• Report: #107189
Complaint Review:

HDI Simple Escapes2

  • Submitted: Mon, September 06, 2004
  • Updated: Mon, September 18, 2006

  • Reported By:Winchester Virginia
HDI Simple Escapes2
Nationwide U.S.A.

HDI Simple Escapes2 Ripoff Unauthorized CC charge of $96.00 on 8/25/04. Nationwide *EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back into your bank account!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Ex-Employee Offers Input

*Consumer Suggestion: Memberworks became "Vertrue", changed program names, etc., but the real problem is greedy businesses and STUPID consumers

*Author of original report: UPDATE 9/7/04

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Unauthorized CC charge of $96.00 on 8/25/04 by HDI Simple Escapes.

Other reports here noted similar charges 1 month after Home Shopping Network purchase.

The facts are similar here.
HSN.com purchase 7/23/04

HDI Simple Escapes $96.00 charge 8/25/04 !?

Doing a web search even found info about a class action lawsuit against them (Memberworks).

Winchester, Virginia

EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back!


Go to your bank within 60 days of the charge, or as soon as you know about the charge, don't delay, and tell them that there has been fraudulent activity within your account. Explain that you wish to file a dispute, and demand that they assist you in accordance with Federal Regulation E.

According to the majority of victims interviewed by Rip-off Report, those who immediately called their banks to dispute the charges did not get very far. Many victims got the following responses from their banks: we could not do anything for you or you waited too long; it has been more than 60 days.

If the bank is says that you have waited too long, explain to them how you called their 800 number as soon as the charges were found, and were told by the bank that nothing could be done. Remind the bank that they failed to assist you properly at the 800 #, and instead, provided you with an inadequate explanation of your right to dispute. Tell the bank that it's their fault time has expired, and since they gave you the wrong info to begin with, they will just have to deal with it, take the loss and reverse the charges.

Tell them the truth; this was unauthorized and your account was NOT to be charged! Keep emphasizing how you never authorized anything! Direct them to the hundreds of victims reports that were filed on Rip-off Report.com. And if you're at the bank, walk them over to their computer and make them go to this site! If you are on the phone with them, tell them you will wait while they access this site! Either way, be persistent!


Let them know nicely, that you were advised to Report them (the Bank) and this situation to the Banking Commission in your state. Since each state has a different name for the agency/controller over banks, find that name before you call or get to the bank so you can throw it in their face. The more knowledgeable you appear to be, the further you will get.

And just continue to demand the Federal Regulation E form! The bank CAN, MUST and WILL reverse the charge! But, you must be persistent; ask to speak to the supervisor or the area manager for all the branches in the state.

Let the bank personnel know you are meeting with the media later in the day, that you would much rather they do the right thing (as most other banks have) by looking at the complaints and immediately reversing the charge(s) to your account; no matter how long ago it was. Be sure to call the Media if necessary so you are telling the truth.

If you have to, be loud (but nice) in front of other customers. If you are just calling by phone, the above tactics should still work. The bank can easily fax or mail to you the Federal Regulation E dispute form.


If the charge was to your credit card (not debit card, check card, or checking account), contact the credit card company as soon as possible to request a dispute form. Consumers usually have a little longer to dispute fraudulent credit card charges (up to 6 months), but it is better to act right away. In this type of situation, credit card disputes are usually successful since fraudulent companies often won't contest the disputed charge. In rare cases, credit card companies will review disputes, but refuse to reverse the charges. If this occurs, complain to a manager and let them know you will be filing a report here.

Remember Don't let them get away with it! Make sure they make the Rip-off Report .. The more Reports filed on a Company or individual, the more likely it is that the authorities, media and attorneys will want to take action.

And good luck Let us know how you do!

ED Magedson Founder, Rip-off Report.com & Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com

Don't let them get away with it.
Make sure they make the Rip-off Report!

We are not lawyers.
We are not a collection agency.

We are Consumer Advocates.
...the victims' advocate

WE are Civil and Human Rights Activists

We are a Worldwide Consumer Reporting News Agency
...by consumers, for consumers

CLICK HERE to read about Credit Card Scams... find out how to get your money back. *Rip-off Report Investigation provides valuable information.

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Simple Escapes

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/06/2004 07:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/hdi-simple-escapes2/nationwide/hdi-simple-escapes2-ripoff-unauthorized-cc-charge-of-9600-on-82504-nationwide-editor-107189. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Ex-Employee Offers Input

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

I worked for this company for several months, and eventually quit because I couldn't continue to make money by being dishonest. We were given $1 for each Vertrue sale made, and I was very good at selling them. The trick is to put the negative stuff (i.e. how much money it costs, and that it automatically renews each year) in the middle of a rambling speech. We were required to do at least 3 comebacks to each "No," and many sales were made by simply wearing the customer down.

This company hires many "questionable" employees - like recent parolees, current drug addicts, etc. - and many of them like to make a quick buck by occasionally clicking "Accept" when the customer clearly rejected the offer.

Basically, I'm saying "BUYER BEWARE!" Most phone order companies are exactly the same in integrity, and you need to make sure not to agree to ANY upsell - no matter how good it sounds. Repeat as many times as necessary that you only want what you called to order. If you still get charged, consider filing a lawsuit if they refuse to refund ALL of your charges (and I mean ALL!!). They have to prove that you agreed to any upsells, and if you know 100% that you did not agree, you shouldn't lose.

At the very least, report the instance to the FTC (ftc.gov) and to the Better Business Bureau. Do your part to stop this from happening to others. You might even end up with some compensation if a lawyer is interested!

... my two cents, for what it's worth. :)
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Memberworks became "Vertrue", changed program names, etc., but the real problem is greedy businesses and STUPID consumers

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

Memberworks became "Vertrue"...as if that
somehow made them truthful.

Virtually nothing was ever billed by this firm
without nominal approval from the party billed.
Trick is, it's a 30 day trial, and most
customers would "space out" the entire
process in that time. Another neat trick:
under either guise, it was convenient for
the firm to simply never ship the literature
to the customer, and a lot of idiot dimwit
customers simply threw out the literature
under the moronic presumption it was junk mail.

The firms who peddle these "programs" tape
all sales, and it is almost unheard of for the
customer to NOT approve the forwarding of the
information, in exchange for bonus items
like prepaid gasoline cards or savings bonds,
which they almost universally forget about
and never claim. Customers are also give
the phone number and website where they can
cancel, but customers seem to "lose" this
information and "forget" to look for the
program literature in the mail, which always
arrives separate from the "hard" merchandise

What's needed, frankly, is not the demise
of "Vertrue", from which HDI has, for one,
disassociated itself. What's needed is a
firm group of ironclad laws to forbid one
company passing on ANY consumer informatio
to another company for ANY purpose, to include
selling names and addresses, as well as this
sort of thing.

Long term, the management of companies who do
this--and it is almost ALL of them, by the
way, who do phone or internet orders--are
lining their pockets in a most unethical manner,
and generally destroying their companies,
because customers who hear too much of this
pressure selling simply won't come back.
But they won't listen to such things; they
are too imperious and self-absorbed, and
will condemn their employees, upon pain of
firing, to endlessly repeat this near-fraudulent
JUNK no matter what, and pay them rewards
to raise their sales percentage.

It's a form of corruption, right out in the
open, and also explains your e-mail spam,
the tons of unwanted catalogs, etc., etc., etc.

This is a business and a way of business which,
though now lawful in an environment where it
becomes almost impossible to successfully sue
even a third-rate, blatantly dishonest
company, should be banned and the firms which
practice this dance shut down, once and forever.

It's amusing to read all these neo-n**i
lies from major criminals about "frivolous
law suits", but what they really want--and
"Vertrue" is one of these--is a situation in
which people of low or moderate income can
be ravaged to make them pay and pay and pay,
no matter how absurd the scam in which they
were ensnared, whereas the wealthy cannot
even be touched.

Anyone recognize a pattern???
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#3 Author of original report

UPDATE 9/7/04

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

I called the 877 number listed. After 10min, I was able to have the operator (who had better than average English speaking skills)agree to a full refund.

At first, he was only going to give a $77 pro-rated refund!
Then I mentioned filing FTC complaints & joining a class action lawsuit for unauthorized charges then he agree to the remainder.

Also, he was able to confirm that the offending offer started from a The Company Store online purchase & not HSN.

I called The Company Store to complain & was actually assisted & listened to by CS rep. who was going to forward complaint to supervisors. She stated that she was actually familiar with THIS site!!!! She stated that they have been offering cross promotion with Simple Escapes for THREE YEARS.
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