My husband and I have been trying to purchase a house and were told we needed to work on our credit in order to fix our credit reports. So in compliance with what we were told by our broker, we applied for several different credit cards through different companies. On September 19, 2005 my husband received a letter in the mail with a credit card attached, he thought that this was from one of the many credit card companies we had applied to, as the name "First National" is similar to one of the companies we had applied to.
On September 20, 2005 he called 800-717-1278 (which was listed on the paperwork to activate) and spoke with a gentleman to activate the card, he told him he had to pay the up front fee of $199.99 on the card He didn't think much of it at the time as some of the cards we had applied for were secured credit cards which require a deposit of a certain amount in order to use them, so he gave the gentlemen the checking route number to charge our checking account for the fee, and then he got a confirmation number. A few hours later my husband was out doing errands and tried to use the card at a store and found that the back of the card did not have a strip on it like a normal credit card has. He called me at home and told me what happened, so I grabbed all the paperwork and read it carefully. Realizing that this card is for catalog shopping only.
I told my husband when he got home to call back the 800-717-1278 and cancel the card right away (as there was a note on the paperwork stating "YOU HAVE A FREE 9 DAY MEMBERCARD ACTIVATION PERIOD THAT STARTED ON SEPTEMBER 20, 2005. PLEASE REVIEW YOUR NEW CARDS AND CARDHOLDER AGREEMENT. MAKE SURE TO VERIFY THAT YOUR NAME IS CORRECT ON YOUR NEW CARDS BEFORE WE REPORT YOUR $8,500 CREDIT TO A LEAST ONE OR MORE MAJOR CREDIT BUREAUS. IF YOU DECIDE TO DEACTIVATE YOUR CARDS, THEN CALL OUR BENEFITS AND CARD SERVICES DEPARTMENT BEFORE SEPTEMBER 29, 2005 AND WE'LL CHARGE YOU NOTHING." and he did, I was there when he called them.
They told him on the phone that he was all set and the card was deactivated (unfortunately he did not get a name or confirmation number for the cancellation). Gut feeling told me he should also cut up the card and send the letter and card back to them with a note stating that the card is to be canceled and close the account. I had him do this mostly so that we covered all basis in case they came back saying they needed it in writing. So he wrote right across the letter "Cancel this card". The next morning September 21, 2005 I took all the paperwork and the cut up card with me to work and photocopied EVERYTHING we were sending back to them. I then mailed the stuff to CCS Credit Service Division PO Box 17800 Las Vegas, NH 89114-7800 (this is the address given on all their paperwork for a correspondence) and put the envelope in the mail that day. I checked my bank account for several days after to make sure that the $199.99 was not deducted from our account. We thought with both the call to cancel and the mailing of cancellation back to them, we were all set and didn't have to worry about anything .
Then on October 7, 2005 we went to take money out of our account to pay rent and found that our account was over drafted, I went online to view my account and noticed that they tried once to take the money out on October 3, 2005 which over drafted our account causing a $99.00 over draft fee, as we were not anticipating a fee for $199.99 to be taken out of the account in the first place. When our direct deposits hit the account on Friday morning October 7, 2005, they had tried again to deduct the $199.99 from the account creating a problem for us taking money out at the same time for rent causing the account to be overdraft yet again. This time they succeeded and got the money. At this point it was 5:30pm eastern time, so the banks are closed for us to do anything, so we called the 800 number and spoke with a bank representative, our bank said their was no way to stop the payment, at this point we would have to file a "Affidavit for Unauthorized/ Fraudulent Use" with them. My husband and I told them we would go to the bank in the morning and fill it out.
So in the meantime that night, I called CCS using the number that was given to the bank in reference with the transaction which is 800-731-0121, and spoke with a lady, she told me I would have to hang up and call 800-279-6989 and talk to "Benefits & Card Services" as we were not actual members yet and the account was still in the "Pre Authorization" stage. So I called the number and was hung up on after several minutes of waiting and being on hold for the next available representative I called back 5 times in all and all five times I was hung up on Then I called back the 800-731-0121 and spoke with another lady, right off I told her to put me in touch with a supervisor, she said let me pull up the account first, I gave her all the information to pull up the account and got my husband to authorize them to speak to me she said you will have to call another number and talk to someone there. I explained to her I can not get through to anyone on that number, she stated that they are open until 7pm pacific time which is 10pm my time, she told me to keep trying and I will get through eventually and to be patient as they are probably very busy She gave me another number for them to try 800-642-1760.
So I called and 2 more times I was hung up on before reaching anyone. On the 3rd try I finally got to speak with a gentlemen, I explained everything that had happened and he then proceeded to tell me that my husband never called them back on September 20, 2005 to cancel the card and he couldn't confirm nor deny that they ever received the information I mailed back to them He then told me that the $199.99 activation fee is Non-refundable and that we could not get our money back. I told him I wanted him to explain to me where on the paperwork it said that the funds were no refundable! After putting me on hold several times and telling me its right there on the back of the form, I told him you explain to me specifically where on the back of the form it says that So he put me on hold again to get a copy of the form, when he came back he told me where to look to find it, and I did, it does say that in fine print However as I stated before at the top of this letter it states that if canceled before the 29th of September there will be no fees charged to us. I explained this to him and once again he stated, "but your husband did not cancel the card until today which is well after that date" I told him he did, I was here when he made that call, plus I sent the letter back before the 29th.
The gentleman then got his supervisor on the phone His supervisor proceeded to tell me all the same things that the other guy told me, and I explain everything over again to the supervisor He said they just closed the account today, the funds are non refundable and that the letter that I sent to them does not qualify to shut the account down, that it had to be done by phone, in which I told him my husband had done that the same night he had activated the card. He still claims my husband never called them to cancel, he said "did your husband get a person's name he talk to, did he get a confirmation number?" I told him no, the guy said he was all set and then the guy hung up with my husband I told him again, I was right there when he called you to cancel! I said isn't that convenient for you that all of a sudden you have record of my husband opening the account but no record of him closing it until today. He stated to me that their system automatically records the incoming calls so there was no way for that to happen Even though he could only recall back to me a total of 4 calls ever made to their office from us and in fact we made 6 calls to them in which we actually spoke to a live person, how come the other 2 calls were not recorded????
He then stated that they told my husband they will go back through ALL their records for the day before, day after and day of his call to them to double check if he called in to cancel, and they will get back to us within 72 hours.
After I got off the phone with them, I looked on the Internet to see what I could find on this company and boy was I overwhelmed with all the negative feedback I saw even with the FTC and BBB regarding this company, as well as the negative feedback from your sight. We were scammed!!! and now we have to try and clean up and fix the large mess we are in now for this We thought we did the right thing and it seems no matter what we do it's not enough
We have to close our bank account, which we can not do until the account is out of the negative from this and open another one, we have overdraft fees that need to be paid, we are out $199.99 on top of it, and at risk of this company trying to take more from us at their will. This is so wrong I can't even tell you, I feel violated, and helpless. I can not believe that on top of it all that banks can allow for someone to just take money out of an account at will as long as they have the account number and claim that we authorized it Even if we didn't! and then wait up to 45 days for it to be investigated and resolved. What are we suppose to do in the mean time, we are out that money and can't pay our rent!!!! Guess you can say we learned our lesson the HARD WAY!
I have filed a complaint with the FTC & BBB, and now I post this all here in hopes that something will get out to the public to warn them about this scam and hope this doesn't happen to anyone else.
Dover, New Hampshire
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on CCA CCS Credit Service Division aka First National Credit EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back! HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:
Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.
According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.
If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.
Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent! DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.
And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.
Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.
If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form. CHARGES TO YOUR CREDIT CARD
If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.
Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.
And good luck Let us know how you do!
ED Magedson Founder, Rip-off Report.com & Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com
Don't let them get away with it.
Make sure they make the Rip-off Report!
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We are a Worldwide Consumer Reporting News Agency ...by consumers, for consumers CLICK HERE to read about Credit Card Scams... find out how to get your money back. *Rip-off Report Investigation provides valuable information.