To start out, I consider myself to be wary of Internet scams. As intelligent, college-educated individual, I'm careful to read the fine print and cautious giving out credit card information online. This is the first time I have fallen victim to a company with the deliberate intention of misleading and scamming possibly 100,000s of people out of $48.92. I feel there is a definite need for a class-action lawsuit to 1)stop this particular company from their fraudulent activities and 2)cause the government to step in and set up a few Internet regulations such as done in the UK.
Credit Report America cleverly disguised their advertising as an actual newstory and published it on MSNBC.com. The story read about how people were making money by using Google's Adsense. It gave you a link to click on that made it look like you were actually on the Google Adsense page (if you had never actually seen the real one). [continued below]....
..... It told you to pay $1.00 (originally $2.95, but there was a code:cash4me on the earlier "news story" that lowered the price to $1) and you would get started with Google Adsense. That's fine, even if it's a scam, it's only $1. So I put in my card information. $1 is charged and I get several downloads of information on how to start working with Adsense. The next page that comes up says "Congratulations! You have qualified to also receive THE FAST SITE KIT PRO PACKAGE!" "As a special bonus today, we are including the FAST SITE PRO KIT in your trial." There is a button to say yes and one for no. I clicked yes, and then speedily tried to stop it, but it was too late. So up pops a membership ID and password. I look at the site that claims it will help you build a website. It's nothing I'm interested in. So I go back a page to get the number to call and cancel. The first thing the lady says to me on the phone is, "are you wanting to cancel your subscription?" Its obvious this is what this lady does all day long at her job - cancel subscriptions to the fraudulent advertising. I say, "yes" and she cancels it saying I will not be charged any further fees. I ask her if I was charged anything and she says, " yes, the first $48.92 and it's non-refundable". She says I agreed to the "terms and conditions" of the offer by clicking yes. I ask to speak to her supervisor and she says she has been authorized to have final authority on these matters. I call two other times and two other people give me the exact same spill. Except, the third guy is a little more helpful. I ask him to email me these "terms and conditions" that I agreed to...he does. He sends me a snapshot of the page to which I clicked yes. At the top of the page it says, "Offer Details: By accepting the Fast Site Pro Kit, you will be also instantly signed up as a Preferred Fast Site Kit Pro Subscriber. As long as you remain a member, you will be billed $48.92 a month. It's easy to cancel your membership if you decide it's not right for you. You simply need to call 866-407-4020. You are under no obligation at all , cancel at anytime!" I ask the guy, Jason, employee ID#653, what I get for this $48.92 I paid, and he says, well, "nothing. you terminated your membership". I told him I should at least be getting one month worth of service or something since I already paid it upfront. He gives me a link over the phone that leads to nothing. So I type in www.fastsiteprokit.com and it takes me back to the site I was at before, I type in my membership ID and password and it no longer works.
My complaints are these:1) I authorized my credit card for a $1 charge. If there are going to be any additional charges, there needs to be more warning than simply clicking yes one time. There should be a popup with a list of "terms and agreements" that you have to initial, or at least one extra step that makes you aware your credit card is being billed again.
2)It's misleading calling something a "Trial" when it is clearly not.
3)It's fraudulent to charge me a fee ($48.92) for something I do not get a service or product for.
4)The so-called "terms and conditions" on the initial page say I am under no obligation at all. There is nothing saying I am being billed an initial fee, an activation fee, a service fee, etc. It says it's a trial and if I wish to continue as a member, there will be a fee. And there is certainly nothing saying the fee is "nonrefundable".
I don't know how many others have fallen victim to this particular scam already, but if you have, please don't be that type of person that says, "it's just $50 bucks" and go on with your life. This is criminal and it needs to be stopped.
In the UK, there is Distance Selling regulation that stipulates a 7-day cooling off period. The Distance Selling Regulations provide additional protection e.g. your card company must refund you if your credit, debit, or store card is used fraudulently and, in many cases in the EU, the law allows you time to change your mind, within seven working days of the delivery, and get a refund.
The employees at Credit Report America seemed to think they had every right to deny my refund because I clicked Yes.
Friends, get on board and stop allowing companies to get away with victimizing people with these manipulative and fraudulent scams!
Jennifer, Plano Texas