I discovered unauthorized charges on my bank account on October 20, 2006, all coming from Sprint Wireless Services. At that point, I closed down my debit card and told them to put a flag on the account so that no further charges were to come through from Sprint Wireless Services. I then called the 800# associated with the transactions and found out that it was the Nextel portion of Sprint.
I don't have a Nextel account. I do however, have a Sprint account, but when I make my phone payments, the transaction says Sprint Customer Care, not Sprint Wireless Services. Once I notified the fraud department of my bank (HSBC), I asked if I go further back in my bank account and discover more charges, will I be able to add to the claim.
I was told yes, I can add up to 90 days from the date of the claim, and they can enter that over the phone. Anything going further back than 90, I would have to write a letter to Corporate Security listing all the fraudulent charges, and the dates on which they occurred.
As I went further back into my account, I noticed that there were multiple charges each month from Sprint Wireless Services, and all for different amounts. I called the fraud department back and added to the claim. I also asked again if I was to write that letter to corporate security and I was told to do so, and that I should do it as soon as possible, for they only have a certain amount of time to investigate.
I was told that an affidavit of the fraudulent charges would be mailed to me, and I have to sign it and either fax it back or mail it in to the address provided. I received the affidavit, signed it and faxed it back. I then wrote the letter to corporate security. HSBC fraud department said that once they receive my affidavit, and investigation would begin, and I would be notified of exactly what is going on with my debit card.
In the meantime, I called the 800# at Sprint to find out why they were taking these charges out of my bank account. Since it is the Nextel portion and I don't have a Nextel account, they had no way of looking up any information and they transferred me to Sprint since I have an account with them. Sprint also could not find anything because these charges are not stemming from my phone account. I was then told that I had to dispute these charges with my bank and there was nothing else they could do.
About a week later, I received a credit of a little over a thousand dollars for the fraudulent claims. I was happy with that, thinking that I would get the rest that stem from January, at a later date. On December 2, I get a letter from HSBC Corporate Security, saying that they will be reversing the credit they had given me on 12/05/06. The letter also stated that I would receive a credit for $300. I didn't know why they would be reversing the credit, so I had to wait until Monday, 12/04/06 to call the department.
I spoke with Yvonne Jenkins who was handling my claim. She said since I waited beyond the 120 days from the date of discovery, they can only refund me the first three statements worth of charges, starting with the date of the first fraudulent charge, which was January 17, 2006. There was no fraudulent activity in February or March, so I only got back January's transactions which totaled $300.08, and they reversed the one thousand dollars out of my account, making it go almost $500 in the negative.
I told Yvonne that I received an entirely different story from the fraud department. I let her know that two different people had said that all I had to do was write a letter for the earlier charges and I would get that back as well. She apologized for me being misinformed, but there was nothing else she could do. I asked her what would happen if something else tries to be debited tomorrow, she said again, there was nothing she could do. I would have to go take this up with Sprint. I had two more charges in November on my new card, but MasterCard fraud department has helped me with those.
I spoke to an investigator at HSBC, because my understanding was that this matter was to be investigated. She gave me the same story Yvonne gave me, about how it's past the 120 days. I let her know that I made a claimin October for charges that occurred in Septmeber(well within 120 days - these charges were current, but for some odd reason, they can only start from the date of discovery which was January.
I told her that Sprint is unwilling to help me, so I'm stuck and I don't know who I can go to next. She then offered to call the 800# from Nextel with me. We finally got in touch with a live person at Nextel fraud department, and that representative told me to file a police report. She said they were unable to do anything until they receive the papers from the police dept. and then the investigation would begin.
I took the day off (12/7) to go back to HSBC, and try some of the tactics that I read on ripoffreport.com to try to get my money back. I told the customer service rep that according to federal regulation E, I was entitled to my money back, no matter how long ago this occurred. I told her that I would have to either pursue legal action, or take this to the media. There was nothing she could do. I got Yvonne to fax over papers stating all the fraudulent charges so that I can have evidence for my police report.
I filled out an affidavit of fraudulent activity at the bank, had it notarized and went back to the police station. I spoke with an officer who said that they can not file a police report because they do not have any proof of anything criminal. It's just my word saying it's not my account. If they had something from Sprint saying this account is not mine, however I've been charged for it, then they could process a police report. Other than that, I'm stuck again.
I was trying to get the name of the bank that is processing these payments for Sprint. Neither Sprint nor HSBC has that information. I was going to use that tactic to call that bank and let them know they are participating in illegal activity. However, I can not get the name. All I know is that it says Sprint Wireless Services, 800-639-6111 CO.
Sprint even tried taking $105 out of my account on 12/6, but they were trying to use the canceled card and it wouldn't go through. They made two attempts to take the money that day. The bad part is that they are still attempting to take money from me to pay for an account I do not have! It's not a double billing for my phone account, these are all different amounts each month (Ex. $60, $30, $294, $80 - all in one month).
As soon as I post this, I will be contacting the Attorney General's office. Something needs to be done. This is about $2000 of my money that Sprint Wireless Services has stolen from me and my bank will not investigate. I hope no one else has to go through this because this is a nightmare in more ways than one. If anyone out there has any advice as to how I can get my money back, please post a response. Thanks for taking the time to read this.
MOUNT VERNON, New York
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