I have a credit card with HSBC. The card has (had) a zero balance for about 9 months. Out of the blue I get a statement/bill in the mail showing a charge for $89.99 to a company called TLG Shoppers Advantage.
I call HSBC to dispute the charge and the rep tells me that TLG is a partner with HSBC and that I'd have to call TLG to dispute the charge. This partnership by itself is not appropriate. Normally I'd expect my credit card company to help out when I have fraudulent activity on my account, rather then refer me to the very company who is allegedly ripping me off!
So I call TLG and I can't get through due to the volume of calls they are dealing with. Hmmm. Then I call HSBC again and complain that I can't get through to TLG and I ask the rep to remove the charge. He says he can't. He also can't tell me exactly how I enrolled in the Shoppers Advantage service. But he does say that TLG always has proof AND he admits to me that TLG uses "shady" methods to get people enrolled. Isn't this wonderful?
Eventually I got through to TLG and the first thing I tell the rep there is that I didn't enroll in their program and that I want my card credited. The rep says he can help and he immediately goes into this scripted spiel about the Shoppers Advantage program and how great it is, trying to get me to change my mind. Are these people insane?
I tell the guy to just give me my confirmation number and he does. He says it will take 10 to 15 business days to be refunded. I called HSBC and gave them the confirmation number as well as the name of the rep from TLG. They say there will be no payment due until the matter is resolved, in which case I'd have a zero balance and no payment due anyway. Okay. HSBC tells me to check back with them in a month in case TLG doesn't refund the money, and she says we can dispute the charge then. That makes no sense at all. What am I going to do then? The same thing I'm doing now?
I decided to google TLG and I ended up on RipOffReport.com. I thought about filing a report and then I decided I should first get an explanation from TLG explaining how I signed up for Shoppers Advantage. I called them up and the rep tells me that I had cashed a check for $2.50. No I didn't. Any time I get these puny checks in the mail I shred them. I'm not stupid. I know they have fine print that says "by cashing this check you agree to be enrolled in... blah blah blah."
The rep says they can mail me a copy of the check. Okay, fine. She then attempts to transfer me to her supervisor because only he can deal with this matter. Then, of course, I'm disconnected. So I call back and I am put on hold this time while the lady gets her supervisor. He says he will have the copy of the check sent to me within 2 to 4 weeks. But remember, I have to check back with HSBC after 4 weeks if I don't get refunded by TLG. You see, this could be a bullshit runaround.
Also, TLG told me that this $2.50 check was cashed on Nov. 29th. I checked my online bank statements and there is no such record of a $2.50 check being cashed at that time or any other time. So that leaves only two possible explanations. Either someone stole the check out of my mailbox and committed check fraud for a whole $2.50 (of which he/she probably paid a commission to a check cashing place, and if they did that, what did they use as identification?) or TLG and/or HSBC made and error. Or, they decided to just rip people off at random.
I seriously doubt that someone successfully cashed a $2.50 check and signed my name on it. The only reason I would ever cash a little check like that from a credit card company is if I overpaid them and thus received a small credit back in the form of a check. And there is no way that they could have strings attached to a check that they owe you.
I can only wait and see if TLG credits my card. If they do I will gladly post a new report explaining that they did. Buty if they don't they need to be sued big time. So please post a report if you are also having a problem with this company. If necessary we can all join together to bring this company down.