I've been through this more than once this last year. Upon signing up for a LEGIT membership site, I was given the option to sign up for a ''FREE'' travel coupon program, never once told that I'd be charged. (Well, I'm sure it was somewhere in that VERY fine print that is too small to read even with text view settings at their max!) That was bad enough, but when I discovered that I was being charged $9 monthly for said proposed FREE service I immediately went to their site and unsubscribed... got an email confirmation that I unsubscribed and wouldn't EVER be charged... I get charged EVERY month.
Also, when I purchased and installed MS Money last October, I was offered to sign up for a FREE YEAR with a well known credit company to ''monitor'' my credit report and inform me of changes, etc. Well, I think I got a free MONTH! They're still charging me, and I don't even use their service or log in to their site, etc.! When I contacted them RE: the so called free year membership that came with my PURCHASE of MS Money they just shrugged it off. I was stuck with a year of ''contracted'' monthly charges that was supposed to be a year of free membership/service with the purchase and registration of a particular software.
The really ''fun'' one was the latest: I did a trial offer, didn't like the product, did EXACTLY as instructed to unsubscribe, received a confirmation email (I still have ALL of the email exchanges WITH full headers intact) saying the unsubscribe was successful and I'd NEVER be charged. Next thing I know, I'm not only charged $68 for the next shipment that I'd CANCELED, but was charged an additional $24 monthly charge for being a MEMBER of their program/company PERIOD! I called immediately, the so called head honcho agreed that this was not only unethical but also illegal, and promised to fix it immediately. Never heard from him again, aside from ONE or maybe TWO emails asking me if anyone has contacted me yet; I'd reply that no, I've not been in touch with anyone at their company except for my initial contact with him... I finally got fed up and wrote him an email saying that I will take any and all legal actions against them if they don't give back to me what they STOLE.
So I finally called my bank after attempting to contact him NUMEROUS times and told them what happened. (BTW, because I'm a ''broke student'' and therefore my account tends to be pretty close to empty by the end of the month, this company's ILLEGAL charges overdrew my account and I therefore got $99 in insufficient funds fees DIRECTLY due to that company; my statements prove this!) The bank credited me back right away, telling me that I would be mailed a claim form to fill out and return. I never received that, but instead about a month later received a letter from the bank stating that they did a ''FULL'' investigation and that my credited money would be TAKEN BACK, because their ''full'' investigation showed that ''services had been rendered'' by the company. Of course I called the bank, and was treated horribly and like a complete idiot... I was told that their ''procedure'' is generally NOT to send out a claim form to the customer from whom's account money was STOLEN! (???) Their decision stood, even though I told them that I have proof of contact with the company via email with FULL headers to show that nothing was tampered, altered, etc. So, the bank made it MY responsibility to come to THEIR office and fax all documents to their investigation department. THEY did NOT do a ''full'' investigation, as all they did was ask the company THEIR side of the story and never contacted me RE: the issue even though I informed them that I had PROOF of this fraud!
Currently, I have AT LEAST FOUR UNAUTHORIZED monthly charges, all of them $9 or $9.95... oh, and this month I received a $2.95 charge from a company I've never heard of in my life, with NO contact information on my bank statement like charges have always shown (i.e., a phone number, etc.), and it's listed as a ''service charge'' but for what service I couldn't guess for the life of me!
Am I going to call my bank RE: this new charge? Why should I? They'll just pull on me what they did last time; and over $2.95? If it shows up again then I'll have to call my bank, but I'm crossing my fingers. (LOL)
I'd list the companies who are FRADULANTLY charging me here, as at LEAST two of them are quite well known.... but even though I'm telling the truth AND have proof, I can still be sued for slander and/or libel because I am warning others of my TRUE experiences with these companies!
It used to be that if you signed up for ''trial'' memberships, shipments, products, etc., you got exactly what you asked for: either a product you liked and wanted, or a TRUE unsubscription and/or even refund. Nowadays, even reputable companies are stealing from us.... as if they don't have enough paying customers who truly do want their services and monthly charges! And then the banks and/or credit card companies tell you to contact THEM re: unauthorized charges before the company who's doing it, and they'll take care of it for you... but the bank screwed me over just as much as the companies stealing from me did!
I'm leary of conducting business with well known, reputable companies anymore. As I said, I'm a student; meaning I'm broke. I can't afford those ''little'' monthly charges, they build up! Even if I were rolling in the dough, it's still WRONG, plain and simple!
CAVEAT EMPTOR.... BUYER BEWARE!!!