American Standard Online, AKA: American Standard Took A Payment From Me And No Refuses To Refund My Money Montecito California
As of August 3rd 2013 my husband and I were looking to prepare to move out of our apartment into a rent to own home. We currently do not have enough credit to get a mortage and though a rent to own home agreement would be a great resolution to our credit problem.
We wanted to work solely with an individual home owner, so our first place to start looking was on Craigslist. We unexceptidly found a company that acts as a mediator between you and homeowners looking for people to take over their mortgage due to foreclosure. This company was American Standard Online, or American Standard.
Upon calling the 800 number I spoke with an individual who told me more about the process; we pay American Standard a simple $199 flat rate fee. I was told this covered all the legal expenses to obtain the forclosure information and to process the paperwork when the time came to transfer over the mortage from the previous owner. We were told that the government; president Obama had put together this company in order to help individuals like my husband and I get homes, to help increase the home owner market. I was also informed that the banks across the USA had signed agreements to release these forclosure addresses to American Standard Online, so I was reassured that everything was all legal. I was told that this company advertises on TV as well. Which I understand doesn't make it a legitimate company, but seemed to be a credited value to the rep I spoke to.
I was told the process was simple; and that I could be living in my new home in a matter of weeks. All I had to do was go online pick the houses I was interested in, do a drive by and then contact American Standard when I found the ones I wanted to look at. The rep gave the impression that the home owners had submitted their homes to American Online Standard to help them sell the home faster. I was told that if by the extremely odd chance that we couldn't find a home, all we had to do was wait 90 days, then send in a refund request with a list of at least 5 houses that we had sent letters to and an refund check would be mailed to us.
Before I agreed to anything I wanted to speak to my husband about it, yes we were serious about getting a home- but I wanted to see what he thought about handing over $199 to a company we didn't know much about. After we discussed it, we both thought the details of what we had been told was believable enough to proceed. I spoke to the same rep again and he told me that almost never is there a case were some can't find a home, he even looked up how may houses were listed in my area, to insure me that we could indeed make this all possible. I asked how soon could this happen, he said- "Within the week". He told me that as soon as we found a house, all we had to do was accompany the home owners to the bank to sign over the papers. That due to the payment we made they took care of all the legal stuff, so that the process was short and sweet.
At first they had issues processing our credit card; maybe I should have took that as a sign. However we were so excited that we just gave them another card. The payment went through and the fun began. The rep gave us login details, he said sometimes the login details don't work... so to call him back if that happen. Which it did, so within 10 minutes we were already having issues. This we were told was common, I called the rep back; he gave me new login details. Which didn't work either and eventually I had to email support to get working login details. After we logged on to the site we immediately starting looking through the countless listings for houses. We noticed that alot of the details for the houses were missing, like tax info, market value, assessed value, pictures. All the houses either had an ariel view or a front of house shot and that is it.
After making a list of 15 or so houses we started visiting them 1 by 1. More odd things started to happen; some house addresses didn't exist, houses were already sold, and people didn't seem to know why you were looking at their house.
Which we found odd; we were under the impression that the people had submitted their homes to American Standard, which would mean they are excepting people to be viewing their homes. After we found a select few that we wanted to visit, we contacted American Standard like we were told. I was then informed that I had to send out letters to the home owners requesting a time to visit the home, but upon reading the letter I was suppose to send out to the home owners... I discovered that they had not been notified by American Standard prior to this. Which I found to be more falsified information. Below is the exact letter I sent out:
Your home is important to you, so I can understand if you don’t want to sell.
However, if you need a quick solution, then please contact me. Having me take over
your monthly mortgage payments NOW could save you a lot of time and money!
I strongly urge you to not give up and let the bank foreclose on your home.
While foreclosure appears to be a "quick fix" to your problem, the reality is that it is
anything but that. Foreclosure can cause financial harm to you and your family for
years to come.
Rather than choosing foreclosure, I urge you to contact me. I may be able to help
- Preventing foreclosure on your home
- Protecting your credit rating and financial reputation
- Avoiding future liens and judgments
If I may help you,
Please contact me through American Standard Online at:
So now I was doubting that I would get any response out of the previous home owners, why would someone contact this company. I sure wouldn't. I sent out 9 letters to potential houses. After a couple of weeks with no response I again called American Standard support. I expressed my concern about actually being able to get a home, since these people obviously had never been contacted before. I was once again reassured that it was just a matter of time, that it could take up to a couple of months before I would see a response. And that I need to send out about 15 letters before I would see a response back from 1. I asked how often do people actually have success at getting a home with them. Her response was without hesitation, "All the time, exact timeframe depends on area and the individuals. But people get homes all the time, otherwise we wouldn't be in business." (made sense to me)
I ended the conversation alittle more reassured, and sent out a handful more letters.
After several more months of no replies. I contacted support to find out how to cancel and get my money back. As I recalled I knew I had to submit a letter listing at least 5 of the residences that I had contacted. I was informed that my 90 days wasn't up yet and that after the 23rd I could go onto the comapny website and follow the steps under refund/cancelation to begin my refund. I confirmed with them that I was going to be able to get all my money back, the response was "yes, of course".
As of today it is the 6th of Dec. 2013. I have waited 3 times on the phone to speak to American Standard support, each time at different lengths of time. The first time was to again figure out how to submit my refund request, I was walked through the majority of the process. After getting off the phone, I began reading what I needed to include in the letter that I had to send to them, below is the exact information:
Notwithstanding any other terms in this Agreement, there are no other Refunds the Company will make other than contained in this "Refund and Cancellation Policy" section of this Agreement.
The Company's refunds and cancellation policy is based on what type of product or service was purchased and is as follows:
All request for refunds or cancellations have to be made in writing via USPS Certified Mail addressed to specified location of Customer Service on Contact Us page of the Web Site. No refund or cancellation will be made unless the Company and the User settle in writing each request for refund or cancellation. All refunds will be issued by check only and sent via USPS Priority mail with signature confirmation. Refund checks will be issued within thirty calendar days of the written agreement between the Company and User and will include a 10% process and handling fee. The check will be addressed to the User's address available to the Company.
Products: In the case of Downloadable Products no refunds will be made once they are purchased. In the case of Shippable Products that shipped to the address supplied by the User, a full refund minus a 10% process and handling fee, of the price paid by the User to purchase the Product, will be made only if the product was damaged in transit and the package received by the User is returned to the Company as directed on the package.
Services: In the case of Services, a full or partial Refund towards the price paid by the User to purchase the Service may be made provided:
1. Requests for refunds will be accepted after 90 days by certified mail. The request must include at least 5 denial letters from the homeowners you have contacted through AmericanStandardOnline.com
2. The Company has, to its sole satisfaction, verified that the delivered Service was materially deficient in providing the Service as stated in its Service Description on the Web Site at the time of Purchase.
3. The verified deficiencies of the delivered Service were not caused by events outside the control of the Company such as slow internet connections, weather, etc.
My first response to step 1 was.. WTF!
For obvious reasons. I had been told all along that it was a simple matter of me submitting a refund request by mail, listing the houses I had sent letters to. Now to find out that I actually had to have letters of denial from at least 5 houses! My heart literally sank. How many more letters would I have to send out in order to get my money back and how long would it take.
I immediatly called support back; this time I asked, "Do I have to have 5 letters of denial in order to get my refund?" The answer, "yes". My question, " so if I can't get 5 letters of denial from home owners you will refuse to give me a refund?", his response "yes". My mouth just dropped, this was really unbelievable. My next question, "So honestly... how many refunds does your company process a week". His response,... ( now get this)... " Honestly mam... we process refunds everyday." My response, "hmmmm". I once again verified that without those letters of denial I wasn't going to receive a refund. I was once again told "yes, no letters no refund".
At this point I am steaming mad, and just about ready to file a law suit against them. I had originally called back support for the 3rd time with the intention of cursing out a supervisor or manager. But decided instead to do some research about the company and see how many other reports I could find similar to mine.
The company originally told me that they find first time home owners their houses weekly, it just depending on the area and individuals. Now I was being told that refunds are processed daily. Something sounded a bit fishy. How could both be true. Upon digging I found this website and sure enough... a scam alert for American Standard Online. Being an entrepreneur I look over a scam report throughly before I make up my mind. But it was very clear that after reading several very similar reports. That I had been scammed. My only hope is that someone can go after them and get our money back. And close these guys down before they steal from to many more people.