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CUSTOMERS SWIPING THEIR CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON SHOULD BEWARE: ONE IN FOUR PEOPLE FELL VICTIM TO A DECEPTIVE OR UNWANTED CHARGE WITHIN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS. WHILE SOME OF THESE CHARGES CONSTITUTE FRAUD, MANY ARE LEGAL. ﾊﾗﾔ BUT UNWANTED ﾊﾗﾔ GREY CHARGES HIDDEN IN FINE PRINT.
1 IN 4
PEOPLE ARE VICTIMS OF GREY CHARGES
9 OUT OF 10
PEOPLE DON���T CHECK THEIR BILLS, OR
MERELY SKIM THEM QUICKLY FOR LARGE PURCHASES
$356 - AVERAGE DOLLAR AMOUNT OF GREY CHARGES PER CONSUMER
3.5 - AVERAGE NUMBER OF CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS IN US CONSUMER WALLETS
1 IN 10 - VERIFY EVERY TRANSACTION ON THEIR CARDS
8 IN 10 MERELY SKIM
1 IN 10 NEVER CHECK THEIR CHARGES
MOST GREY CHARGES ARE SMALL DOLLAR AMOUNTS RANGING FROM $12 - 18
TOP 6 TYPES OF GREY CHARGES
1. UNKNOWN SUBSCRIPTIONS
Consumer ���clicks��� to purchase without reading the fine print, and it's not until months Later that they realize they���re paying a monthly tee for something they had no intentions of buying.
2. RECURRING MEMBERSHIPS AND ZOMBIE SUBSCRIPTIONS
Subscriptions that just won���t go away even after you cancel them.
3. UNWANTED AUTO-RENEWALS
You inadvertently opted-in to get billed on a monthly quarterly or yearly basis. Most legitimate merchants will let you opt out simply by checking a box that says you don���t want to renew automatically when you sign-up for the goods/services you are purchasing.
4. NEGATIVE OPTION MARKETING
Sign up for a product but you inadvertently sign up for other things at the same time that you never intended to buy.
A free trial that converts to a permanent subscription.
6. COST CREEP
Monthly fee creeps up slowly
$5.99, $6.99, $7.99
FRAUD VS GREY CHARGES
1% GOODS / SERVICES NOT DELIVERED
1% UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES
3% OTHER FRAUD TYPE
95% GREY CHARGES
5% HIDDEN FEES
4% FORGOTTEN CHARGES
2% DUPLICATE CHARGES
1% BILLING ERRORS
Recurring Memberships and Zombie Subscriptions
Negative Option Marketing
34% UNRECOGNIZABLE CHARGES
47% UNWANTED SUBSCRIPTIONS
THE FINE PRINT
REAL LIFE EXAMPLES
ﾊﾗﾓThis website, and any page on the website, is based loosely off a true story, but has been modified in multiple ways including, but not limited to: the story, the photos, and the comments."
($) In other words: nothing on this website is true.
ﾊﾗﾓDelivery time is subtracted from Your Trial Period, and will reduce the number of days allocated to Your Trial Period.ﾊﾗﾝ
($) So your 15-day free trial may only be 11 or 12 days...
"We do NOT honor refund requests by customers who have
purchased the same product in the past, and returned it for a refund.ﾊﾗﾝ
($) A one-strike-you���re-out policy? Why bury that in the fine print?
���By clicking ���Send My Trial Order��� you agree to be charged $4.95(USD) for S&H,.. do nothing and 14 days from today... you will be charged an enrollment fee of $84.78 (USD).
($) First, you���re paying $5 for a ���free��� trial. Second, the clock starts when you click, not when you receive it. Third, the cost of the product is jaw-dropping.
IS IT LEGAL?
��� Companies know people are busy and don���t have time to read every page of the disclosure.
ﾊﾗﾢ Deep m the disclosure is buried the extra charge... never on the front page
��� So it���s not illegal.., but It���s sneaky and deceptive.
TIPS FOR MANAGING GREY CHARGES
ﾊﾗﾢ Look at your bills regularly and closely.
ﾊﾗﾢ You may consider using a credit card vs. debit card. Credit cards offer greater protection than debit cards due to the Fair Credit Billing Act.
ﾊﾗﾢ Read the fine print. If something sounds too good to be true, it is probably a grey charge.
ﾊﾗﾢ Sign-up for BillGuard.
BILLGUARD - SAFE TOGETHER
BillGuard is a personal finance security service that analyzes millions of consumer billing disputes to alert debit and credit card holders to deceptive, erroneous and unauthorized charges and facilitates direct-to-merchant online resolution.
Copyright 2012 BillGuard Source: BillGuard.com
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