Buyer Beware!!! If you order something off the television or radio, there may be hidden charges for extra services that have teamed up with the product to make sales. You may or may not be told about these extra services. If you are told and decline the extra services, you may be charged anyway for them. Yes — my husband and I learned this the hard way.
In an effort to keep from naming the product — he doesn’t want to be embarrassed — I will say that he ordered a sample of a product off one of the television commercials. No mention of charges to American Leisure or EZ Saver was ever made. He specifically told them that he did not want any hidden charges for more than he had ordered. They told him that there would not be any charges other than the shipping. That was two months ago.
Last month two charges for $1.95 showed up on our credit card bill. Each time that he tried to call the number on the bill they were closed. The card he used is one that has a low credit limit and was near the limit. Normally we use it and pay it down in an effort to build up his credit. With the amount not being very much, he decided to let it go.
This month we were getting ready to make our payment online and nearly pay it off when we noticed that EZ Saver had run a charge through for $16.95. He immediately called and told the credit card and requested a new card with a different number. They told him that he would need to call back because the charge was pending and to wait to make the payment. I checked the card the next day and guess what — the charge threw us over the limit and we were charged an over the limit payment for a charge that we did not authorize and that we had called the credit card company about and were assured that we would not receive the charge!!! I went ahead and made the payment, including the over the limit charge and got the confirmation number for the payment.
I checked today. The payment has not been processed (I had paid the rush payment fee so it should have been processed on or before the due date) and we were charged a late fee for non-payment. Dear Hubby immediately got on the phone and called to find out what was going on. He filed a charge dispute, told them he had the confirmation number for the payment, and in the end got $121.00 refunded to our account. Then he turned around and called the EZ Saver company and basically in a nice way told them that he was not HAPPY and that they had caused a lot of problems by running an unauthorized charge through our credit card. He found out the companies that they are linked to are every free sample company that is advertised on television from Colon Cleanze (I hope I spelled that right) to Zencor. I’ll let you guess which one he ordered and, no, I won’t confirm which one it was!
Lessons learned from this experience, in no particular order –
1. Be very sure that you want to place an order for those “free” sample offers before actually placing the order.
2. Get a prepaid debit card to use for those kinds of orders.
3. When dealing with a credit card company about an unauthorized charge, remain calm and polite.
4. Always keep a record of payment confirmations.
5. Keep a record including all names of people that you talk to about any payment or charge.
6. Immediately request a new card with a different number when an unauthorized charge is made on your account.
7. Request all over the limit charges, late charges, and rush payment charges be credited back when in connection with an unauthorized charge.
8. Get a confirmation number for the amount that will be refunded to any account.
If you have had any similar experiences, please leave us a comment. We’d love to hear from you!!!
Till next time,
The Frugal Housewife