I received in the mail a multi-colored advertisement flyer that would ordinarily be thrown away without reading. "Membership renewal" caught my eye because I had never been a member of "Simple Escapes."
The notice said, "If you do not call to cancel within 30 days, your membership will be automatically renewed and your memebership dues of $149.95 will be billed to your credit card or other account."
I don't know how they obtained my carefully-guarded credit card number, but I immediately called the 800 number provided to tell them not to bill my for anything.
I got a series of recordings, none of which offered the option of "cancelling a membership." I called back a couple of times and began punching numbers for the different options, trying to get a real person. That never happened.
Then I logged on to www.simpleescapes.com, just to see if there was such a web site and whether I could contact someone that way. That's where I found more than 600 consumer complaints under ripoffreport and knew I was a targeted scam victim.
Now I wonder whether just calling that 800 number gives them the support they need that I did contact them about a membership, and use that as authorization to charge my card.
I immediately wrote a letter demanding that they not charge anything to my credit card. I sent the letter certified mail, return receipt requested, and contacted a number of postal inspection authorities, providing them with all the documentation. You can begin with your local post office, who will give you the other contacts you need.
I don't know whether this will stop the charge or not, but I am very happy to learn about ripoffreport.com. It's a great service and I will surely use it regularly. I'm with you: "Don't let them get away with it." There are too many older or other people who don't know how to fight this type of thing and will suffer because of it.
Thanks for listening!