances, it may work too well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  7. caspian

    caspian Registered Member

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    You can login to your Dalpay acct and stop payment yourself. And I have spoken to the Dalpay guy a couple of times and he is a really nice guy. British accent.
     
  8. Cutting_Edgetech

    Cutting_Edgetech Registered Member

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    If your using Xerobank while banking online then you may want to use an exit node in the country you are residing. Some banks may freeze your account if you appear to be logging in from another country. This would be more likely to happen if you were making an online purchase with your debit card or paypal account. So remember to use an exit node from the country you reside in if your banking online.
     
  9. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Registered Member

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    caspian, my point was that XeroBank is deceiving customers about the way how to cancel a subscription: "... and we will cancel your account within 24 hours".
    The Icelandic DalPay folks may be trustworthy guys, British accent or not - but my point is about deception by XeroBank. Technically their services may be fine, if it works on your PC. If it does not work, like on 2 of my machines, be prepared that the XeroBank "customer support" will not answer to any of your support tickets, as has been noted in other comments on WSF and other blogs; and be prepared that XeroBank statements about "we will cancel your account within 24 hours", or refunds for accounts that were never used for technical reasons etc, are just bogus.
    When logging in to the DalPay account and writing a request for refund for the unjustified billings, DalPay automatically forwards this message to XeroBank, asking them to reply to the customer's question. Don't think that XeroBank will even answer to a message they receive from their own payment processor - or perhaps they will, by next christmas.
    Conclusively, the problem that the XeroBank "customer service" does not answer to customer complaints is not caused by a defective support ticket mechanism on the XeroBank website or a spam filter that gobbles up all customer messages before they can read them; the spam filter would have to scrap even the messages their payment provider mails to them. This looks more like XeroBank's way of doing business with their customers. How can it be explained that XeroBank does not answer to numerous messages, whether through their own ticket system, e-mails and messages of their payment processor DalPay?
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  10. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

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    Removed Off Topic Post. Let's not resort to personal attacks when disagreeing with someone else's opinion.

    JR
     
  11. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    @Joe

    It might be useful to look at this from XeroBank's perspective. They're a relatively small operation, providing anonymity services based on secure networks that aren't readily accessible to individuals. I suspect that many of their customers are spammers and wannabe criminals getting $1 one-month trials using stolen credit card accounts. Under those circumstances, how much time would you spend determining which refund requests were valid?
     
  12. focus

    focus Registered Member

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    I have been thinking about doing a trial of XeroBank. The service sounds just excellent. But I have a problem with doing this if I might keep getting billed for the service if I decide it is not right for me. it sounds like Joe could get some better resolution if he "talked" to someone on the payment side of the business on the phone. Speaking to someone about an issue like this is probably more effective than using an automated system. If that did not work, dispute the CC charge(s). No one likes that as it is official with the CC company and usually gets prompt attention.
     
  13. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    @focus

    Notwithstanding what I've written, I doubt that stopping payments to XeroBank would be very hard. In my experience, the folks at DalPay are very helpful. And if it came to that, as you say, you could just dispute the charges. Also, FWIW, it's wise to use a "disposable" credit card with a low credit limit for online purchases.
     
  14. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Registered Member

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    @hierophant:
    Then they should not advertise on their website and in their terms of service that "We'll process your cancellation within 24 hours.", "If you cannot use your account due to technical problems ... refund", "You can cancel your account at any time."
    These statements - blatantly wrong in my experience - entice users to sign up to their services, because these statements feign trustworthiness, rather than choosing a competitor.

    Your statement contains a contradiction, too: If they are a very small mom-and-pop shop, they cannot be swamped by hundreds of abusive customers every month, so much that they don't have the time to shut down my account and discontinue the monthly charges.
    On the other hand, if they have hundreds or thousands of paying customers, they should hire some customer support agents in Bangalore who can answer to support tickets at least once in a while. Or else they should advertise on their website: "Don't expect any customer service whatsoever. Our support ticket system is just a fancy decoration. Don't expect us to answer to cancellation requests".
    And if that Kat Rice found the time to send me a link to their Cancellation site, in which I was to answer a questionnaire about my reasons for the cancellation and which announced that the "cancellation will be processed within 24 hours", they should have the time to deal with the cancellation itself, besides reading the questionnaire.
     
  15. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Registered Member

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    @hierophant:
    You are right. At first I thought that XeroBank was just too busy, so they had "overlooked" the first couple of cancellation requests and reminders I had sent. My fault was that I considered XeroBank a trustworthy business and that a user could trust in what they advertise on their website and in their terms of service. The point is: to prevent a rip-off, you have to go through your credit card company. Do not waste months, like I did, and expect that XeroBank itself will do what they advertise and will stop charges after your cancellation.


    As for the argument you made in your earlier post:
    1) Let's imagine that they are indeed a very small mom-and-pop shop (not a business that has thousands of paying customers and could afford a customer service agent and/or an accountant who react to payment problems and cancellation requests)
    2) Obviously, they can set up accounts for new users within a few hours. Why are they unable to react to a cancellation within 3 months, contrary to their own advertisements ("We'll process your cancellation within 24 hours")?
    3) I'd expect that they can track the monthly payments they receive. Or, if a credit card expires, how do they make sure that a user does not use XeroBank services for free during the next 5 or 10 years? Therefore: if they can track monthly incoming payments and new users, they cannot track cancellations?
    4) Their payment processor DalPay forwards to XeroBank any complaints which a customer enters in the DalPay system about payment problems. XeroBank cannot even react to messages they receive from their own payment processor?
     
  16. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Registered Member

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    @hierophant:
    If they are swamped with refund requests relating to stolen credit cards, that would be one reason more for them to timely react to cancellation requests and not continue charges for months, because the credit card companies will compensate the credit card owners and then claim back the amount from the merchant who collected the payments through the stolen cards.
    Stolen credit cards will normally be scrapped after one month or less, when the user receives his bank status and discovers the fraudulent charges. Therefore, a credit card thief cannot expect to use his XeroBank account for more than 1 month. That's why I doubt that spammers who use a stolen card for the first $1 payment would bother to send numerous reminders to XeroBank to finally process the cancellation, over a period of several months.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  17. Joe the Plumber

    Joe the Plumber Registered Member

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    XeroBank is one of the companies that do not reveal a phone or fax number on their website. What they offer is the "helpdesk" on their website: "Contact the HelpDesk. We're here to help you."
    This is their support ticket system. As other bloggers noted: don't expect replies to your support requests, even if you are a paying customer who sends a ticket from within your own account.
    Since I'm in Europe, I'm also reluctant to try to find the phone number of a company which shields itself from their customers and then make expensive overseas calls (XeroBank in the US or Panama?).
     
  18. hierophant

    hierophant Registered Member

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    @Joe

    As I understand XeroBank's VAULTS system, your problems are predictable. When you sign up, you get a deposit account number and an access account number. The access account number is a one-way cryptographic hash of the deposit account number. After DalPay successfully charges your credit card, tokens are deposited in a secure drop box, tagged for use by your access account. Once that's been done, I don't believe it's possible to determine where the tokens came from, or to reverse the transaction. When your access account needs tokens, it looks in the drop box, and takes what it needs. If it finds no tokens, it permits only turbo connections. In order to use turbo connections, however, you must have logged into XeroBank within the previous month (I believe) using your access account number and the password you've created for it. That prevents turbo free riding.

    So, once DalPay has successfully charged your credit card, I don't believe that there's any way for anyone to know whether any of the resulting tokens have ever been used. No? For the most part, that's a feature (an excellent one, IMHO). Sometimes, it's obviously a bug.
     
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