Last month on July 22nd I was contacted by "Henry" on my cell phone, offering me a grant of $10,000 to be deposited into my bank account free of charge. I would recieve it within 4 days. He said he was a representative from the US Gov. and I wouldn't be charged anything for the grant. A gov. official would come to my house the next day to deliver the papers to file and pick them up the following business day. And while picking up the documents, he would drop off $500 just for considering the other offers they would provide. (He never came) SOUNDS GREAT HUH?
Later on when I was so stupid to give him my account info, he prompted me to a recording that said that nothing about the grant and only asked for $29.xx for a membership fee and $19.xx per month after that plus $299.xx after the trial period. And the $500 was in the form of coupons (unspecified). He said that cash was an option and the recording was old and to just say okay. (duh? Me dumb!) "Okay" I said.
I asked why he would be charging my account the $30 when he said nothing would be taken out? He said it was a membership fee that covered various things like the cost of the courier to come to my door twice. That sounded reasonable. Especially when I would recieve $500 cash before the charge. I let the charge go through and asked for the customer service number again, but he wouldn't give it to me. He said that the courier would have it with the info tommorrow
I never saw a courier.
A week later I called the customer service (the number I got from the bank) I was told no refunds. They played back the recording where I authorized the trans. But of course they wouldn't have all the deleted rerecordings where he said $500 cash, $10,000 deposit within 4 days "guaranteed" or cost of courier.
They hung up on my 3 times on that Friday. And 7 times the following Monday. "Non-refundable Membership Fee". I HAVEN'T BEEN A MEMBER YET! I was told that the membership services wouldn't start for another 8 weeks, as in the vague info on grants that I might be applicable for, and a news letter on other services. I asked for the manager. I was told I couldn't talk to her untill the end of Sept due to Maturnity leave.
Even if this was legit, the $299 wasn't suppose to be charged until after a "trial period". They were attempting to take it withing 2 weeks along with the first $20 payment. I hadn't recieved anything yet to "try out". All though I didn't know what I would be trying out anyways. I just planned to cancel before being charged if it wasn't worth it.
It is now Aug 22nd, one month later and guess who calls? YEP! Now she wants to give up the $5,000 and wants to verify my account info. She wants my NEW checking account info. I give her one I am closing anyways, just to play along, and who knows, maybe...
But I was wondering why she would need my Check number(top righthand corner) if she was depositing only. That would be for payment purposes.
She gives me her rehursed closing statement at which time I choose to use my built in voice recorder (thank you Nokia). I get only a min and a half to record, but I got her closing sales pitch and made her repeat that nothing would be charged "not one cent" and that I am to just say "yes, yes, yes to all questions or the varifycation process will not accept you (me) and no money will be given.
She assures me that nothing will be taken out (ya right). "Not one cent" She says over and over. She gets 2 other people on the phone claiming to be managers repeating the same thing (I informed those two I was recording). She can't quiet get me through the recording, though. I am being so joyfully difficult. I will not just say "yes" to a recording asking for permission to take out $289.xx. If I am a "Government Winner", why don't I have my own type of recording? Or a coupon # to bypass that part. (Can you say SCAM?)
I call my bank with my lan line, and put my cell on speaker. He heard the whole thing as I ask her to go over it again. He laughs and says "just hang up" (on them). I didn't get the chance she heard me talking to my bank and hung up herself. (Heh-heh, busted)
I call the customer service line I still had. I ask the lady, "Am I suppose to get my $5,000 grant deposited the very next day into my bank account?" She said, "No, m'am, the recording told you it would take months to get your grant if you qualify". I said, "But what if you're a 'Government Winner'? Don't I already qualify? I was told the I was guaranteed the $5,000 to be into my account the very next day and that it wouldn't cost me a thing."
"No it is not free, you pay $289.xx for the service and it is not guaranteed and it can take up to (I think she said) 8 months."
I asked for a manager or supervisor. She told me to call back tomorrow morning because one was not available (4:40p.m. understandabley).
I asked her if she would then listen to something for me. So I played back the recording through the cell phone (thank you Nokia for a clear recording, Love ya). I am giggling at this point. I got them good. Not expecting anything, though, but it just felt good to embarass them like that. After the playback, she askes me to repeat it again so her supervisor could hear it... you know the one not available.(Available now?!)
She was so shocked(maybe). She appoligized for what had obviously happened to me and that they were not the same company, but just acting as their customer service center (don't know if that is true).
Anyways the Manager (that wouldn't be available till the end of Sept) will be calling me in the morning to hear the recording.