Complaints have been filed with the Better Business Bureau against CaliGeeks in 25 states, stating that the company misled Roku customers to believe that they needed to pay a fee to activate their Roku devices.
In the complaints, Roku customers say that when they attempted to activate their devices, they received an error message, telling them to call a customer support number. CaliGeeks employees behind that number posed as Roku customer support, telling customers that they would need to pay an activation fee in order to get their device set up. According to the BBB, customers were charged anywhere from $79.99 to $249.99 for the completely fake and unnecessary fee. When customers questioned the fee, the CaliGeeks employee would claim that Roku had changed their policies or that devices only work when the activation fee is paid.
An investigation was launched in February 2020. The Better Business Bureau asked CaliGeeks to prove how they are affiliated with Roku. The company has not yet responded to that request.
Scams targeting new Roku owners have been an ongoing issue. We’ve warned against falling for activation scams again and again. The cases tend to increase when a large number of new customers buy Roku devices, including Black Friday every year. Now, companies like CaliGeeks are capitalizing on the coronavirus pandemic and focusing on new customers that are switching to streaming for the first time.
As a reminder, Roku does not charge an activation fee, nor does the company charge for customer support.
The Better Business Bureau shared the following tips for those who have paid a fraudulent company for a Roku activation fee:
- If you see an error message, make sure that you are calling Roku and work with them directly
- If you believe that you have interacted with a fraudulent website, email Roku ([email protected])
- Call your credit card company to request that charges be reversed
- Check you bank and credit card statements for inaccuracies
- Remove any software that the third-party may have installed on your devices and run a malware scan
- Change any passwords for programs that you used on these devices, including the password to access your Roku.com account
- File a complaint with Better Business Bureau to alert BBB of the occurrence
- File a complaint with Federal Trade Commission
- Be sure to include the following information in any complaint: the website address of any fraudulent website, any phone numbers that you were prompted to call, details about how you were approached to pay the fee to install your Roku device.
Update: Roku sent the following statement:
We are aware that companies fraudulently represent themselves as legitimate entities and target Roku users during the activation process. We have taken steps to prevent illegal use of the Roku name and brand used to take advantage of customers. We have been alerted to and are looking into CaliGeeks.
Roku does not charge for customer support. When engaging with customer support, we will never ask for a credit card number or for any personally identifiable information. Nor will we ever access a user’s computer. Our quick start guide included with every product explains this to our customers.
Did you know we have a YouTube Channel? Every week we have a live Cord Cutting Q&A, and weekly Cord Cutting recap shows exclusively on our YouTube Channel!