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Saturday, July 05, 2008

New Service - The Rolling Pin

Today I decided to start a new service on Retro Housewife - I am calling it the Rolling Pin. It is not about baking, but it is about dough... the green kind - yours and mine and those companies out there which try to take it from us using sleazy tactics, that I am sure are legal, but which I believe are unethical!

For example: Today I realized that I have been paying for a "service" since 2002 that I was totally unaware that I had. I noticed this charge on my credit card statement:

MP PRIVSRCE ###### 8002439404 .... $99.99

So I called 8002439404 and it turned out to be Privacy Ver or something which will allow me to access my credit reports for free. Apparently I was trying to activate my Bank of America credit card back in 2002 and inadvertently signed up for this service. I am quite sure I didn't want this service as I can already access my credit reports for free, by law. (I usually don't volunteer to pay for things that are free.)

After canceling the service - for some reason my refund will only be $82 instead of $99 - I called Bank of America Credit Card Services explained the situation, and was transferred to another BofA department. This was another "privacy service" offered by BofA, similar name, but not the one that was charging me.

After a conversation with the customer service lady which went something like Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first" comedy routine, I got her to transfer me back to credit card services. I listened to the usual call system blather, then another lady came on the line and I said:

"For quality purposes, this call is being me!"

At which point she said she would not be able to speak with me. I asked to be transferred to her supervisor and the next thing I heard was:

"If you would like to make a call, please hang up..."

It was at this point that I realized how absolutely helpless we are as individuals against these large institutions and corporations, and how they can do with us what they will, and there isn't a darn thing we can do about it.

Except maybe I can do something about it, because this site gets a fair number of visitors each day, and I can't be the only one this is happening to! So if you have ever been bullied by the big guys into forking over your lunch money, this is for you. I am going to look into getting our lunch money back - and hopefully I will get to Bonk a few over the head with my rolling pin. (Symbolically, of course!)

RH (Mad as HECK!)

Update: May 27th 2009:

I just used LegalMatch to see if there are any law firms around who are interested

I run the website below - details are on the blog page. I have been collecting email addresses of people who were also charged $99 for a credit report service they never signed up for. I paid this fee for years before I noticed it - I blogged about it and started hearing from people who had the same charge. If any law firm is interested in suing BOFA I will turn over my names to them and wish them luck. I don't want to hire them or collect any money from a law suit, I want somebody to stand up to Bank of America.

Feb 22 2010 Nothing Came of the LegalMatch attempt - If you are surfing by and happen to know a lawyer who may be interested, reply to this post or send me an email @ THx

Meanwhile, This just came in via email: mp privsrce
"We have been getting billed $12.99 for months before I questioned my wife about it. I called 800-243-9404. They directed me to the website and showed me how to sign in using my member number, etc. They said I would be alerted if someone tried to open a new account (or apply for a loan) in my name. It turns out I have been paying for this service since 2006 and have not heard anything from them until just recently. Good luck and God bless. Mike" Feb. 22, 2010


If you have found your way here while doing research into a mysterious charge on your Bank Of America credit card statement called MP PRIVSRCE and you have such a charge occurring on a statement dated later than February 14th, 2008, Please FAX a copy of your statement, or mail a copy to:

Samantha Smith, Esq.
Arias Ozzello & Gignac LLP
Attorneys & Counselors at Law
Howard Hughes Center
6701 Center Drive West, 14th Fl.
Los Angeles, California 90045
Telephone: (310) 670-1600
Facsimile: (310) 670-1231

If your charges occur before Feb. 14, 2008, read below: 
"You could also tell people to contact the following firm with questions if they fall w/in the time line I mentioned below:  The Lakin Firm 300 Evans Ave. PO Box 229 Wood River, Illinois 62095 Phone: 618-208-4240 Toll Free: 866-839-2021.  The settlement is with Trilegiant and this is the firm that litigated the case."

The information I found shows that the settlement covers all charges between July 10, 1998 and Feb. 14, 2008.  If you have charges after Feb. 14, 2008, then I will need to see a copy of the statement with the charge.  Let me know at your earliest convenience.  Thanks.

"I’ve been researching your case and I believe you may be part of a class settlement with a company called Trilegiant (the company that appears to be in cahoots with BofA on the charges).  Could you do me a favor and call this number and ask them if you are a member of the Trilegiant settlement class:  1-888-952-9102.  The number is for the Settlement Claims Administration, which is a court approved group set up to handle questions regarding this particular settlement.  Let me know what you find out."


Chelsea said...

That's horrible the way those people at the bank treated you! I hate it when it seems like companies hang up on you (whether they did it on purpose or not is still unknown lol) I also LOVE your website! Being only 20 years old and housewife (which i LOVE) its nice to be able to find other women in similiar situations =D Anyways, I love your site and i'll keep updated on your blog =P

~your friend,

Mr. Incredible said...

I'm not a housewife, but I have found that same charge on my credit card and know I didn't authorize it.

How can I stay in touch with your 'class action suit' :o)?

The practice of duping people out their money - by Banks and their Cheats - should be illegal; it is dirty, nasty, and slick; does anyone wonder why the entire banking system of the United States (and, in fact, the world) is broken?

Retro Housewife said...

I am working on setting up a complaint form which people can use to submit their cases. It will have an option to check if you want to be included in any legal actions that take place. It should be up soon! ~ 1 week!


Anonymous said...

I too am not a housewife but have found the same charge on my credit card.

I have been a customer of Bank of America since college. Now is the time to end this relationship.

Citi, here I come. (note: I view Citi as an evil empire as well but I will try them. If they fail me ... wamu for you me and you too)

the Carter's said...

oh i agree.. after two hours on hold the other day...waiting to talk to someone i gave up.. and took my printer back to the shop demanded the dear men there fix it.. (incredibly they did) but it's not just our money but our time... that these blasted organisations keep robbing us of.!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I googled the MP PRIVSRCE charge when it showed up on my brother's account earlier this month. He is deaf, in his early 60s, and mildly developmentally disabled, and has not used his BofA card in several years. He asked me to contact the company and help him dispute this charge. I just wanted to let you know that the woman I spoke with was extremely helpful. We agreed that he needs to contest the charges ($129.99 - guess they've gone up in the last few months!) but since I am not an authorized user on his account, he and I will have to go into one of the banking centers to get it taken care of. So that's the next step for us - but she spent at least 10 minutes on the line with me, researching the charges and what alternatives we had. Just nice to know that even the 'evil empires' have a few good apples!

Sweths said...

the same things happened to me. I was jsut going through a card i rarely use and I saw that since march of 2008 they ahve been charging me 11.99$ everymonth. I have no clue how i missed it before but I did.. probably because mp privsrce looks like a random gas station charge or something. What happened to the "class action suit" > I would like to sign up


Anonymous said...

I would like to join the class action law suit too, because this is day robbery. When I spoke to the BoA associate, she was talking to me as if she don't know it is part of BoA number. I was transferred to three different associates as soon as I mention about this members services. Horrible!!!!

Pradeep said...

I am not a housewife but am part of the bandwagon of the vicitims of this sleazy Priv srce charge of 129.99 by BofA. I would like to join the class action suit.

Retro Housewife said...

Right Now I am collecting contact information. Email Me your name and email address, and keep a record of your statements (don't send them to me.)


Retro Housewife said...

Oops send to:

Subject BOFA


Anonymous said...

I found the same unauthorized charge on my BankofA visa. Thanks to this site I called the number cited and had the charge eliminated. Many thanks

Anonymous said...

I google the charge and found this blog. My experience was with Bank of America and I filed a complained against that charge and it was refunded right away, no excuse or explaination. Hope this help!


Jenn said...

I had the same jerky charge on my BofA credit card that I've had for many years. I also disputed it, right on my statement in my online banking, and got a letter in a couple of days saying my account would be credited. Hopefully this isn't a charge that will come through next month too, or I will have to close the card, once and for all! Jerks.

Jenn said...

I also had a similar jerky charge from MP*PRIVSRCE on my BofA credit card that I've had for many years. I disputed it in my online banking, right on the statement, and got a letter in a couple of days saying they had credited my account the amount. Of course if this charge comes through again next month I think I'm going to have to cancel the card.

Thanks for the extra info!

Miss Cox said...

My father just recieved the same notice from Bank of America.....what is this all about? and what does he need to do to not be charged for this again.

Xandra said...

I, too, just discovered this charge of $99.99 on my Bank of America card. I think it is new, but could be mistaken. There is a way to complain and cancel whatever they think is an on-going relationship, but I would love to see this made public. Xandra

Retro Housewife said...

I am trying to find a lawyer to talk this over with and to see whether anyone would be interested in filing a class action suit against Bank Of America.

I don't recall exactly whether I actually every spoke to anybody claiming ownership of the charge - and BofA only gave me partial credit for the current year - They had charged me for 2 years without my noticing. I am quite sure I never signed up for this service - and I obviously never made use of it - as I didn't know I had it. As far as I could tell, there was no welcome email, no instructions on how to use the service - just the charge.

Document everything carefully when you call BofA to ask for your money back. Like - What they said when you called, how you got signed up to this service - I have no idea - the actual name of the company, "Privacy Ver" seems like an odd name to me - the direct phone number - etc. I got transferred and disconnected a few times before I actually was able to have the partial payment refunded.

If you ask me, it is a pure scam. If it was legit, you would get some sort of paperwork or email describing how to use the service. I still have no idea how I was supposed to access my credit reports thru their scam of a service.


Anonymous said...

I just noticed the $99 charge "MP PRIVSRCE" on my BOA statement. Googled it and found this page. Then I looked back and see the yearly $99 charge going back 4 years. Robbery!

Craig said...

I recently moved all my automatic payment accounts off my BOA Visa except for one , just to keep the account active. The active account was a monthly $20.00 charge. When I opened my June 2009 statement, I found this MP PRIVSRSC for $99.99 and another DRI CA.COM for $65.69 - neither of these was known to me before , plus I do not recall ordering any thing from these companies. I did some checking and found both of these are hidden scams releated to on-line purchases of other services / software.

I called BOA card services five minutes after seeing these charges and had the account number cancelled and re-ordered a new account number. I'm going to dispute both charges and see what happens.

PS: The reason I moved my Visa account to another Visa group was due to BOA's recent Visa changes and talk of charging on-time customers a fee for paying off their account each month.


Chris said...

Be careful that it will not pop up again. I disputed this and had it dropped in 2003/2004. I just noticed it again, and my wife assumed it was something I did previously so dismissed the other charges.

Link said...

Thank you for posting all of this. I just noted that charge on my last invoice and got them to cancel it out. Much appreciated!!

Anonymous said...

I was also charged for MP*PRIVSRCE 99.99 per year,I disputed it and it was promptly credited back to my card but they said it was my responsibility to contact the merchant directly but unless I am mistaken they ARE the merchant crazy thanks for all the info

Patti said...

I just noticed this $99.99 from MV Privacy source also. I called and apparently we have been paying for this since 2004. I am requesting ALL of the money back and before I read this post I told customer service that if I don't recieve ALL of it, I may pursue legal action. Isn't there someone out there that will STOP B O A? I'm going to consider dropping accounts with them. Patti

Anonymous said...

Well it's been over two years since you made this post and I just want to say it is still happening. I use my BofA card once a year to pay my car insurance (Visa is the only card my insurance company accepts). When I went to pay my insurance, my card was declined. WHAT? I called BofA and found out that I had a $160 balance. I hit the "0" button, got a so-called customer service rep, who I will now refer to as Idiot #1. Idiot #1 told me the charge was for $99 for Privacy Source. The other $60 was for finance/late/yadda/yadda/yadda fees. The charge had been made two months earlier and I did not authorize it. Idiot #1 transferred to the billing/dispute center, where I got to spend some time talking to Idiot #2. Idiot #2 wouldn't give me too much info about the company that charged on my account. I finally got him to give me a phone number for them. As he was still talking to me, I typed the phone number into Yahoo and up came several web pages for the same complaints. When I told the Idiot #2 this, he got very defensive telling me "when you type a any phone number or business into a search engine you'll find complaints" So, of course I laughed my head off right after that when I clicked on your web page and saw that Privacy Source is BofA. Hhhmm... no wonder he wouldn't give me any information, no wonder he got so defensive. He said it would take so many days etc for the dispute. When I asked him about the other charges being reversed, he transfered me to Idiot #3, who then proceeded to transfer me to Idiot #4. I think I'm done. When and if this is ever cleared up and my balance is down to zero, I'm going to cancel the card. I will not use my debit card, people will either have to accept American Express or wait for the Post Office to bring a check. But this is the final straw with BofA Card Services. The first was the unemployment insurance that I had paid for years telling me I was not eligible because I did not sign up for unemployment within 30 days. They didn't care that since I received severance pay, that I was not qualified for unemployment till the end of the time frame of severance pay, which was more than 30 days. I don't even want to know how much I paid for that over 20 years.

Retro Housewife said...

"Please see my blog about this matter concerning Bank Of America charging customers for a service they never knowingly sign up for. I paid for this service for over 3 years before I noticed the annual charge on my credit card statement. I got the latest email from another person who discovered this charge just today. Please, at least give me a referral to a firm who will take a look at this. There has got to be some way to put a stop to this."

"Careful review of your inquiry will take some time and we may need more information from you during this process. We will respond as quickly as possible; however, please feel free to contact us at any time regarding your inquiry. We greatly appreciate your patience and consideration.

Thank you for contacting Masry & Vititoe.


Law Offices of Masry & Vititoe
5705 Corsa Ave
Westlake Village, CA 91362"

Retro Housewife said...

Somebody Answered Me! Samantha S. of my office will be in contact with you to discuss your matter. Mike


Anonymous said...

I, too, received this charge on my VISA. I will be calling the number on my statement and hopefully have this charge credited.

anonymous 22 February 2011. 12:37

Chris said...

I've started helping my mother with her finances and I see these 12.99 per month MP*PRIVSRCE charges going back for a loong time (1-877-488-0086). I asked her what they were about. She doesn't even have a computer and couldn't log on to anything to see any kind of credit status so this is a ultra rip off. I asked if anyone called her on the phone to sell this service and she does not recall ever authorizing credit check or identity security services. I'm also seeing an annual 49.00 fee from #RGI*CARD PROTECTION as well (1-866-220-7007). Are these two things related or is she the victim of two independent scams?

At any rate, it's time to shut these things down and dispute the past charges. I will call your reference attorney to pursue further action. This is outrageous.

Retro Housewife said...

They got me, I think when I called to activate the card - I remember there was something funny about free offer press x and to activate your card do this and then you got a person. This is from memory - but there is some sneaky method of getting people to approve the free offer. But I could be mistaken, because I am not exactly sure how I actually got hoodwinked, or if they just added it. The latter seems unlikely, they probably figured out a way to stay "within the law" technically, tho hardly in spirit of. So far, nobody has actually pinpointed just when they supposedly signed up for this service.


Samantha Smith, Esq.
Arias Ozzello & Gignac LLP
Attorneys & Counselors at Law
Howard Hughes Center
6701 Center Drive West, 14th Fl.
Los Angeles, California 90045
Telephone: (310) 670-1600
Facsimile: (310) 670-1231

Shannon said...

I just saw the same charge today on my BOA credit card for $139.99. It's from MyPrsvce. I didn't authorize anything and was wondering if the bank refunded your money?

Shannon said...

I just received the same charge today and didn't authorize anything. It's from MY*PROSVCE. I filed a disclaimer saying I didn't authorize the charge. Were you successful in having your money refunded? Mine was for $139.99.

Retro Housewife said...

I was able to stop it and get a refund for any "unused" service, but nothing more than that. It also took some doing to get it stopped, because they used the ol' I'll transfer you ploy, the end result of which is being disconnected.

Then there was at least one transfer to a similar service, but not the right one. If this is now appearing on statements as "MY*PROSVCE", it makes me wonder whether they changed the name so people googling the term don't land here. Fax your statement to the lawyer, and try and figure out how you got signed up in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap! I was just scanning my account and saw this charge. Apparently I have been signed up for it for 2 years. I must have missed it. Sadly, their online statements now only go back 12 months, so I can't even go back without requesting older statements.

Thank you for this posting, otherwise I would be clueless as to what the charge even was!

I remember signing up for something called "Privacy Assist", to monitor my credit score while going through a divorce and trying to settle debts.

However, THAT was a monthly fee going off my Checking account ... and now I see this charge. The monthly one comes off every month, so I guess I am being double charged for the same thing. They didn't even acknowledge the other service on the other account.

I just canceled all services from them 5 minutes ago, and I am thinking of closing all my accounts with them. Shame on you B of A!

Thanks again

Scott said...

This is so infuriating. I too just noticed a charge, contested it and was given a refund. I never recall signing up for this service and I am currently ordering statements to see how long this thievery has been going on.