HUDBOX.COM – Managed By Heavy Hammer ripoff unauthorized and fraudulent billing Annapolis Maryland *EDitor’s Suggestions on how to get your money back into your bank account! | The nature of this complaint is a credit/billing dispute, and it involves the unauthorized use of my debit card to pay for good & services. | I have spoken to the following Heavy Hammer/Hudbox.com representatives in attempts to resolve the issue before contacting the BBB of Greater Maryland. | Sara Smith, Katie Smith (???), Melissa Smith, and David Sabian. | Complaint Details | On July 13, I checked my bank account to see if a rent check had cleared. I noticed two unauthorized deductions from my account – it turned out both were subscriptions to online services that I did not sign up for. I followed up with one company Privacy Plus, and had a refund issued. The second company, HUDBOX.COM managed by Heavy Hammer – for whom I am filing this complaint did not respond appropriately. Events are as follows: | July 13, 2004 I spoke to Sarah Smith about an unauthorized charge to my debit card. She said I had subscribed to their online service. I told her I did not sign up for the service, and that someone illegally used my information to access the site. I informed her this was the first time I had ever noticed such charges on my checking account and that I wanted to be reimbursed for the $79.95 since I do not use that service. She provided me with logon information and a password to cancel the subscription – she said this was the first step in the refund process. She then told me to forward an email to “[email& 160;protected] I told her I was not comfortable sending an email to an unknown person at [email& 160;protected] – I asked for a contact name or a supervisor – she declined. She seemed amused by my predicament and spoke to me very condescendingly -which further annoyed me. I tried to be persistent in getting a contact name or a supervisor – she said they don’t have supervisors or managers, and if I wanted to use her as a contact I could. SO – I decided to settle for her name and email address: Sarah Smith, [email& 160;protected] I emailed [email& 160;protected], and cc’ed Sarah on the email. | July 23, 2004 I received no response from Hudbox, so I emailed them and informed them via email that I had not heard anything and would contact them shortly. The same day I called and spoke to a much friendlier person named Katie whose last name I did not request. Katie said the billing department was behind, but someone would contact me soon. | July 27, 2004 I receive an email from David Fabian, [email& 160;protected] saying my refund request had been forwarded to Hudbox billing, and I’d have a response in 10 business days. | July 30, 2004 David Fabian emailed me again saying my refund request was denied because I did not cancel my membership until 7-13-2004. The message further states that monthly subscription fee is non-refundable. | Aug 03, 2004 I contacted Heavy Hammer and spoke to Melissa Smith. I provided the details of my situation for her, and explained that I should be entitled to a refund since I did not sign up for the service. Melissa told me that if the billing department reviewed the account and decided I was not entitled to a refund, then I was not going to get a refund. I asked her if they had a record of who signed up for the account, and who had accessed it. She told me that I signed up for the account which is flat out not true. I explained that was impossible since I wasn’t aware the account even existed until July 13, 2004 when I saw a bill for it. I don’t even know how many times I’ve paid for this service, and am afraid to find out! Melissa continued to explain how the decision was final, and I asked her how their company normally handles these types of situations. She responded by saying they don’t have these types of situations, and I informed her that on July 13, 2004 after speaking to Sara, I looked them up on the BBB website, I noticed the company had some previous issues. I asked again So you normally tell people that they cant be refunded their money even if the subscription was fraudulent? She became angry and said I was not getting a refund, I need to talk to my bank, and if they don’t help me I should consider switching banks. I said “thank you for your advice but” and Melissa hung up the phone. | After being disconnected by Melissa, I called back and talked to David Fabian. It should be noted he didn’t verbally volunteer his first name, I found it on an email. When I asked him what his first name was, he just said Fabian. I asked him what Melissa’s last name was and he said Smith. I went on and explained the situation to David. He was unhelpful insisting I go back to my bank. I told him I would follow up with my bank, but that on July 13, I had been told by my bank to contact the companies directly to settle the disputes-which is what I was doing. Fabian began the lengthy process of explaining how they aren’t equipped with the means to research refunds and things, and that those types of issues are handled by Visa even if it is a debit card. He said he could not help me. I asked him if he was aware that Melissa had just hung up on me, and are they in the practice of hanging up on people just because they didn’t authorize their company to charge them $79.95- and he just went on explaining how they couldn’t do anything about it.
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