DiscouNTBooksales / Deceptive Practices
I searched the web for a particular book that I wanted. I found a fair price for the book at DiscountBookSales.com, a/k/a Smart Savings Center.
I carefully read everything on the site about what I was buying. I was asked if I wanted to try a 7 day free "membership" in their savings club. I clearly checked "No Thanks." I proceeded to the checkout and submitted payment via Discover Card. I printed out my receipt for my records. However, a comment on the web site about "membership Benefits" caught my attention. I grew suspicious.
I immediately called the 866 number for Discount Book Sales. The call was answered by Smart Savings Center. I talked with "Raymond, " who told me that my book purchase and 7 Day Free Trial for the "Savings Club" membership had been processed. I explained that I SPECIFICALLY checked "NO Thanks" when "given the choice" to try the membership. I told Raymond emphatically that I had DECLINED. Raymond informed me, that when one hits the "check-out" button "AN AUTOMATIC FREE 7 DAY FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP IS INCLUDED WHETHER ONE CHECKS YES OR NO TO THE OFFER.
At the end of the 7 day trial period IF THE PURCHASER DOES NOT CONTACT SMART SAVINGS CENTER AT CANCEL THE MEMBERSHIP, HIS/HER CREDIT CARD IS BILLED $19.95 A MONTH EVERY MONTH UNTIL THE MEMBERSHIP IS CANCELED.
I told Raymond that that practice was as deceitful and sleazy as anything I've ever found on the net. I canceled the book order and MY FREE TRIAL MEMBERSHIP that I didn't sign up for.
What was almost as bad was when I called Discover Card to report these creeps. I found no sympathy or understanding there. Surprise, surprise!! I was clearly told that such practices were not considered fraud. ALL of the responsibility for such incidents rests totally with the consumer. The fact that Discover Card's profit model facilitates fraud/deceptive practices doesn't matter. Why? Because they make most of their money from merchants like Smart Savings Center b/d/a: DiscountBookSales.com. While we, the consumers, are getting fleeced we have the privilege of paying card companies like Discover, anywhere from 15% to 28% vigorish. Ooops! I mean interest.
So the bottom line is folks, lets go ahead a give these fat-cats a bail-out while they assist others in flim-flamming us.
As the saying goes...CAVEAT EMPTOR (Let the buyer beware!)
I'm going back to Amazon! They don't always have the best prices, but at least you can do business with them without getting unwanted sex performed on your body!!
We're on our own folks! Good luck.