- Report: #1136876
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Certified Car Bank
Certified Car BankInternet USA
Certified Car Bank AutoSellOnline (autosellonline.com) Scams by trolling Craigslist ads to take a $499 "adverising fee" and never delivers promised service to sell car Internet
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I posted my personal vehicle for sale on Craigslist on 2/17/2014. Despite the fact that I indicated I did not wish to be contacted for any unsolicited services or offers, I immediately began receiving phone calls from 800-811-2592 -- a number I soon learned belongs to a company supposedly called "Certified Car Bank." After avoiding their repeated calls, I finally answered the phone. That's when their well-old scam machine went into action. Minutes later, they have my credit card number, $499 of my money, and never provided the buyer they promised for my vehicle.
In hindsight, the phone call was a classic "keep passing the guy around so he doesn't know what's happening" setup. The girl that initially called immediately transferred me to someone named "Tyler" who tells me their company assists "hard to finance" car buyers, and they had just financed someone looking for a car exactly like mine. Go figure! What are the odds?! (I feel like a sucker as I type this, but I was trying to sell a car, and they had a buyer....) Tyler tells me that by paying the advertising fee of $499.98, they will arrange the sale of my car at my price listed on Craigslist PLUS the $499.98 so I'll get my "advertising" money back. Before I can get more details about when/where I'll complete the sale of the vehicle, I'm transferred to the finance guy.
Of course, he can't answer my questions about the sale logistics, but he says that Tyler can't tell me that anyway until I sign their agreement. Next thing I know, they're sending me a document to e-sign (all within minutes of their initial call -- this thing was moving FAST) and after some hesitation, I reluctantly gave them my Visa card number. I sensed then that if this was the scam I thought it might be, these jerks were protecting themselves with some hokey e-signature document. Unfortunately, I was all too correct. I was transferred back to Tyler who said he'd contact me shortly to firm up the details for the sale of the car. That was the last time I ever heard from this operation.
After hanging up the phone, I felt sick as I did some quick research on this company. First thing I found were several ripoff claims, much like the one I'm writing now. Then I did a little WHOIS research on Network Solutions. Turns out, their domain name had been created in November 2013 -- although their website claims to have been live in 2012 (according to the copyright.) Additionally, "autosellonline.com" -- the company name used to charge my credit card had a similar sketchiness. That domain was registered in May 2012, but that site's copyright date is 2011. Seems like these guys just keep picking up new domain names to keep people from pinning them down and exposing their scam.
I immediately called Visa and explained what had happend, and I was advised to close my card and file a fraud report. I was issued a new card (which is a pain to re-establish with all my other billers, but I was OK with it for fear of what else Certified Car Bank was going to do with my card number) and days later, I received a credit back from Visa for the $499.98 and a letter saying Visa considered this matter to be resolved. Phew! Not so fast.
Weeks later, I noticed that an ad including the text and photos from my original Craigslist ad were appearing on CertifiedCarBank.com. I was uncomfortable that the photos showed my license plate number, so I emailed CertifiedCarBank requesting my ad be removed. Next, I received a letter from Visa cardmember services indicating that the merchant provided "compelling evidence" that this was not a fraudulent transaction and informed me they were giving the $499.98 back to the merchant. The "compelling evidence," of course, was the e-signed document which, of course, does not commit them to provide all the things they verbally promised during my phone call with them. I called Visa and pleaded my case, providing the same information I've mentioned above.
I was informed that because there's a "contract," I had no right to pursue this as fraud against this shady operation, and they would indeed be taking $499.98 from me and sending it back to Certified Car Bank. Great. The real insult to injury is that I had documentation from Certified Car Bank that I could have originally cancelled my contract for a refund, minus a processing fee of $149.99. I had called Visa back during that 3 day period asking whether I should try to get at least $350 back from Certified Car Bank. Visa advised me not to call Certified Car Bank. Suffice to say, I'm not really thrilled with Visa at this point anyway.
The moral of this story? If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. In my haste to sell a car, I was a dummy and got scammed out of $500. I thought Visa would help me out, but they apparently have more loyalty to these so-called merchants than they do their cardholders. Don't fall for this like I did. If they call, tell them you're not interested and to take you off their call list. STAY AWAY from CERTIFIED CAR BANK and any other caller offering a similar scheme. Car sales operated just fine for 100 years without the "help" of shady operations like this. They add ZERO value. I have yet to find a single substantiated case that they've actually aided in the sale of a vehicle. Do it the old fashioned way, and avoid being ripped off like I was.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/07/2014 07:46 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Certified-Car-Bank/internet/Certified-Car-Bank-AutoSellOnline-autosellonlinecom-Scams-by-trolling-Craigslist-ads-t-1136876. 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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