On December 24, 2008, I found a fraudulent charge on my credit card from an attorney I fired a month previously. I have an open case against him with the California State Bar and he has a history of reprovals and suspensions. I've been advised that he will most likely be suspended or punished for the botched case. I was also advised not to pay them anything as the state would probably find him guilty and I'd get a refund of my fees.
I called Discover immediately to dispute it and they took
it off. I also called the merchant/attorney and they refused to answer my dozens and dozens of calls, letters and emails between December 24 and today. Finally, the merchant sent me a letter saying 'Dear Ms. xxx per your verbal agreement we have charged your card $xxx' along with a receipt. I was horrified because this was an outright lie and they never had my verbal agreement to make charges, but I thought Discover was on my side.
Now, Discover has reinstated the charge saying it was proven to be legit and the merchant had sent evidence including my signature. Their 'evidence' is the same letter and receipt the merchant sent me, which honestly is NOT any kind of proof that I authorized anything. It's just them charging me and saying I authorized it, which I never did. Anyone can send a receipt, but that is not proof that I ever authorized it! In fact, I have proof of the opposite because I specifically fired the attorney in writing via mail and email and told them I would not pay any further charges.
Discover card is refusing to help me. In fact, the 'manager' was very rude, misogynous and condescending and hung up on me. They refuse to let me talk to anyone in customer service or management. I would like to pursue legal action regarding the unauthorized use of my credit card as well as Discover's refusal to remove the fraudulent charge. I also question Discover's unethical reliance on a receipt and forged signature to 'prove' the charge. Obviously the receipt only proves that the company charged me, but it certainly does not prove it was authorized. This charge was NOT authorized in any way. In fact I specifically told them that I would NOT pay them.
My 'firing' letter to the attorney stated:
"This letter is to inform your office that I will no longer be using your services... As of this week, I will not accept any more 'services' on my behalf. Furthermore, since you are representing my abuser, you will need to bill him when he uses your services and I hope to be refunded for all the previous times I've paid you to represent him... I will not pay for this letter or any of the other numerous services you have performed on his behalf. This office has done absolutely nothing in my best interests and the ongoing representation of my abuser is a conflict of interests."
After months of incompetency, I finally fired them because they were working with the opposing party to harass me-- then bill ME for it. Things were bad enough before that, but that was the last straw. It had been a nightmare dealing with these people because they constantly lied, gave inconsistent information, refused to communicate in any way and NEVER did any work on my case. (My abuser/ex husband did more on his own for free (and on my dime) than the attorney ever did!)
This letter specifically states that they are fired and they aren't to do anything more in my name. I also called them that night to verify receipt of the email and verified with the case worker, the secretary and the billing department that they were not to do or bill any more on my behalf.
Furthermore, as you can see, I specifically told them that I would not pay for the letter they sent for the opposing party or any other services on his behalf. There is not doubt that I did not mean to pay for those double representations. They were quite aware of this, which is, I suspect, the reason they decided to do a fraudulent charge for an invoice I'd never even seen or heard of.
However, a few weeks later after Discover initially removed the unauthorized charge, the fraudulent charge again showed up on my account billing me for those very services. There is no doubt that I did NOT authorize them. As anyone can see, I was very much to the contrary. In fact, due to my open complaint against these people and the state bar had advised not to make any more payments while the double representation and other state bar violations were being investigated. I had specifically told the attorney's office this. They were upset that I was filing the complaints.
The state bar told me not to pay the disputed amounts. I am supposed to finish my complaint process then go through arbitration to remove the fees after the attorney is investigated. I told the attorney's office I would not pay these charges. I never authorized them, and yet there they are, on my Discover card and Discover is using a forged signature and a receipt for an unauthorized charge as 'proof' that I authorized payment. Clearly I did not.
I had been a customer of Discover for over ten years. I have a perfect credit history with never a payment late in my life. In fact, my credit score is over 800 and I can can get the best rates anywhere I go. In fact, I transferred the legitimate balance of my Discover card to a much better rate! You'd think the company would have the sense to remove the fraudulent charge, especially with the evidence of my letter and ongoing investigation with the state bar, yet they moronically decided to allow the fraudulent charge. Bad business move! Their "managers" should be fired for that poor decision.
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