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Deceptive Business Practices -- What's Your Take?

1246

Posts

  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited April 2010
    Banks are a huge scam for the average person. It blows my mind when people still use banks. I've never been charged anything at my credit union and I get 4.5% interest on my checking account if I sign up for e-billing.

    And I've considered switching to a different credit union.

    Not all credit unions are created the same. I've been a member of a credit union that engaged in shit that would put Bank of America to shame.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • DeadfallDeadfall regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Back to Comcast, I've been using my own cable modem for about three years now. They definately let you do it.

    Deadfall on
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  • DrezDrez regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've never been charged anything at my credit union and I get 4.5% interest on my checking account if I sign up for e-billing.

    :shock:

    4.5% interest on a checking account?

    There must be a catch. A rather big one.

    First born son.

    Drez on
  • TehSlothTehSloth Hit Or Miss I Guess They Never Miss, HuhRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've never been charged anything at my credit union and I get 4.5% interest on my checking account if I sign up for e-billing.

    :shock:

    4.5% interest on a checking account?

    There must be a catch. A rather big one.
    High-yield checking accounts have come down recently, but a couple months ago lots of places were offering between 4.5% and 5% APY. They typically require that you set up paperless statements, make a direct deposit into the account every month, and use the debit card like 10-15 times a month in order to get the rate. Ironically enough, they often times will not allow you to write checks. They also have fairly low maximums to keep them from being used as a savings account. I always thought they were some kind of hoodoo finance magic that shouldn't be trusted, but I imagine they're actually on the up and up.

    TehSloth on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    It's usually because the bulk of people keep a lot of their finances in a checking account I guess. It's a good way to draw customers to your bank.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, don't @ me
  • ShadowfireShadowfire regular Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Deadfall wrote: »
    Back to Comcast, I've been using my own cable modem for about three years now. They definately let you do it.

    Not for VOIP. If you have their phone service (which a lot of people do, since Triple Play is cheaper than just cable and internet), you pretty much have to use their modem.

    Shadowfire on
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  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I work for a church and you would not believe the number of calls we get from "listing agencies" about our, I use quotes to mock them, "online directory listing". It is a straight up scam. Churches are usually fairly loosely organized with an overworked admin, a treasurer that isn't paying attention and other volunteers not totally focused and a high turnover among them. They'll use all sorts of things like you signed a "verbal contract" and blah blah blah.

    What do you think it costs in manpower/resources to take down an address and put that info on a website? About 50 cents to pay the person calling for a few minutes, right? Not $500? Because that is what they charge. They often send advertisements that look like invoices so people not paying attention will pay.

    The last people who called kept telling us we were going to be their free featured listing. I asked if it was free. Yes, it was... Free forever? Yes, wait, did you mumble something at the end? Did you say there was no charge? Yes... but why did you mumble again? OH, free only for this month. Good try with the excellent diction switching into incoherent mumbles at the end of sentences.

    Scams. I hate these calls. Last admin got punked so I think I get more than usual, maybe? I'm not a sucker though.

    Also had a guy corner me outside my apartment yesterday trying to get me to buy magazines. He never said that, but it became apparent eventually. He wanted points to get money or something. FFFFUUUUUU

    OnTheLastCastle on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I need to get into the affiliate business.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, don't @ me
  • TomantaTomanta regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Also had a guy corner me outside my apartment yesterday trying to get me to buy magazines. He never said that, but it became apparent eventually. He wanted points to get money or something. FFFFUUUUUU

    Those magazine guys would come around every once in a while in my last apartment. The first one had a halfway decent routine but as soon as he said he was trying to sell magazines - no thanks. I was wise to them from that point on.

    I did some research on it a year or so ago. It's a well organized scam that really, really treats the door-to-door people like shit, too (takes them far away from home, shoves them in a crappy hotel room with several other people and if they try to get out of the scam they just get abandoned in whatever city they are in with little or no money).

    Also, Comcast: Even with the triple play you should be able to use your own modem for data (and I would actually recommend keeping phone and data separate).

    Tomanta on
  • JihadJesusJihadJesus regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Okay, how about this one: AT&T. They run a deal where people who work for big employers can get a break on there cell bills, from 5-15% or so. That sounds pretty cool, right? They'll look it up in there little book, hey you work for so-and-so! So instead of $70+taxes, your contract will be $63! Cool! All you have to do is give us your work email when you sign the contact, and then follow the link!

    And then, shock of all shocks, guess what's immediately junked by the email filters of any company large enough to get on that list? If you guessed "junk email from AT&T's promotions department", you win the prize. So you never get the email, and the first bill shows up...without your promised discount. WTF? So, being a reasonable consumer, you head in to ask them why they're charging you more than they agreed to. No problem, they can fixt it. Just bring in a pay stub.

    Well, it's another trip, but whatever. Bring in the pay stub and....oh, whoops. This is from the last pay period. Gotta make sure you haven't been fired in the last week and all, fraud and such. Sure, fine. Come in, ON PAYDAY, with the check stub?

    Huh, that's funny. Doesn't seem like we actually have a code for that company. Who quoted you the discount? Bobby? Hey Bobby, you tell this guy we had the corporate discount for His Employer? No? Well, nothing I can do. Oh, you want the manager? Yeah, that's me.

    Seriously. Fuck. Those. Cockbags.

    JihadJesus on
  • McAllenMcAllen regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Colleges and Books, not being able to rent the ones that the professor wants, having to buy them for 200 dollars and not being able to return cause suddenly they don't need it or they're "full on that book". I like chegg.com but I also hate waiting for them to come in because they have screwed up in the past.

    Talking to the store employees on the phone, get one answer, then go to the store and find out they were lying or wrong or stupid.

    College parking spaces with nearly faded labels, so I can get a 100 dollar ticket for parking in the wrong spot.

    Being skimped when buying weed. Though that is a much more intimate business than a 100-person Walmart.

    There is a Palladium Theater near me, and my friend who used to work there said he and the employees would overcharge people who used their credit card. I took the story in stride but I always hoped all of them would get caught and be placed somewhere near a firing squad.

    Especially in these times, you just shouldn't try and fuck people out of money. Inevitably someone is going to want to kill you.

    EDIT: Bank of America charging you for withdrawings your money from their machines. You can withdraw 3 times a month, other than that you get around a 5 dollar fee for any time after.

    McAllen on
  • RocketSauceRocketSauce regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    up to 50% OFF!!! GAAAAAH!!!OMGSOAWESOME!!!

    please be aware nothing anyone would ever want is on sale

    RocketSauce on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Regarding the magazine salesmen.

    I had a friend that signed up for that. He was selling SAT prep books to people. He was kind of burned out on school and needed to get out of Dodge for a little while to unwind. So they sent him to Ohio and he stayed with some family or something, crammed in a room with a few other people he obviously didn't know. He had to walk door to door. A bus would drop everyone off in different parts of town and the salesmen would walk miles selling this stuff, then meet back up at the bus or find they own way home.

    The worst part is that they accepted checks, so if anyone wrote a bad check the salesman got charged. It was basically a giant pyramid scheme and at the end of three months be barely broke even because of all the bad checks.

    It was pretty screwed up really.

    edit for college parking:

    Parking was so screwed up at my college that I'd actually park on the grey "parking zone" curbs on the streets where the apartments were close to campus. It was actually closer than the student lot, which was $200 a semester. Even if there was no spot I could park on the yellow curb, which was illegal, but it was only a $5 fine if you even got a ticket that day. So basically my parking went from $200 a semester to about $30 a semester. (they didn't have increased fines for repeat offenses with parking, I.E. I wouldn't get a heftier fine or a boot on my car if I kept getting caught parking on a yellow curb)

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I've never been charged anything at my credit union and I get 4.5% interest on my checking account if I sign up for e-billing.

    :shock:

    4.5% interest on a checking account?

    There must be a catch. A rather big one.

    They eventually charge for e-billing, though it's usually free at first.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
  • japanjapan regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    up to 50% OFF!!! GAAAAAH!!!OMGSOAWESOME!!!

    please be aware nothing anyone would ever want is on sale

    Heh. There is a company in the UK called DFS that sells living room furniture. They are perpetually having some kind of half price sale.

    If you actually visit their stores, there are two sections. The section where everything is full price, because there are laws governing how long something has to have been on sale at a certain price before advertising it at a reduced price, and a section where everything is OMG 75% OFF WITH FIVE YEARS INTEREST FREE CREDIT.

    Every so often they switch the signs from one side of the store to the other.

    In reality, everything that is not currently on sale is massively overpriced. This isn't an uncommon one, it's just funny that DFS seems to have built their entire business model around it.

    japan on
  • InvisibleInvisible regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    up to 50% OFF!!! GAAAAAH!!!OMGSOAWESOME!!!

    please be aware nothing anyone would ever want is on sale

    Office Depot is the worst about stuff like that. They send out coupons telling you save $ZOMG% on your total purchase*.

    *except on technology purchases which include practically everything in the store that's not pens or pencils.


    I've never fallen for that, but I've seen others and they are usually pissed when they get to the register only to find out they have to pay full price.


    I did fall for something similar at GAP. They sent me a coupon that had all of their stores listed on it, but in the fine print it said the coupon could only be used at their Old Navy stores.

    Invisible on
  • japanjapan regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    If you really want a dose of sleaze, the ASA recent adjudications page always makes for some interesting reading.

    japan on
  • AtomikaAtomika Brought to you by Technicolor™ Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I hate the shit that credit card companies tack on to your account, charge you for them, and never tell you about it until you get the statement.

    I recently saw that my card company started offering "advanced payment protection" on my account, protecting (further?) my account from illegal transactions and the like. The cost? 2% per month of the total balance. So I get my statement and I see this charge for this new thing and it's like $80 bucks, so I call and ask what the hell is going on. To which they say,

    "Oh, well you can remove yourself from the program at any time."


    Yes, but now I have to pay them $80. Fuckers.

    Atomika on
  • RocketSauceRocketSauce regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I hate the shit that credit card companies tack on to your account, charge you for them, and never tell you about it until you get the statement.

    I recently saw that my card company started offering "advanced payment protection" on my account, protecting (further?) my account from illegal transactions and the like. The cost? 2% per month of the total balance. So I get my statement and I see this charge for this new thing and it's like $80 bucks, so I call and ask what the hell is going on. To which they say,

    "Oh, well you can remove yourself from the program at any time."


    Yes, but now I have to pay them $80. Fuckers.

    I'd bet they will credit you the money, you just have to push for it. Credit cards are doing this shit all the time now, and nobody notices.

    RocketSauce on
  • japanjapan regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Current Credit Card hot button issue in the UK is the practice of using payments against the balance to reduce the cheapest debt (usually balance transfers) rather than the most expensive debt (like cash advances, or similar).

    It's probably going to be banned in the next review of consumer credit law.

    japan on
  • LaOsLaOs regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    japan wrote: »
    Current Credit Card hot button issue in the UK is the practice of using payments against the balance to reduce the cheapest debt (usually balance transfers) rather than the most expensive debt (like cash advances, or similar).

    It's probably going to be banned in the next review of consumer credit law.

    That would be pretty sweet.

    I'd settle for at least applying payment to debts in chronological order, ya know?

    But, looks like we're still stuck with the old "we apply payments to items with the lowest interest rates first" scheme.

    LaOs on
  • StarcrossStarcross regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    japan wrote: »
    If you really want a dose of sleaze, the ASA recent adjudications page always makes for some interesting reading.

    My favourite part of this site is the way they explain entire ads in words.
    Asa wrote:
    A TV ad for British Gas showed an animated image of a miniature planet with a little house on it. A sun and moon were shown orbiting the planet indicating the passing of days and nights and the changing weather indicated the passing of the seasons. The ad showed a family coming and going from the house while Blur’s ‘The Universal’ played in the background. The voice-over said "At British Gas, we know your home is your world. You wait there. You relax there. You cuddle up in the warmth there. You party there. You say goodbye and hello there". A separate voice said "Oh, the boiler’s not working" and music suddenly stopped while image of the sun froze in the sky. A British Gas van appeared and a man walked from it into the house. The voice-over said "Sometimes you need a little help there". The sound of gas ignition was heard followed by the cheer of the family. The sun continued moving across the sky as the music re-started while the season turned into winter. The voice-over continued "Which is why you can reach us every day. Even over Christmas”. A Christmas scene appeared on the little planet and the voice-over said “Look after your world this Christmas with British Gas".

    Starcross on
  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    On the topic of credit cards...

    I like to think that I'm fairly responsible with mine, as I regularly check for unusual charges and almost always pay it off in full every month. I would say always but I recently had some drama with an insurance company that resulted in not getting a cheque when expected, so carried a balance on my credit card for one month. A few months ago, during my usual paranoid sweep of my credit card statement, I saw a charge for "Balance Protector Premium". I did some googling and found out that is some form of insurance that they "offer" (oddly enough I don't remember any offer or agreeing to anything) which will pay my minimum monthly payment for 20 months (how generous!) in the event that I lose my job or become disabled. Like I said, I pay it off in full almost every month, so my minimum payment is usually $10. The premium for the insurance was $6.80. Even if I maxed out my card, the minimum payment would be around $200 or so, so that seems like a very hefty premium for a maximum benefit of $4000. The effective reality of the situation is that I'm getting dinged 10.6% annually based on my average monthly balance (of course it's never phrased that way).

    So I did some more research and found out who to call in order to cancel this ridiculous coverage (naturally there is no phone number listed on the statement). Turns out that it's another company subcontracting through the bank I bank with (which is a major Canadian bank) and there are lots of complaint threads about this "service", as well as a consumer affairs show from the CBC slagging it. I track down this company's phone number and find the option to cancel (or for those "considering canceling). Oddly enough I get through right away, which always makes me suspicious (generally, my rule of thumb is that calls that make the company money, like sales, are answered quickly; calls that cost money, like support, are answered slowly). The guy doesn't seem like a normal call center worker, either - very engaged and noticeably not working from a script, asking me questions and the weather, hockey and generally making small talk. He "understands that I might have questions" and takes the opportunity to walk through the sales pitch for this dubious "service". I explain that I did some research, that I always pay my card off, and that I don't need or want this service. Ahh, but it's a service everyone needs, you see. Why not let them send me the literature - which, according to this guy, I would have been sent when I agreed to the service and probably just forgot - so I can review it and think it over. No thanks, I say, just please cancel it. Well, explains the guy, he would not really be doing his job if he didn't do everything to protect my interests, and so he goes over the whole thing again in a very patronizing way. Now, I tend to be polite on the phone, even by Canadian standards, because I used to work in my dad's law office and had to answer the phone there, but by this point I have been on the phone with this guy for almost an hour trying to explain that I want this canceled. So I pointedly explain about the consumer protection show that I saw and that I never signed up for this "service" and that I would be happy for them to fax me a copy of any authorization they may have if they think otherwise. Failing that, I explain, I would like this service canceled, a confirmation number for this call to go in my records, and a confirmation letter, or my next call will be to the Better Business Bureau. At this point the guy on the other end gets extremely butthurt (making me suspect he is paid on the basis of retention) and gives a last little passive aggressive whine before providing me a confirmation number, saying the letter is on its way, and making a terse good bye and hanging up. To his credit though, my card was never charged again and I did receive and file the letter.

    Edith_Bagot-Dix on


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  • japanjapan regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Retention departments are the worst thing.

    They basically exist for the sole purpose of making your life difficult.

    japan on
  • SipexSipex Registered User
    edited April 2010
    Ah the BBB, I love those guys.

    This sounds like something I recently went through with my credit card except I opted into the service thinking it sounded like a good idea at the time. My particular service was to pay x% of my current balance, so if there was no balance then I wouldn't be charged. I don't know how well they hold to this since this was during my stupid phase and I had money on the card.

    Well, some stupid decisions later, then some smart ones and finally the economy crashing out I've got a pretty full credit card and no job.

    NO PROBLEM! I have coverage for this.

    Right? RIGHT?!

    The people on the phone are more than happy to do this I just need to go to my previous employer and get this form they're mailing me filled out (in the mean time, somehow making payments).

    Two weeks later, no form, I call again and they 'forgot' to send it or it got lost or some bullshit and they send another one.

    Two weeks from there I finally get the paper (meanwhile paying this premium and my card when I shouldn't be) and call up my company.

    Now, this isn't the CCs fault but my company were dicks about signing this thing, the meeting kept getting put off and forgotten to the point where I just resigned to paying the damn card and cancelling the plan.

    Then I go through the same song and dance you went through and get it finally removed only to find it on my next bill >.<!

    It's gone now but it took another phonecall and some lost temper to get there.

    Sipex on
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  • Edith_Bagot-DixEdith_Bagot-Dix regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Sipex wrote: »
    Ah the BBB, I love those guys.

    This sounds like something I recently went through with my credit card except I opted into the service thinking it sounded like a good idea at the time. My particular service was to pay x% of my current balance, so if there was no balance then I wouldn't be charged. I don't know how well they hold to this since this was during my stupid phase and I had money on the card.

    Well, some stupid decisions later, then some smart ones and finally the economy crashing out I've got a pretty full credit card and no job.

    NO PROBLEM! I have coverage for this.

    Right? RIGHT?!

    The people on the phone are more than happy to do this I just need to go to my previous employer and get this form they're mailing me filled out (in the mean time, somehow making payments).

    Two weeks later, no form, I call again and they 'forgot' to send it or it got lost or some bullshit and they send another one.

    Two weeks from there I finally get the paper (meanwhile paying this premium and my card when I shouldn't be) and call up my company.

    Now, this isn't the CCs fault but my company were dicks about signing this thing, the meeting kept getting put off and forgotten to the point where I just resigned to paying the damn card and cancelling the plan.

    Then I go through the same song and dance you went through and get it finally removed only to find it on my next bill >.<!

    It's gone now but it took another phonecall and some lost temper to get there.

    That's extremely shitty, and it sounds exactly like what I would expect. I'd be willing to bet they have some sort of pre-existing condition clause as well, because it seems like a pure profit sort of operation.

    Edith_Bagot-Dix on


    Also on Steam and PSN: twobadcats
  • chknsandwichchknsandwich Registered User
    edited April 2010
    kildy wrote: »
    Last one I can think of that went on for very long was shit like Free Credit Report, business practices where they act like everything is free (down to the name of the product), and hope nobody sees the fine print where they bill you for things.

    I know someone who was scammed by this. I never understood why he gave his credit card number to a company that was giving him a free product or service o_O

    chknsandwich on
  • OnTheLastCastleOnTheLastCastle let's keep it haimish for the peripatetic Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    One thing I'm suspicious of is the information that you should have a few credit cards with balances. They say it's good for your credit score but mine is 20 points off the absolute maximum and I have only had a $200 credit card that I now never use (but remains open).

    The credit agencies are awful anyway. Really needs reform.

    OnTheLastCastle on
    I'm a published writer and have a very unique and interesting writing style. I'm also sharp and witty. My profile is well-written and hilarious. My messages are likewise brilliant. And I've been doing this stuff for...four or five years. I know what "works" in terms of good internet dating writing. "Works" in the sense of leading to a "date" with a human female.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I'm going to type up my experience with Steam tomorrow for you guys to read.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, don't @ me
  • chknsandwichchknsandwich Registered User
    edited April 2010
    bowen wrote: »
    I'm going to type up my experience with Steam tomorrow for you guys to read.

    Let me guess: They messed something up and you received horrible\non-existent customer service resulting in a resolution that was less than acceptable to you?

    chknsandwich on
  • kildykildy regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    kildy wrote: »
    Last one I can think of that went on for very long was shit like Free Credit Report, business practices where they act like everything is free (down to the name of the product), and hope nobody sees the fine print where they bill you for things.

    I know someone who was scammed by this. I never understood why he gave his credit card number to a company that was giving him a free product or service o_O

    I know a few people who got hit by it. It's only really possible in their industry, as they heavily implied (past tense, I believe they lost a massive lawsuit over all this) that the banking information they wound up using to bill you was actually in relation to accessing your credit score. People bought it, since they didn't know how all that worked, and it made sense that something regarding your banking habits would require your banking information.

    The key to deception is to make it plausible to people who don't understand it. Hell, that's half the reason for our stock market issues. Make a complex financial product and basically market it as free money, and make sure nobody can actually fathom how it all works if they go poking around.

    kildy on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I never had a problem with Free Credit Report.

    I saw the fine print that it was a two week trial. Signed up, got my score, then turned around and called them immediately to cancel the account. They tried to keep me on the phone and transfer me seven times and blah blah blah but they ended up canceling it.

    Not saying it's not shady the way they run things, just saying that at some point the consumer needs to understand how to take control over who can and cannot charge his/her account for money for services rendered.

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • ShadowfireShadowfire regular Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I never had a problem with Free Credit Report.

    I saw the fine print that it was a two week trial. Signed up, got my score, then turned around and called them immediately to cancel the account. They tried to keep me on the phone and transfer me seven times and blah blah blah but they ended up canceling it.

    Not saying it's not shady the way they run things, just saying that at some point the consumer needs to understand how to take control over who can and cannot charge his/her account for money for services rendered.

    These two things sort of contradict, and are exactly what this thread is about...

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Protein ShakesProtein Shakes __BANNED USERS
    edited April 2010
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    I never had a problem with Free Credit Report.

    I saw the fine print that it was a two week trial. Signed up, got my score, then turned around and called them immediately to cancel the account. They tried to keep me on the phone and transfer me seven times and blah blah blah but they ended up canceling it.

    Not saying it's not shady the way they run things, just saying that at some point the consumer needs to understand how to take control over who can and cannot charge his/her account for money for services rendered.

    These two things sort of contradict, and are exactly what this thread is about...

    There is nothing contradictory about "if you're a doormat you'll be taken advantage of".

    Protein Shakes on
    Modern Man wrote: »
    Well, if my mom met the following criteria... I'd be in favor if waterboarding her.
  • kildykildy regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I never had a problem with Free Credit Report.

    I saw the fine print that it was a two week trial. Signed up, got my score, then turned around and called them immediately to cancel the account. They tried to keep me on the phone and transfer me seven times and blah blah blah but they ended up canceling it.

    Not saying it's not shady the way they run things, just saying that at some point the consumer needs to understand how to take control over who can and cannot charge his/her account for money for services rendered.

    When you call the product free, advertise it as free, and place the fee in fine print (no page specifically went "and after the free trial, we will bill you. Please insert billing information"), it's pretty clearly intent to deceive.

    Hence why they lost the lawsuit. Essentially they failed in a number of places to inform the user clearly about the automatic charges, and stated the valid credit card was required to establish the account, and implied heavily that it was only used for that.

    They were deceptive. There's a point where we don't expect consumers to be 100% informed. Same reason we outlaw certain types of contractual clauses. Sure, you could say no consumer should ever agree to them, but it's easier to just go "you can't put those in there, and if you do, we're going to ignore them legally"

    kildy on
  • kildykildy regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    Shadowfire wrote: »
    I never had a problem with Free Credit Report.

    I saw the fine print that it was a two week trial. Signed up, got my score, then turned around and called them immediately to cancel the account. They tried to keep me on the phone and transfer me seven times and blah blah blah but they ended up canceling it.

    Not saying it's not shady the way they run things, just saying that at some point the consumer needs to understand how to take control over who can and cannot charge his/her account for money for services rendered.

    These two things sort of contradict, and are exactly what this thread is about...

    There is nothing contradictory about "if you're a doormat you'll be taken advantage of".

    And people who do the taking advantage of will be the subject of threads about deceptive business practices :P

    kildy on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited April 2010
    kildy wrote: »
    I never had a problem with Free Credit Report.

    I saw the fine print that it was a two week trial. Signed up, got my score, then turned around and called them immediately to cancel the account. They tried to keep me on the phone and transfer me seven times and blah blah blah but they ended up canceling it.

    Not saying it's not shady the way they run things, just saying that at some point the consumer needs to understand how to take control over who can and cannot charge his/her account for money for services rendered.

    When you call the product free, advertise it as free, and place the fee in fine print (no page specifically went "and after the free trial, we will bill you. Please insert billing information"), it's pretty clearly intent to deceive.

    Hence why they lost the lawsuit. Essentially they failed in a number of places to inform the user clearly about the automatic charges, and stated the valid credit card was required to establish the account, and implied heavily that it was only used for that.

    They were deceptive. There's a point where we don't expect consumers to be 100% informed. Same reason we outlaw certain types of contractual clauses. Sure, you could say no consumer should ever agree to them, but it's easier to just go "you can't put those in there, and if you do, we're going to ignore them legally"

    I was not defending their business practices in the slightest. Just saying that I went to the website two years ago, read the terms of agreement that said I had 14 days to cancel or they would bill me $30 a month, got my credit score, called them, and then proceeded to cancel the service without being charged. I even asked for a verification in e-mail to make sure this happened. It's not something that's really difficult to do.

    Is there someone out there that simply didn't have the intellectual capacity to perform this task? Absolutely. Is the company bad for doing this? Absolutely. Do times exist when it falls upon the customer, in a capitalist economy and civilization, to use a little common sense before entering into an agreement with an unknown third party over the internet? Absolutely.

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • kildykildy regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    kildy wrote: »
    I never had a problem with Free Credit Report.

    I saw the fine print that it was a two week trial. Signed up, got my score, then turned around and called them immediately to cancel the account. They tried to keep me on the phone and transfer me seven times and blah blah blah but they ended up canceling it.

    Not saying it's not shady the way they run things, just saying that at some point the consumer needs to understand how to take control over who can and cannot charge his/her account for money for services rendered.

    When you call the product free, advertise it as free, and place the fee in fine print (no page specifically went "and after the free trial, we will bill you. Please insert billing information"), it's pretty clearly intent to deceive.

    Hence why they lost the lawsuit. Essentially they failed in a number of places to inform the user clearly about the automatic charges, and stated the valid credit card was required to establish the account, and implied heavily that it was only used for that.

    They were deceptive. There's a point where we don't expect consumers to be 100% informed. Same reason we outlaw certain types of contractual clauses. Sure, you could say no consumer should ever agree to them, but it's easier to just go "you can't put those in there, and if you do, we're going to ignore them legally"

    I was not defending their business practices in the slightest. Just saying that I went to the website two years ago, read the terms of agreement that said I had 14 days to cancel or they would bill me $30 a month, got my credit score, called them, and then proceeded to cancel the service without being charged. I even asked for a verification in e-mail to make sure this happened. It's not something that's really difficult to do.

    Is there someone out there that simply didn't have the intellectual capacity to perform this task? Absolutely. Is the company bad for doing this? Absolutely. Do times exist when it falls upon the customer, in a capitalist economy and civilization, to use a little common sense before entering into an agreement with an unknown third party over the internet? Absolutely.

    That might explain it. The Experian/FreeCreditReport.com thing happened in 2005. Prior to that, they had No information available on the website about the charges. They asked for a valid credit card number to create the account, NOT for billing purposes.

    kildy on
  • AtomikaAtomika Brought to you by Technicolor™ Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    One thing I'm suspicious of is the information that you should have a few credit cards with balances. They say it's good for your credit score but mine is 20 points off the absolute maximum and I have only had a $200 credit card that I now never use (but remains open).

    The credit agencies are awful anyway. Really needs reform.

    It's not just good for your credit score, it's good for your credit history. You can have a score of 850, but if you're looking to take out a loan on a house or expensive car, no one will loan you anything if you don't have a history of successfully maintain larger amounts of credit. When you file for big-ticket loans, they do more than just look at your score.


    But I'm with you on the reform thing. I had a perfect credit history and high score, and then because of some family stuff, ended up being late on my payments a handful of time for fairly small amounts. Within months, my interest rate went to 40% and my credit score dropped from low 800s to high 500s. It's taken me three perfect years to get it back up, and I'm still not back to where I was.

    Atomika on
  • CorlisCorlis regular Registered User regular
    edited April 2010
    I used to work for a CC company doing telephone support, and we had that balance protection thing too. Trying to sell that stuff was the worst part of the job, really, as it really isn't useful for most people. I suppose that if you have a huge balance on your card and you know that you're going to be let go from your job pretty soon, it might be a good idea... but in those cases, the customers probably weren't eligible for it anyway.

    Corlis on
    But I don't mind, as long as there's a bed beneath the stars that shine,
    I'll be fine, just give me a minute, a man's got a limit, I can't get a life if my heart's not in it.
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