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Company charged me on a recurrent basis after free trial
scam charged my without my consent
luckystrike




msg:3922321
 11:05 am on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Guys I need an experienced personís advice hereÖ

I signed up <specifics removed> to try their service out taking their 'Free, No Contract, No Commitment' promise and word that they will not be charging my credit card. I logged to their service only once on the same day of registration and was unsatisfied with the service so didnít proceed to continue using it (never logged in again).

However, after 4 months my credit card was unbelievingly hit with a $119.80 charge (equalling to a $29.95 4 month subscription to <specifics removed>) and they are insisting that my account was active throughout this period (even though I never used/logged to their service after the day of sign-up) and they insist that their terms and conditions state that I will be charged with a $29.95 after the 30 day trial. Additionally they insist that my credit card kept rejecting this charge and their service is set up to try recouping the full charge every month so after 4 months I got hit with a $119.80 charge.

Iíve queried this charge and asked them to cancel/refund it but their excuse was that they donít have the technical ability to issue retroactive credits. This is basically another way of saying we acknowledge your complaint but wonít be refunding you! They even told me that Iím welcome to dispute the charge which I reluctantly did. Now I feel scammed.

Iíve already disputed the $119.80 with my bank but they have proceeded to defend the chargeback meaning that the chargeback will now reach pre-arbitration should I keep contesting it (and if I lose I would suffer a $250 fee). What are my chances here? Should I insist that I didnít receive the goods or services? (because thatís the basis Iíve used for disputing) which they are trying to refute...

I just feel scammed and wouldn't augur anyone to go through the same ordeal!

<email removed>

[edited by: buckworks at 11:32 am (utc) on May 29, 2009]
[edit reason] No emails, no exceptions: See TOS [/edit]

 

buckworks




msg:3922327
 11:34 am on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

So you signed up for the trial, agreed that they could start charging your credit card after the trial period, and now you're complaining about the charges even though you never bothered to cancel?

A lot of merchants would consider that to be a customer scam.

[edited by: buckworks at 11:35 am (utc) on May 29, 2009]

Leosghost




msg:3922328
 11:34 am on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Mods or admins will snip all correspondence from your post ..howvere ..reading their ( <specifics removed> ) tos ..merely not logging in is not the same as cancelling ..so they are entitled to charge you for every month until you do cancel ..

a similar situation would be the phone company or your ISP or hosting service would be ..unless you formally cancel with them ( according to and following proceedures agreed to by you in their TOS ) then they will keep billing you even if you dont make a phone call , ever upload or download data in any form or browse or send emails etc ..or upload any files to a server space ..

almost all "free trial" services which require you to give your credit card details and sign as having read and agreed to their TOS have these proceedures ..never sign or agree to what you don't understand the implications of ..

they are right ..be more attentive and carefull next time ..

[edited by: buckworks at 11:36 am (utc) on May 29, 2009]
[edit reason] Specifics removed [/edit]

luckystrike




msg:3922336
 11:47 am on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

are they right? they advertise 'try it free, no contract, no commitment'? they hit me with a full $119.80 charge for a 4 month subscription - never a monthly subscription. I never made use of their services!

buckworks




msg:3922339
 12:02 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you had followed procedures to cancel the service we'd be agreeing with you that something was wrong here.

But since you did not cancel, the company was entitled to start billing you after the free trial period. That's exactly what they say they'll do, and it's what you agreed to.

It is not very grown up of you to saddle the company with the costs and hassle of a chargeback just because you were too disorganized to properly cancel the agreement.

luckystrike




msg:3922341
 12:10 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

yeah right as if any of you are going to read the small terms and conditions - I feel scammed right and proper being hit for 4 monthly payments - if i had been hit with just one payment at least i would have realised and stopped the subscription

Leosghost




msg:3922343
 12:18 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

yeah right as if any of you are going to read the small terms and conditions

I did ..took me all of two and a half minutes ..very short and crystal clear TOS they have ..you werent scammed ..you didn't cancel what you were told would happen ..

not reading the small print never makes one in the right ..and mostly ends in tears ..

at $120.00 the lesson seems cheap to me ..in future read TOS / small print etc ..and follow it

buckworks




msg:3922345
 12:25 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I took a look at the company you're referencing and things are spelled out loud and clear on the signup page, more than once:

- Free for the first 30 days, $xx/ month thereafter
- $xx after 30 day free trial

The thing you should investigate is why your credit card rejected the charges without you being notified.

HRoth




msg:3922363
 1:00 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

It seems weird that although the card kept rejecting the charge, they didn't notify you that was happening and just kept trying to charge for four months. Maybe they notified you and you ignored it or had the email set to a spam trap you don't read?

IMO, you were naive to sign up for a "free" service that requires a credit card. These folks bank on the fact that people will forget to cancel. So now you know. I would not contest it but just consider it the price of wising up.

piatkow




msg:3922439
 2:53 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

If you give your credit card details then the assumption is that you will be charged unless you explicitly cancel.

I can see that the circumstances could have mislead you into thinking that the service had not been activated but that is something you would need local legal advice on.

Leosghost




msg:3922475
 3:56 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can see that the circumstances could have mislead you into thinking that the service had not been activated but that is something you would need local legal advice on.

likely to cost more than $120.. just to be told "you should have read their TOS"

reaching for a reptile is not always the sensible way to settle dispute or right perceived wrongs ..and almost never the cheapest option ..unless it's "no win no fee" ..in this case I think a lawyer would charge you for an hour of their time ( more than $120.00 )and tell you that you haven't got a case ..

LifeinAsia




msg:3922518
 5:12 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

yeah right as if any of you are going to read the small terms and conditions

Ignorance of the law is no excuse. If you can't be bothered to read (and understand) their terms of service, why should they be bothered to refund any money that isn't rightly due?

If you have any hope to win your dispute (which I don't think you do), you certainly do NOT want to mention the fact that you never read the ToS. Although it's probably the first thing they will ask in arbitration.

Chalk it up to an expensive learning lesson. And actually LEARN from the lesson and read the ToS before agreeing to anything in the future. It doesn't matter (much) what they advertise- it's the fine print that you agree to that matters.

purplecape




msg:3922682
 9:14 pm on May 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

The only possible basis for taking this further is that 4-month pause before the charge hit luckystrike's account. What if that company makes a practice of waiting to charge people who haven't canceled the policy as a way of increasing their take?

They're entitled to one month's fee, not four, IMO. Whether he can establish that is another question.

MrHard




msg:3922797
 4:05 am on May 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

There's no arbitration during a credit card dispute. You win or lose based on the written evidence. Then the bank excuses themselves from the matter, hopefully. (see Chase bank's harrassment tactics when a customer of theirs looses a dispute in another thread).

You could try to file in court, but if they are out of state the case will probably get thrown out.

You don't have to use arbitration even if you agreed to it. It's just a scare tactic companies use to not get sued which makes people believe they can waive their rights to our judicial process.

[edited by: MrHard at 4:42 am (utc) on May 30, 2009]

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