The Boston Globe says that credit card users are noticing a mysterious charge for about 25 cents from Adele Services in Melville, NY. The trouble is, “There is no business by that name listed in Melville, or registered to any business anywhere in New York, for that matter.” No one knows yet whether these small charges are tests for larger unauthorized debits, or if this is the entire scam. Either way, check your statement and be sure to file a dispute—and request a new card—if you come across it.
We don’t know what the hell happened with this customer service situation, but somehow the CSR for Vonage decided that when Sarah abruptly hung up on him, she agreed by default to a service cancellation and $92 cancellation fee. That sounds like the kind of angry-CSR “mistake” that can be fixed with a second call—but according to the next CSR Sarah spoke to, that’s just Vonage policy. What?
If you used your debit card at Macy’s on the Saturday before Christmas, you might have been charged twice.
Over on Elliott.org, a woman describes how her $29 Days Inn room ballooned to a $180 charge when the hotel’s owner refused to honor the deal, and what she did to get the difference refunded. [Elliott.org]
Tonik is the rad, x-treme! lifestyle health insurance for young people who can’t afford regular insurance—sort of the Poochie of health insurance, except it’s not going to go away. Aasma wrote to us to let us know that when she signed up for it over the weekend, she got a nasty surprise after she submitted her credit card information.
My wife and I are there right now. We opened the minibar last night to put a piece of pizza in there in a pizza box. This morning, there’s a $26.04 charge for food on the bill slid under our door. Why? My wife just called to ask and was told, “If you open the mini bar door, there’s a sensor in there and if you move anything in there… you get billed for it.” In our case, we must have jiggled a $20 bottle of wine.
Sorry PotBelly Sandwich Works customers, you can’t order the Chicken Salad Sandwich unless you qualify for a mortgage. Ashley’s husband thought his usual lunchtime meal cost $4.23, but, as his wife discovered when trying to pay their credit card bill, the sandwich actually costs $858,432.06.
Police have charged Elizabeth Miller, the manager of the Bed, Bath & Beyond in Lexington, Kentucky, who refused to let a couple use the store’s phone to call 911 to report a three-year-old locked in a van, and refused to make an announcement over the store’s PA system. The charge is “failure to report dependency, neglect and abuse, a Class B misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 90 days and a maximum fine of $250.”
Blockbuster debited Anthony’s PayPal account two days in a row for the same monthly plan. PayPal won’t help—they say it’s between Blockbuster and Anthony, offering further proof that PayPal is a great service only as long as nothing goes wrong.
“There is no indication of any change in the near future regarding the current state of competition. Market forces have not yet met the challenge of controlling price increases.”
A Consumerist reader was surprised to find that Citibank had applied a finance charge on a zero balance account. She did what every good Consumerist should do: prepared her evidence, jumped quickly ahead to a live person on the Customer Service side, and resolved the issue. Here’s what happened:
Reader Zack is frustrated with General Electric because they offered to inspect and repair his washing machine as a courtesy, then after they came by they stuck him with the bill. Now they’re threatening to send him to a collection agency.
Reader Gary used his Bank of America credit card to pay $2 on a parking meter in Washington, DC. Bank of America treated it as a cash advance and slapped him with a $10 fee, as well as a higher APR. When Gary called to complain, he learned that it wasn’t an error: Bank of America has started treating payments to parking meters as cash advances and may even treat all payments to government entities as cash advances.
Time Warner wants reader Nancy, a 60-year-old English teacher, to pay $1,400 for ordering porn—including 17 flicks supposedly viewed on a single day. Nancy didn’t order the porn, and has no clue how the charges were associated with her cable box, but one useless Time Warner representative suggested: “maybe your dog ordered them.”
Apple’s new 3G iPhone might seem like a bargain at $199: more features, 3G speeds, and $200 cheaper than the original model. Great, except it’s not actually cheaper. The new $199 iPhone is actually $160 more than the $399 iPhone it replaces.