On July 3, 2009 I was linked to Video Professor, Inc. home site with the offer of "Free" Digital Camera lessons for only a $6.95 S&H charge. Next to the "Free" offering was an asterisk. Next to the asterisk below was the S&H charge. Without the asterisk next to it, it said that you make keep two of the disks for free and return the other within ten days to avoid purchase charges. No amount for the purchase was indicated.
I foolishly provided a Charge Card number on their secure site. Assuming that because this company has been around so long and did so much advertising on TV, that they were legitimate. I clicked the "send me the free lesson" button and that's when my problems began.
The next contact I had with Video Professor, Inc. was an email dated July 24, 2009 that thanked me because I "decided to learn with Video Professor!" and that I'd receive my "Digital Devices learning lessons within a few short days." I didn't order Digital Devices, I order Digital Camera lessons. I called the customer service number listed on the email and explained that there was a mistake. I was told that "Digital Devices" was my second lesson that I enrolled to receive. No, I said, I didn't want it and wanted to cancel whatever program I was "enrolled" in. Also, I didn't want to be charged for the second lesson, I hadn't even received the first one.
I was told by the service person that I was cancelled and wouldn't be sent any more lessons. That afternoon, the 24th I got the first lesson in the mail. There was no paperwork with the lesson that discussed sending anything back within 10 days or about product charges if I didn't return anything.
Yesterday July 28th I found out that I was charged $189 plus $6.95 in various small charges by Video Professor, Inc. on July 27th. I also received the second lesson "Digital Devices" that I did not order. I called the 800 number on my statement and talked again with the service person. They said the charges were for the first lesson I had ordered. I wasn't entitled to a refund because more than 10 days had passed. They hadn't. I complained about the lack of information and time to evaluate and return the product.
The customer service person "talked with" their "supervisor" and did give me two Return Authorization numbers. They told me that I'd be credited with the $189 in 10 to 21 business days from when they received my returned lessons. I immediately went on line to search for information on the well known Video Professor. Now after "Googling" the company, I've found that they have and are scamming thousands of people.
Today, July 29, 2009 I took a number of steps to protect myself in the future from this scam operation called Video Professor. I called my Bank, registered a complaint with the fraud division, cancelled my card, had a new card issued. Began the process of filing a fraud complaint with the Colorado Attorney General's office and sent back the lessons by Registered/Return Receipt Requested, at my own cost of another $20. I also sent out a warning to everyone I exchange email with to avoid Video Professor and it's scam. Hopefully, it will begin being passed on. I wish someone had told me about this before July 3rd.
I don't know how this scam operation is allowed to continue. I think they have invested a lot of money in protecting themselves with legal papers and small print. The information needs to get out that no one should fall for their scheme again. I don't know if I'll ever see my $189 again. What I will do is spend time and energy to get the word out to as many people as I can.
Video Professor is a scam operation offering "free" lessons to "Phish" for Credit and Check Card numbers, then steal from the unfortunate people that provide them. They are the lowest form of predator that I've seen advertise anywhere.