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  • Report: #433329

Complaint Review: WPI IFriends

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  • Submitted: Thu, March 12, 2009
  • Updated: Wed, March 25, 2009

  • Reported By:Sydney Other
WPI IFriends
Lake Worth Lake Worth, Florida U.S.A.

WPI IFriends Internet Fraud - Multiple unsubstantiated credit card charges over six months, false and misleading pretext to obtain credit card detals Lake Worth Florida

*UPDATE Employee: Reply from iFriends

*UPDATE Employee: Reply from iFriends

*UPDATE Employee: Reply from iFriends

*UPDATE Employee: Reply from iFriends

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I registered with this company who required a valid credit card number as proof of age/identity stating no charges would be deducted unless premium services were used.

Not only did I not use any premium service, I did not use any service, I never logged back into the site or used it once - EVER.

A month later they charged my credit card US$1-, then
WPI waited a month to see of the charge would be rejected.

Then for the following 5 months they charged monthly amounts of US$5.95 (once) then US$6.95 each month for the following four months althought I had never logged into the site nor had I provided any authorisation to them to charge my account at all.

I subsequently had to cancel my credit card and have it re issued.

I tracked down the company telephone and contacted their arms length "financial processing" operation called WPI. I informed the "operator" I worked in credit card fraud, that by law in both the US and in Australia they had committed credit card fraud and I demanded a full refund of the funds taken without authorisation and without reason from my account. I further stated I would report their operation to both my bank (one of Australia's four largest) and the head of Fraud Investigation for the Asia Pacific region of VISA International.

I have also lodged an internet fraud complaint with the Australian Federal Police on behalf of the almost three hundred complaints on this one English only website.

Were this company operating in Australia authorities would have closed it down by now. That WPI iFriends can operate with impunity in the United States is a daming indictment on the financial regulatory shambles the US has sadly allowed to evolve.

Visa Master Card and others should have long before now flagged the merchant as a potential fraudulent operator based on its charge back rate and revoked its merchant status and monitored its ability to reapply.

It is unconscionable.

Credit card fraud supervisor
Sydney
Australia

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/12/2009 04:23 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/WPI-IFriends/Lake-Worth-Florida/WPI-IFriends-Internet-Fraud-Multiple-unsubstantiated-credit-card-charges-over-six-months-433329. 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.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 4Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Reply from iFriends

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

Unfortunately, because "supervisor" did not provide many individual details, we could not find his specific account. We have tried to address his concerns below. Because his complaint indicates that he is still dissatisfied, however, we urge him to contact our Customer Care Department (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) by calling 0011-800-4374-3637 (a toll-free call from Australia), and ask to speak to a supervisor.

The $1 US that "supervisor" mentions in the complaint is in fact a credit card authentication fee which is billed to every customer who creates an account, and which was necessary to process in order to comply with the federal Child Online Protection Act. This fee is prominently disclosed in advance, and the customer must affirmatively acknowledge and accept the charge in order to create an iFriends account. The $1 charge is effectively refunded by being automatically applied towards any purchase of premium services on the iFriends service. If the customer does not purchase services of $1 or more, the fee is fully refunded upon request by the customer at any time. This policy is clearly stated on the registration form that each customer must complete.

"Supervisor" also states that he was billed several times for $5.95 and $6.95. These charges are associated with the VIP membership option. The cost for VIP membership is $6.95 monthly. As explained above, the $1 credit card authentication fee was subtracted from the first month's cost. This is why "supervisor" saw a charge of $5.95.

Whenever we send a charge to a credit card, we also include a toll-free telephone number, specific to the user's country, that he or she can use to contact us if there are any questions about the charge or about the account. In addition, we provide a link to email and telephone contact information on every page of our service. We also provide an online cancellation utility and an online help form that subscribers can access to quickly resolve any issues that may arise. "Supervisor" states that he waited five months to contact our Customer Care department to question the charges which had appeared on his bill, despite the appearance of our toll-free number on each of his charge statements over those five months.

Our policy is to assure the complete satisfaction of every user. "Supervisor" states that he requested a full refund from the Customer Care representative with whom he spoke. If this was requested, "supervisor" can be sure that it was processed. Again, we urge "supervisor" to contact us so that we can be sure the situation has been resolved to his complete satisfaction.

We can assure "supervisor" that anyone he spoke to, or will speak to, is employed directly by iFriends, and not by any third party. We have been in business for 13 years, and we have more than 9 million satisfied customers, including many in Australia. We have consistently maintained excellent ratings with all leading consumer protection agencies. In addition, we have pioneered and developed online consumer best practices that have been adopted by many other services. The iFriends service is verified by TRUSTe and is on its sealholder list of the most trustworthy online businesses.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Reply from iFriends

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

Unfortunately, because "supervisor" did not provide many individual details, we could not find his specific account. We have tried to address his concerns below. Because his complaint indicates that he is still dissatisfied, however, we urge him to contact our Customer Care Department (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) by calling 0011-800-4374-3637 (a toll-free call from Australia), and ask to speak to a supervisor.

The $1 US that "supervisor" mentions in the complaint is in fact a credit card authentication fee which is billed to every customer who creates an account, and which was necessary to process in order to comply with the federal Child Online Protection Act. This fee is prominently disclosed in advance, and the customer must affirmatively acknowledge and accept the charge in order to create an iFriends account. The $1 charge is effectively refunded by being automatically applied towards any purchase of premium services on the iFriends service. If the customer does not purchase services of $1 or more, the fee is fully refunded upon request by the customer at any time. This policy is clearly stated on the registration form that each customer must complete.

"Supervisor" also states that he was billed several times for $5.95 and $6.95. These charges are associated with the VIP membership option. The cost for VIP membership is $6.95 monthly. As explained above, the $1 credit card authentication fee was subtracted from the first month's cost. This is why "supervisor" saw a charge of $5.95.

Whenever we send a charge to a credit card, we also include a toll-free telephone number, specific to the user's country, that he or she can use to contact us if there are any questions about the charge or about the account. In addition, we provide a link to email and telephone contact information on every page of our service. We also provide an online cancellation utility and an online help form that subscribers can access to quickly resolve any issues that may arise. "Supervisor" states that he waited five months to contact our Customer Care department to question the charges which had appeared on his bill, despite the appearance of our toll-free number on each of his charge statements over those five months.

Our policy is to assure the complete satisfaction of every user. "Supervisor" states that he requested a full refund from the Customer Care representative with whom he spoke. If this was requested, "supervisor" can be sure that it was processed. Again, we urge "supervisor" to contact us so that we can be sure the situation has been resolved to his complete satisfaction.

We can assure "supervisor" that anyone he spoke to, or will speak to, is employed directly by iFriends, and not by any third party. We have been in business for 13 years, and we have more than 9 million satisfied customers, including many in Australia. We have consistently maintained excellent ratings with all leading consumer protection agencies. In addition, we have pioneered and developed online consumer best practices that have been adopted by many other services. The iFriends service is verified by TRUSTe and is on its sealholder list of the most trustworthy online businesses.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

Reply from iFriends

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

Unfortunately, because "supervisor" did not provide many individual details, we could not find his specific account. We have tried to address his concerns below. Because his complaint indicates that he is still dissatisfied, however, we urge him to contact our Customer Care Department (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) by calling 0011-800-4374-3637 (a toll-free call from Australia), and ask to speak to a supervisor.

The $1 US that "supervisor" mentions in the complaint is in fact a credit card authentication fee which is billed to every customer who creates an account, and which was necessary to process in order to comply with the federal Child Online Protection Act. This fee is prominently disclosed in advance, and the customer must affirmatively acknowledge and accept the charge in order to create an iFriends account. The $1 charge is effectively refunded by being automatically applied towards any purchase of premium services on the iFriends service. If the customer does not purchase services of $1 or more, the fee is fully refunded upon request by the customer at any time. This policy is clearly stated on the registration form that each customer must complete.

"Supervisor" also states that he was billed several times for $5.95 and $6.95. These charges are associated with the VIP membership option. The cost for VIP membership is $6.95 monthly. As explained above, the $1 credit card authentication fee was subtracted from the first month's cost. This is why "supervisor" saw a charge of $5.95.

Whenever we send a charge to a credit card, we also include a toll-free telephone number, specific to the user's country, that he or she can use to contact us if there are any questions about the charge or about the account. In addition, we provide a link to email and telephone contact information on every page of our service. We also provide an online cancellation utility and an online help form that subscribers can access to quickly resolve any issues that may arise. "Supervisor" states that he waited five months to contact our Customer Care department to question the charges which had appeared on his bill, despite the appearance of our toll-free number on each of his charge statements over those five months.

Our policy is to assure the complete satisfaction of every user. "Supervisor" states that he requested a full refund from the Customer Care representative with whom he spoke. If this was requested, "supervisor" can be sure that it was processed. Again, we urge "supervisor" to contact us so that we can be sure the situation has been resolved to his complete satisfaction.

We can assure "supervisor" that anyone he spoke to, or will speak to, is employed directly by iFriends, and not by any third party. We have been in business for 13 years, and we have more than 9 million satisfied customers, including many in Australia. We have consistently maintained excellent ratings with all leading consumer protection agencies. In addition, we have pioneered and developed online consumer best practices that have been adopted by many other services. The iFriends service is verified by TRUSTe and is on its sealholder list of the most trustworthy online businesses.
Respond to this report!
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Reply from iFriends

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

Unfortunately, because "supervisor" did not provide many individual details, we could not find his specific account. We have tried to address his concerns below. Because his complaint indicates that he is still dissatisfied, however, we urge him to contact our Customer Care Department (open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week) by calling 0011-800-4374-3637 (a toll-free call from Australia), and ask to speak to a supervisor.

The $1 US that "supervisor" mentions in the complaint is in fact a credit card authentication fee which is billed to every customer who creates an account, and which was necessary to process in order to comply with the federal Child Online Protection Act. This fee is prominently disclosed in advance, and the customer must affirmatively acknowledge and accept the charge in order to create an iFriends account. The $1 charge is effectively refunded by being automatically applied towards any purchase of premium services on the iFriends service. If the customer does not purchase services of $1 or more, the fee is fully refunded upon request by the customer at any time. This policy is clearly stated on the registration form that each customer must complete.

"Supervisor" also states that he was billed several times for $5.95 and $6.95. These charges are associated with the VIP membership option. The cost for VIP membership is $6.95 monthly. As explained above, the $1 credit card authentication fee was subtracted from the first month's cost. This is why "supervisor" saw a charge of $5.95.

Whenever we send a charge to a credit card, we also include a toll-free telephone number, specific to the user's country, that he or she can use to contact us if there are any questions about the charge or about the account. In addition, we provide a link to email and telephone contact information on every page of our service. We also provide an online cancellation utility and an online help form that subscribers can access to quickly resolve any issues that may arise. "Supervisor" states that he waited five months to contact our Customer Care department to question the charges which had appeared on his bill, despite the appearance of our toll-free number on each of his charge statements over those five months.

Our policy is to assure the complete satisfaction of every user. "Supervisor" states that he requested a full refund from the Customer Care representative with whom he spoke. If this was requested, "supervisor" can be sure that it was processed. Again, we urge "supervisor" to contact us so that we can be sure the situation has been resolved to his complete satisfaction.

We can assure "supervisor" that anyone he spoke to, or will speak to, is employed directly by iFriends, and not by any third party. We have been in business for 13 years, and we have more than 9 million satisfied customers, including many in Australia. We have consistently maintained excellent ratings with all leading consumer protection agencies. In addition, we have pioneered and developed online consumer best practices that have been adopted by many other services. The iFriends service is verified by TRUSTe and is on its sealholder list of the most trustworthy online businesses.
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