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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Online Company Charged Debit Card Without Authorization, Promised Refund Not Occuring

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: I live in OR, the company is based in UT

    On the morning of November 23, 2010 I was looking at the website for bidmacs.com a penny auction site (www.bidmacs.com). In order for me to find out more information regarding their services I was required to register by giving my name, address, email address and credit card number. Although there was some information on the webpage regarding "bid packages" in a "cart" it was nothing that I had placed there myself, or had any intention of ordering. When I finished inputting my information and clicked "register" I was informed that I had made a purchase of 250 bids totaling the amount of $149.99!!! I was never asked to authorize this purchase. I have since canceled my debit card for fear of further unauthorized charges. After 8 hours of calling the "customer helpline" I was finally able to get a service representative that assured me my funds would be reimbursed (as according to their refund policy of any unused bids being able to be returned for a full refund within 6 months of their purchase) The representative told me to expect a refund in 3 to 7 days. It is now December 23rd, and further emails from me to bidmacs requesting information regarding the bid refund have been ignored. According to my bidmacs account, the bids are all still there.

    I just want my money back, $149.99 is quite a lot to me. I know I shouldn't have put my debit card number in there, but I did. Now I really need that money back. How can I do that?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Online Company Charged Debit Card Without Authorization, Promised Refund Not Occu

    Have you tried disputing the charge with the issuer of the card?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Online Company Charged Debit Card Without Authorization, Promised Refund Not Occu

    No, I did not dispute the charge because when I explained the situation to my bank they told me it sounded like I had authorized it by providing my debit card number. She said I had 10 days to attempt to dispute it but that they wouldn't be able to get the money back for me. Bidmacs, did tell me on November 24th that they would refund the money. They haven't. I filed a complaint with their local BBB. They were supposed to have responded to the complaint by yesterday, they haven't. Is there a way to get them to pay?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Online Company Charged Debit Card Without Authorization, Promised Refund Not Occu

    If you haven't waited too long you can try disputing the charge. You can try better explaining what happened during the transaction that concealed that you were "buying" something that you had not added to the cart. The best, fastest and cheapest way to get this resolved - and possibly the only way you'll be successful absent a voluntary refund - is through the financial institution.

    You can try making a complaint with your state attorney general's consumer affairs division.

    You can sue the company in small claims court. Note that it can be very difficult and time-consuming to collect a judgment against an out-of-state entity, even assuming you win.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Online Company Charged Debit Card Without Authorization, Promised Refund Not Occu

    Oh, well. That's too bad, the bank representative me told there is absolutely nothing they can do. She said that since I used my debit card it's like "paying cash" and so they cannot "reach into bidmacs bank account and grab the money back", she said that if I disputed it (which it has been too long to do now anyway) that the bank would request the money back from bidmacs and I probably wouldn't get it anyway. It makes me crazy because I called the bank and told them I hadn't meant to make the purchase while it was still pending withdrawal from my account. I can't afford a lawyer, and I don't have time to sue someone. Bidmacs BBB rating was an A when I went to register for them, a month later it is now an F. It'd be nice if BBB had shown on their report exactly when the company had opened, or maybe had given them a null rating instead of an A based on no information.

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