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LegalZoom/Registered Agent / Unauthorized Charges to My Account

1 Charlotte, NC, United States Review updated:

Registered Agent "service" scam. Legal Zoom has made an unauthorized charge to my bank account for $159. This is how the scam works: they sell you a service for which you agree to pay a stated price. You authorize Legal Zoom to debit your bank account for installments to cover the service you are purchasing. They do not offer you the option to just pay it out up front or if they do it is not readily noticeable. To complete your order you accept the terms & conditions by checking a box. You assume that the terms and conditions relate only to the service for which you have agreed to purchase but that is not the case. Mentioned somewhere in lengthy terms is an entirely separate service to act as the Registered Agent for the company you have formed. This service is $159 and is not included in the amount you agreed to. They wait until you have received your articles of incorporation at that time you will have made to installments on your agreement. They send an email notification reminding you when your upcoming installment payments are about to post to your account. They conveniently NEVER mention the $159 extra service fee for the registered agent service because then you may question and cancel it. You never receive an email about the impending charge. They simply debit your account for the full amount and wait for you to call to hear that it was not included and that when you accepted the terms and conditions you authorized payment for the service. The first person to take my call even said "we get a lot of these calls." It gets better: when you learn that all this service is for is "filtering" your junk mail they charge $49 to remove themselves as your registered agent. I was able to change my registered agent to myself with my state for $5 bucks. I am told that when they receive confirmation of my change they will prorate my "subscription" which in the end allows them to get at least 2 months ($26.50) payment for a so called service out of you that you would never have purchased otherwise add the $5.00 to make the change yourself (and that's only if I can get the proof before they bill again) and you have paid another $30.00 on top of what you agreed. I could have just paid a local attorney to draw up my papers for that less than that amount ($414.00). To stop unauthorized debits your bank will need to cancel your card altogether.

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  • Ri
      25th of Aug, 2012
    +3 Votes

    The same thing happened to me :

    Registered Agent "service" scam. Legal Zoom has made an unauthorized charge to my bank account for $159. This is how the scam works: they sell you a service for which you agree to pay a stated price. You authorize Legal Zoom to debit your bank account for installments to cover the service you are purchasing. They do not offer you the option to just pay it out up front or if they do it is not readily noticeable. To complete your order you accept the terms & conditions by checking a box. You assume that the terms and conditions relate only to the service for which you have agreed to purchase but that is not the case. Mentioned somewhere in lengthy terms is an entirely separate service to act as the Registered Agent for the company you have formed. This service is $159 and is not included in the amount you agreed to. They wait until you have received your articles of incorporation at that time you will have made to installments on your agreement. They send an email notification reminding you when your upcoming installment payments are about to post to your account. They conveniently NEVER mention the $159 extra service fee for the registered agent service because then you may question and cancel it. You never receive an email about the impending charge. They simply debit your account for the full amount and wait for you to call to hear that it was not included and that when you accepted the terms and conditions you authorized payment for the service. The first person to take my call even said "we get a lot of these calls." It gets better: when you learn that all this service is for is "filtering" your junk mail they charge $49 to remove themselves as your registered agent. I was able to change my registered agent to myself with my state for $5 bucks. I am told that when they receive confirmation of my change they will prorate my "subscription" which in the end allows them to get at least 2 months ($26.50) payment for a so called service out of you that you would never have purchased otherwise add the $5.00 to make the change yourself (and that's only if I can get the proof before they bill again) and you have paid another $30.00 on top of what you agreed. I could have just paid a local attorney to draw up my papers for that less than that amount ($414.00). To stop unauthorized debits your bank will need to cancel your card altogether.

    I was very disappointed to discover this, this is a very sneaky charge and to put it in the terms and conditions like that is not acceptable. Every customer should be made aware of this ridiculous charge and have the option to opt out of it. I'm disappointed in myself for not paying more attention to the fine print and ashamed to have done business with them where they cheat other people who are trying to start their own.

  • Br
      28th of Sep, 2016
    +2 Votes

    I too, feel swindled and will not use their service moving forward. My order confirmation e-mail has Total Charges: $493.94 in 2 months my bank statement has racked up $902.94 in charges. I called in was given the spiel you have all gotten, they can enjoy the $400 extra they got me, the business practice has left a bad taste in my method.

  • Le
      6th of Feb, 2014
    +2 Votes

    Hi, we are very sorry that your registered agent concern wasn't properly handled. I would like the opportunity to make things right. Please reach out to me directly at Chyna@lzserve.com.

  • Le
      18th of Mar, 2014
    +2 Votes

    Hi schmidyuc,

    We'd like to resolve your filing issues, please contact us at Chyna@lzserve.com for help. We look forward to hearing from you.

    LegalZoom

  • Ni
      24th of Jun, 2014
    +2 Votes

    Legal Zoom IS SUCH A SCAM.
    Got the run around on the phone with "Service Agents".
    They're condescending and specifically try to confuse you.
    I called about a year and a half ago to get all services cancelled. They said they would, but they happened to leave out this "service". Worst part is that they do it knowingly.
    BEWARE OF LEGALZOOM at all cost!
    I recommend paying up and using real lawyers.

  • Ch
      13th of Mar, 2017
    +2 Votes

    Having same issue. Never did business, I folded the company i tried to form and LegalZoom would NOT let me cancel their service!!! I informed them that no business was conducted and i would like to cancel. Years later I am STILL being charged the $159 a year?!?!!? I called and they told me nothing they can do. I now have to cancel ALL my banking and change my CC, this SHOULD NOT BE LEGAL! It has really put me in a bind and from what customer service says at LegalZoom "There is nothing you can do about it".

  • Fe
      17th of Jan, 2018
    +1 Votes

    Same here. Legal zoom has an auto-renew registered agent scam. I already experienced this auto-renew scams through other companies. So, I change my credit card every couple of years. And those companies didn't bother me anymore. Legal Zoom, however, sent my name, address and phone number to a collection agency within a month of the renewal date, when it discovered it couldn't charge me. The charge $159 is for one entire year but they claim I owed them the entire fee within a month. They have the option of resigning from being a Registered agent for a mere $60. But they wouldn't do that since they can get $159 from me ! I called and told them I had already changed the agent to my own name. But now, I got a letter from their lawyers. Legal zoom has already had class action settlements for their dubious claims. Legal zoom does nothing as a registered agent other than sending a reminder. Anyway, I have now changed my registered agent to another company.

  • An
      21st of Mar, 2018
    +1 Votes

    Wow! I am not the only one in this boat. I formed an LLC for a company that I never used. I have tried to cancel my account many times now and have received the same canned response as the rest of the posters. "You can't close your account because your state requires a registered agent..." nonsense. I am already administratively dissolved so I don't understand why this is a big problem. I also have an expired card on file... I guess I'll be looking forward to the charge regardless based on other posters. Can they get reported to BBB or is there a class action suit for this scam? This is absolutely absurd!!! Is there a way to get rid of them for once and for all?!?!

  • Rs
      5th of Apr, 2018
    +1 Votes

    This business is a SCAM. Stay away. I had my business dissolved in 2015 but Legalzoom are still charging me $159 dollars every year and now $299 for an agent fee for a business that doesn't exist. so its over $1200 is charges I did not authorize. They are so corrupt. When I called they said there was nothing they could do and they won't even let me cancel my own membership - "You can't close your account because your state requires a registered agent." what BS. I am already administratively dissolved. Its nuts. FRAUD at its worst.

  • Da
      12th of May, 2018
    +1 Votes

    The FEDs should look into this for sure. I also have been getting charged for registered agent services. We contacted legalzoom My Accountant said to them that we do not need a registered agent in my state. The person from LZ refused to reason and listen.She also continued saying we I needed to file for a change in status with my state. They refuse to refund the previous charges which were $159 a year and now have suddenly jumped to $499. Advised by my account to cancel and change the credit card numbers with my bank and LZ is still calling and sending me emails. How can LZ continue to get away with this? As a previous customer. I feel like I was had too.Until this SCAM is fixed I would NOT DO BUSINESS WITH LEGALZOOM

  • Le
      20th of Jul, 2012
    +1 Votes

    Hi Kim,

    We are sorry to hear that you were being charged for a service that you were unaware of. It looks like you may have opted in for LegalZoom to serve as your Registered Agent. We can assist you with changing your Registered Agent, if you haven't already done so. Please feel free to contact me directly for assistance at: Patty@lzserve.com.

    Again we are sorry to hear about experience and would like to help.
    LegalZoom Customer Care

  • Ri
      25th of Aug, 2012
    +1 Votes

    Actually disregard the last comment I made I just did a ton of research and It makes sense to have a registered agent and its an ANNUAL FEE, however the customer should be made aware of this fee upfront instead of the fine print.

  • Ka
      28th of May, 2014
    +1 Votes

    I had the same thing happen to me, I feel this is also a SNEAKY SCAM and I was told By LegalZoom that I was required by LAW to have a Registered Agent, not only
    once but SEVERAL times. Once I called NYS I found out that NYS DOES NOT REQUIRE YOU TO EVEN HAVE A REGISTERED AGENT!!! I had to pay a $30 filing fee with NYS to remove LegalZoom as the Registered agent. To make matters worse my credit card on file was expired (9/13) and they were still able to make the $159.00 charge! What a SCAM!

  • Th
      29th of Aug, 2014
    +1 Votes

    I had the same experience with Legal Zoom now in attempting to understand this "Registered Agent" charge.

    Customer service agents are incredibly condescending and rude.
    Demanding to speak with a manager in my next call and have this charge reversed.

    If LegalZoom customer service is reading this please send me your contact information.
    Tom

  • Le
      17th of Mar, 2015
    +1 Votes

    The EXACT same thing happened to me!

    Hidden charges, completely opaque processes, lack of any real help from anyone at LegalZoom. I actually found out about LegalZoom's 'awesome' $159 fee this morning, when my bank account called to tell me my account has been overdrawn, and my subsequent auto-pay bills (that would've been paid just fine... if there were still $159 in that particular account) caused a series of overdraft fees.

    Unfortunately for all of us, LegalZoom is a law service... so they've got lots of legal help. They seem pretty adamant about continuing to charge me, and the only way out of it, for me, was to report fraud charges to my bank and cancel my bank cards.

    0 out of 10, would definitely not recommend LegalZoom, unless you have a bunch of money you don't really want.

  • Le
      1st of May, 2015
    +1 Votes

    They warned me about my second installment payment plan by email and then hit me with an additional $159 without any notice! No warnings what so ever! I am a reasonable person and this is a very shady move. Legal zoom is a rip off. I called them today and they told me that I didn't read the "fine print" in the agreement. I hope you read this fine print Legal Zoom, you will never get another dime out of me. . Crooks!!

  • Ki
      31st of Aug, 2015
    +1 Votes

    I reported fraud to my bank and had my bank card canceled but LegalZoom was still able to debit $159 from my account! I set up my LLC 3 years ago and never did anything with it so I don't want to pay the CA annual fee of $800 in order to dissolve it. Most people just ignore this but I am stuck with Legalzoom because of this Registered Agent fee. Has anyone able to successfully get rid of this? Do I have to change my bank account since reporting fraud to my debit card was not enough.

  • Ba
      24th of Jul, 2017
    +1 Votes

    Exact thing happened to me. Legalzoom charged me again without informing me. Earlier I called and canceled the services. Now I realize they have been charging me every year. This year they charged $399. This is really looking like a fraudulent behavior.

  • Ma
      20th of Aug, 2017
    +1 Votes

    Same thing here, did it to me last year and just now did it again. Used legalzoom 4 times and now no more, company became a shady business .

  • Sc
      11th of Nov, 2017
    +1 Votes

    Scam scam scam. Registered an llc with legal zoom and was charged the $159 for registered agent, fine. The next year called to cancel and was informed they couldn't cancel because I was not on the account (its a 50/50 llc) and they are charging MY card yet Im no where on the account. So my partner called and was informed they wont cancel unless the llc is dissolved. Bunch of crap. I just canceled the bank card and this year their auto withdrawal was rejected and then they tried sending some email about collections. Good luck. I have documentation of calls to cancel and the agents we spoke with as well as my bank calling them to try and resolve/ cancel.

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