On January 23, 2007, I decided to go on-line and view my credit report. It seems that everyone thinks this is a good idea now that it is supposedly free so I decided to give it a try (I have purchased my reports before so it should have been a no brainer.)
I entered "Free Credit Report" and it brought back numerous sites. I happened to enter the one sponsored by the company I am reporting - Privacy Matters123.
Everything seemed to be going fine as far as I could tell. There was a small banner stating that I would have to pay a $1.00 fee that was refundable. The banner showed a $0.00 balance at the bottom so I guess I assumed it was just to weed out the curious. I had to enter my personal info and a credit card number for the $1.00 and click on a box that said "SUBMIT".
If I had read the fine print I would have understood what I was signing up for. That was my fault. However, I think the company knew that many people would fail to read it and end up, as I did, with a $29.95 per month membership that they neither wanted, needed or knew they were getting.
The membership, if not canceled within 7 days, would automatically be billed against the credit card every month. Naturally I did not cancel since I was unaware that I was a member until I received my credit card statement some 20 days later.
I wonder how many people never look at their statement and end up paying this for months. I think that's part of the sweet deal for these rip-off artists.
In closing, and the main reason I am writing, I did receive a reply to my second e-mail (the first was undeliverable which really set off alarm bells) stating that all monies would be refunded within the next 2 billing cycles. I hope they come through on this. I am including the contents of my e-mail and their response.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2007 2:30 PM
Subject: Re: SCAMMED [#1472525]
Re: 643878766 Privacy Matters123 384342460 SavingSmart
We do apologize for any misunderstandings or inconvenience. We have processed the cancellation of your Privacy Matters123 membership benefits as of 2/10/2007 and your SavingSmart as of 2/13/2007 and will forward your two $1.00 and one $29.95 credits to your bank within two business days. Please note that you will see your refund on one of your next two statements, depending on your billing cycle.
If you need assistance in the future, please contact us at http://www.privacymatters123.com or www.savingsmart.com
Member Savings Team
Date: 2/12/2007 12:45:56 PM
You are featured prominently in ripoffreport.com and apparently for good reason.
I did not ask for a membership in your dubious company. You scammed me and I want my money back. I am filing the paperwork with the appropriate government and chamber of commerce agencies today. Respond to this e-mail immediately with what corrective action you plan to take.
Catawba, South Carolina