- Report: #681808
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Carol Wright
Carol WrightPO Box 7823 Edison, New Jersey United States of America
Carol Wright Passport to Savings scammed my elderly mother with $325 in auto charges to her credit card following a $14 purchase Edison, New Jersey
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My mother died in late December 2010. As executor, I'm now receiving her bills. Her credit card statement just arrived with a $14.99 charge from "DLH*PTS Carol Wright." The charge was dated the day before Mom died. I called the phone number associated with the transaction to inquire about the charge and got an automated system. It let me cancel the charge and get a refund, automatically, but there was no way to contact a human being to find out what the charge was for. So I went online. That's when I saw all of the scam complaints about Carol Wright and monthly charges.
Worried that this had happened to mom, I got online access to her past credit card statements. She made a $14 purchase in February 2009. In early March '09, $2.99 showed up on her statement. In late March there was a charge for $14.99. And there was a $14.99 charge every month for the next 21 months! That totals nearly $333!!
So I called the Carol Wright customer service number, spent several minutes on hold, then spoke with a guy named Dave. I told him about the charge and the complaints I'd seen online. I asked what their "Passport to Service" was. He said it offers discounts on all kinds of items. Every item he mentioned -- lawn mowers, TV sets, various services -- are not items or services my mother used.
He then told me that mom purchased a microwave egg cooker in early February 2009 and the offer was "attached" to that purchase. According to his records, someone then talked with mom on 20 February 2009 and she agreed to look at the information and consider a 30-day trial service. He said, "If they don't call and cancel the service, then they're automatically billed for it." That apparently is what happened. Then he said, "And then they don't remember, and they go online and call it a scam."
So here is a woman who, at the time, was 92, living alone and independently. Her short-term memory wasn't good. Her only son, my only sibling, was dying. Her own health was deteriorating. She obviously was not checking her monthly credit card statements carefully. And, like many 90-somethings, she was living really close to the bone on a small social security check. So she ended up paying $347 for a frigging $14 microwave EGG cooker!
Needless to say, I am FURIOUS that companies can get away with this kind of practice. I don't doubt that mom got the phone call. And I can hear her saying, "Yea, whatever" to a nice telemarketer whose feelings she didn't want to hurt ... and not understanding or even HEARING all of the words the person was saying.
So SHAME ON CAROL WRIGHT for preying on people like the elderly, who either do not understand what they're getting into or cannot understand because of hearing or memory problems.
As a professional speaker and executive coach, I typically use stories to illustrate important points for audiences. Most of those stories are about stellar customer service organizations. But every once in a while, I encounter practices that are so egregious, I hold them up as models of what NOT to aspire to. Carol Wright just soared to the top of that list. I will make a point, every time I step in front of an audience, of drawing attention to this company's sleazy practice for making money at the expense of unwitting and naive customers like my elderly mother.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/12/2011 03:17 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Carol-Wright/Edison-New-Jersey-08818/Carol-Wright-Passport-to-Savings-scammed-my-elderly-mother-with-325-in-auto-charges-to-he-681808. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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