A charge of $89.95 appeared on a debit card that I seldom use, sending my account into overdraft and netting me an extra $60.00 worth of fees (in themselves ridiculous).
I haven't used AOL's Internet service for three years, and I don't remember signing up for their Credit Alert service.
I called the number listed next to the charge on my bank statement. While the bank described the charge as from "AOL Credit Alert" in Virginia, the rep with whom I spoke clearly stated the name of the company I had reached as PrivacyGuard.
I explained my situation, and the rep seemed puzzled. He asked me to read exactly how the charge appeared on my statement. I had to repeat this information three times, as the rep was not a sharp listener. He asked for my name and address, which again I had to repeat several times. Then the rep claimed that he "could not find that information in [his] records." He asked whether I had moved, and I responded that I had . . . FOUR years ago! I gave him the last address at which I received mail, and it seemed (rather unconvincingly), that he "found" the information. Ironic, that a credit report service can't even find my correct address!
I told the representative that I would have expected at least some notification or correspondence from the company before they billed me for any services. He replied that they always mail out reminder forms beforehand. I shudder to think that mail possibly containing very sensitive credit information was being sent to a long-defunct address and wound up in some dead-letter bin somewhere. The Post Office, however, usually notifies legitimate companies when an addressee has moved. I did fill out a change-of-address form the last time I moved, and my mail was forwarded. Some companies who may not have sent me any mailings within the allotted forwarding time (six months) still managed to find me at my new address, without me even having to notify them.
In any case, the PrivacyGuard / AOL Credit Alert customer service representative made no mention of "refunding" any portion of the charge, but he did try to persuade me to stay with the service until they could send out a copy of my latest report. I declined. The rep then tried to pitch me a $25 voucher for my next dine-out meal. I again declined. I received a "confirmation number" which I am guessing is entirely useless. In the meantime, I will be calling my bank to try to get the charges reversed.