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Questia / Unauthorized billing

1 United States Review updated:
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Questia is an online library. It has various subscription plans. Two years ago, I opted for a yearly plan. When you subscribe to Questia, you can't just subscribe for only one year and that's that. They force you to enter a perpetual agreement that is renewed every year, and is billed by Questia withdrawing from your bank account without telling you. This perpetual subscription can only be stopped if you cancel. (At least that was the case based on the subscription plans available when I subscribed two years ago.) The cost was $100 per year. I subscribed to Questia for two years.

A few days ago, I checked my bank account and saw that Questia had again withdrawn from my bank account three days earlier, without informing me by e-mail either before or after the fact.

Now I did not want to renew my Questia subscription, but being a human being, I forgot to cancel. After all, the withdrawal only comes around once a year and Questia does not inform you that they're about to bill you. They're pretty sneaky.

So, I called to cancel and get a refund. The customer service person canceled my account. As to the refund, however, she said I needed to e-mail the resolution department. So, I did e-mail the resolution department. Their response was prefabricated and completely unpersonal. They offered me what they call a $50 courtesy, 'pro-rated' refund. I responded saying I still wanted a full refund, and I requested for the number of someone to speak with personally. The department responded with an e-mail, half of which was a cut and paste job from their first e-mail to me, basically saying 'no' to my requests.

Sure, Questia's agreement allows them to do what they have done. But you have to admit, it's pretty deceptive. Basically, Questia quietly withdraws money from their customer's accounts and relies on their customers' forgetfulness to keep their subscriptions going. Then when customers ask for a refund, they say, 'Oh, but you agreed to this!'

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Comments

  • Hs
      23rd of Mar, 2009
    0 Votes

    Absolutely true - and several things about fair trade practises. Internet companies are to provide terms BEFORE they require you to enter your financial data. They do NOT for gift subscriptions. I was hooped before I could read the terms. They also do not send out advice of forthcoming charges. And you can't cancel or change your financial data!

  • Su
      10th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    Thanks for the information on Questia. I was about to log on and create a new account. You saved my wallet fellas. THANKS!

  • Le
      29th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    Thank you for the post, I was about to sign up. Just another rip off scam company. Someone should sue them.

  • Sa
      30th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    I signed up for a one day trial and they have charged me twice for annual subscription and once for a months subscription all within a day. And the customer services are not helpful. It's a rogue company. Refrain from it.
    Satish Kumar

  • Qu
      9th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    I've been scammed by Questia as well. I've called and they don't assumer responsibility for anything. I wish I had known about their scam before I signed up for a 24 hr trial. I'm sick of Questia! They should not be functioning anymore. I am planning on exposing Questia's scam to everyone. next Wednesday I am writing to a few news stations. If you guys sent them the same complaint, they could investigate Questia's scams and broadcast it to the people. I guarantee you that once that is done, they won't be in business for much longer.

  • Oj
      12th of Sep, 2011
    0 Votes

    Completely agree with everything said above. Also, just tried unsubscribing online, via their 'unsubscribe' button and for some reason it does not work:) the 'not found ' message comes up . This is a perfect 'money-sucking trap' for people who are busy and have no time to go to the conventional libraries.

  • Le
      27th of Jan, 2012
    0 Votes

    This is a letter I sent to Questia on January 26, 2012:

    Dear Customer Service Officer,
    Greetings!
    I am Lester Cavestany, one of your loyal subscribers since 2003. I would like to make an appeal to you because I failed to cancel the renewal of my annual subscription last December 2011. I just received my credit card statement today and saw that I had been billed for a renewal of my annual subscription. If you will notice my records, I did not use Questia at all in 2011, since I no longer have use of it in my present work.
    Hoping for your understanding.

    Sincerely,
    Lester Cavestany

    The following day, I received a reply from Questia giving me positive feedback about my request. ALL I CAN SAY IS, "THANK YOU! QUESTIA!"

  • Nc
      10th of Apr, 2012
    0 Votes

    This online research site is deliberately misleading and should be blacklisted. They lure customers with free trial, but as you can see from their website (copy of which I have), they do not reveal that the free trial is only for 24 hours. I signed up for the free trial thinking that it is for one month. I tried their search function a couple of times as soon as I signed up, but did not get anything I could use.

    I signed up at around 2 pm on Friday, and discovered that my credit card has already been charged by Saturday. I canceled my trial subscription at around 10 am Monday morning and sent an email requesting for a refund. I thought any reasonable company would comply with my request because my cancellation was certainly within one business day. They didn’t even reply to my email.

    In summary, Questia is a deceptive, unreasonable, and uncaring business. There is absolutely no difference between Questia and outright scammers on the Internet.

  • Ma
      8th of Apr, 2013
    0 Votes

    I had a similar experiene. Questia charges your credit card immediately when you sign-up for the so-called "free trial". Be wary.

  • Vi
      4th of May, 2013
    0 Votes

    It's my misfortune that I am reading all this after loosing my hard earned money to these scamsters. I was aslo duped by free trail and then charged without my concent.

  • Fd
      6th of Oct, 2015
    -1 Votes

    This is a very common practice for many companies including spotify, amazon, psn, xbox live, netflix, and hulu. As well as many other internet companies like magazine subscriptions, cable and internet companies, utility companies, and sometimes renters. Your inability to be an adult and keep track of your finances is sad and if you cant learn from it you are going to have a hard time.

  • Ft
      27th of Jan, 2018
    0 Votes

    The difference is that it's common practice for companies with whom you carry subscriptions to send receipt of your monthly payment. Questia, on the other hand, signs you up then goes silent, with zero correspondence, in the hopes you will forget you are paying for their service so they can keep collecting. They are conniving and outright crooks!

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