Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Always read the fine print!

When you see an advertisement online for something that is too good to be true, just ignore it because it probably is...there are always strings attached.

Someone in my house *cough* (Eric), ordered some Acai weight loss pills way back in the beginning of the summer just to see if they worked. After 2 months he called to cancel his subscription because they didn't and all was well in the world...or so we thought.

He was checking our credit card activity online when I looked at the screen and asked, "why are we getting charged so many foreign transactions fees, we haven't used this card in over 3 months!" So, with some further investigation we discovered that the fees started in July and were always attached to amounts smaller than $10 and normally in the same amount ($7.01, 2.96, etc) but the biller description was always different. So he called the credit card company and they gave us the phone numbers associated with every transaction and transferred him to the fraud dept. In the meantime I started calling the numbers, and guess what, they all went to the same generic 'customer service' hotline and after 10 min of being on hold I hung up.

We turned off our cards and they are sending new ones, but we also found out that even if we closed the account, these companies can continue to charge the account and we will get a bill for it! So, we called the 'customer service' back and after 25 min of waiting someone finally answered, and they service 10 foreign companies!! We were able to stop one of the companies, but the customer service reps can only cancel one account per phone call!

So, what happened was when Eric made the original purchase there was supposedly a box for terms & conditions that had to be checked to check out. In those terms & conditions it states that by accepting them, you allow the original company to subscribe you to any of their subsidiaries that they think you will benefit from UNLESS you cancel the original purchase, or contact them within 14 days of the original purchase. There was never any notification to us by mail, email or phone so we could benefit from the subscriptions they were charging us for, but somehow this is all legal (oh, and one of the subscriptions was for a weight loss program in Gibraltar). Pretty sneaky, huh!

So, I urge everyone to go through their checking and credit card statements for any purchases under $10 (they do this amount to try and go unnoticed by the bank and the customer), and contact your bank/cc company if there are any.

By reading this post you have now agreed to become my slave and must be available 24/7 for rants, trips to the store, and house cleaning. Mini powdered donuts must arrive every Monday morning, failure to do so will result in being strung up by your toenails while being forced to watch Jay Leno. Thank you, come again!


Michelle said...

Wait, do I opt out? lol.

Danielle said...

Ahhh, why didn't you post this sooner?! I ordered those same darn pills! I'm calling right now! Dangit all to heck!

Kristina P. said...

I'm shocked that this was a scam!! ;)

Jessica G. said...

And to think...I've had my credit card in hand, ready to try those! Thanks for the words of warning.

(I'd rather send those mini chocolate donuts...can I substitute?)

Queenie Jeannie said...

I had a similiar episode with the whole "Bender Ball" thing. Charge after charge after charge! It was a nightmare which took months to straighten out and it was on my DEBIT card, not credit card, so that really messed me up!! BBB finally helped me out but like I said, it took months!