Bill Me Later / Fraud
In July 2007, I orderd furniture from Gately's www.designdining.com website. I chose BillMeLater as my method of payment. I already had an acct w/them and had never had any problems. At the time the order was placed, I took advantage of the 3 months-deferred-payments plan. My furniture was supposed to arrive weeks after my order. The furniture didn't arrive when it was supposed to. I went to the furniture website and entered my order#. It said that the dining set was on backorder and that I could "click here" to PROCEED with waiting, or NOT click so that the order would self-cancel. I elected to self-cancel.
Fastforward to my first bill from BML. I shouldn't have received it, first of all. The order had been cancelled. I had not RECEIVED it! At this point, I try to call Gatelys & couldn't get a human on the phone (always a bad sign). So then I call BML, who tells me how to file a formal complaint. The next day, I sent a certified letter to BML, along with the complaint form PLUS a copy of THEIR (BML) terms of service. Per #7a at https://www.securecheckout.billmelater.com/paycapture-content/fetch?hash=PD4106KD&content=bmlweb/bmlwebtnc.html, I am covered and should NOT be held responsible for the bogus charges on my account. Of course, they could care less about their own terms of service (oh but they will!). In early January, I received a written response to my complaint stating that all charges would be reversed, and they were. I thought that was the end of it. Boy was I wrong.
I received no statements for Feb and Mar 2008 b/c there was no activity on the account. This month (April 2008), I received a statement. I thought, "Here we go again." Now here's the kicker. BML allowed Gatelys to charge my account for the charges BML REMOVED IN JANUARY! So now I'm right back where I started. So once again, I call customer service, who tells me that this is NOT a chargeback, and that Gatelys was the merchant that put the charge on the account. I was told, once again, to file a formal complaint.
Let me say this first. Less than one week after I ordered the furniture, Gatelys filed bankruptcy. However, their sites were still up and running and TAKING ORDERS from consumers for at LEAST 6 weeks AFTER filing bankruptcy. When I tried to login to their site in December (when I first complained to BML for the erroneous cill) it stated that it was "temporarily closed" for "updating". What a crock. They were also no longer listed on BML as a BML merchant. So how in the heck are they charging my acct now when they don't even have a merchant acct w/BML??????
Back to the story. On April 17, 2008, I filed my second formal complaint. Today, April 26, 2008, I received a response. BML has changed their tune now. They're saying that the charges are valid "“because the merchant states that you were beyond the timeframe to receive a refund.” Uh, no. That's a lie. There WAS no cancellation policy. There WAS no refund policy. No "refund" policy includes a merchant CHARGING YOU for merchandise you NEVER RECEIVED - CANCELLED OR NOT! I NEVER GOT THE DA*M FURNITURE! BML is in FULL and WILLFUL violation of their OWN LEGALLY BINDING TERMS OF SERVICE by continuing to bill me for this. They cannot provide any evidence of this said "cancellation" policy, no "refund" policy, etc., , and just b/c that fraud of a company Gatelys SAID there was does NOT make it true. And they also cannot provide me with a delivery receipt, much less one bearing my signature. Yet they say I'm responsible. We'll see what the Attorney Generals (in at least 2 different states) have to say, as well as a judge. I'm only 4 hours from Maryland, so I'm happy to go to court b/c they don't have a leg to stand on.
Their worthless Consumer Dispute dept in Timonium, MD is a joke. In the letter I sent to them, they COMPLETELY ignored my questions (which were in bold, underlined text) asking why I was responsible for items NOT received. I'm complaining to the CEO of the company now, and if that doesn't get me anywhere, I'll complain to the Attorney General in my state, in Maryland, and in Nebraska (the CEO is in NB). I will also be filing complaints with the BBB and FTC. I will also complain to TV news "troubleshooters", and last but not least, I am going to hire an attorney. I will fight this, and I will win per THEIR OWN TERMS OF SERVICE. I'll also request reimbursement of all legal fees, travel fees, etc. that I incur in fighting this flim-flam company.
This company does NOT offer "zero fraud" protection - in fact, it's FAR FROM IT. I want to say that I've never been ripped off before, and I'm very savvy about things like this. So, don't think it can't happen to you. It's best to avoid this company AT ALL COSTS. Their service isn't worth the headache you'll endure if you encounter a problem. They could care less if you are ripped off b/c I'll bet that most consumers just roll over and allow it to happen, but they have chosen the wrong one to rip off this time. Unfortunately for them, I'm not going sit by idly while they try to stick it to me. I plan on fighting it tooth and nail every step of the way, and I am going to pull out ALL of the stops as far as media and agencies that I can report this to.
My local CBS station, whose demographics cover over 2, 000, 000 people, LOVES it when people contact their troubleshooters and a big-name company is involved. The more well-known the company, the more this network loves it. So we'll if the old saying about "there's no such thing as bad publicity" is true, because they're about to get some. I'll give them copies of all of my paperwork, including the letter I'm sending to the CEO, and they Google BML and find all sorts of complaints and mention that too (they always do that with big name companies). Hopefully, I won't have to go to this extent, but I will if this isn't resolved VERY quickly.
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