On 1/12/05 I received about the 15th harrassing phone call from a program called Buyer's Union offered by Premier Benefit's. I had been receiving calls twice a day from them. They were rude, always interupting my baby's nap or a meal, etc. I had asked them numerous times not to call and to take me off their list. For one, they never shut up and there was always a "but, maam let me explain to you the benefits of our program." No offense to those of middle eastern decent, but it was always some foreigner who couldn't speak clear English and was incredibly rude; giving a bad reputation to cultures from which I know many good people have come.
Anyway, this morning particular morning they caught me at a moment of weakness. I was so burnt out of the interuption to my hectic schedule, of the interuption to my children's life and of the stress of having an injured husband who had to make daily therapy visits 45 miles away that I finally gave in. I said "fine, I'll pay the $3.95 just to get you off my back as long as you can promise me that I will never have to pay anything again. I am not interested in anything I will get charged monthly fee for or anything that I will have to cancel in order to avoid charges. I do not have the time for that and my life is hectic and I don't want to have to remember to call and cancel!!!" The sales rep replied "oh, I assure you ma'am you only have to pay the $3.95 shipping and handling because we want to offer you $200 dollars in free grocery vouchers to your local markets and send you information on joining our buyers union so you can see how it works. If you don't like our program there is nothing to buy ever again." "ok, as long as you swear I will never have to pay anything again."
So she wanted my credit card info, but I don't used credit cards anymore, so in my moment of stupidity I told her I was giving her my checking account number ...though I did reconfirm that nothing else would ever be charged again as it would cause problems with my account. Once again, she assured me that I would only be charged the one time fee. So I proceeded to give her my info and they began to do the "recorded conversation questioning" to get my agreement for the check draft. They proceeded to ask me if I was interested in other info about other programs. To one which they told me was just free info I may have said yes, but to anything for which they admitted a fee I replied no.
Once that portion of the call was over, she pipes in with "You should recieve your packet in approx. 3 weeks and if you do not wish to join our program you must call and cancel within 30 days of receiving you packet or you will be charged $119.95" At this point I was completely livid and the sales rep was getting an earful. I was yelling, "At the beginning of this conversation, before I gave you all my personal info, I told you I was not interested in anything that I would have to call and cancel to avoid charges and you assured me this was not the case. You said a one time fee of $3.95" She continued her sales person bs and of course at this point they had wasted 15 minutes of my time and I had to go pick up my daughter from school.
I was also stuck because these freaks had all my personal info so then I had to get a confirmation number so I would have something to reference to fight this. When I got transferred to a supervisor for the final authorization I gave him an earful about how the girl had misinformed me and now it was too late to cancel because I had to leave and I didn't have time to wait. He also assured me that I could call and cancel in a few weeks as soon as I got my packet. So I got her ID# and the customer service phone number and rushed out the door. Of course I could never reach anyone at the phone number I was given and so I waited for my packet.
On 2/17/05 I finally received my packet in the mail. I opened it immediately and called and cancelled the program. Of course it said that you had to be current member to use the $200 worth of vouchers that you would receive in the next 30 days and of course that packet made it to my mail box in 5 weeks, not 3. I told the customer rep that it was a total scam and that they weren't "my vouchers to keep wether I joined the program or not" as the sales rep had promised.
Once I opened the packet I had an even more horrible feeling than on the day I originally gave in to their solicitation call. I immediately went to the internet to check on my banking account which mysteriously had only $24 dollars in it. As I began to look through my statement I could see that between 1/20 and 2/4 someone had taken $3.95, $3.95, $119.90, $119.90, and $149.90. Next I called the bank to order hard copies of these bogus 5 check numbers. When I got the $149.90 hard copy it said Call One. I had never heard of this company and called them immediately and found out their parent company was Premier Benefits and that all the charges were shipping and start of fees for the sub-companies of Premier One. That I had been charged by Premier Movie Pass($149.90), Buyer's Union ($119.90 which is non-refundable no matter what, he tells me)and Call One($119.90).
He informed me that he would be sending me a claim form and that I would have to fill it out and send it back before they could refund me the Premier Movie Pass and Call One fees. Who wants to guess whether or not I will ever see that info. I called my bank and they are willing to investigate the fraud, but as of now I have -.04 in my checking account and my husband has been out of work since last October with a back injury. I am a stay at home mom and we have exhausted all our other resources with his unpaid medical bills and hour living expenses. I am looking for employment, but until then how am I supposed to feed my baby and my older daughter with -.04$?
I literally don't have a penny to my name. How will I buy diapers? And last, but not least how can these people sleep at night and who is out there protecting us from them? No one should mess with the elderly, the disabled or a mohter. My maternal instinct has kicked in and I am ready for a fight!! I plan to use every legal means to get my money back and stop this company from hurting families. I am sick of America being flooded with tyrants of any race, creed or color who will steal, lie and cheat to make a buck.
U.S.A. EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back! HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:
Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.
According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.
If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.
Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent! DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.
And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.
Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.
If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form. CHARGES TO YOUR CREDIT CARD
If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.
Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.
And good luck Let us know how you do!
ED Magedson Founder, Rip-off Report.com & Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com
Don't let them get away with it.
Make sure they make the Rip-off Report!
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We are a Worldwide Consumer Reporting News Agency ...by consumers, for consumers CLICK HERE to read about Credit Card Scams... find out how to get your money back. *Rip-off Report Investigation provides valuable information.