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HotBookSale.com, California Complaints & Reviews - unauthorized membership fee

HotBookSale.com Contacts & Informations

HotBookSale.com

Posted:    chris djunaedi

unauthorized membership fee

Complaint Rating:  93 % with 28 votes
Contact information:
hotbooksale.com / smartsaving center
my_god_is_so_perfect@hotmail.com
California
United States
I have recently canceled my membership in hotbooksale.com (smartsaving).
I was wondering if I could get refund as this website took my money away for $29.95 every month from my debit card for about 4-5 months.
I did not know how to cancel the membership until I found out couple days ago.
Would you please help me to get my money back?
I bought a book from this website in late november or beginning of december last year, and I got subtracted for $29.95 since that time.
Thank you so much.
I will be more than happy to hear the feedback.
You can give me any feedback to this email my_god_is_so_perfect@hotmail.com
Comments United States Books
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 29th of May, 2009 by   Deborah Sullivan 0 Votes
They got me for a year of $29.95/month membership fees because my husband unsuspectingly payed the bills that i incur. They refuse to refund any money, what a rip off! We need to unite and get this company sued and exposed on 60 minutes!
 29th of May, 2009 by   Deborah Sullivan +2 Votes
i agree
 14th of Jun, 2009 by   David +1 Votes
They just charged me 19.95 for the "membership" funny thing is there was no membership mentioned anyway. so I proceeded to call them and of course they refused to refund the charge (my credit card company hopefully will take care of it). This is outright fraud. I dont care what anyone says. These jokers need to be shut down. If anyone is reading this, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BUY ANYTHING FROM THIS COMPANY. HOTBOOKSALE.COM IS AN INTERNET SCAM!!!

David in Dallas
 6th of Jul, 2009 by   Angela99 0 Votes
I was also a victim please let your credit card know, they will hep you through their legal department.
Angela99
 12th of Jul, 2009 by   vic77 0 Votes
Wish I had read this site before I bought a book for $5.26 and got hit with a $19.95 "Membership" fee. The fine print, on looking back at it gave a 3 day window to cancel the membership, not 30 days as any other trial membership in anything. That isn't even enough time to get the book shipped and to evaluate the service and merchandise.
Discover card doesn't help unless amount is $50+. Cancelled and got a confirmation, but $19.95 has been posted to credit card, and Hot Books said I didn't cancelwithin 3 days.
Next stop: BBB and Attorney General

Vic
 17th of Oct, 2009 by   kymberley 0 Votes
happened to me too. just got off the phone. only took one week to take the money but it takes them a month to put it back. should teach us all if it too good of a deal somethings wrong.
at least the operator learn a valuable lesson. do not try to argue with an angry american woman suffing from pms
 9th of Feb, 2010 by   Angry FL customer 0 Votes
Thanks for posting your complaints about this company. The same thing happened to me but I think I cancelled in time and they say I will get my money back. I will be back out here if I don't and will also contact the BBB and media. I bought what I thought was a book, but turns out was a CD and they refused to let me return it because I opened it. It was duing that episode that I found out that my credit card had been charged $9.95 from the day the book was ordered, even though I didn't get the order until 2/9/2010 and I didn't authorize that charge, and there was no mention of any type of membership fee. This company is definitely an internet bookscam that deals in fraudulent activities.
 25th of Feb, 2010 by   Angry Noel +1 Votes
These guy's are a bunch of crooks. I guess it goes back to the saying "IF A DEAL LOOKS TO GOOD" then it probably is. Please investigate deals like these before committing to a purchase. I purchased a book from Hot Book for $3.99 which included free shipping - that should have sent signals to me - DUH. Then one day later they charged my account for $1.00 (The bank told me that this was a foreign purchase fee (I know for certain that this book was from an American publisher). Then, on 02-24-10 another $9.95 was listed on my bank statement. Since the $9.95 was cleared this morning (2-25) the bank said for me to come in and they would file a complaint. The bank canceled my Debit Card immediately and issued me another one there on the spot. You can have your bank cancel your current debit card and issue you another one immediately. At least this will stop any future withdrawals against your checking account. It is impossible to get any person with Hot Book on a telephone.
 17th of Mar, 2010 by   Earl1234 0 Votes
I also was ripped off by these crooks. Tell everyone you know about this scam. The economy is bad enough and there are these criminals to worsen every chance of recovery.
Watch out for your money and keep alert .
 18th of Mar, 2010 by   SWP33 0 Votes
I've been charged 19.95 a month for the past 9 months. I just got off the phone with them and they are clueless. They said they could only refund 3 months at 59.95, but I got an email that only credited 2 months. The worst thing is that the charge came under three different vendor names on my bank statement and occurred on a different date each month, so I didn't catch it. I also was unable to "log in" to their website using my email address. Total scam!!!
 3rd of Apr, 2010 by   ladougg 0 Votes
I've NEVER written a complaint on one of these boards before because most of my online experiences have been quite positive. By buying a book from HOTBOOKSALE.com, I feel that I was misled and tricked into a membership. This is one of the most blatant examples of a website taking advantage of a customer. For my initial transaction, I paid a good price on a book. Then after a month I received a charge of $9.95 on my credit card. (I guess they tricked me into a lower price plan than many of the people on the board.) I reviewed all communications from this company including my receipts and I could not find any mention of a membership.

Was the issue resolved? Yes, it was resolved by them canceling my "membership" and agreeing to refund the $9.95 that had been charged as a membership fee.

How was the issue resolved? I visited with a very nice Filipino lady who clearly had only a script to work with. She was very sweet while I vented and complained about this situation. In the end, she agreed to what I described above. I was clear that if she did not have the authority to issue me a refund, then I wanted to talk to a supervisor.

HOTBOOKSALE.com should be grateful they have a customer service rep who treated the situation professionally and I'm grateful she was empowered to make this refund. However, HOTBOOKSALE.com should either resolve the way they present their membership program or not be allowed to sell anymore. I'm sure we're only the tip of the iceberg with this company. I recommend boycotting this company.
 9th of May, 2010 by   Almost tricked +1 Votes
I just purchased a book from here, and when I entered all my billing info, as a new customer, it asks you to check a box, saying you agree to the terms & conditions, then you hit submit. But in reality, how many people read the privacy statements and term & conditions? Not many. And not many read the fine print under the submit button. I was VERY lucky to have just BARELY notice the fine print under the submit button just before my slow internet took me to the next page. I continued with the order, seeing I already pressed submit anyway, and I didn't actually catch what the fine print exactly said. After the order was confirmed, I signed out and went back into the shopping cart like I was anew customer again so that I could read this fine print because I couldn't find it anywhere after that page. Anyway, the fine print stated that by pressing submit/purchasing from this site you automatically get a 7-day $1 trial membership to BestBrandValues, and after the trial they will start charging $19.95/month. I couldn't believe they actually sneaked that in. I shop online quite a bit, but I guess with more well-known online retailers, so I had never seen something so tricky. I thought those kind of tricks were only for credit cards and those kinds of things...but I guess it is ALWAYS important to read the fine print, especially with less known online retailers.

Anyway, in the fine print it said to cancel the membership to just call a certain number...well I did just that, and I get a busy signal, almost like the number didn't exist. So I call the customer service number for hotbooksale.com, and i get their interactive voice response (IVR) system (press 1 for this, 2 for that)...so I press the number to cancel my membership, and the system doesn't even do anything. So I just started pressing other numbers to just get to a live person. I think I ended up pressing 1 for help with an order, then 2 for still needing help? Can't quite remember. Once I got to the live person, she was helpful in canceling the membership right away, thank goodness. And let me tell you, I've worked with IVR's, even ones that make it extremely difficult to get through to a live agent, but this one was just flat out bad, and just seemed sketchy.

Also, you can supposedly cancel the membership online, but you need your log-in info, which I never got. Maybe because I didn't give them enough time to send it to me, even though I did get their cancellation email quite quickly. Anyway, once you find the fine print/hidden details about canceling the membership, they make it sound so easy..but really none of those ways work. In reality, I think it was easy to resolve the issue because I didn't give up on finding someway to get a hold of someone there, and I should only be charged for a great deal on a book, but this company is just extremely unethical, and I would feel much safer buying elsewhere. I don't like the idea that they have my card info, at all.
 7th of Jun, 2010 by   taylorcorryn 0 Votes
I'm lucky I just checked my account online and caught this scam early. I saw a $1.00 charge on my debit card that I was definitely not warned about after buying a book from this website for $1.57. No, I didn't read the fine print - but I shouldn't have to. It's horrible that they do not even let you know you are signing up for a membership... It's a total scam. I just canceled my account after a day of "membership". They can keep the stupid $1.00, but I better not be charged anything else without warning, or I'll take legal actions against them. What a horrible way to take advantage of people.
 2nd of Aug, 2010 by   CricketCat 0 Votes
The same thing just happened to me and I have filed complaints with the BBB and my State Attorney General. I read everything very carefully and can't believe I missed this small print.
 18th of Aug, 2010 by   Mad in Cicero 0 Votes
They are still at it...scamming folks with unauthorized withdrawal from checking accounts. I purchased DVDs for my business use in October 2009. My husband was tending our account and did not realized the charges were bogus. There was a $9.95 withdrawal in Oct., nothing in Nov. then starting in Dec '09 monthly withdrawals until I noticed in July of 2010 when I called and stopped it. I am now trying to seek my loses of $79.60. After my call yesterday I received an e-mail that BestBrandValues was reimbursing me $29.95 which doesn't make any sense until I saw the company name in a prior complaint. Calling BBB doesn't seem to be enough to stop this fraudulant practice. Does anyone know of any follow-up by a legal office? Note: I initially was ordering one item and somehow 2 got entered and I couldn't back out so I went ahead and made the purchase so now I'm wondering if that was intentional by the hot books company. Mad in Cicero, Indiana
 22nd of Aug, 2010 by   Rachelkai -1 Votes
I don't get it. I don't have a problem with them.
You simply pay a membership fee and you get books at a lower price (supposedly wholesale price?).
If you're not looking to buy only one book, but rather you have a many then it all works out in the end.

Also, if there is fine print and they're asking you to join a membership (which is different from signing up for an account), it probably implies that you should read the fine print. The people that are mentioning bringing in attorneys will not necessarily benefit from it because if it states (fine print or not) that they ARE charging you for membership, then it's hard to say "oh, I missed the fine print...".

Maybe next time you will read or investigate the website you are purchasing from.
 12th of Oct, 2010 by   madgirl47 0 Votes
this is a total SCAM!!! i got tricked for a month, but when i tried to cancel it, the bills continued coming and they charged me 9.95 every month!!The agree to term and conditions is very long, so i didn't realize it said i had to be a member until all those bills came. SO, EVERYBODY WHO READS THIS, NEVER GO TO HOTBOOKSALES.COM !!!
 6th of Feb, 2011 by   southernshade 0 Votes
They're the same scumbags who run a movie site called hotmoviesale.com. You'd think the Feds could shut people like this down. They're obviously making plenty of money since they are still up and running!
 16th of Mar, 2011 by   Lynn 06 0 Votes
I ordered one book from these con artists and they charged me 9.95 for three months. Would have caught it earlier, but thought it was for my Cooking Light Magazine. I agreed to nothing. The woman on the phone said that the monthly fee was because I got a FIVE dollar discount. Unbelieveable!!! Hopefully I will not be charged again. The would not issue a refund. I am siccing my husband on them. He's fairly merciless. If that doesn't work, I will call my sister the ATTORNEY!!!
 30th of May, 2011 by   TNTbefree +1 Votes
I am sorry to hear that so many of you got taken to the cleaners by this HotBookSale.com scam. Thank you for the warning, alert, scam alert, fraud, rip-off, and fee scam. I was just about to order from them, but thanks to you, I did not. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Again, I am sorry for your loss and hassle, but you did me a great favor with this warning.

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