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 recorded...by 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 @ email@example.com. 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 https://privacysource.bankofamerica.com. 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
SEPTEMEBER 21, 2010 UPDATE
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."