I found charges on my bank account starting about 3 months ago. The electronic drafts were registered to VideoReporter.com in California. I went to this sleazy website and did not recognize anything. I left 2 voice mails requesting a call back, and received nothing. I then went to ripoffreport.com and saw that "video reporter" is associated with a "magazine" called Green magazine.
I DID authorize an ad to be run with this magazine which was supposed to be distributed into a local Stop & Shop supermarket. I have been receiving invoices over the past several months but not paying them, because I quickly realized the magazines were not being placed on the rack at the Stop & Shop.
The only reason I chose to advertise in this manner was the fact that the salesman was promising incredible numbers like 40-50,000 copies per month/issue. As soon as the rack was depleted another load of magazines would arrive to refill. I even questioned him about the distribution and he told me "we've done this for years all over the country, we know how to do it". Fool I was to not follow my instincts.
Anyway, I decided not to pay out the rest of the term since they weren't fulfilling their end of the contract. Now I have come to find 4 bank drafts "authorized by contract on file" (not authorized... no way) and the signature of the electronic check states "This draft is authorized by your customer. No signature required." Also wrong, I have never authorized them to pull money out of my account.
I DID pay with a check the 30% up front cost. From that check they must have proceeded to ACH my account. Sadly, my bank suggests I need close the account and get a new number since they can continue to hit it.
Don't do business with these guys. Seek out your own advertising sources, don't take a cold call and let the sales guys promise you the world for small money.
I was a fool. I can't claim to be completely victim, however their practice of taking payment rather than receiving it for a good or service NOT PROVIDED is a RIP-OFF!
EDitor's Suggestions on how to get your money back! HERE IS WHAT RIP-OFF REPORT SUGGESTS YOU DO:
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!DO NOT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!
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.CHARGES TO YOUR CREDIT CARD
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 RipoffReport.com Author of www.ripoffrevenge.com
Rip-off Report PO Box 310, Tempe, Arizona 85280