I received a call from a salesperson with Star Communications on 12/19/05, telling me I had been chosen to receive a $500 shopping spree as a free gift for agreeing to try 3 free trial programs. The salesman repeatedly told me it would cost me only $4.95 which I wouldn't have to pay until I had received the $500 "shopping spree". To be sure, I had this info verified during the recorded portion of the phone call.
On 12/22/05, debits of $119.90, $4.95 and $4.95 were made to my checking account by Star Communications, which in turn resulted in $60 ($20 each) in overdraft charges to my account. When I received an overdraft notice on 12/29/05 and saw these charges, I tried calling the toll-free number I was given and to this day have gotten nothing but a busy signal. I then called one of the toll-free numbers I was to use to cancel the trial subscriptions and reached a salesperson (foriegn woman,unpronouncable name) who told me there was no supervisor available for me to speak to.
After much argument, she told me that I would receive 3 checks refunding the money that had been taken out of my account. Only after threatening to notify the Attorney General did this woman give me the mailing address for the company.
I called again today (1/5/06), and after being cut-off 3 times, finally spoke to a supervisor (James) who told me that I would need to write a letter requesting the refund PLUS the resulting overdraft charges. James told me that he did not work for Star Communications and had no phone number for that company. He was kind and very respectful, however, and told me that the $500 shopping "spree" was actually 25-$20 shopping REBATES, usable 1 each month for the next 25 months and that I should receive those in the mail within the next few days.
James told me that my previous call had been noted and the refund had been requested, but that Star Communications could take months to process the refund UNLESS I wrote to them explaining that I felt I was misled and lied to, and DEMANDING a refund of all debits PLUS the $60 in resultant overdraft charges.
I'll be sending that letter in the morning, with a copy to my Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau. If you're reading this and you've been scammed, too, please report this company so that together we can get them shut down and save 100's of other people the pain and frustration we are currently experiencing.
By the way, as of today, I have received no checks and still haven't received the original three "free" trials they were supposed to send.