The Tempest

Not Exactly Shooting For \”Miss Congeniality\”

Charges That Chap My Ass

Posted by Daniel on Saturday, December 9, 2006 many of you already know, I love, love LOVE to bitch about things here on the blog. Yup. It’s the magic that is me. And just when I thought this weeks’ well had run dry, up shoots a gusher.

Tell me if you’ve been here…

I am prone to ordering certain items necessary for life off of the internet. You know, things I simply can’t do without. Like DVD’s, flowers, certain business printing, the odd “Piece Of Random News”, gifts, etc. In most of these cases, I’m just too damned lazy to drive to the appropriate store. So ordering online saves lives, because I want to kill half of those idiots who can’t drive…especially those f-ers who “drive” minivans!!!

Of course, when ordering anything online, one must be very careful for the predators out there. Data Miners, “phishers” and the like who are all too eager to snatch your credit info and (in your name) charge a pair of rhinestone-covered anal beads or some dumb shit like that.

Gawd, I hate those minivans!!!!

I’ve always been very careful about my personal as well as credit information when playing online. Then I discovered something that is somewhat even more scary. Something I’ll bet even you may or may not have known about.

Picture it…Sicily…2006…an innocent little Italian boy is skipping home from the virtual market after having purchased the perfect salami….

I have been ordering certain printing (for our homeowners’ association) online through a company that shall remain nameless (VistaPrint). I started ordering through them because the deals were so f-ing great. I’ve had this account with them since I became President of the Association (3 years ago). Saving the members a bundle on printing, I thought. Course, I’d have to charge it to my credit card, then get reimbursed by our treasurer.

Sounds simple enough…but wait.

As you are completing the order process, this company, and many others, always want to offer you like a $10 – $20 rebate, or some other reward for your patronage.

Isn’t that sweet of them? They are giving you such a great deal on the products…and then offer to top it off with even bigger savings! They are truly saints of commerce.

Hardly. when you click the “No Thanks” button or “Skip This Offer” (or whatever the option happens to be) so that you can complete your transaction, you have just activated several obscure memberships (as soon as your credit card transaction is completed) that you will never know about…

…until you see your bank statement.

Then you start counting all of these weird $9.95 – $14.95 transactions to companies that had NOTHING to do with buying laminated postcards or a DVD copy of “Pricilla, Queen of the Desert!!”

I have now found some 18 such fraudulent transactions on my bank statement just since early October.

And here’s the clincher…When you call these companies to find out first who they are and second how did they justify stealing your money, ALL of them want to tell you that YOU set up the membership by BUYING those flowers or that copy of (B)assmasters. Somehow, by telling Columbia House that yes, I do want to continue on and buy those DVD’s, that also means, “…And while you’re at it, go ahead and sign me up for a lifetime supply of your daughter’s crappy girlscout cookies, eventhough I didn’t order them, nor was there any information ON the DVD website that even mentioned cookies!!!

I’m SO not Miss Congeniality!!Now, I’m not exactly known for my subtlety. Matter of fact, people know that I am kind of a meanie (subtle for irate asshole) when it comes to being ripped off. It’s one thing if I’m dating you….I’m used to that shit. But if your company isn’t boinking me (litterally), don’t reach over and steal my wallet!!! If I buy flowers or a new video card from you via your website, don’t assume that I want to be a member of your satellite “rebate clubs” or “service protection program” or (and this one really kills me) your “fraud prevention service”. I know what I like and I sure as hell know what I’ve just bought. I just love how they try to convince me that I did, in fact, join their shitty club. Then, when they realize I’m not as stupid as they imagine we all are, they try to convince me to actually remain in their club, AND upgrade. Excuse my language, but that takes some huge red shiny balls!!

Buying two dozen rozes at $118.00 (really, they’re f-ing beautiful arrangements!!) and that’s all I want to see on my bank statement.

Is that all I see?


I see those “ghost charges” sprinkled here and there with the most oblique descriptions so as to make you think, “Oh I must have charged 19 burritos onto my card when I was sleep walking to the corner Quik Trip.”

All of this had me very confused…and VERY verbally irate. So I did a little homework.

Did you know that when you are ordering something online (like that new licorice thong) and you get to the point where their check-out says to click only once (so that you’re not double charged…what a fucking load), there is something going on behind the scenes as your card is being “processed” (actually, while it’s being bitch slapped and grudge raped)? While the “processing” is going on, you’re also being enrolled in one or more memberships.

I know, this is the second time I pointed out this little scam, but it really bears repeating.

I’m just thinking of you guys out there. I guess I’m just trying to war you all of some very clandestine – yet very clever – marketing tactics being used by some very well known companies.

Which I’ll name here…(fuck ’em if they can’t take the truth!!).

  • Columbia House (owned by BMG Music)
  • 1-800-Flowers
  • New Egg
  • Vista Print
  • (I still love you Amazon….just hate your affiliates)

I’ll write a post on what does – or doesn’t – happen with the “getting the charges reimbursed” process. I’m willing to bet this upcoming post will be even more messy than this one…

Stay tuned…….


One Response to “Charges That Chap My Ass”

  1. Scott said

    Please do let us know how things go. We spend about a grand a month on new egg and have never seen a ghost charge so it would be good to know how to take care of it when we finally do see one…sounds like it’s a given that it will happen.

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