• Report: #325669

Complaint Review: WC Value Plus

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  • Submitted: Sat, April 12, 2008
  • Updated: Sat, December 27, 2008

  • Reported By:Ewa Beach Hawaii
WC Value Plus
www.programstop.com; www.damark.com Nationwide U.S.A.

WC Value Plus - WC Homeplay - Damark.com - Provell WC Value Plus the Insidious SCAM of the CENTURY! - Check your credit cards statements!! Internet

*Consumer Comment: It doesn't matter how you defend WC Value Plus

*UPDATE Employee: The Charges are NOT Fraudulent

*Consumer Comment: WC Value Plus/Explore USA also got me and i found out how

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I Worked for these people

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I Worked for these people

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: I Worked for these people

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WC Value Plus a.k.a. WC Homeplay has got to be the SCAM of the Century!!!

The company somehow gets access to people's bank or credit card accounts and is able to start charging them monthly charges of $16.95, or sometimes $19.95 or $14.95 a month.

I was being charged $16.95 every month by "WC Value Plus" on my Bank of America credit card, and had no idea of this fraudulent charge for over a year, unfortunately.
The charge is for a supposed "membership" in some type of travel-related club or something - I really don't know exactly.

All I do know is that I never, EVER signed up for, approved of, accepted membership in ANY type of club like this, ever.

After seeing and not recognizing the name "WC Value Plus" on my credit card. immediately "Googled" it.
What came up was scores of web pages about this company, each of them referring to scams where people's bank accounts got debited monthly charges without them ever signing up for any services or membership with this "company".

One of the web pages was someone who posted their complaint about "WC Value Plus" right here on ripoffreport.com.
I became inspired to participate, and here is my very first such report.

I recommend searching for every piece of info you can find that others have posted about "WC Value Plus" or "WC Homeplay" on sites like this one, and trying out all the advice others offer to try to remedy your situation.

I have spent the last several hours of my day (a Saturday in April 2008) on the phone and internet trying to remedy my own situation, and here's what I've done so far:

- Called Bank of America, explained entire situation, and learned they're willing to credit back the last 120 days worth ($67.80) of charges from "WC Value Plus".

- Contacted "WC Value Plus" by several different phone numbers, all of which have lead to the same recorded message.
One of the phone numbers was on my credit card bill, the rest I got from other people's postings online.
These are the numbers:
1-888-833-7279
1-888-220-8907
1-800-566-8640

The recorded message said "Welcome to Member Services" and said to call back M-F, 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. EST.
It also referred to their web page at:

www.programstop.com

I plan to call back the numbers beginning early Monday morning, but in the meantime I visited the web address given.

All that came up was simply a one-page online form for canceling one's "membership", and a link to a printable page one can fill out and mail themselves if they want to request a refund for membership charges other than just for the most recent month.

I filled out the online form to cancel my "membership", and printed out the page to request a refund of membership charges already charged.
The mailing address on the form was:

Consumer Affairs
Attention: Form C/A
P.O. Box 5265
Hopkins, MN 55343-2265

I plan to playhardball!
I'll be mailing them the form along with a FIRM letter.
I'll be filing a report with the Better Business Bureau.
I use every legal, formal, reference I can use to get every penny of mine refunded.
And I'll be canceling my Bank of America credit card because I no longer trust the security of the transactions I do with them.

Other victimized consumers have hinted that "WC Value Plus" has been able to initiate these charges or "memberships"after certain online purchases that people have made, perhaps through PayPal or eBay payments, or Amazon.com purchases.
I don't really know how that happens, but others have said that when they've gotten someone from "WC Value Plus" on the phone and tried to ask for specifics on how the charges were initiated, and they were never given a specific answer.
They said the people on the phone always dodged their questions, gave unspecific answers, claimed they didn't have access to that information or weren't allowed to give it, etc.

I'll have to wait 2 more days to see what I'll be told when I call, but for now let me state unequivocally that I NEVER signed up for ANY such from any company like this.

I am a very careful and cautious Internet consumer, and I read the fine print of the sites I visit, the online boxes I check, and the online services I sign up for.
I did not keep as close of an eye on my credit card statement as I should have, so this charge got past my radar.
From now on I'll be watching my accounts like a hawk, and you should too if you don't already.
Fight Back Everybody!

gogirl808
Ewa Beach, Hawaii
U.S.A.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Damark

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/12/2008 09:18 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/WC-Value-Plus/nationwide/WC-Value-Plus-WC-Homeplay-Damarkcom-Provell-WC-Value-Plus-the-Insidious-SCAM-of-the-325669. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 6Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

It doesn't matter how you defend WC Value Plus

AUTHOR: Pete - (U.S.A.)

You can try and defend this company any way you want, it is still using deceiptful practices to steal money. Unsuspecting consumers are charged in a manner that is tricky and dishonest. A person would literally have to hire a lawyer every time they want to order something online or over the phone if this was the way every company did business. It is sneaky and underhanded and it is counter to ethical business practices. Companies like this are the reason the USA is in such financial trouble right now. You, as an employee, are perpetuating this type of unethical behaivior by defending it.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

The Charges are NOT Fraudulent

AUTHOR: Vance - (U.S.A.)

I do not work directly for Provell Inc., I am actually one of the customer service representatives, better known as Membership Services. Keep in mind that Membership Services is NOT a company. It is a department OF a company.

I see claim after claim that the charges are unauthorized and fraudulent. I read your report and noticed you hadn't called Membership Services yet before writing it (ironic since I don't see how a report can be made without having contacted the company yet). However, when you call one of those toll-free numbers for the charges, you will get someone who answers "Thank you for calling membership services, my name is ______. Can I please have the spelling of your last name and zip code?" THAT is my job.

We get consumer after consumer who starts off rambling about charges they claim to be fraudulent. Please understand that the charges are NOT fraudulent just because you don't understand where they came from. They are legal and authorization WAS given.

You acquire a membership when you either place an order for a product over the internet, through an infomercial, or place an order with a telemarketer or through direct mail. The membership is AUTHORIZED in conjunction with one of Provell's distribution partners on a trial based period, and when the trial ends the consumer is charged a monthly fee for the program.

A lot of consumers are offered a gas rebate, or gift card, or some other type of gift (the most popular being a $40 gas rebate) in exchange for trying the program for a trial period. Be aware ALL the information is either stated in print or read to you, and whether or not you read the fine print or listen carefully to what a representative might be saying to you, it IS THUS AUTHORIZED BY CONTINUING WITH THE ORDER.

YES, some people will call us MINUTES after ordering something over the TV and want to cancel, but unfortunately it takes 7-10 business days before our database is updated with their info. ALSO, a lot of people actually USE the memberships and are fully happy with them and call just to check up on their accounts.

When online, people will go to place an order for a product (entering their credit card number into the website to buy the product) and a pop-up appears offering a $10 gas card or some form of a gift card (wal-mart gift card, etc.) and the consumer approves the transaction for the membership because the membership order is in the terms and conditions or fine print of the pop-up when they attempt to get the gift. The pop-up is affiliated WITH the order so THAT'S how a customer's information is captured AND AUTHORIZED.

DO NOT blame your bank for charges when you are the one who ordered the product. Just because you didn't like the outcome doesn't mean it's the bank's fault. A lot of times it's the BANK who is victimized by a consumer's mistake. Bank's refund the charges when they're not even the bank's fault.

ALL you have to do is call customer service (me) and be cooperative by giving your last name and zip code (ONLY USED TO SEARCH YOU IN THE DATABASE), the rep will let you know you have a membership and then proceed to ask you what you would like to do with the membership. Be advised, we are authorized to release the call if the consumer is too irate, so no, yelling and profanity will NOT get you your way, it will get you disconnected in a heartbeat, thus making the resolution process much more difficult. Just politely let them know you want ALL of your memberships canceled, (PLEASE ask them if you have ANY other memberships because we are only supposed to cancel the number of memberships you refer to, regardless of however many you may have), then proceed to ask for a refund (YOU WILL NOT BE REIMBURSED THE FULL CHARGE AMOUNT OVER THE PHONE NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY OR DO, SO JUST BE COOPERATIVE), THEN ask for a form that they should send you to fill out to be reimbursed for the full-charge amount (yes, you have to have a form sent to you to be filled out to send to Consumer Affairs for the remaining amount). Over the phone you can only receive a refund of ONE month's fee per membership, and no one refund can exceed $50 (unless it is a Glamour in You membership which is an annual fee of $79.99).

That's ALL the person on the phone can do. I promise you if we could do more we would, considering we listen to nothing but complaints all day, but unfortunately we do not have that authorization NOR capability.

ALSO, asking to speak to a supervisor is COMPLETELY POINTLESS. A supervisor has the same EXACT capabilities as the representative. Reporting to the BBB is pointless, they are fully aware of Value Plus/Membership Services/Provell. Save it.

When you call membership services you are actually calling a call center. A call center is just a third party who answers company's calls and represents them. Besides Provell, I also handle MANY other programs in which I work for indirectly. A call center is NOT the actual business itself, just people like you who work on a phone for a living. Treating them as though they are the ones charging you or "scamming" you is completely inappropriate especially when you are calling an inbound center (such as mine) where ALL calls placed in the building are RECEIVED, we do NOT make calls to consumers. YOU call US.
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#3 Consumer Comment

WC Value Plus/Explore USA also got me and i found out how

AUTHOR: S - (U.S.A.)

I have read several people's complaints about this company, and I do understand! We were lucky enough to catch the charges right away, but after learning about this the first time, and fighting with them to refund my money for months, I was immediately alerted when it came up again.

What this company does, is slip in the back door, unexpectedly, when you buy something over the phone (and I imagine online also), part of what you purchase includes a "mebership" with Value Plus/Explore USA. This "membership" charges you $2 total, $1 for Value Plus and $1 for Explore USA, which you are told you can cancel as soon as you get it, and you will get a gift or gas card just for signing up. Of course if you "choose" to keep it or do not cancel it, you will be charged $16.95 from one place, and $14.95 from the other every month.

Ok, sounds fine. The first time, I said sure, no problem, and figured I would just cancel it when it arrived (note you don't get a phone number or cancellation information until after the product or service you purchased arrives). Well, you can fill out that online cancelation until you turn blue in the face, it doesn't work. As a matter a fact, after I cancelled it online and still found a charge, when I tried again, the page suddenly didn't work or there was "no such account" with my number. So I called, and called. I wrote firm letter after letter, demanding my money be returned and the gift cards as promised. I actually did get it back eventually, but only after what was I believe about 3 or 4 months of letters and calls.

Now, the second time is what really disturbed me. This "offer' of the $2 charge was again slipped into the final agreement of a purchase over the phone. The other thing is...both companies did not tell me about the "we're going to give you a membership...it will be $2 charged....you can cancel anytime....etc, etc" until AFTER my credit card information had been given. Now..here's the real kicker. I said "NO WAY, I went through this before. DO NOT sign me up for that" and would you believe that the "option" even though they ask, "is that okay?" to say no...well, it isn't an option. I was told by the surprized man on the other end when I said no, that he didn't have a way on the computer to stop it, in order to get what I was purchasing, I HAD to get this. (Oddly enough, I was purchasing a membership for legal services.)

What I don't understand is, since when do we NOT have a choice for money to be charged to OUR PERSONAL bank account? HELLOOOOOO I don't know how this is legal in any way, but apparently there is some sort of legal loophole in the whole thing and that's how places like this get away with it. It's sad, but the only thing we can do is learn from our mistakes and help educate others.

Yes, I have filed with all the appropriate agencies (names escape me at the moment, this was a while back) I think it was like FTC and BBB and a few other places. I was refunded the $2 the second time, as I still had the phone number handy, so I immediately called after I made the purchase, but they never did send me the gift cards promised. Oh well.

My only advice to anyone out there who might hopefully read this ahead of time, is LISTEN carefully to every word the telephone represenative says when you are making a purchase. DO NOT agree to anything other than exatly what you are purchasing, and if the option to say no is unavailable, then you are better off going to another company for what you are purchasing. I don't even think that the companies who have this "offer" are even aware of the problems, they just read what's on a screen.

If you are purchasing something online, read ALL the fine print, and if there is not an option to refuse this so-called membership, again, get your items somewhere else.

If you have found or think that you have been manipulated or forced to pay for this membership, call immediately to 1-800-475-1942, at least that is the number that I have. I have a website, www.valueplusonline.com but I am not sure if those things are even valid anymore. You are welcome to check it out for yourself.

To everyone out there, just be cautious, and be careful when agreeing to any purchase online or over the phone, listen and read carefully. These companies have legal loopholes in the fact that most people just say "okay," or check off the "i agree" box and already you have agreed for them to take money from your account.

After that, it's simply your word against theirs, unless you happen to be recording phone calls when they tell you that you will get a refund and you don't. These places are smart, as wrong as they are, but that's how they get away with it and make money doing the same "legal scam" to millions of people. Just be careful.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I Worked for these people

AUTHOR: Dwayne36535 - (U.S.A.)

My name is Dwayne. I used to work for Provell, Inc. I was in their "refund" dept. I was with the company for about a week until i found out how shady their company is. I dont understand how anyone can get away with stealing from people. I dont think its right and they need to be stopped. I had irate people calling me saying their money was being fraudulently withdrawn and After about 10 of these calls, i asked my Office Mgr why these calls were being received. She couldn't give me a straight answer. I was told that I needed to be at my cubicle answering the phone. The following Wednesday, I didn't show up.

I know Provell is a VERY dishonest company and when it comes to giving money back, they make it as difficult as possible for the "consumer", as they call it, to get the money that was taken from them back...

If there are any questions, please feel free to email me at dwayne69170@yahoo.com I will answer any questions to the best of my ability.

Thank you for your time,
Dwayne
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I Worked for these people

AUTHOR: Dwayne36535 - (U.S.A.)

My name is Dwayne. I used to work for Provell, Inc. I was in their "refund" dept. I was with the company for about a week until i found out how shady their company is. I dont understand how anyone can get away with stealing from people. I dont think its right and they need to be stopped. I had irate people calling me saying their money was being fraudulently withdrawn and After about 10 of these calls, i asked my Office Mgr why these calls were being received. She couldn't give me a straight answer. I was told that I needed to be at my cubicle answering the phone. The following Wednesday, I didn't show up.

I know Provell is a VERY dishonest company and when it comes to giving money back, they make it as difficult as possible for the "consumer", as they call it, to get the money that was taken from them back...

If there are any questions, please feel free to email me at dwayne69170@yahoo.com I will answer any questions to the best of my ability.

Thank you for your time,
Dwayne
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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

I Worked for these people

AUTHOR: Dwayne36535 - (U.S.A.)

My name is Dwayne. I used to work for Provell, Inc. I was in their "refund" dept. I was with the company for about a week until i found out how shady their company is. I dont understand how anyone can get away with stealing from people. I dont think its right and they need to be stopped. I had irate people calling me saying their money was being fraudulently withdrawn and After about 10 of these calls, i asked my Office Mgr why these calls were being received. She couldn't give me a straight answer. I was told that I needed to be at my cubicle answering the phone. The following Wednesday, I didn't show up.

I know Provell is a VERY dishonest company and when it comes to giving money back, they make it as difficult as possible for the "consumer", as they call it, to get the money that was taken from them back...

If there are any questions, please feel free to email me at dwayne69170@yahoo.com I will answer any questions to the best of my ability.

Thank you for your time,
Dwayne
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