The scam works like this: a customer purchases something either online or via an 800 number. (In my case it was a pair of pants through Blair.com in spring 2008. In my husband's case, on a different credit card account, I can't figure out which of his few orders might have set it off.) When the customer places his/her order, of course he/she provides a credit card number. Somehow, that credit card number is then shared with Easy Saver/American Leisure which charges $1.95 immediately. Each month thereafter, Easy Saver/American Leisure/EMI Encore Marketing International charges the unsuspecting customer $14.95 via credit card. If the customer doesn't comb through her/his bills, the charge isn't caught - often for months at a time.
Getting out of the service is very difficult. The company representatives are not cooperative and claim they cannot refund the charges. They also claim that the customer KNOWINGLY signed up for the service. In both my husband's case and mine, I assure you we had no idea we were signing up for some sort of membership service. Check out the various complaints on the Internet and you'll see others had no idea either. Countless others have been scammed by this company.
So go ahead. Pull out your latest credit card statement.
On ALL your cards (even the one frozen in the ice-cube tray and that one you've had locked in the safe for a year).
If you find the charge on your card:
- contact the bank that issued the card and contest the charges;
- contact the "membership service" that has been placing the charges on your card;
- file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (it's super easy - 5 minutes max.);
- file a complaint with this office of the Better Business Bureau;
- tell your friends and family so they can protect their wallets, too;
- then never again order from the company that got you in this predicament in the first place.
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