ED Magedson – Founder
Ultimate bait-and-switch rip-off and unauthorized charge for unrequested, unauthorized, unused and in-advance cancelled "yearly" membership!
I was shocked at the blatant consumer protection violations by highbeam in charging in advance for a "yearly" membership despite the fact that I 1)did not request it, 2) did not utilize the services beyond the free-trial because I found the site worthless, 3)was charged a "monthy" $17.04 membership fee on 8/28/10 and THE SAME DAY charged a whopping $318.70 for what, upon inquiry, I was later informed was a "yearly membership" on top of a monthly membership, neither of which I wanted or authorized. Even the "free trial" was essentially worthless in what it offered so I had absolutely no interest in or use for a paid membership.
I immediately called the company when I opened my MC bill and saw these outrageous and unauthorized charges. I spoke with a representative who identified herself as "Glenda" and was uncooperative and spewed out the standard company script about the "contract" and "terms."
I informed her that these charges were 100% unauthorized and represented payment for their "service" for a whole year IN ADVANCE! I immediately cancelled the membership and demanded a full refund. After informing her that Highbeam was operating in direct violation of State and Federal consumer protection statutes and threatening to report them to the Attorney General's Office, she spoke with her supervisor "Karmen" and yes, they would issue a full refund immediately and cancel the billing for the "future" subscription.
Imagine my surprise when I was notified by e-mail that, yes, they would and had cancelled my subscription (hold on for this...) However ... the "subscription" was to expire in September 2011!!! NO REFUND!
I followed-up again (by e-mail) to again reiterate my cancellation and get the refund I requested and was promised, since I had no intention of using and had cancelled their "service" yet they refused to refund any money. The same alleged supervisor "Karmen" said "no refund" despite what I was initially told on the phone by Glenda who said Highbeam would refund the charges after discussing the matter with Karmen her "supervisor."
I am looking into filing a class action case and seek certification on a nationwide-basis since it appears that they are scamming victims all over the country, over and over again with no accountability and there are certainly grounds for such a case. They are getting away with ripping people off because they know no individual can afford to bring an individual case since it would cost more than their claim. Sadly, they are stealing people's money because they can do it. I am grateful for this website to inform and hopefully protect and educate other unsuspecting consumers and to give us a voice.
Fortunately, as a class action, there is strength and power in numbers and is the only mechanism to make Highbeam and other predatory internet companies financially accountable!!!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/28/2010 07:58 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/highbeam/internet/highbeam-highbeamcom-research-scam-bait-and-switch-unauthorized-billing-for-a-year-int-656396. 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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